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THE transcripts of Spanish despatches which Mr. COSENS has 
kindly allowed me to use have been found to be even more 
valuable than I had expected, and have enabled me to add 
considerably to my knowledge of the relations between the 
King and the Spanish Government. My own copies taken at 
Simancas, with some others from various sources, have been 
deposited in the Museum Library, and will be found in 
Additional MSS. 31,111-2. 






1607 Financial difficulties 
1591 The Levant Company 
1603 Imposition on currants 
1606 Bate resists payment . 

Bate's case in the Court of 

1608 Salisbury becomes Lord 


The new impositions 
The debt and the deficit . 

1609 Entail of the Crown lands 

1606 Banishment of the priests . 
PaulV. . 

The Pope condemns the 

oath of allegiance . 
Sufferings of the Catholics 

1607 The Pope again condemns 

the oath of allegiance . 
Negotiations for a peace in 
the Netherlands 


English diplomacy . 22 

James's view of the nego- 
tiations . . . 24 

1608 Opening of the conferences 

at the Hague . . 26 

Spanish intrigues . . 27 
League between England 

and the States . . 28 

1609 The Truce of Antwerp . . 29 

1608 Church difficulties in Scot- 

land . . -30 

Balmerino detected in 
obtaining surreptitiously 
the King's signature . 31 

1609 Balmerino's trial and sen- 

tence ... -33 

James appeals to Europe 
against the Pope . . 34 



1606 Coke on the Bench . 35 

1607 Fuller's case . 36 
Coke's conflict with the 

King . . .38 

1608 Fuller's submission and 

release . . . 40 

Dispute between Coke and 
Bancroft . 41 

The question of prohibi- 
tions discussed before 
the King 

Rise of Robert Carr 
1605 Raleigh loses the manor 

of Sherborne 

1609 Sherborne granted to Can- 
Value of the estate 







1585-1605 Early attempts to 

colonise Virginia . . 50 

1606 The first Virginian charter 51 

1607 Landing of the first co- 

lony . . -54 

Smith's adventures . 55 

1608 Smith elected president . 56 

1609 The new charter . . 57 
Lord De la Warr ap- 
pointed governor . . 59 
Smith returns to England . 60 
Arrival of De la Warr and 

Gates . . .61 

Administration of Dale 62 


1610 Parliament summoned . 63 
Opening of the session . 64 
Salisbury's financial pro- 
posals . . -65 
Cowell's Interpreter . . 66 
Bacon's speech on tenures 68 
Offer of the Commons . 69 
The Commons forbidden 
by the King to complain 
of the Impositions . 70 
Excitement in the Com- 
mons . 71 
The King gives way . 72 
Prince Henry created 
Prince of Wales . . 73 

Salisbury bargains with 
the Commons . . 74 

The debate on the Imposi- 
tions . 75 

The Commons almost un- 
animous against the 
Crown . . .81 

The Bill on Impositions . 82 

The Great Contract con- 
cluded . . -83 

The King's reply to the 
Petition of Grievances . 84 

Prorogation of Parliament 87 



15^5 The Peace of Augsburg . 88 

1582 The Catholic reaction . 90 

1606 Parties in Germany . 91 

1608 The Protestant Union . 92 

1609 The Catholic League . 92 
The succession of Cleves 

andjuliers . . 93 
Strife between the preten- 
ders . . 94 

1610 Interference of foreign 

powers . . -95 
Projects of Henry IV. . 96 
Murder of Henry IV. . 98 
English and French inter- 
vention in the Duchies . 99 
Surrender of Juliers . 100 
Treaty between England 

and France . . . 101 
Prospects of Episcopacy 

in Scotland . 101 
The Assembly of Glasgow 

introduces Episcopacy . 102 

Consecration of Bishops . 103 
Opinion of the judges on 

the King's right to issue 
proclamations . '. 104 

Opening of a new session 
of Parliament . . 105 

The Great Contract dis- 
cussed . . . 106 

Abandonment of the Great 
Contract . . 107 

Resistance to a demand 

for a supply . . . 108 

1611 Dissolution of Parliament 109 

Commencement of the 
quarrel between the King 
and the Commons . no 

Carr made Viscount Ro- 
chester . . .in 

The Baronets . .112 

1610 Case of Arabella Stuart . 113 

1611 Her escape and recapture 118 
Case of the Countess of 

Shrewsbury . .119 

1610 Death of Bancroft . . 119 
Expectation that he will be 
succeeded by Andrewes 120 


161 1 Abbot becomes Archbishop 
Chancey's case in the 

High Commission Court 
Abbot appeals to the 

Council against Coke . 
Abbot and Laud at Oxford 
Theories of Laud 
Laud becomes President 

of St John's . 


I2 3 


Controversy between 

James and Vorstius . 128 
1612 Proceedings against Le- 
gate and Wightman . 128 

Legate and Wightman 
burnt . . . 130 

Lord Sanquhar's case . 131 

Execution of Lord San- 
quhar . . . 133 



1610 Salisbury joins the oppo- 

nents of Spain . . 134 

English merchants ill- 
treated in Spain . . 135 

1611 Marriages proposed for 

the Princess Elizabeth . 136 
Digby ordered to ask for 
the Infanta Anne for the 
Prince of Wales . .138 
Breach of the negotiation 

with Spain . . 139 

Proposals from Tuscany . 140 
The Elector Palatine ac- 
cepted for the Princess 
Elizabeth . . 140 

1612 Illness of Salisbury . . 141 
Salisbury's death . . 142 
Estimate of his career . . 143 
The Treasury put in com- 
mission . . . 145 

Candidates for the Secre- 
taryship . . . 146 

James resolves to be his 
own secretary . . 148 

Digby advocates the claims 
of the merchants in Spain 149 

Zufiiga's mission . . 151 

The Elector Palatine in 
England . . . 152 

Marriages proposed for the 
Prince . . . 153 

A French alliance sug- 
gested . . . 154 

Illness of the Prince . 157 

Death of the Prince . . 158 

Northampton's slanderers 
fined . . . 159 

Betrothal of the Princess 

Elizabeth . . . 160 

1613 Marriage of the Princess 

Elizabeth . .161 

League between the States 
and the Union . . 162 

James at the head of the 
Protestant Alliance . 163 

Dissatisfaction of the 
Spanish Government . 164 

Sarmiento sent as ambas- 
sador to England . . 165 



1606 Marriage of the Earl of 

Essex . 

Conduct of Lady Essex . 
1613 She thinks of procuring a 

divorce . 
A Commission appointed 



to try the case 

Abbot's letter to the King 171 
Sentence in favour of the 

divorce . . . 172 

Conduct of James and 

Andre wes " . 173 

Unpopularity of the sen- 

Overbury's connection 
with Rochester . 

Overbury opposes the di- 

Overbury sent to the 
Tower . 

Schemes of Northampton 
and Rochester 

A conspiracy to poison 




Overbury's death . .186 

The Navy Commission . 187 

Whitelocke's argument 
against it . 188 

Mansell and Whitelocke 
charged before the 
Council . . .189 

Bacon's theory of govern- 
ment . . . 191 

Sir J. Caesar's report on 
the Exchequer . . 199 

Efforts to improve the 
revenue . . . 200 

Necessity of summoning 
Parliament . . 201 

Neville's advice . . 202 


Bacon's advice . . 204 

Bacon recommends that 
Coke be made Chief 
Justice of the King's 
Bench . . . . 207 

Coke's penal promotion . 208 
Rochester marries Lady 
Essex, and is created 
Earl of Somerset . 210 

1614 Star Chamber decree a- 

gainst duels . . . 212 

1613 Sutton's Hospital . . 213 

The water supply of Lon- 
don . . . . 214 
The New River completed 215 


1613 Digby discovers the Spa- 

nish pensions . . 216 

Sarmiento's diplomacy . 218 
James's foreign policy . 220 
Affair of Donna Luisa de 

Carvajal. . . 221 

Position of the negotiations 

with France. . . 223 

The pensioners of Spain . 224 

1614 Cottington urges Sar- 

miento to propose a 
Spanish marriage . 226 

James decides on summon- 
ing Parliament . . 227 
The Undertakers . . 228 

The elections . . . 230 

Necessity of choosing a 

Secretary . .231 

Appointment of Winwood 232 
Opening of the session . 233 
Supply and grievances . 236 
Impositions and mono- 
polies . . . 237 

Debate on the Impositions 238 

The Lords refuse to confer 241 
The Commons excited by 

Bishop Neile's speech . 243 

The King intervenes . . 244 

The Bishop excuses himself 245 
The Commons demand his 

punishment . . 246 
Northampton foments the 

quarrel . . . 247 

Dissolution of Parliament . 248 

Imprisonment of members 249 
James complains to Sar- 

miento . . . 251 
The Spanish marriage pro- 
posed . . . 252 
Sarmiento's plans . . 252 
Discussions in Spain on 

the marriage . . 255 

Digby's mission . . 256 
His advice on the Spanish 

marriage . . . 257 



Death of Northampton . 259 
Suffolk appointed Ixird 

Treasurer . . . 259 

Somerset becomes Lord 

Chamberlain . . 260 

A Benevolence offered . . 260 
Appeal to the country for 

money . . .261 

The Duchies of Cleves and 
Juliers . . . 262 

Spinola and Maurice in- 
vade the Duchiqg . 263 

The payment of the Bene- 
volence urged . . 264 

General disinclination to 
pay . . 265 




Deputations summoned to 

London . . , . 266 

Payment under pressure . 267 
Letter of Oliver St. John . 268 
bacon prosecutes him in 

the Star Chamber . 269 
His sentence . . . 270 

Raleigh's Prerogative of 

Parliaments . . 271 

Peacham's seditious 

writings . . . 272 

Peacham is committed to 

the Tower . . 273 

1615 Torture inflicted on Pea- 
cham . . . 275 
The judges consul ted sepa- 
rately on the nature of 
his offence . . 277 
Coke's opinion . . 278 
Position assumed by Coke 279 
Peacham brings false 
charges against his 
neighbours . . . 280 
Peacham's trial and con- 
viction . . . 282 
1611 Irish grievances . . 283 
Proposa,! of summoning an 
Irish Parliament . 284 


The new constituencies . 285 
Alarm of the Catholics . 286 

1612 Proposed legislation a- 

gainst priests and Jesuits 287 
Petition of the Lords of the 
Pale . . .287 

1613 Protest of the Catholic 

Lords . . . 288 

Opening of Parliament . 289 
Struggle in the House of 
Commons over the elec- 
tion of a Speaker . . 289 
Deputation to the King . 292 
Talbot questioned . . 294 
Commissioners sent to in- 
vestigate grievances . 295 

1614 The King's decision . . 296 
Chichester instructed to 

carry out the laws against 
recusants . . 297 

Withdrawal of the Bill 
against Priests and 
Jesuits . . . 298 

The Irish Parliament at 
work . . . 299 

Irish complaints . . 301 

1615 Dissolution of Parliament 

and recall of Chichester 302 



1615 Owen's case . . 304 

1614 Building fines . . . 305 
The Brewers . . 306 
The Treaty of Xanten . 307 
The whale fishery and the 

East India trade . 309 

1599-1615 Early history of the 

East India Company . 310 

1615 Roe's embassy . .311 
Rivalry between the Eng- 
lish and the Dutch in 

the East . . . 312 

Negotiations at the Hague 313 

1614 The French marriage treaty 314 
The French States-General 315 
Sarmiento hopes that the 

Prince will visit Madrid 316 
Digby's negotiations at 

Madrid . . . 316 

First appearance of Villiers 

at Court. . . 317 

1615 Somerset's behaviour to 

the King . . . 319 

The King's visit to Cam- 
bridge . . . 320 

Cotton s negotiation with 
Sarmiento . . . 321 

Intrigues against Somerset 322 

Villiers made Gentleman of 
the Bedchamber . 323 

The articles of the Spanish 
marriage treaty sent to 
James '. . . 323 

James hesitates to accept 
them . . . 324 

The articles accepted as the 
basis of the negotiation 326 

Somerset is to conduct the 
negotiation . . 327 

Somerset's dissatisfaction 
with the King . . 327 

The Chancellor refuses to 
pass his pardon . . 329 

James orders the Chancel- 
lor to seal it, but neglects 
to enforce his command 350 





1615 Winwood informed of 

Overbury's murder . 331 

Confession of Helwys . 332 

Weston's confession . . 333 
Commissioners appointed 

to investigate the affair . 334 

Somerset's behaviour . . 335 

James refuses to interfere . 336 

Trial of Weston . . 337 
Proceedings in the Star 

Chamber . . 341 
Trials of Mrs. Turner and 

Helwys . . . 342 

Trial of Franklin . . 343 
Sir Thomas Monson's trial 

postponed . . . 344 
Information extracted from 


Cotton on Somerset's re- 
lations with Sarmiento . 345 
1616 The Earl and Countess of 

Somerset indicted . . 347 

Bacon's conduct in the 
affair . . . 348 

Somerset threatens to ac- 
cuse the King . . 351 

Trial of the Countess of 
Somerset . . 352 

Trial of the Earl of Somer- 
set . . . . 353 

The Countess pardoned . 360 

Somerset's life spared . 361 

Sir Thomas Monson par- 
doned . . . 363 


1615 Discussion in the Privy 
Council on the sum- 
^moning of Parliament . 364 

Bacon encourages James 
to call a Parliament . 366 

James resolves to proceed 
with the Spanish mar- 
riage . . . 368 

The design of summoning 
Parliament abandoned . 369 

1594 Raleigh's early projects . 370 
El Dorado . . . 372 

1595 Paleigh's first voyage to 

Guiana . . . 373 

The gold mine on the 
Orinoco . . . 374 

Raleigh's return . . 375 

1596 Voyage of Keymis to 

Guiana . . . 377 

1603 Explorations of Leigh and 

Harcourt . . 378 

Raleigh's imprisonment . 379 
1612 Raleigh proposes to send 

Keymis to Guiana . 380 

1616 Raleigh released from the 

Tower . . . 381 

Treaty for the surrender 
of the Cautionary Towns 382 

1613 The cloth manufactory . 385 

1614 Cockaine's proposals . . 386 

1615 The new company . 387 

1616 Distress in the clothing 

districts . . . 388 

Bacon's proposals . . 389 

James resolves to break off 
the negotiation for a 
French marriage . . 390 
Hay's mission to Paris . 391 
Embarrassment of James . 392 
Sale of peerages . . 393 
Hay's negotiation . . 394 

The French marriage 

broken off . . . 396 

Carleton in Holland . 396 
The Dutch decline to 
execute the Treaty of 
Xanten . . . 397 




THE troubles in Ireland were a constant drain on the English 
Exchequer, which was by no means in a condition to meet un- 
usual demands. 1 Those who were entrusted with 

Financial the administration of the finances had therefore long 
been anxiously looking about for a new source of 
revenue, and, at the time of the flight of the Earls, circumstances 
seemed to offer them the resource which they needed. 

That resource, indeed, was not one of which a statesman 
of the highest order would have availed himself. In the four- 
teenth century, the Crown, in consequence of pressure from 
the House of Commons, had abandoned the practice of levying 
customs and duties without Parliamentary consent. Mary 
had, however, revived it to a small extent, and Elizabeth had 
followed in her steps. 

In 1575, she granted a patent to Acerbo Velutelli, a 
native of Lucca, giving him the sole right of importing into 
England currants and oil from the Venetian territories. On the 
strength of this he exacted fines for licences to trade in those 

1 In the year ending at Michaelmas, 1607, the money sent over to 
Ireland was 34,ooo/. In the three following years the amounts were 
98,ooo/., 7i,ooo/., and 66,ooo/. 


articles from both English and foreign merchants. The 
Veiuteiii's Venetians, dissatisfied that their merchants should be 
monopoly, compelled to pay Velutelli for permission to carry 
their own products to England, set a duty of 5*. 6</. per cwt. on 
currants exported in other than Venetian bottoms, with corre- 
sponding duties on oil and wine. At the request of the English 
merchants, a similar impost was laid by Elizabeth on these 
products when landed in England from foreign vessels. 1 

Not long afterwards Veiuteiii's patent was cancelled, and a 
fresh one was granted to a few English merchants, who were 
formed into a company, having the monopoly of the 
Venetian Venetian trade. The duty on currants imported in 
ompany. f ore jg n vessels was thus changed into a total prohibi- 
tion. This patent expired in 1591, and an imposition was then 
laid upon the articles in question, whether imported in English 
or in foreign ships. After due deliberation, however, 

The first 

Levant this plan was abandoned, and a new Company was 
formed, in which the merchants trading with Venice 
were incorporated with an equally small company trading with 
Turkey, under the title of the ' Levant Company.' 2 In the 
course of the year 1600, complaints were made that this 
company had exceeded its powers. On the strength of its 
power to license persons to carry on the trade, to the exclusion 
of all others, it had allowed, as Velutelli had done before, 
merchants who were not members of the company to import 
currants, on condition of a payment of $s. 6d. per cwt. It was 
represented to the Queen that she had never intended that a 
few Londoners should virtually levy customs for their own 
profit, and that to allow such proceedings to pass 
unnoticed would derogate from the honour of her 
crown. The question thus mooted was never decided. The 
Government, taking advantage of a technical flaw in the Com- 
pany's charter, pronounced it to have been null and void from 
the beginning. 

1 Statement by the Levant Company, Feb. 1604. Observations on 
two special grievances, Nov. 1604, S. P. Dom. vi. 69, and x. 27. 

The patent is printed in Hakluyt (ed. 1599), ii. 295. See also Cott. 
AISS. Tit. F. iv. fol. 232 ; and Fleming's judgment, State Trials, ii. 391. 


As soon as this was known, the Queen was pressed by 
many merchants who were not members of the company to 
its charter throw the trade open. They declared that they were 
resumed. not on jy w ji}i n g to support the ambassador at Con- 
stantinople, and the consuls at the other ports of the Levant, 
at an annual cost of 6,ooo 1 but that they were ready, in 
addition to these expenses, to pay to the Queen the duty 
of 5$. 6d. per cwt. which had been exacted from them by 
the monopolists. 

The Queen, however, preferred bargaining with the 
charter old company, and granted to it a new charter, by 
which its monopoly was confirmed, on condition of 
a yearly payment of 4,ooo/. 

During the few remaining years of Elizabeth's reign the 
Levant trade was unprosperous. The Venetians put new re- 
strictions upon the export of currants, in order to favour their 
own navigation. The rise of the direct trade with India was 
already beginning to exercise a deleterious influence upon the 
which is commerce of Turkey. Consequently when, soon 
surrendered after the accession of James, the proclamation 

as a mono- . . . 

poly. against monopolies was issued, the company appeared 

[6 3 ' at the council-table and surrendered its charter, con- 
fessing it to be a monopoly. In return, it was excused the pay- 
ment of arrears amounting to the sum of 2,ooo/. 

The forfeiture of the charter caused a deficiency in the 

King's revenue which he could not well afford. It was only 

natural that, the trade being now open, the Council 

Imposition , , i i ... , , , , , 

upon should revert to the imposition which had been 

nts ' before levied, either by the Crown or by the com- 
pany itself. They could hardly expect much opposition from 
the merchants. Of those who had not been members of the 
company, many had, in 1600, expressed their readiness to 
pay the duty ; and those who had been members had for 
many years exacted the payment for their own profit. That 
the Crown had no need to obtain the consent of Parliament, 
there could be little doubt, according to the notions which at 

1 The sum is given in the Petition of the Levant Company, Nov. 1604, 
S. P. Dom. x. 23. 

B 2 


that time prevailed in official quarters. The Exchequer had 
long been in the habit of receiving money paid in on account 
of similar impositions, and nearly half a century had passed 
since the slightest question had been raised of their legality. 
But before proceeding further, the Government determined to 
take a legal opinion. That opinion being favourable, the Lord 
Treasurer was directed to reimpose the former duties. ' 

There was no intention, on the part of the Government, of 
pressing hardly upon the merchants. It was customary, instead 
of paying duties of this kind immediately upon the landing 
of the goods, to give bonds that the money would be forth- 
coming after a certain interval of time. Nearly a year 
Arrears for- passed, and the payments due upon the bonds which 
had been given had not been made. The Lord 
Treasurer was met by objections, and declarations of inability 
to pay. 2 Upon this, in November, 1604, the whole subject was 
taken once more into consideration, 3 and a discharge was 
granted to the merchants of the whole of their arrears, estimated 
at about 6,ooo/., upon the understanding that, in future, the 
imposition would be paid. 

In 1605 the state of the Levant trade was again under 

the notice of the Government. Though the monopoly had 

ceased, the old company still continued to trade as a 

Reestablish- private association. Under its altered circumstances, 

ment of the however, its members were no longer able to support 

Levant Com- ** 

pany on a the ambassador and the consuls. Debts had been 

new footing. . . 

incurred in the East, and fears were entertained lest 
the Turkish authorities should seize the buildings and other 
property of the society. 4 The merchants requested Salisbury 
to obtain for them the re-establishment of the company on a 
new footing ; and, after receiving from Popham an assurance 

1 Council to Dorset, Oct. 31, 1603, S. P. Dom. iv. 46. 

2 Docquet of letter, July 23, 1604, S. P. Docq. 

* Docquet of discharge, Nov. 10, 1604, 6". P. Docq. 

Petition of the Levant Merchants, July. R. Stapers to Salisbury, 
July 8, S. P. Dom. xv. 3 and 4. "If," Salisbury wrote, " there might be 
some project only to incorporate all merchants (that are the King's sub- 
jects), without any such injurious exclusion as it was before, then all such 


that no legal objection stood in his way, he procured from the 
King a patent by which a new open company was constituted, 
in which all who paid the subscription might take part, and 
which was to be possessed of the exclusive right of trading to 
the Levant. In order that the new association might start 
fairly, the King directed that the sum of 5,3227., being the 
amount which he was to receive in one year from the farmers 
to whom the imposition on currants had been lately let, should 
be handed over to the company as a free gift. With this they 
would be able to defray the expenses of the present which it 
was customary to offer to the Sultan at certain intervals of 


The Councillors probably hoped that they had now heard 
the last of the Levant Company. In the course of two years 
i6o6 and a half, they had either given or remitted to the 
Bate resists merchants no less than 13, 3227. They were, how- 
ThJ^^st ever, soon undeceived. Not long after the new ar- 
rangement had been made, John Bate, one of the 
members of the company, asked his servant to drive away from 
the waterside a cartful of currants before it had been examined 
by the officer of the customs. Bate was immediately sum- 
moned before the Council, and declared that his servant had 
acted by his instructions, which he had given because he be- 
lieved the imposition to be illegal. 2 He was committed to the 
Marshalsea for contempt of the King's officers. The Govern- 
ment, however, was anxious that the question which had been 
raised should be set at rest, and decided upon bringing the 
case formally before the Court of Exchequer. 

Meanwhile, the merchants appealed to the House of Com- 
mons. The Commons at once inserted in the Petition of 
Grievances, which they presented at the end of the session 

inconveniences might be provided for, and yet no wrong done to the 
liberty of any other subject. For I would have it to be open to all men 
to trade that would into all places ; neither should there be any privilege 
for sole bringing in of any commodity, as it was before. "Salisbury to 
Popham, Sept. 8, S. P. Dom. xv. 54. 

1 Warrant, Dec., 13. 1605, S. P. Dom. xvii. 35. 

Memoranda, April n, S. P. Dom. xx. 25. 


following the Gunpowder Plot, a request that the impositions 

might cease to be levied, on the ground that no such 

chants peti- duty could be legally demanded without the consent 

H o"ise e of of Parliament. A similar statement was made with 

Common,. respect tQ & h j gh duty of fo %j per ] b 1 } a j d Qn 

tobacco by James, who thus sought to express his feelings 
with regard to what was, in his opinion, a most deleterious 

A few days before Parliament met, in November, 1606, 
the case was brought to an issue in the Court of Exchequer, 
Bate's case an( ^ James was able to declare that his action 
in the Court ^ad received the approval of the judges. By an 

of Exche- l J t J 

quer. unanimous decision of the four Barons of the 

Exchequer, Bate was called upon to pay the duty on the 
currants which had been landed in his name ; and the doctrine, 
that the King was entitled by his sole prerogative to levy im- 
positions upon the imports and exports, was declared to be in 
accordance with the law of the land. The pleadings in the 
case have not been handed down to us, and of the judgments 
only two, those of Clarke and Fleming, have been preserved. 
Their decision has been received by posterity with universal 
disfavour. Lawyers and statesmen have been unanimous in 
condemning it. Those who have tried it by the technical 
rules which prevail in the courts have pronounced it to have 
violated those rules openly. Those who have examined it 
from the point of view of political and constitutional expediency, 
have unhesitatingly declared that it is based on principles which 
would lead to the extinction of English liberty. In 1610 the 
decision of the court was subjected to a long and sifting ex- 
amination, and the superiority in argument was decidedly on 
the side of those who took the popular view of the subject. 

At the present day, it is happily an understood rule that 
Relations members of the Government shall not use their per- 
between the sona i influence with the judges who are called on 

Judges and * 

the Crown, to decide a question in which the Government is 
interested. In the reign of James I., the line between executive 

1 Rymer, xvi. 601. 


and judicial functions was not as clearly drawn as it now is. 
Every Privy Councillor sat in judgment in the Court of Star 
Chamber. The Lord Treasurer was himself a member of the 
Court of Exchequer, though he was not accustomed to deliver a 
judicial opinion. On this occasion Dorset had an interview with 
the judges before the cause was argued, 1 apparently to inquire 
whether they would not think it better to deliver their judg- 
ments without assigning any reasons for them. It is evident 
from his letter that even if he had been inclined to put a 
pressure upon them, he had no object in doing so, as their 
opinions entirely coincided with his own. The King, he wrote, 
might be ' assured that the judgment of the Barons ' would be 
' clear and certain on his side, not only to please His Majesty, 
but even to please God himself, for in their conscience the law 
stands for the King.' 2 * 

Salisbury, too, appears from his letters on the subject of 
the impositions, 3 and on other similar questions, to have been 

1 " I sent for my Lord Chief Baron early in the morning, and had con- 
ference with him according to the contents of your letter, and afterwards 
in the Court I had like conference with the rest of the Barons ; but they 
all are confident and clear of opinion that as their judgments a*e resolute 
for the King, so, nevertheless, in a cause of so great importance as this is, 
and so divulged in the popular mind as it now stands, and being most 
likely that the merchants will, notwithstanding the judgment of the Barons, 
yet pursue their writ of error, they all, I say, are absolute of opinion that 
before they give judgment it is most fit and convenient that the Barons 
who are to give judgment shall in like sort argue it, and so to give reasons 
of their judgment, which being so done and reported, it will be for ever a 
settled and an assured foundation for the King's impositions for ever ; and 
thereby also, if they should bring their writ of error, the judgment will 
stand so much the more firm and strong against them ; where not only the 
judges are to give their judgment, but also do show the ground and reason of 
their judgment ; whereas contrarywise certainly the adversary will give 
forth that judgment is given without ground, and only to please the King's 
Majesty. And for my part I am confident of that mind, and that the 
suppressing of arguments in the Barons, notwithstanding all the judgment 
in the world, will yet leave the world nothing well satisfied." Dorset to 
Salisbury, Nov. 1606, Hatfield MSS. 118, fol. 144. 

- Ibid. 

3 See especially Salisbury to Popham, Sept. 8, 1605, S. F. Dum. 
xiii. 54. 


most anxious on all occasions to keep within the bounds of 
The judges the law. Nor is there any reason to suppose that 
datVdor"" tne judges were influenced by the fear of dismissal, 
corrupted. As y et) though in theory they held their offices 
during the good pleasure of the Sovereign, they were able 
to regard them as permanently their own. Since the accession 
of Elizabeth not a single case had occurred of a judge being 
dismissed for political reasons. 1 Startling as their opinions 
now seem, they were not so regarded at the time by un- 
prejudiced persons. Hakewill, who was present at the trial, 
and who afterwards delivered in the House of Commons one of 
the ablest speeches on the popular side, confessed that at the 
time when he was listening to the judgments he had been per- 
fectly satisfied with the arguments which he heard. 2 Coke, too, 
declared that, at all events in this particular case, the Govern 
inent had the law on its side. 3 Finally, the House of Commons 
itself, upon receiving information from the King that judg- 
ment had been given in his favour, acquiesced in the decision, 
and, for a time at least, thought no more about the matter. 

A little consideration will' make it less difficult to under- 
stand the feelings by which the judges were in reality influenced. 
Causes by They had been accustomed during the greater part 
were h in- hey of their lives to see the collection of similar imposi- 
fluenced. tions going on as a matter of course, 4 and they would 
naturally go to their law books, impressed with the idea that Bate 
was attempting to establish a novel claim against the Crown. 
It must be remembered that the men who were selected 
to be judges would invariably be such as were disposed 
to be friendly to the prerogative. When they were once upon 
the Bench, their habits of life and their position as officers of the 
Crown would be certain to lead them imperceptibly to share 

1 There is a doubt whether Chief Baron Manwood was actually de- 
posed in 1572. If he was, it was upon complaint of gross misconduct in 
his office. Foss, Judges, v. 321. 

2 State Trials, ii. 404. 3 Rep. xii. 33. 

4 On the other hand, the judges before whom the question was brought 
at the beginning of Elizabeth's reign had not been accustomed to see im- 
positions collected. 


the views of the Government on questions of this kind. As 
seon as they looked to precedents, they would find that all exist- 
ing impositions had sprung up in the last two reigns. Up to 
the accession of Mary, none had been levied since the time of 
Richard II. Important as this intermission would appear to a 
statesman, it was not likely to be regarded by a lawyer as being 
of any great consequence. The only question for him would 
be whether the prerogative in dispute had been detached from 
the Crown by any means which the law was bound to recognise. 
That it had been so detached by Act of Parliament there can 
be no reasonable doubt whatever. But it must be acknowledged 
that it is difficult to lay our hands on more than one or two 
statutes the language of which is so explicit as not to admit of 
being explained away, and that even these are open to the 
objections of men who had come to a foregone conclusion 
before they read them. Our ancestors in the thirteenth and 
fourteenth centuries were not careful to lay down general 
principles, and generally contented themselves with stipulations 
that no duties should be laid upon the wools, woolfells, and 
leather, which were at that time the favourite objects of the 
King's rapacity. 

If indeed the judges had looked upon the history of those 
times as we are able to do, they would have perceived at a 
Arguments glance that such objections were utterly unworthy of 
toricatpre- attention. They would have seen the English con- 
cedents, stitution marching steadily onwards under the in- 
fluence of a great principle, and they would have interpreted 
every verbal difficulty in accordance with the law by which the 
progress of the nation was governed. But these things were 
hidden from them. They had been brought up under a 
different system from that under which England had grown in 
vigour in the days of the Plantagenets, and they required strict 
and unimpeachable evidence that the King did not still retain 
all that had once been his. Even the fact that the early kings 
had been accustomed continually to violate the law, and had 
so made it necessary that new statutes should be from time to 
time enacted in order to keep them under restraint, was dealt 
with by the judges as if it had been evidence in favour of the 


Crown. Instead of regarding such acts as struggles against the 
power of the law, they fancied that they perceived that the King 
had been aware that the law was on his side, but that he had 
allowed himself to be bought off by yielding some of his rights 
in return for a considerable subsidy. l They were encouraged 
in this mistake by an idea that there had been in those times 
some definite system of constitutional law acknowledged by 
both parties, so that they were led to look upon the bar- 
gains into which the Commons frequently entered as if they 
had contained an acknowledgment of the rights claimed by 
the Crown. 

Nor were the arguments which Fleming based upon political 
reasoning less characteristic of opinions which were soon to 
and from become obsolete, excepting in the immediate neigh- 
tiona! tu " bourhood of the Sovereign. He held, as all the 
theory. Royalist statesmen held during the reigns of the 
first two Stuart Kings, that, in addition to the ordinary power, 
the King was possessed of an absolute authority, which he 
might exercise whenever he saw fit, for the general safety of 
the Commonwealth. He was especially entitled to use his 
discretion on all questions arising with foreign states : he might 
conclude treaties and declare war; he might regulate com- 
merce and watch over the admission of foreign coin into the 
realm. It would, however, be impossible for him to provide 
for the regulation of commerce, unless the power of laying im- 
positions were conceded to him. It was true that he could not 
lay any tax upon his subjects, or upon any commodity within 
the realm without the consent of Parliament, but this did not 
affect his right to lay duties upon imported goods, which were 
to be considered as being the property of foreigners until they 
were actually landed in England. It might safely be left to 
the King's wisdom to judge whether his subjects would be 
injured by the duties which he imposed, just as it was left to 
his wisdom to determine what felons might be safely par- 

1 Clarke's argument that Edward III., in giving his assent to one of 
these statutes, did not bind his successors, is outrageous. There is nothing 
of this kind in Fleming's judgment 


Such as it was, this reasoning was sufficiently in accordance 
with the ideas then prevalent to impose upon the House of 
The Com- Commons. When Parliament met, not a single voice 
^"reason- 1 was ra i se d against the King's refusal to remove the 
in s- imposition on currants and tobacco. These duties 

continued to be levied without difficulty. In 1607, when the 
troubles in Ulster increased the expenses of the Crown, Dorset 
proposed to raise money by fresh impositions, but was per- 
suaded to substitute a new loan. 

When the news of O'Dogherty's rebellion arrived, the 
Lord Treasurer was no more. On April 19, 1608, the very day 

1608. on which English and Irish were struggling for 
Dorset f tne rnastery within the walls of Derry, Dorset died 
He is sue- suddenly in his place at the council table. After 

ceeded by .. , . , 

Salisbury. the shortest possible delay, Salisbury was appointed 

to the vacant office. He took upon himself the burden of the 

disordered finances, without relinquishing the Secretaryship. 

Northampton, who was his only possible rival, was 

Northamp- , . . / T i T-> 

ton Privy compensated by promotion to the post of Lord Privy 
Seal, a position which brought an increase to his 
income, if it did not carry with it much additional political 

Salisbury's appointment gave satisfaction to all who had 
not profited by the previous confusion. 1 It was generally 
ejcpected that under his able management great changes would 
take place. 

The debt at this time was not much less than i,ooo,coo/. 2 It 
was plain that the King's finances could not long continue in such 
a state without the most disastrous results : yet it was only too 
probable that if Parliament were called together, it would 
refuse to vote another subsidy till the whole of the existing 
grant had been levied, which would not be till the spring 
of 1610. 

For some months before Dorset's death, the Council had 
been busily employed in an attempt to meet the growing 

' Neville to Winwood, May 8, Winw. iii. 398. 

a Account of the King's debts, Jan. 8, 1610, S. P. Dom. liii. 6, 


demands on the Treasury. James, knowing how hard it 
was to impose restrictions upon his own prodigal liberality, 

had called on his council to draw up rules to cure the 

Financial distemper which wasted his resources, and especially 
to warn him when suitors applied for gifts who had 
already received enough to satisfy them. " For since," he wrote 
"there are so many gapers, and so little to be spared, I must 
needs answer those that are so diseased with the boulimiej- or 
caninus appetitus, as a King of France did long ago answer 
one, Cecy sera pour un outre."* 

It was time that something should be done. During the 
year ending at Michaelmas 1607, the expenditure had risen to 
the amount of 5oo,ooo/. Such a sum was scarcely less than 
that which Elizabeth had required in the days when all Ireland 
was in rebellion, and when England was still at war with Spain. 
James's ordinary revenue at this time hardly exceeded 32o,ooo/., 
and even with the addition of the money derived from the 
recent Parliamentary grant it only reached 427,0007., leaving a 
deficiency of 73,ooo/., to be met by loans or by the sale of 
Crown property. 3 

Under these circumstances, Salisbury, soon after his entrance 
on his new office, determined to avail himself of the resources 
i6og which had been so temptingly offered to him by 
New impo- the recent judgment in the Exchequer, and, without 
obtaining Parliamentary consent, to lay impositions 
on merchandise, in addition to the customs granted in the 
Tonnage and Poundage Act. In order that the new im- 
Meeting of positions might be as little burdensome as possible, 
merchants. tne Treasurer summoned a meeting, at which the 
principal merchants of the City were present, as well as several 
of the officers of the Custom House. ' The result of their 
deliberations was an order for the collection of new duties, 
accompanied by a book of rates, 4 which was published on 

2 The King to the Council, Oct. 19, Hatfield MSS. 134, fol. 113. 
s See the tables in the Appendix at the end of the work, and the Pells 
Declarations in the R. O. 

4 A book of rates was ordinarily issued, because the poundage granted 


July 28. Care was taken to lay the new duties as much as 
possible either upon articles of luxury, or upon such foreign 
manufactures as entered into competition with the productions 
of English industry. On the other hand, some of the existing 
duties, which were considered by the merchants to be too high, 
were lowered, Amongst these, the imposts on currants and 
tobacco were considerably reduced. 1 

The produce of these impositions was estimated at 7o,ooo/. 2 
Having thus obtained an augmentation of revenue, Salisbury 
Reduction of proceeded to deal with the debt. Every possible 
the debt. effort was made to bring money into the Exchequer. 
The payment of debts due to the Crown was enforced, lands 
were sold, and the officials were required to be more vigilant 
than ever in demanding the full acquittal of all payments to 
which the King could lay claim. Something, too, was brought 
in by an aid, which, after the old feudal precedent, was 
levied for the knighting of Prince Henry. By these and 
similar measures, which must often have been felt to be 
extremely severe, Salisbury contrived to pay off 7oo,ooo/., 
leaving at the commencement of 1610 a sum of 300, ooo/. still 
unpaid. 3 

Still the difficulty of meeting the current expenditure con- 
tinued to make itself felt. Such had been the exertions of 
standing Salisbury, that, at the beginning of 1610, it was 
calculated that the ordinary income derived from 
non-Parliamentary sources which, four years previously, had 
been only 3 15, ooo/., had reached the amount of 460, ooo/. 
This sum, though it would have been more than ample for 
the wants of Elizabeth, was too little for James. His regular 

in Parliament was one shilling upon every zos. value of goods. The 
Crown was left to fix the amount of weight, &c., supposed on an average 
to be worth zos. Some writers speak as if the mere issuing of a book of 
rates were unconstitutional. 

1 Par!. Deb. in 1610 (Camden Society), p. 155, and Introduction, 
p. xviii. 

- Parl. Deb. in 1610, Introduction, p. xx. 

3 Besides meeting the deficits of 1608 and 1609, amounting together 
to rather more than 500, ooo/. 5. P.. Dom. Hi. 6. 


expenses were estimated to exceed his income by 49,0007., and 
his extraordinary annual payments were calculated to amount 
to at least ioo,ooo/. more. Thus it had become evident, before 
the end of 1609, that, unless Parliament could be induced in 
time of peace to make up the revenue to at least 6oo,ooo/., a 
sum considerably exceeding that which had been raised in time 
of war, it was only by the most unsparing retrenchment that the 
King would be able to avoid a hopeless bankruptcy. 1 

If Salisbury had ever entertained any hope of reducing the 
expenditure, that hope must long have been at an end. James, 

I6o9- indeed, was anxious to retrench, but he was not 
Difficulty of possessed of the strength of will which alone could 

reducing the f . 

expenditure, have enabled him to dismiss an importunate peti- 
tioner ; and even if he had refrained from granting a single 
farthing to his favourites in addition to the sums to which he 
was already pledged, he would not have saved much more 
than a quarter of his yearly deficit. It was therefore necessary 
that he should reduce his household expenditure by carrying 
economy into his domestic arrangements, and that he should 
cease to squander large sums of money upon useless purchases 
of plate and jewels. By degrees he might also have lessened the 
charges upon the pension list, which had grown so enormously 
since his accession. 2 

The most striking evidence of the want of success with 

1 Parl. Deb. in 1610, Introduction, pp. xiii. and xix. 

* An examination of the records of the Exchequer will show how little 
truth there was in the theory which was put forward by Dorset and Salis- 
bury alike, that James's increase of expenditure was caused by state 
necessity. The ordinary peace expenditure of Elizabeth in 1588-9 was, 
in round numbers, 222,000!. Add to this the 46,ooo/. which the Queen, 
the Princes, and the Princess cost James in 1610, and the excess of 
34,ooo/. which he sent over to Ireland, and we have an amount of 
302, ooo/. Add twenty per cent, for the moderate extravagance which 
might be permitted after Elizabeth's parsimony, and we have 362, ooo/., 
leaving a surplus of 99,ooo/. from the revenue of 1610 a surplus which 
would have enabled the King to dispense with the new impositions alto- 
gether, and yet to keep in hand 29, ooo/., which, added to what he would 
have obtained from the Great Contract, would have been far more than 
enough to meet all reasonable extraordinary expenses. 


which James's attempts to economise were usually attended, is 

afforded by the results of an order which he issued in the 

sanguine hope of being able to put a check upon his 

Entail of * " r . r 

the Crown own profusion. In May 1609, he signed a docu- 
ment l by which he entailed upon the Crown the 
greater part of the lands which were at that time in his posses- 
sion. He engaged not to part with them without the consent 
of a certain number of the members of the Privy Council. A 
few months before he had made a declaration that in future he 
should refuse to grant away any portion of his revenues, except- 
ing out of certain sources which were expressly named. 2 But 
this measure, admirable in itself, was insufficient to remedy the 
evil. James had forgotten to bind his hands, so as to prohibit 
himself from giving away ready money ; and the consequence 
was, that whereas before the promulgation of the King's decla- 
ration, the courtiers who were anxious to fill their pockets 
usually asked for an estate, they afterwards asked directly for 
money. That they did not find any insuperable obstacles to 
contend with is shown by the fact that, although the King 
ceased to grant land, the free gifts paid out of the Exchequer 
showed no tendency to diminish. 

Whilst Salisbury was thus engaged as Lord Treasurer in an 
apparently hopeless effort to clear away the financial embarrass- 
ments of the Crown, he was also called on as Secretary to 
take the lead in domestic policy and in delicate negotiations 
with foreign powers. At home, the difficulties caused by the 
increased severity of the recusancy laws continued to give 

For some time indeed after the enactment of the statute re- 
quiring the oath of allegiance to be taken, the condition of the 
English Catholics had been better than might have 
1606. ' been expected in the midst of the outburst of indigna- 

BaniKhment t j Qn ^^ ^ followed thg abortive plot On July I O, 

1606, James fell back upon his old plan of banishing 
the priests, and at the same time informed the Catholic laity 
that he would only regard those as disloyal who ' under pretext 

1 Indenture, May 8, 1609, S. P. Dom. xlvi. 

2 King's Declaration, Nov. 1608, S. P. Dom. xxxvii. 74. 


of zeal,' made ' it their only object to persuade disobedience 
and to practise the ruin of this Church and Commonwealth.' ' 

If the oath had been freely and generally taken, it is 

probable that, in spite of all that had happened, the Catholics 

would have been not much worse off than they had 

1 he L,atho . * 

Hcs differ as been in 1 6015. There was, however, a difference of 

to the law- . . .... 

fulness of opinion amongst them as to the lawfulness of taking the 
oatiTof 1 e oath. Shortly after the prorogation in 1 606 a meeting 
allegiance. wag j^y ^ t k e h ouse o f Blackwell, the Archpriest, 
at which five other priests were present Blackwell himself 
had at first doubted whether he might take the oath ; but he 
finally became persuaded that he might lawfully do so, on the 
curious ground that as the Pope could not depose James with- 
out doing harm, it might be said, generally, that he could not 
do it, and if he could not do it, he certainly had no right to do 
it Two of those present were convinced by this strange logic, 
but the three others held out. Blackwell allowed it to be 
publicly known that he saw no objection to the oath, but 
attempted, not long afterwards, to recall an opinion in which 
he found that he differed from the greater number of the 
priests. 2 

The opponents of the oath determined to refer the difficulty 
to Rome. Unhappily, Clement VIII. was dead, and of all 
The Pope men tnen living Paul V. was the least fitted to deal 
consulted. -^\\\\ such a question. At the death of his predecessor 
the College of Cardinals was divided into two bitterly opposed 
factions ; they agreed to unite upon the name of a man who 
was indifferent to both. The new Pope had passed his life in 
retirement and study. The cardinals imagined that they had 
found a man who would remain isolated among his books, and 
would leave all political interests and emoluments to them. 
It was not the first time that the cardinals had elected a Pope 
under the influence of similar feelings. It is certain that 
they were never more bitterly disappointed than on this 
occasion : they knew that the man whom they had chosen was 
a student, but they had forgotten that his studies had been 

1 Proclamation ; Tierney's Dodd. iv. App. p. cxxxii. 

2 Mush to , July 1 1 ; Tierney's Dodd. App. p. cxxxvi. 

i6oo PAUL V. 17 

chiefly confined to the canon law. The world in which he 
lived was one which had long passed away from the earth. To 
him all the claims of the Gregorys and the Innocents were in- 
disputable rights, and the boldest assertions of the decretals 
were the fundamental axioms of Divine and human wisdom. 
A man of the world would have felt instinctively the change 
which had passed over Europe since the thirteenth century. 
Paul knew nothing of it. In a few months after his election, in 
the spring of 1605, he was flinging his denunciations broad- 
cast over Italy, and in little more than a year he had brought 
himself to an open rupture with the powerful Republic of 

His first step towards James had been conciliatory. As 

soon as he heard of the discovery of the plot, he despatched 

an agent to London, in order to obtain from the 

Th/Pope King some promise of better treatment for the Catho- 

tries to ii cs an( j t o assure him of his own detestation of the 

open nego- 
tiations with attempted violence. 1 As might have been expected 

James, .. .. . , . . . , 

in the excited state in which men s minds were, these 
negotiations led to nothing. 

The news of the promulgation of the new oath was calcu- 
lated to raise the bitterest feelings of indignation in the mind 
of Paul. The denial of his right to authorise the deposition of 
kings struck at the authority which had often been wielded by 
his predecessors. All who were around him urged him to take 
some step against such an insolent invasion of his rights. A 
meeting had been held at Brussels by the English Jesuits who 
were in the Archduke's dominions, and they despatched two 
messengers to press the Pope to sustain the cause of the 
Church. 2 

Paul did not stand in need of much pressure on such a 
subject. On September 22, he issued a breve, 3 in which the 

1 Villeroi to Boderie, Aug. Ambassades de M. de la Boderie, i. 284. 

2 Bod.erie to the King of France, July Boderie, i. 200. Edmondes 
to Salisbury, Sept. 7, 1606, 5". P. Flanders. 

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


oath was condemned, and the English Catholics were told 
Sept. H. that they could not take it without peril of their 
deJnSTthe salvation. Care was, however, taken not to specify 
oath. w hat particular clause of the oath was considered 

to be liable to objection. 

Before the breve arrived in England, many of the banished 
priests had returned to their duty, at the risk of a martyr's 
death. The breve itself was a declaration of war where terms 
of peace had been offered. Yet it was some time before 
James was goaded into retaliation. The Catholics were strong 
December, at Court, and James's finances were in disorder. 
puch:Se to Suffolk and his wife approached the Spanish am- 
toieration. bassador with a proposal that his master should pay 
over a large sum of money to buy toleration for the Catholics. 1 
Such a proposal could only delay, and not avert, the blow. 
The press poured forth pamphlets against the Church of Rome. 
James could hardly have consented to so mean a concession 
if he had wished, and, in fact, the Catholics themselves shrewdly 
suspected that the whole project was set on foot merely to fill 

the pockets of Suffolk and Northampton. 2 He gave 

"IOOT?' orders to the judges to put the law in execution 

fhe ffe r!ests f a g a i ns t a ^ ew priests, by way of terrifying the rest. 3 

In consequence, on February 26, a priest, Robert 
Drury, suffered at Tyburn the barbarous penalty of treason. 4 

The treatment of the laity was harsh enough, even if it did not 
fill up the measure of the law. The wretched sacramental test 
and of the indeed was rendered nugatory by James's good sense, 
iaty- anc i the fines for keeping recusant servants were not 

inflicted, 5 but a new commission was issued to lease the lands 
of convicted recusants. Fresh names were added to the list, 

1 Blount to Persons, Dec. 7 ; Tierney's Dodd. iv. App. p. cxliv. 

2 Persons to Paul V., { a "' z8 ' 1607 ; Roman Transcripts, R.O. 

Feb. 7, 

3 Lansd. MSS. 153, fol. 293. 

4 Tierney's Dodd. iv. 179. 

5 There is no trace in the Receipt Books of the Exchequer of any fine 
exacted either for not taking the sacrament or for keeping recusant 
servants. On the promulgation of the statute, however, many Catholic 
.servants had been discharged, to escape the penalties of the Act. 


and larger sums than ever were wrung out of the unfortunate 
landowners. The way in which advantage was taken of that 
clause of the statute which related to those who had hitherto 
paid the 2o/. fine must have been peculiarly annoying. The 
King had now power to refuse this fine, and to seize two-thirds 
of the property. Instead of doing this, as had been intended, 
for the benefit of the Exchequer, he retained the fine himself, 
and granted to his favourites leave to extract bribes out of the 
owners by holding over them the threat of putting the statute 
in force. 1 Of those who were not rich enough to pay the 
fine, and whose lands were seized, a large number saw 
their possessions pass into the hands of courtiers, who were 
frequently Scotchmen. In the House of Commons, which 
had again met, the strongest Protestants protested that they 
would never have passed these clauses of the Act if they 
had known that the Scots were to had have the benefit of 

But, whatever evil sprang from the stricter execution of the 
confiscatory statutes, it was as nothing when compared with the 
Conse- misery which resulted from the new oath. In vain 
?efu n singthe the Catholics offered to take another oath, which 
oath. would equally bind them to obedience, whilst it left 

the claims of the Pope unmentioned. 2 Such a compromise 
was rejected with scorn. There were, indeed, many of the 
Catholics, especially amongst the laity, who imitated the 
Archpriest in taking the oath. There were even many 
who, either terrified by the severity of the law, or dissatis- 
fied with a Church which had counted Catesby and his associ- 
ates among its members, deserted the religion which they 
had hitherto professed ; 3 but numbers of loyal subjects stood 
firm in their refusal. The prisons were soon crowded with men 
who were not to be induced to betray their consciences. Even 

1 Notification from the Signet Office, 1606, in Tierney's Dodd. iv. 
App. p. Ixxv. The date of Oct. 1605 there given must be wrong, as the 
statute was not then in existence, and Lord Hay, who was one of the 
recipients, had not received his peerage. 

' 2 Two forms are given in Tierney's Dodd. iv. App. p. cxc. 

3 Edmondes to Salisbury, Sept. 7, 1606, 5". P. Flanders. 
C 2 


those who escaped actual ill-treatment lived in a state of 
constant insecurity. A miserable race of informers, and of 
officials who were as bad as the informers, swarmed over the 
country, who, knowing that by a word they could consign to 
ruin the master of the house into which they entered, allowed 
themselves to treat the inmates with the most overbearing 
insolence. These men cared much more about putting money 
into their own pockets than about procuring a conviction which 
would enrich the King. Heavy bribes might buy them off, until 
they chose to return to renew their demands. Those who re- 
fused in this way to obtain a respite from their persecutors, 
were dragged off, often under circumstances of the greatest in- 
dignity, to the nearest justice of the peace, where the oath was 
tendered to them, on pain of being immediately committed to 
prison. The aged and the weak were not seldom subjected 
to personal violence. It frequently happened that those who 
escaped were reduced to beggary, and were compelled to sub- 
sist upon the charity of others who were left in possession of 
some little which they could, for the moment, call their own. 1 

In the course of this persecution, Blackwell was captured 

and sent to the gate-house. He was one of those men who 

never look a difficulty in the face if they can help it, 

Blackwell ,, ij c / v i. 

takes the and he took advantage of some informality in the 
Pope's breve to throw doubts on its being the real 
product of the Pope's mind. Accordingly he not only took 
Conduct of tne oat h himself, but wrote a letter to the priests 
Blackwell. un der his charge, recommending them to follow his 
example. 2 It is easy to conceive with what eyes this conduct 
was viewed at Rome. 

Aug. H. The Pope issued a second breve, reiterating his 

JgalifcOT- condemnation of the oath. 3 Bellarmine wrote to re- 
oath ns the monstrate with Blackwell, and as the Archpriest at- 

1 The report of Father Pollard in Tierney's Dodd. iv. App. p. clx, 
should be read by all who wish to know what was the character of the 
scenes which took place at this time. 

2 Blackwell to the clergy, July 7, Tierney's Dodd. iv. App. p. cxlvii. 

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

Feb. i, 1608. tempted to justify himself he was deposed from his 

Deposition . 

of Blackwell. OfflCC. ' 

Before the Pope's second breve reached England, the 
flight of Tyrone and Tyrconnell was known. The danger 
from a Catholic insurrection in Ireland would be very great 
if the Earls proved justified in their expectation of receiving 
support from Spain ; and there was every reason to sup- 
pose that Spain would soon have her hands free from that 
war with the Dutch which had eaten out the vigour of the 
monarchy of Philip II. 

On March 31, 1607, an agreement had been signed be- 
tween the Archdukes and the States of the United Provinces 
March 31, arranging for a cessation of hostilities, with a view to 
Cession of tne P enm g of negotiations for peace. During the last 
hostilities in two years the Dutch had learnt a lesson. In 1604 

the Nether- ' 

lands. they had been able to set the capture of Sluys against 

the loss of Ostend ; but in the two following years Spinola had 
pressed them back step by step, upon their eastern frontier. 2 
It was already becoming doubtful whether it would not be 
wiser to obtain peace upon honourable terms, than to set no 
limits to the war short of the acquisition of the whole of the 
Spanish Netherlands. Barneveld, at least, and the large party 
which looked up to his guidance, had changed their views 
since they had steadily refused to take part with England in 
the treaty of 1604. On the other hand, Maurice, at the head 
of the army, and a great part of the population of Holland 
and Zeeland, who were making their fortunes at sea, were still 
desirous of continuing the war upon any terms. 

The Archduke, on his part, had long been sighing for an 
opportunity of peace to repair the ravages of war in his wasted 
dominions. Nor was the King of Spain himself now inclined 
to resist. The capture of a few towns in Guelderland and 
Overyssel could not make amends for the drain upon his 
impoverished exchequer. Every month it was becoming more 

1 Bellarmine to Blackwell, Sept. 8. Blackwell to Bellarmine, Nov. 13, 
1607. Breve deposing Blackwell, Feb. 4, 1608. Tierney's Dodd. App. 
pp. cxlviii-clix. 

Agreement, * Iar f 3I ' 1607, S. P, Holland, 

' April 10, 


and more impossible to find money to pay the troops in the 
Netherlands, and at any moment the ablest combinations of 
Spinola might be frustrated by a mutiny of the army. At sea 
the Dutch were completely masters, and the once powerful 
monarchy of Spain was trembling for her communications with 
the Indies. 

The news of the cessation of hostilities was not acceptable 
either to Salisbury or to James. Like Burke in 1793, Salisbury 
believed that the encroachment of foreign intrigues could be 
checked by war alone. But, unlike Burke, he wished the 
burden of the war to fall on the Continental nations, whilst 
England enjoyed the blessings of peace. 

But besides his hesitation to accept a change which would 
leave the Spanish forces free to attack England, Salisbury 
Salisbury's undoubtedly believed that the cessation of war 
tTe^negotik" would be injurious to the States themselves. He 
tions. feared lest the edifice of government, which had 

been so laboriously reared out of discordant materials^ 
would fall to pieces as soon as Spanish agents were allowed 
free access to the discontented. 1 In the instructions given in 
August to Sir Ralph Winwood and Sir Richard Spenser, 
who were to represent England at the conferences which were 
expected to open at the Hague, care was taken to impress 
on them that, though they were not to put themselves forward 
as opponents of the peace, they were to encourage the States 
to renew the war, if they should find that they had any wish 
to do so. 2 

s anish ^ e Q 1165 ^ 011 raised by these negotiations was no 

overtures to altogether a simple one. If Spain were weakened in 

the Netherlands, it might be that France would reap 

the profit, and no English Government could do otherwise than 

1 This double feeling is naively expressed in a letter of Winwood and 
Spenser to Salisbury : " We know how necessary the continuance of the 
war would be to the safety of the Provinces if means might be found to 
maintain it, and how convenient this war would be for the good of His 
Majesty's realms, if it might be maintained without his charge," Nov. 22, 
1607, S. P. Holland. 

* Commission to Winwood and Spenser, Aug. 10, Rymer, xvi. 663. 
Instructions, Winw. ii. 329. 


resist the extension of French power on the eastern shores 
of the North Sea. Scarcely, therefore, had the cessation of 
hostilities been agreed on, when Spain attempted to win James 
over by renewing the abortive scheme for a marriage between 
Prince Henry and the Infanta, coupled with a demand for the 
conversion of the former. l Nothing came or was likely to come 
of the proposal, and in December the English ambassador at 
Madrid was informed that, without the Prince's conversion, there 
could be no marriage. 2 In the autumn, however, a counter 
project was forwarded to Spain from England. The Pope's 
second breve must have reached England about the beginning 
of September. A few days later came news that the Irish earls 
had been well received by the Spanish authorities in the Low 
Countries, which naturally gave rise to a belief that the Spaniards 
intended to support their designs upon Ireland. 3 Northamp- 
ton and Suffolk were anxious to persuade James to treat the 
Catholics more leniently, and Salisbury, either in consequence 
of James's anxiety to be on good terms with Spain, or through 
his own anxiety at the menacing aspect of affairs, joined North- 
ampton in urging the Spanish ambassador, Zufiiga, to suggest to 
his Government a marriage between the son of Philip's brother- 
in-law, the Duke of Savoy, and the Princess Elizabeth, 
Proposed on the understanding that the religion of the latter 

marriage of ,. r i i A n -1-11 

the Princess was not to be interfered with* 4 So serious did the 
danger of a general resistance of the Catholics of the 
three kingdoms appear that, before the end of October, Salis- 
bury, probably at James's instigation, begged Zufiiga to urge 
James tne Pope to write a kind letter to James, offering to 
the h rfeip of excommunicate those Catholics who rebelled against 
the Pope. their Sovereign, and to direct them to take arms, if 
necessary, to defend him against invasion. If Paul would do 
this all the fines imposed upon the Catholics would be at once 

1 Barberini to Borghese. J u ," e 3 Roman Transcripts. R. O. 

' July 10, 

2 Cornwallis to Salisbury, Dec. 10, Winw. ii. 363. 

* Vertaut to Puisieux, Sept. ^ Ambassades de la Boderie, ii. 387. 

4 Philip III. to Aytona, Oct. Persons to Paul V., Roman Tran- 
scripts, R.O. 


remitted, and they would be allowed to keep priests in their 
houses without hindrance from the Government. 1 

In forwarding these schemes for a reconciliation with Spain 
and the Catholic world, Salisbury did not wish to abandon the 
Dutch. He expected that the King of Spain would, in return 
for the English alliance, seriously carry on the negotiations 
with the Republic, and acknowledge the independence of the 
States. 2 A policy which depended on a mutual understand- 
ing for the good of mankind between James L, Paul V., and 
the King of Spain, was likely to meet with considerable 

In the meanwhile there had been considerable delay in 
opening the conferences at the Hague, in consequence of the 
The states difficulty ^ inducing Spain to recognise the Provinces 
demand a as free and independent states. Whilst these delays 

guarantee. , . , , . . . . . 

were rendering the ultimate issue of the negotiations 
doubtful, the States were pressing England and France to enter 
into an engagement to succour them in case of the failure of 
their efforts to obtain peace, or, at least, to guarantee the future 
treaty with Spain. Jeannin, the able diplomatist who was em- 
ployed by the King of France to watch the negotiation, waited 
upon the English Commissioners, and told them that he had 
orders to promote a peace, unless England would join with 
France in supporting war. He therefore wished to know what 
course their Government would take. 3 James was jealous of 
French influence in the Netherlands, and he considered the de- 
mands made by the Dutch to be exorbitant. The States, he 
said, were asking him for a ' huge number of ships ' and a vast 
amount of money. " Should I ruin myself," he wrote to Salis- 

1 Zuniga to Philip III., ^ ^ Simancas MSS. 2584, 69. 

2 I gather this from a despatch of Zuniga 's of Dec. " (Simancas MSS. 
2584, 84), in which he describes Salisbury as excessively angry on the 
receipt of a letter from Cornwallis, announcing that the King of Spain has 
assigned only the small sum of 5,ooo/. for his pensions to his confidants in 
England ; and also that the King of Spain does not intend to make peace 
with the Dutch ' sino intretenerlos hasta ponerse muy poderoso, y luego 
hechar por todo. ' 

3 Commissioners to Salisbury, Nov. 29, 1607, 5. P. Holland. 


bury, " for maintaining them ? Should I bestow as much upon 
December, them yearly as cometh to the value of my whole 
m^ s eS o S sition y ear ty rent ? ^ ^ oo ^ ^ at Dv a peace they should 
to help them, enrich themselves to pay me my debts, and if they be 
so weak as they cannot subsist, either in peace or war, without I 
ruin myself for upholding them, in that case surely the nearest 
harm is to be first eschewed : a man will leap out of a burning 
ship and drown himself in the sea ; and it is doubtless a farther 
off harm from me to suffer them to fall again into the hands of 
Spain, and let God provide for the danger that may with time 
fall upon me or my posterity, than presently to starve myself 
and mine with putting the meat in their mouth ; nay rather, if 
they be so weak as they can neither sustain themselves in peace 
nor war, let them leave this vainglorious thirsting for the title 
of a free state, which no people are worthy of, or able to enjoy, 
that cannot stand by themselves like substantives, and ... let 
their country be divided betwixt France and me, otherwise the 
King of Spain shall be sure to consume us, making us waste 
ourselves to sustain his enemies." l 

So James wrote garrulously. After a little while, however, 
time, and perhaps Salisbury's advice, brought counsel. It was 
obvious that, if England refused to take part in the guarantee 
required, the States would throw themselves into the arms of 
France. James therefore resolved to give a guarantee, though 
he stipulated that it should be kept entirely separate from the 
similar engagement of the King of France. 2 

Even after James's refusal to join the French, it would 
have been desirable that, at least, the two documents should 
be signed on the same day, in order that the two Governments 
might show a common front to Spain. But here a difficulty 
occurred. The English commissioners required, before they 
signed, that an acknowledgment should be given them of the 
debt which the States owed to the King of England, and as 
differences existed both as to the amount of the debt and as 
to the time when it was to be paid, they declined to join the 

1 The King to Salisbury, Dec (?) 1607, Hatfield MSS. 134, fol. 48. 

2 Correspondence in the Letter Book of Spenser and Winwood, S. P. 


French. 1 Several compromises were proposed in vain, and on 
January 15, 1608, the French signed alone. The English treaty 
lingered on for some months before its terms were finally 
agreed upon. 

The news of these differences between the mediating powers 

must have gladdened the hearts of the Spanish Commissioners, 

who arrived shortly after the signature of the French 

Jan. 26, J 

1608. treaty. On January 26 the conferences were at last 
thTconfer- opened, and in a few days the Spaniards announced, 
to the astonishment of all, that their master was ready 
to agree to the complete renunciation of all sovereignty over 
the United Provinces, on the part either of the Archdukes or 
of the King of Spain. It was less easy to come to terms on the 
question of the right of navigation to the Indies. The States 
offered to leave the question undecided, as it had been left in 
the treaty with England ; but that which Spain had granted to 
an independent sovereign she refused to yield to subjects who 
had so lately escaped from her dominion. The Spaniards 
offered to leave the traffic open for a few years, if the States 
would promise to bind themselves to prohibit their subjects 
from engaging for a longer period in that trade. At last, after 
several counter-propositions had been made, it was agreed that 
the Dutch should be allowed to trade for nine years to those 
parts of the Indies which were not in the actual occupation of 
Spain, upon the understanding that before the expiration of that 
Terms period, negotiations should be entered into for the 
fheComm^ definite settlement of the question. On March 21, 
sioners. one of the Spanish Commissioners was sent to Madrid 
to obtain the approval of the King, and the conferences were 
soon afterwards adjourned. 2 

The King of Spain kept the States in suspense during the 
The King whole of the summer. He had great difficulty in 
refusesTo bringing himself to consent to the proposals to which 
theTer h* 3 representatives had agreed. If he refused to 
proposed. gj ve wav> there were still many chances in his favour. 

1 Commissioners to the Council, Jan. 6, 1608, S. P. Holland. Jean- 
nin and Russy to the King of France, Jan. ~ 1608, Jeannin, Negotiations^ 

2 Meteren. 


Of the United Provinces, only two were engaged in com- 
merce. The other five were particularly exposed to the ravages 
of the contending armies. It might, therefore, be reasonably 
supposed that they would be unwilling to renew the war for the 
sake of the trade with the Indies. England was known to be 
lukewarm, and James had been urging Philip once more to 
consent to the marriage of the Princess Elizabeth with the Prince 
of Piedmont. * But even if the project had been received with 
favour at Madrid, it would have been wrecked by the illwill of 
the Pope, who peremptorily refused to consent to an arrange- 
ment which would have given a heretic duchess to Savoy. 2 
e Spain too was looking elsewhere for support. Pedro 
Spain de Toledo was sent on a special mission to France, 

attempts to . . . . , , 

gain over to propose a marriage between Philip s second son, 
Charles, and a daughter of Henry IV., on the under- 
standing that the young couple were to have the sovereignty 
of the Low Countries after the death of its present rulers. In 
return it was expected that Henry would help in the reconquest 
of the rebellious States for the benefit of his future son-in-law, 
or would at least insist on the Dutch abandoning the trade with 
the Indies, and permitting the free exercise of the Catholic re- 
ligion within their territories. It was believed at Madrid that, 
if these two concessions were made, the Republic would, in the 
course of a few years, be unable to maintain its independence. 
Henry was, however, impervious to the arguments of the 
ambassador, and rejected the proffered alliance. 3 

Until it was known that these overtures had been rejected 
by Henry there was much alarm at the English court. The 
suggestion made by Salisbury in November 4 that 
The King's the Pope should take the first step towards a re- 
^heO S athof conciliation by entering into an engagement for the 
Allegiance. } oya i ty o f t h e English Catholics had met with no 
response, and in February James had transferred his quarrel 

1 Summary of Zuniga's despatch, ^"^g 9 ' Roman Transcripts, R.O. 

2 Cardinal Millino to Paul V. J "" e 24 ' 1614, ibid. 

M J y 4> 

3 Ubaldini to Borghese, f ay ?I ' Oct. - Roman Transcripts, R.O. 

' June 10, 14, 

4 Page 23. 


with the Pope from the field of diplomacy to that of literature. 
In his Apology for the Oath of Allegiance, he attacked the two 
breves, and vindicated the rights of temporal authority against 
the ecclesiastical power. Would it be possible, however, to 
maintain this defiant attitude if Spain and France came to 
terms ? This was the question which was discussed in June in 
the Privy Council. 

Many of those present urged that it would be necessary, in 

Tune. *k e ^ ace ^ suc ^ a danger, to g ran t toleration to the 
Question of Catholics. Salisbury, however, stood firm. ! If Spain 
tolerating ^^ to ^ g Q ^ g OQ( j terms w j t h F ra nce, England must 
Catholics. rely upon its Protestantism. 

Salisbury's reply to the mission of Pedro de Toledo was 

the signature, on June 16, of the long-deferred league with 

June 16. the States. 2 James promised that, if the peace were 

t^efn Ue be " concluded, and was afterwards broken by Spain, he 

England would send to the defence of the Republic 6,000 

and the L ' 

States. foot and 600 horse, besides a fleet of twenty ships. 
If he were attacked, the Dutch were to assist him with a 
similar number of ships, but a land force of 4,000 foot and 
300 horse would be sufficient. In a separate agreement 3 the 
States acknowledged a debt of 8i8,4o8/. Nothing was, how- 
ever, to be required of them till two years after the conclusion 
of peace with Spain. The repayment was then to commence 
by half-yearly instalments of 3o,ooo/., an amount which was 
afterwards reduced to 2o,ooo/. Even the failure of their 
attempt to come to an understanding with France did not 
teach the Spaniards wisdom. When, on August 10, the con- 
ferences re-opened, the Spanish Commissioners announced that 
Philip would only acknowledge the States to be independent 
communities on condition of their abandoning the East India 
trade, and tolerating the Catholic religion. 4 These proposals 
were at once rejected. The English and French Commis- 

1 Singleton to (?) J"" e?5 ' Roman Transcripts, R. 0. 

2 Rymer, xvi. 667. 

3 Rymer, xvi. 673. 

4 Motley's United Netherlands, iv. 461. 


sioners, now, at last, able to work together, perceiving that the 
Proposal two P ar tie s were not likely to come to an agreement, 
of a truce, proposed that a long truce should be substituted 
for a peace. The Provinces were to be acknowledged as an 
independent State, and the trade with the Indies was to be 
thrown open to them as long as the truce lasted. This arrange- 
ment was accepted in principle ; but even then it was difficult 
to draw it up in terms which would be satisfactory to both the 
contracting Powers. The States demanded that their absolute 
independence should be acknowledged. The Spaniards 
thought that enough was conceded if they consented to treat 
with them as an independent State for the time being, so as 
to have it in their power to reassert their claims upon the re- 
sumption of hostilities. 

Neither party would give way. On September 20, the 
Spanish and Flemish Commissioners broke up the conferences 
The con- an d returned to Brussels, giving it to be understood 
^broken ^ at ^ t ^ ie States were willing to renew the negotia- 
U P- tions, no difficulty would be thrown in their way. 

It was not without considerable labour that Jeannin suc- 
ceeded in bringing the negotiators together again. At last, 

1609. however, the conferences were resumed at Antwerp, 
I-ne'cTa? where, on March 30, 1609,' a truce was signed for 
Antwerp. twelve years. The States contented themselves with 
a general recognition of their independence. The King of 
Spain, though he reserved a right to prohibit traffic with his 
own territories in the Indies, yet declared that he would throw 
no impediment in the way of the trade of the Dutch with any 
of the native states beyond the limits of the Spanish posses- 
sions. This was the greatest concession which had yet been 
wrung from Spain. 

The position of England, at the conclusion of the truce, 
was no doubt inferior to that which she might have occupied 
if James had at once entered upon a bolder policy. Still, 
at the end of the negotiations, she was found in her right 
place. She had joined with France in guaranteeing the States 

, March 30. 
April q. 


against any attempt on the part of Spain to infringe the articl :s 
of the truce. There can be no doubt that, in the course he 
had finally taken, Salisbury was acting wisely. If France and 
England had been faithful to the policy which they now adopted, 
and had continued to present a bold front to the aggression 
of Spain and her allies, the storm which was even then hanging 
over Central Europe might have been permanently averted. 

James was probably the more ready at this time to act in 
conjunction with France, as he was still under considerable 
alarm lest Spain should give aid to the Irish fugitives. So 
great was his anxiety, even after the suppression of O'Dogherty's 
rebellion, that in the autumn of 1608 the Spanish ambassador 
in England was assured, either by James himself or by 

James offers . . . . . . . 

to pardon some one speaking in his name, that it was in contem- 
plation to grant a pardon to Tyrone, and to tolerate 
the Catholic religion. 1 

Nowhere would any project conceived in favour of the 
July 26. Catholics meet with steadier resistance than in Scot- 
bi he f LiT" ^ anc ^ ^ n J u ty r 6o8, a General Assembly met at Lin- 
lithgow. lithgow. The influence of the new Moderators 2 had 
everywhere been employed to procure the election of persons 
acceptable to the Court. 3 The hopelessness of resistance, the 
absence of the banished and imprisoned leaders, together with 
the knowledge that the Bishops were possessed of the power to 
raise ministers' stipends, did wonders with that numerous class 
of men which is inclined by natural temperament to go with 
the stream. Nor can it be doubted that many of the decidedly 
Presbyterian clergy too had taken no great interest in the high 
ecclesiastical pretensions of Melville and Forbes. Nor was the 
appearance of Dunbar, attended by some forty noblemen, who 

1 Borghese to the Nuncio in Spain, Nov. Roman Transcripts, R. 0. 

2 Vol. i. p. 321. 

3 "We have already visited three Presbyteries, and have found the 
number of your honest servants to exceed the seditious. We have caused 
them choose Commissioners to the ensuing General Asseml ly, and, of 
twelve, I will be answerable for nine. This has been the most seditious 
province" i.e. Fife " in all our kingdom." Gladstanes to the King, 
April 17, Botfield, Orig. Letters ; 131. 


came to vote as well as to listen, likely to add to the inde- 
pendence of the ministers present. At all events the Assembly 
turned its attention chiefly to the extirpation of 'Popery,' 
excommunicated Huntly and ordered the excommunication of 
the Earls of Enrol and Angus, and of Lord Sempill, as soon as 
legal proceedings taken against them as Catholics could be 
completed. Then, after resolving that the Catholics should be 
subjected to several fresh restrictions, and appointing a com- 
mission to discuss the controversy which agitated the Church, 
the Assembly separated, after choosing a body of Commis- 
sioners to wait on the King for his approval to its measures. 1 

The Scottish Catholics were in great alarm. The Chan- 
cellor, who was now known as the Earl of Dunfermline, and 
the Secretary Lord Balmerino, who, under the name of Sir 
James Elphinstone, had once surreptitiously obtained the 
King's signature to a letter to Clement VIII., conferred 
anxiously on so threatening a conjuncture of affairs. They 
Sept. resolved to despatch Balmerino to England, to entreat 
visitTo"" 03 J ames to hold his hand. 2 They could not have chosen 
England. a more inopportune moment. When Balmerino ar- 
rived at Royston, about the middle of October, James had for 
some days had in his hands an answer to his Apology for the Oath 
Beiiarmine of Allegiance written by Bellarmine under the name 
jamf s e with f one f ms chaplains, Matthew Tortus. In this 
ten'tcfthe 1 '" answer ^ was asserted that, before James left Scot- 
Pope- land, his ministers had assured the Pope that he 
was likely to become a Catholic, and that he had himself 
written to Clement, recommending the promotion of the Bishop 
of Vaison to the cardinalate. 3 James was deeply vexed. He 
had no recollection of ever having written anything of the 
kind, and he directed Salisbury to ask Lord Gray, a Scottish 
Catholic nobleman who had been in Rome at the time when 
James makes tne letter was said to have arrived, whether he could 
inquiries. ^\\ nmi anything about the matter. 4 

When, therefore, Balmerino entered the King's presence at 

1 Calderwood, vi. 751. 2 Spoitiswoode, 197. 

* Vol. i. p. 80. 

* Gray to Salisbury, Oct. 3, Hat fit Id MSS. 126, fol. 59. 


Royston he was at once challenged, as having been secretary 
when the letter was written, to state what had really happened. 
To secure the presence of witnesses James had placed Hay 
and one or two others in his bedroom, which opened out of 
Baimerino the room in which he was, and had left the door of 
fedgeshis communication open. Baimerino fell on his knees 
fault. anc i acknowledged that he had drawn up the letter. 

After a faint attempt at denial, he acknowledged also that the 
King had not known what he was about when he signed it. 

James determined to make the whole story public. His 
character for truthfulness, on which he was extremely sen- 
sitive, was involved. He bade the English Privy 
hfm tpbe ers Council examine the affair, and sent them a whole 
ried ' string of elaborate interrogatories to help them 
in sifting the matter to the bottom. " Though ye were born 
strangers," he wrote to them with his own hand, " to the 
country where this was done, yet are ye no strangers to the 
King thereof; and ye know, if the King of Scotland prove a 
knave, the King of England can never be an honest man. 
Work so, therefore, in this as having interest in your King's 
reputation." " I remit to you and all honest men," he said in a 
letter to Salisbury, " to think upon all the ways that may be for 
clearing of my honesty in it, which I had the more need to do, 
considering his treachery. I only pray you to think that never 
thing in this world touched me nearlier than this doth. God 
knows I am and ever was upright and innocent ; but how the 
world may know it, that must chiefly be done by some public 
course of his punishment, wherein I look to hear your advice, 
after his examination." 

Baimerino, upon examination by the Privy Councillors, 
deliberately acknowledged his offence. James was almost 
Baimerino's childishly triumphant. " For my part," he told 
confession. Salisbury, " I may justly say that the name-giving me 
of James included a prophetical mystery of my fortune, for, as a 
Jacob, I wrestled with my arms upon the fifth of August ' for my 
life, and overcame. Upon the fifth of November I wrestled and 

1 The day of the Gowrie Plot. 


overcame with my wit, and now in a case ten times dearer to 
me than my life, I mean my reputation, I have wrestled and 
overcome with my memory." l 

James had not succeeded so completely as he had hoped 
in silencing his adversaries. He shrank from shedding blood, 
and there would have been some difficulty in bringing evidence 
against Balmerino, as his confession before the English Privy 
Councillors could not be produced in a Scottish 
Balmerino court. Dunbar was therefore authorised to assure 

condemned. ^ ^ {f he WQuld plead guilty he snO uld HOt 

suffer in life or estate. 2 Balmerino took the advice, and at 
St. Andrews he acknowledged his offence as he had acknow- 
ledged it at Whitehall. He was condemned to death, but was 
allowed to remain in confinement in his own house during the 
rest of his life. It became an article of faith with all good 
Presbyterians that no credence was to be given to a confession 
thus collusively obtained. They were the more confirmed in 
their opinion because when James produced an answer to 

1 The King to the Council, Oct. 17. Interrogatories for Balmerino. 
Confession of Balmerino. The King to Salisbury, Oct. 19 and Oct. (?), 
Hatfield MSS, 134, fols. 123, 124 ; 126, fol. 67 ; 134, fols. 98, 104. I do 
not think that even the most firm believer in the theory of James's duplicity 
could read these letters without being convinced of his transparent in- 
genuousness. Besides, if Balmerino had been induced to confess a fault 
which he had not committed. James would have sent him at once to Scot- 
land, without undergoing the* totally unnecessary investigation before the 
English Privy Council, and would, at all events, not have had anyone 
behind his bedroom door to be witness at the first audience. Moreover, 
in the narrative drawn up by Balmerino, and printed in Calderwood, vi. 789, 
the secretary not only avows, but justifies, his act. It is evident that it was 
not prepared in the King's interest, as it charges him with being guilty of 
entering upon the negotiations in spirit if not in letter. Besides, it appears, 
from Balmerino's language, when he asked Yelverton's legal opinion 
(Add. MSS. 14,030, fol. 89), that the letter was written without the 
King's knowledge. It is true that he speaks of his act as being ' reputed 
very good service while it was a-doing, and only kept close at that time for 
the offence of the late Queen and this State ; ' but as he distinctly acknow- 
ledged that he had obtained the signature surreptitiously, this statement must 
refer to the correspondence with the cardinals and the Italian princes. 

2 Caldenvood, vi. 825. 



Tortus under the title of A Premonition to all the most mighty 
The King's Monarchs, Kings, Free Princes, and States of Christen 
Premonition. om ^ he did not refer to Balmerino's confession at all. 1 
It is possible that, by the time that book appeared, James had 
remembered that the signature of the letter to the Pope was 
but a small part of the charge against him, and had become 
unwilling to call attention to the fact that, at all events, he had 
ordered letters to be written to the Cardinals. 

In the spring of 1609, therefore, James had everywhere 
taken up a position of hostility to the Catholics. In Scotland 
James's ne had authorised fresh attempts to reduce their 
position to- numbers by the terrors of the law. In Ireland he 

wards the / 

Catholics. was laying the foundations of English supremacy by 
the plantation of Ulster. On the Continent he appeared as 
the ally of the States General, and had allowed the project of 
Catholic marriages for his children to drop out of sight. He 
had thrown himself vigorously into a literary controversy on 
the limits of ecclesiastical authority. Would all this be suffi- 
cient to knit together again the broken bonds of sympathy 
between himself and his people ? 

1 CalderwooJ, vii. IO. 




THE want of sympathy which undoubtedly existed between 
James and the existing House of Commons had been shown 
1609. whenever the king's financial difficulties had been 
o r osi!tion in treated of; and when Parliament met for another 
Parliament, session, it would be those difficulties which would 
have the first claim on its attention. The root of the evil 
lay deeper than in mere finance. It lay in James's habit of 
treating all questions which came before him as if they were to 
be decided by his own. personal wisdom, without any reference 
to the current of ideas which prevailed in the country at large. 
He lived a life apart from the mass of his subjects, and by 
failing to understand them he became unable to give them 
that true guidance which is the highest form of service. 

During the years which had elapsed since the last session, 
a warm discussion had taken place on a constitutional question 
which deeply affected the King's position in the state. Coke 

had scarcely taken his place on the Bench when he 
1606. J l 

Coke on the sought to animate his colleagues with his own spirit 
of opposition to all who in any way interfered with 
the pre-eminent jurisdiction of the courts of common law. The 
quarrel had indeed commenced before he became a judge. It 
had frequently happened that the common law judges had 
issued prohibitions to the Ecclesiastical Courts, in order to 
compel- them to proceed no further in the causes before them, 
till they had proved to the satisfaction of the judges that the 
matter in hand was really one which ought to fall within their 

D 2 


jurisdiction. The clergy naturally resisted this claim, and 
argued that their courts were independent of any other, and 
that their jurisdiction flowed directly from the Crown. 

Towards the end of 1605, Bancroft presented a series of 
complaints to the King against these proceedings of the judges. 

Ifio5 . In the course of the following year, the judges, who 
Bancroft's had now the assistance of Coke's stores of know- 


cieri. ledge, answered the complaints one by one. 1 Both 

parties were, no doubt, pleading their own cause, and feeling, as 

I6o6 . they both did, the weakness which resulted to their 

The judges case f rom this, were ready to appeal to a third party 

appeal to . * * J 

Parliament, for support. Whilst Bancroft would have placed 
the power of granting prohibitions in the hands of the Court 
of Chancery, the judges, who were well aware that that court 
was far more subject to political influences than their own, 
at once declared that though they were ready to submit to 
an Act of Parliament, they declined to surrender their im- 
memorial rights to any lesser authority. It is this appeal to 
Parliament which raises the dispute from a mere quarrel about 
jurisdiction to the dignity of a constitutional event. Whilst the 
clergy were content to rely upon the Sovereign, the interpreters 
of the law entered boldly into alliance with the nation. 

Shortly after the prorogation in 1607 a case occurred which 
drew the attention of all who were interested in ecclesiastical 

l6o7 affairs to the question of the prohibitions. Fuller, 
Fuller's case, who, as a member of Parliament, had always been 
the first to give expression to the fears and wishes of the 
Puritans, had frequently been employed as a lawyer to plead 
the cause of those who were endangered by opinions which 
they held in common with himself. In this way he had been 
retained to demand the interference of the Court of King's 
Bench in the case of two persons who had suffered hard 
(jaseof usage at the hands of the High Commission. 2 The 
Ladd, fj rs t o f these, Thomas Ladd, had been brought be- 

fore the Chancellor of the diocese of Norwich on the charge 

1 2nd Inst. 60 1. 

- The Argument of Master Nicholas Fuller in the case of T. Ladd and 
R. Maitnsell, 1607. 


of having attended a conventicle. According to Fuller's 
account, his client had been living with one of the suspended 
ministers, named Jackler. He had been accustomed to join 
the master of the house on Sunday evenings in repeating the 
sermons which he had heard at church. Though it was not 
stated by Fuller, it is not improbable that they added observa- 
tions of their own, nor is it unlikely that some of their neigh- 
bours were occasionally present at their meetings. On being 
brought before the Chancellor, Ladd was compelled to answer 
upon oath to the questions which were put to him, and was 
finally sent up to Lambeth upon a charge of perjury, as having 
given false information at Norwich. He was then required by 
the High Commission to swear that he would answer truly to 
such questions as might be put to him. This time he refused 
to take the oath, unless the questions were previously shown to 
him. He was, in consequence, thrown into prison, where he 
remained till he appealed to the common law judges. 

Fuller's other client, Maunsell, was imprisoned at Lambeth 
and of for having taken part in the presentation of a petition 

Maunseii. to tne House of Commons, and for having refused 
to take the oath when brought up for examination. 

Fuller, in defence of Ladd, whose case first came on, boldly 
denied that the Court of High Commission had any right what- 
Fuiier' ever to ^ ne or imprison, and he seems, in putting 
argument. n j s casej to have indulged in unguarded language, 
assailing the High Commission as a Popish authority, by which 
men were imprisoned without sufficient cause, and by which 
the true doctrine of the Church was imperilled. The statute 
of Elizabeth, 1 indeed, under which it acted, had been drawn 
up with a singular want of precision. Fuller's contention was at 
least arguable, though it certainly was not accepted by the judges 
at that time. 2 The Court did not grant the whole of his request, 
but they issued a writ of consultation that is to say, a modified 
form of prohibition, acknowledging the right of the High Com- 
mission to imprison for schism or heresy, but forbidding that 

1 i Eliz, cap. L 

2 Fuller's case, Lansdmune MSS. 11J2, fol. IOO. Fuller's statement, 
Hat field MSS. 124, fol. 59. 


court to restrain the liberty of Fuller's clients on any other 
grounds. Either at that time, however, or on some subsequent 
application, the Judges of the King's Bench referred the legality 
of their proceedings to all the twelve judges. 

Fuller was retained to plead once more on behalf of his 
clients. Before the day for his argument arrived, he was 
November hi mse ^ m prison. The High Commission had 
Fuller summoned him to account for his attack upon its 
jurisdiction. Fuller at once applied for a prohibition, 
and obtained a writ of consultation on the same terms as Ladd 
had obtained one before. The High Commission was not to 
be baffled thus. Charging Fuller with ' schism and erroneous 
opinions,' as contained in the words which he had addressed 
to the Court of King's Bench, it imposed on him a fine of 2oo/., 
and committed him to prison. 

When, therefore, the twelve judges met to consider the 
point of law which had arisen through Ladd's committal, they 
were naturally led to turn their attention to the more striking 
case which had then arisen through Fuller's imprisonment. In 
the end, while acknowledging the claim of the ecclesiastical 
court to punish for heresy and schism, they declared that a 
contempt of an ecclesiastical court committed by a barrister 
in his pleading was to be punished by the common law court, 
and not by the ecclesiastical. l Fuller seems to have interpreted 
this decision as being on the whole in his favour, and he 
applied to the King's Bench for a writ of habeas corpus. 

Bancroft was not likely to be satisfied with the position in 
which he was placed. He appealed to the King on the ground 
that the judges were merely the King's delegates, 
appeals to and that James was therefore at liberty to take what 
causes he pleased out of their hands and to deter- 
mine them himself. On this, Coke fired up, and, with the full 
Altercation support of the judges, assured the King that he 
Coke'and could do nothing of the kind. James replied that 
the King. he thought that the law was founded on reason, and 
that he and others had reason as well as the judges.' Coke 

1 Rep. xii. 44. 


answered that ' true it was that God had endowed His Majesty 
with excellent science and great endowments of nature ; but 
His Majesty was not learned in the laws of his realm of 
England ; and causes which concern the life, or inheritance, or 
goods, or fortunes, of his subjects are not to be decided by 
natural reason, but by the artificial reason and judgment of 
law, which law requires long study and experience before that a 
man can attain to the cognizance of it ; and that the law was the 
golden mete-wand and means to try the causes of the subjects ; 
and which protected His Majesty in safety and peace.' At 
this James grew excessively angry, " Then," he said, " I 
shall be under the law, which is treason to affirm." Coke 
replied by quoting the well-known maxim of Bracton, that the 
King ought not to be under any man, but under God and the 
law. 1 

James was probably inclined to rebel rather against the 
yoke of the lawyers than against that of the law. 1 What he 
wanted was to prevent the common law judges from over- 
November tnrowm g tne ecclesiastical jurisdiction. "I pray you," 
The King's he wrote to Salisbury, " forget not Fuller's matter, 
that the Ecclesiastical Commission may not be 
suffered to sink, besides the evil deserts of this villain ; for this 
farther T prophesy unto you that, whensoever the ecclesiastical 
dignity, together with the government thereof, shall be turned in 
contempt and begin evanish in this kingdom, the kings hereof 
shall not long after prosper in their government, and the 
monarchy shall fall to ruin, which I pray God I may never live 
to see." 2 

1 Rep. xii. 65. The date of this altercation is given as Sunday, Nov. 10, 
5 Jac. i., i.e. 1607. In that year, however, Nov. 10 fell on a Tuesday, 
and the probable date is Nov. 8. It is only by conjecture that I have put 
it between the opinion of the judges and the King's letter to Salisbury, as 
we can only give them approximate dates. Mr. Foss (Lives of the Judges, 
vi. r ), in telling the story, prefaces it by a statement that James occasionally 
appeared in the Court of King's Bench, when the Chief Justices made way 
for him and sat at his feet. It was, however, Edward IV., not James I., 
who did this. Mr. Foss was led astray by a mistake in the State Trials, 
iii. 942, where Popham is printed instead of Markham. 

2 The King to Salisbury (Nov. 7), HatfieldMSS. 134, fol. 126. 


It was probably in consequence of this letter from the King, 

that the twelve judges assembled to discuss the point of law 

raised by Fuller's application. They maintained 

Ihe opinion ...... . f , . . 

of the distinctly the right of the common law judges to 

prevent the High Commission from deciding the 
legality of its own acts ; but they expressly acknowledged its 
claim to punish for schism and heresy under the Act of Eliza- 
beth, and thus abandoned Fuller, as the charge against him had 
been one of schism. 

It would seem that Coke, who probably held that the im- 
prisonment of Fuller for schism was technically correct, had 
The judges unexpectedly thrown the influence of his authority 
agafnst upon the side of the Government. Salisbury at all 
Fuller. events was assured, before the case came on, that 
Fuller would have the Court against him. " The judges," wrote 
James, " have done well for themselves as well as for me. For 
I was resolved, if they had done otherwise and maintained their 
habeas corpus, to have committed them." As to the conduct 
of the judges in issuing prohibitions, he added ' that, by their 
leaves, they should not use their liberty, but be prescribed.' ! 

Accordingly, when, on November 24 and 26, Fuller pleaded 
his cause before the King's Bench he found but little favour. 2 
Fuller He was left to the High Commission Court to be dealt 
jfngV he w * tn at i* s pleasure. Fuller soon found that he had no 
Bench. further assistance to expect. After a short imprison- 
ment of nine weeks, he paid his fine, and having made his 
Jan. 1608. submission, was released. 3 A few days later he was 
again taken into custody, some indiscreet admirers 

submission a * ' 

and release, having published his argument in the cases of Ladd 
and Maunsell. An inquiry by the Attorney-General, however, 
made it plain that he had taken no part in the publication, and 
he was probably restored to freedom after no long delay. 4 At 

1 Lake to Salisbury, Nov. 27, ibid. 123, fol. 55. 

2 Salisbury to Lake, Nov. 25 (?). Salisbury to the King, Nov. 28, 
ibid. 123, fol. 137, 59. 

3 Chamberlain to Carleton, Jan. 5 and 8, Court and Times, i. 69. 

4 Whyte to Shrewsbury, Jan. 26, Lodge, iii. 225. Hobart to Salisbury, 
Hatfield MSS. 124, fol. Si. 


all events, he was in his place in Parliament two years after- 
wards. l 

Though Bancroft had triumphed over Fuller, he had not 
succeeded in stopping the flood of prohibitions by which the 
Dissatisfac- ordinary ecclesiastical courts were threatened. 2 Find- 
ecc"efasticai m tnat t ^ ie ^ r professional gains were at stake, some 
lawyers. o f the leading ecclesiastical lawyers petitioned the 
King to take up their cause and begged Bancroft to continue 
his exertions in their behalf. 3 Bancroft condoled with them on 
Jan. 23, 1609. their hard case, and told them that he was anxious 
wkesTheir ^ at ^ King should take the decision of the question 
part. into his own hands. He added that he had no wish 

that the King should assume absolute power ; but he believed 
that, as the fountain of justice from whom both courts derived 
their jurisdictions, he had a right to act as mediator between 
them. He thought it more likely that the poor would obtain 
justice from the King than from the country gentlemen who 
composed the House of Commons, or from the judges, who 
were in league with them. Juries were generally dependents 
of the gentry, and the cause of justice could not but suffer from 
their employment. 4 

Accordingly, in February, 1609, Coke and some others of 
the judges were summoned to Whitehall to discuss the general 
February, question of prohibitions with the ecclesiastical lawyers, 
tacktdb ^ n ^6 course f h* s argument, Coke pleaded with 
the King. the King to respect the common law of the land, 
and to consider that the ecclesiastical jurisdiction was a foreign 
one. James was furious. He clenched his fists, as if he were 

1 The well-known assertion of Fuller, the Church historian, that he 
died in prison is certainly untrue. He is said, in the inquisition post 
mortem on his son, Sir Nicholas Fuller, who died on July 3, 1620, to have 
died at Chamberhouse in Berkshire, on Feb. 23 in the same year. 

2 The language of the King addressing the judges on Feb. 15 (Bacon's 
Comm. Sol. Letters and Life, iv. 89) appears to have been directed against 
interferences with lay courts. The Council of the North was much troubled 
by prohibitions. 

3 Petition of the lawyers to Bancroft, Cott. MSS., Cleop. F. i., fol. 

4 Bancroft to , Jan. 23, Cott. MSS., Cleop. F. ii., fol. 121 


about to strike the Chief Justice. Coke fell grovelling on the 
ground, and begged for mercy. 1 James perhaps felt that, after 
such a scene, it was useless to continue the discussion, and the 
debate was postponed. 

At last, on July 6, the parties were once more summoned 

before the King. The discussion lasted three days. The 

July 6-9. actual point at issue was the right of deciding 

Theques- questions connected with the payment of tithe ; but 

tion ais- *- J ' 

cussed be- the controversy ranged over a far wider field. The 

fore the . . 

King. judges claimed to interpret all statutes under which 

the ecclesiastical courts acted, and to interfere with their juris- 
diction in every possible way. Their arguments were, of course, 
resisted by the bishops and by the lawyers who practised in 
these courts. 

James was anxious to keep the peace, but he was fairly 
puzzled by the opposing reasons to which he had been listening. 

The Kin ^ e must walt ' ^ e sa ^ * r f urtner information. For 
postpones the present, the issue of prohibitions was to cease. 

his decision. __ . . , ....... 

He wished to support both jurisdictions. He was 
anxious, he added in his good-natured way, that the two parties 
should cease to abuse one another, and that they should live 
together in future 'like brothers without emulation.' 2 It was 
not very likely that this wish would be gratified. As the eccle- 
siastical courts were then constituted, they had little hold on 
the national feeling. In appealing to the King for support, 
the Bishops were widening the chasm between him and his 

Nothing, however, made James so unpopular as the wealth 
which he showered down upon the Scotch courtiers. Amongst 

I6o3 them a new favourite was rapidly obtaining the pre- 
RobertCarr. ern i ne nce. That favourite, Robert Carr, was de- 
scended from the well-known family of the Kers of Ferniehurst, 
and had, as a boy, attended the King in Scotland, in the capa- 
city of a page. After James's accession to the English throne, 

1 Bosworth to Milborne, Feb., Halfield MSS. 125, fol. 36. 

2 Notes by Sir J. Caesar, Lansd. MSS. 160, fol. 406 ; Coke's Rep. 
xiii. 46 There are papers connected with this affair in Cot. MSS. 
Cleop. F. i. 

1603 RISE OF CARR. 43 

he had been dismissed from his post, and had sought to push 
his fortunes in France. Having failed of success upon the 
Continent, he returned to England, where he attached himself 
to the service of Lord Hay. He had not been long at Court 
before he had the good fortune to break his leg at a tilting 
match in the presence of the King. 1 From that moment his 
success was certain. James was attracted by his personal 
activity and his strong animal spirits. He delighted in his com- 
pany, and, having knighted him, was eager to provide him with 
a fortune suitable to his merits. Step by step the lad rose in 
the royal favour, till he took his place among the old nobility 
of the realm. 

James was indeed ready himself to be the founder of Carr's 
fortune ; but the way in which he did it exposed his favourite 
1604. to contact with a man far greater than himself, 
ttemtno^of Am idst the wreck of his fortune, Raleigh had suc- 
sherborne. ceeded in inducing the King to make over his life 
interest in the manor of Sherborne, which was all that had been 
forfeited to the King by his attainder, 2 to trustees who were to 
hold it in behalf of Lady Raleigh and her eldest son. Imme- 
diately upon his death, it would descend to his son, in virtue of 
the conveyance which he had signed in the days of his pros- 
Discovery of perity. A few months after this arrangement had 
TOnvI -Trice 6 ^ cen ma de, he was horrified by the news that a flaw 
of the land. h ac [ been discovered in the conveyance, which would 
after his death place the whole property at the King's disposal. 
He immediately wrote to Salisbury, begging him to come to 
his help, and requesting that the deed might be laid 
before Coke and Popham, in order that he might 
know what the real state of the case was. 3 His request was 
acceded to. Unhappily, there could be no doubt whatever as 
to the fact. The words omitted were of such importance that 
Popham could do nothing but declare that, as a legal docu- 
ment, the conveyance was worthless. He added, however, that 

1 Wilson in Kennet, ii. 686. 

2 Vol. i. p. 140. 

3 Raleigh to Cranborne, 1604 (?). Edwards's Life of Ralegh, ii. 311. 


he believed the error had arisen from the fault of the clerk who 
had engrossed the deed. 1 

As soon as it was known how the case really stood, Lady 
Raleigh lost no time in imploring the King not to take advan- 
The King ta g e OI " his l e g a l rights to ruin her innocent children. 
p !^i?his J ames at once consented to waive all pretensions to 
claim. the reversion of the land, and directed Salisbury to 

prepare a grant of it to Lady Raleigh and her children. 2 It 
would have been well for James's good name if these directions 
had been carried out. There are no means of knowing with 
certainty what the inducement was which caused him to draw 
back. It is possible that the foolish rumours which 

James re- r 

tracts his reached him shortly afterwards of Raleigh's partici- 
pation in the Gunpowder Plot, 3 caused delay, and 

that when those rumours proved to be without foundation, some 

new influence had obliterated his good intentions from his facile 


In the summer of 1606, Raleigh even entertained a hope 

that he might recover his liberty. 4 He supposed that the King 

i6o6 of Denmark, who was on a visit to his brother-in-law, 

might be induced to plead his cause. 5 When these 

expectations proved to be without foundation, Lady Raleigh, 

1 Popham to Salisbury, June 7, 1605, Add. MSS. 6177, fol. 393. 
Much indignation has been thrown away upon this opinion, which was 
given at Raleigh's own request, and which, as will be seen, could not 
possibly have been given in favour of the validity of the document. In 
1^08, the Attorney-General, Hobart, said, in the Court of Exchequer, 
that ' the sentence that should have appointed the said Sir W. Raleigh, 
his heirs and assigns, or such as had estate in the same premises to stand 
and to be seized thereof to the intended uses, was all wanting ' (Memoranda 
of the King's Remembrancer, R.O., Mich. Term, 6 Jac. i. 545). See also 
an extract from a letter of Coke, Add. MSS. 6177, fol. 391, the date of 
which should apparently be June 7, 1605. 

2 Add. MSS. .6177, fol. 323. The date 1603 in the copy is clearly 
wrong. The petition was probably sent and answered in the autumn of 

3 Add. MSS. 6178, fol. 469, 553. Hoby to Edmondes, Nov. 19, 
1605. Add. MSS. 4176, fol. 34 b. 

4 Examination of Cottrell, Feb. 4, 1607, S. J*. Dom. xxvi. 42. 

s Carleton to Chamberlain, Aug. 20, 1606, S. P. Dom. xxiii. IO. 


in despair, made her way to Hampton Court, where she threw 
herself on her knees before the King. James passed her by in 
silence. l 

Another year passed away, and the King had taken no steps 

to call Raleigh's conveyance in question. But before the close 

l6o7 . of 1607 a temptation was presented to him which he 

mlnes^cT" was una bl e to resist. Carr was rapidly rising in 

procure the favour, and Tames was anxious that he should become 

manor for ' J . 

Carr. a landed proprietor. He was, however, preparing at 

that time to entail the greater part of his own lands upon the 
Crown, and had, probably, already come to the determination 
to grant away no more manors excepting those which might 
fall into his hands hy forfeiture. 

In this difficulty Salisbury, quick to detect the inclinations 
of his master, suggested that the manor of Sherborne would be 
a suitable gift for the new favourite. 2 Early in 1608, 
an information was exhibited in the Exchequer, calling 
upon Raleigh to show the title by which his heirs held the re- 
version of the manor. He could only produce the conveyance, 
which, as he knew, would not bear the scrutiny of the court. 
In order that he might have fair play, the judges assigned him 
counsel. The lawyers who were thus appointed, after consul- 
tation amongst themselves, refused to argue the case, as it would 
be impossible to find any line of defence to which the court 
could be induced to listen. It was not. however, till October 27 

1 Whyte to Shrewsbury, Sept. 24, 1606, Lodge, iii. 186. 

- " The more I think of your remembrance of Robert Carr for yon 
manor of Sherborne, the more cause have I to conclude that your mind 
ever watcheth to seek out all advantages for my honour and contentment ; 
for as it is only your duty and affection to me that makes you careful for 
them that serve me, so must 1 confess that he is the only young man 
whom, as I brought with me and brought up of a child, that was now left 
unprovided for, I mean according to that rank whereunto I have promoved 
him, besides that the thing itself, when I have now considered it, will prove 
excellent fit for him ; and withal that 3," i.e. Northampton, "before my 
parting, requested me for him in it, who, as I told you, was ever before 
otherways minded in that matter, whomunto I seemed not to take know- 
ledge that any other had moved me in that matter before." The King to 
Salisbury. Undated. Hatfield MSS. 134, fol. 149. 


that judgment was finally pronounced in favour of the Crown. l 
Tames had already bought up for 5,ooo/. the interest 

Judgment in J J o l Ji 

the Exche- which, by his grant in 1604, Lady Raleigh possessed 
farou^ofthe in the estate during her husband's lifetime. 2 If, 

therefore, he determined to present it to Carr, the 
new owner would be able at once to enter into possession, 
without waiting for Raleigh's death. 

A letter has been preserved in which Raleigh, a few weeks 
after the decision of the court was known to him, begged Carr 

to do him justice, and implored him not to build his 

The manor . J . 

granted to rising fortunes upon the ruin of an innocent man. 3 

Lady Raleigh, too, made one more attempt to move 

the compassion of the King. Taking with her young Walter 

and the boy who had been born to her in her hours of sorrow in 

the Tower, she again threw herself at James's feet and begged 

for mercy. It is said that his only answer was, " I maun have 

the land, I maun have it for Carr." On January 9 the grant 

was passed by which the estate, which Raleigh had 

received from Elizabeth in the days of his prosperity, 

came into the possession of a worthless favourite. 4 

In preferring Carr to Raleigh, James had given to the 
world an additional evidence of his shortsightedness. He had, 
_ however, no intention of taking the land from Raleigh 

Compensa- ' ' 

tion to without allowing him compensation for his loss. He ' 
therefore ordered a survey to be taken of the lands, 
and, as a guarantee that it would be fairly carried out, he allowed 
the name of Raleigh's follower, Keymis, to appear amongst 
those of the Commissioners by whom the survey was to be 
made. 5 A negotiation was entered into with Sir Arthur Throck- 

1 Memoranda of the King's Remembrancer, R. 0. Mich.. Term, 7 Jac. i. 


2 Devon. Issues of the Exchequer, p. 99. The first instalment was 
not to be paid till June, 1609, though the writ for its payment was dated 
March 13, 1608. This may have been in order to leave the rents in the 
hands of Lady Raleigh's trustees till the decision was given in the Ex- 

3 Raleigh to Carr, Jan. 1609 (?) ; Edwards's Life of Ralegh, ii. 326. 

4 Pat. 6 James I., part 32. 

5 Keymis to Salisbury, Sept. 23, 1609, S. P. Dom. xlviii. 5 A, printed 


morton and the other feoffees to whom the estate had been con- 
veyed by the deed lately proved to be invalid, which ended in 
the renunciation ] of the 5,ooo/. which was to have been paid 
to Lady Raleigh for her interest in the land, and in the grant 
by the King of a pension of 4oo/. a-year, to be paid during her 
own life and that of her eldest son. To this was added a sum 
of 8,ooo/. in ready money. 

In order to judge the extent of the wrong done to Raleigh, 
it is necessary to know what was the precise money value of 
the land which was taken from him. Unfortunately, it is not 
very easy to obtain this information. Raleigh, indeed, writing 
in 1604, under circumstances in which it was his interest to 
calculate the value of his property as low as possible, made it 
out to be considerably under 4oo/. a year. 2 But in 1612 the 
payments on account of the manor amounted to a little more 
than 75o/., 3 and there is other evidence which makes it probable 
that this was in reality the amount of revenue derived from it 

in the Literary Gazette, new series, No. 18. The survey is also referred 
to in the Exchequer Depositions, 7 James I. Mich. Term. No. 24, R, O. 

1 This may, I suppose, be taken for granted, as the payment to Lady 
Raleigh of the interest due upon the 5,ooo/., which had been retained in 
the King's hands, was made on Jan. 13, 1610 (fsstte Book of the xch.), 
and the two patents assigning the pension on the two lives, are dated on 
the i6th of the same month (Pat. 7 James I., part 13). Nothing further 
is heard of the 5,ooo/. The 8,ooo/. was paid over to Keymis on Dec. 23, 
1609. During the year 1609 a second information had been exhibited in 
the Exchequer, calling upon Raleigh to produce any other title by which 
the land might be claimed from the Crown. He had been heard to speak 
of an earlier conveyance which he had made in 1598, of the ninety-nine 
years' lease which he held. As he was unable to produce it, and no 
witness could be found to speak to its contents, judgment was given against, 
him on Nov. 23, 1609. Memoranda of the King's Remembrancer, R.O. 
Mich. Term. 7 Jac. I. 253. 

2 Raleigh to the Council, 1604. Add. MSS. 6177, f'- 2 97> 35- 

3 On March 15, 1614, R. Connock, bailiff of the manor of Sherborne, 
paid money into the Exchequer as part of 754^- lls - IO ?K-> as arrears of his 
office due at Michaelmas 1612, at which time Sherborne was the property 
of Prince Henry. I suppose this is the amount of the rents of the year, 
which would agree with Chamberlain's statement that Sherborne, 'besides 
the goodly house and other commodities, is presently worth 8oo/. a year, and 
in reasonable time will be double ' {Court and Times of James I 426). It 


at that time. As the ordinary value of land in the reign of 
James was calculated at sixteen years' purchase, 1 this would give 
i2,ooo/. as the total value of the estate, which would be about 
equivalent to the 8,ooo/., with the 4oo/. pension 2 which was 
granted. If this calculation be admitted, it would appear that 
Raleigh obtained a fair payment for his property, and that the 
wrong that was done him consisted only in the compulsion 
which was used to force him to sell it a wrong the hardship of 
which was considerably lessened by the known fact that he had 
long been anxious to find a purchaser. 3 

There is, however, evidence in existence which conflicts 
strangely with the result of these calculations. When, shortly 
after Carr had received the manor, he resold it to the King, he 
obtained 2o,ooo/. ; and when, in 1615, he bought it back again, 
it was, according to a statement made by Bacon, valued at 
25,ooo/. 4 Either, then, the value of the house and pleasure 
grounds must have been expressed by this very great difference, 
or the expectations, which do not appear to have been realised, 5 

might be supposed that this is inclusive of the rent paid to the Bishop ; 
but I can find no payment to the Bishop in the Issue Books. 

1 Bacon, in his Essay on Usury, speaks of this as if it were the 
ordinary rate, and this is confirmed by a note in Sir Julius Caesar's hand- 
writing, appended in 1612 to a calculation of the revenue derived from the 
estate of Lord Vaux of Harrowden : ' After sixteen years' purchase, the 
common rate of sale there, ' &c. 

2 It is sometimes stated that this pension was very irregularly paid. 
This charge seems to have arisen from the difficulty she had in obtaining 
payment on one occasion, apparently shortly after her husband's execution. 
Lady Raleigh to Cassar. Lansd. MSS. 142, fol. 282, and note at fol. 280. 

3 Raleigh to Cecil, Add. MSS. 6177, fol. 281. Raleigh to Cran- 
borne, Add. MSS. 6178, fol. 457. 

4 Bacon to Villiers, Nov. 29, 1616, Letters and Life, vi. 115. The 
sum actually paid into the Exchequer in 1615 by Somerset was only 
2O,ooo/. , but 4,ooo/. more may be accounted for, as the King owed him 
that sum at the time. Perhaps the remaining i,ooo/. was wiped off in 
the same way. 

5 By the account in the Royalist Composition Papers, Ser. i. xcii. 605, 
it appears that in the time of the Commonwealth the gross annual value of 
the property was 1,3027. 6s. 8</. ; but of this 286/. stands for the Prebend 
which had been bought since the land came into Digby's hands, and for 


of a great increase in the future income to be derived from the 
land, raised its value in the market. Whether this or some 
other explanation be the true one, it would seem that the dif- 
ference between the actual value of the estate and the ordinary 
market value of the revenue derived from the estate at the time, 
will give the amount of which Raleigh was mulcted. 

Such is the true story of the transfer of the manor of Sher- 
borne l from Raleigh to Carr. As it stands it is bad enough, 
but it is needless to say that this is not the story which has 
obtained credence for more than two centuries. Posterity has 
revenged itself upon James by laying to his charge sins of 
which he was guiltless, and by exaggerating those which he in 
reality committed. The value of the lands was swollen, in the 
imaginations of men, to an enormous amount, and it has been 
believed by one of Raleigh's biographers after another, that 
James threw to the man from whom he had, by means of a 
sentence procured in a corrupt court, wrenched an estate worth 
5,ooo/. a year, a pittance which barely exceeded the annual 
rental of the land. 

Worn out with weariness and sickness, Raleigh con- 
tinued from time to time to send forth piteous cries to those 
who, like the Queen, were ready to sympathise with him. 
But towards his enemies he bore himself as proudly as ever, 
as Northampton found to his cost, when he attempted to ex- 
tract from him some information of which he was in need. 2 

Certain new purchased grounds. For the purposes of comparing the value 
of the property at the two periods, Raleigh's outgoings of 334/. 1 y. od. , 
must also be deducted, leaving 68i/. 135-. Set., or less than the value in 
1612. Of course land may have been sold, but of this there is no trace, 
at least in Hutchins's Dorsetshire. 

1 An accusation was brought against Raleigh about this time, by John 
More, of having offered him a bribe to give false evidence concerning the 
conveyance. Mr. Sainsbury, who published More's letter in the Literary 
Gazette (New Ser. No. 18), together with the enclosed letter of Raleigh's 
offering the bribe, pronounces the latter to be a forgery. His suspicions 
derive confirmation from a sentence taken from a letter of Raleigh's written 
to Cecil in 1601 (Add. MSS. 6177, 187). He there says that More 'writes 
my hand so perfectly as I cannot any way discern the difference.' 
- Northampton to Rochester, July 12, 1611, S. P. Dom. Ixv. 26. 



Poor Raleigh paid for his outspoken language by being placed 
in closer confinement than before ; l but it is hardly likely 
R . that, if he could have known what was coming upon 

mains in him, he would have consented to purchase a remis- 
sion of the rigours of his imprisonment by flattering 
Northampton. He consoled himself as best he could 
with his books and his chemical experiments. It is to his en- 
forced leisure that we owe the History of the World ; but we 
may be sure that he would willingly have surrendered all his 
fame as an author for one whiff of fresh air on the western seas. 
Whilst Raleigh was longing for escape one great dream of 
his life was becoming a reality. His had been the fertile brain 
I58s which had conceived the idea of sending out settlers 
coiorvyln to Virginia. The first colonists sent out in 1585 were 
Virginia. appalled by the dangers of their undertaking, and re- 
turned to England with Drake. A second colony landed in 

11587, and had subsisted for some time. But the 
1587. . 

vessels which had been sent to its relief failed in 
their object, either from accident or negligence. The colony 
was lost sight of, and when the next vessel appeared to bring 
help, not a trace of it could be found. 

In 1602 an attempt was made by Bartholomew Gosnold 
to colonise New England, which was then known by the name 
i6o2 of Northern Virginia. The enterprise failed, but 
GosnoWs Gosnold came back fully impressed with the idea of 
N^Ing- its feasibility. He succeeded in imparting his views 
to a little knot of men, among whom was the Richard 
Hakluyt who had devoted his life to the celebration of the 
deeds of maritime daring by which the last reign had been 
distinguished. It was of far more importance for the ultimate 
destinies of the colony that he succeeded in obtaining the co- 
operation of John Smith. Smith was still a young man, but 
Smith's ne h a d gone through more hardships and adventures 
adventures. t h an na( j f a n en to the lot of any other Englishman, 
even in that adventurous age. He had served in the Low 
Countries against the Spaniards, and in Hungary against the 

1 Bennet to Carleton, July 15, 1611, S. P. Dom. Ixv. 32. 

i6o2 JOHN SMITH. 51 

Turks. He had been thrown overboard in a storm in the 
Mediterranean, by the crew of a French ship in which he was, 
who imagined that the presence of a Huguenot on board had 
called down the vengeance of Heaven upon their vessel. He 
had been taken prisoner by the Turks, and had been sent 
to serve as a slave amongst the Tartars on the Don. But 
whatever might happen, he was always able to turn it to 
account. In the worst dangers, he knew what was the right 
thing to be done. For such a scheme as that which Gosnold 
proposed, the presence of such a man was indispensable to 
success. 1 

For a year, Gosnold and his friends were unable to find 
means to carry their plan into execution. They were, however, 
not alone in the hopes with which they were inspired, 
nand" ' In 1605, a ship, commanded by Captain Weymouth, 
was fitted out by the Earls of Arundel and South- 
ampton. On his return Weymouth brought with him five 
natives of New England. Sir Ferdinando Gorges, who was 
Governor of Plymouth, fell in with him, and conversed with 
him on the countries which he had visited. He took three of 
the Indians into his house, and obtained every possible infor- 
mation from them. From that time he set his heart upon the 
colonisation of America. He acquainted Chief Justice Popham 
with his designs. Popham had always taken a deep interest 
in the mercantile and maritime enterprises of the time, and 
readily agreed to ask the King for a charter authorising the 
proposed undertaking. He became acquainted with Gosnold's 
desire to carry out a similar enterprise, and both schemes were 
comprehended in the charter which he obtained. 

That charter was dated April 10, i6o6. 2 It declared that 
Virginia extended from the thirty-fourth to the forty-fifth degree 
!6o6. of latitude, or, in other words, from what is now the 
vf r e San southern boundary of the State of North Carolina to 
charter. the shores of Nova Scotia. On this ong line of 
coast two settlements were to be made. Gorges and his 

1 The Travels of Captain Smith. On the general credibility of the 
narrative, see Palfrey, Hist, of New England, i. 89, note. 

2 Hening, Statutes of Virginia, i. 57. 

E 2 


friends from the West of England were to choose a place for 

a colony somewhere in the Northern part of the territory, whilst 

the London merchants and gentlemen who had listened to 

Gosnold's persuasion were to confine themselves to the South. 

It was necessary to devise some form of government for 

the two colonies. The rock upon which all former attempts 

had split, was the difficulty of inducing the spirited 

The instruc- , , , . 

tions for the adventurers who took part in them to submit to con- 
uts ' trol. The crews of the vessels which had been sent 
out had been too often bent merely upon making their fortunes. 
The chance of capturing a Spanish prize had frequently lured 
them away from the object for which they were despatched, 
and had ruined the best concerted undertakings. Many of 
the emigrants carried with them the idea that in America gold 
lay upon the ground in lumps ; and when they discovered, by 
a bitter experience, the terrible hardships which awaited them 
amidst hostile tribes on an uncultivated shore, their hearts too 
often gave way at once, and they could think of nothing but 
of the easiest way of return. 

In the hope of providing some authority which might pre- 
vent the recurrence of these disasters, 1 a machinery was in- 
troduced, which was far too complicated to work successfully. 
By the side of the company itself, upon which the burden 
rested of supporting the colonists, and which was to be in ex- 
clusive possession of the trade which might spring up in con- 
sequence of their settlement, a council was erected in London, 
the members of which were nominated by the King. This 
council was entrusted with the general supervision of the 
colonies. By it were to be appointed the first members of the 
two colonial councils, and their presidents, to whom was as- 
signed a casting vote in their deliberations. In each colony 
the really important part of the machinery of government was 
in the hands of these local councils. They were empowered, 
after the expiration of the first year, to elect the annual presi- 
dent, and they were to depose him in case of his misconduct. 
They might fill up all vacancies occurring in their own body, 

1 Instructions, Nov. 20, 1606, Hening, Statutes of Virginia, i. 67. 


and the whole of the administrative and judicial authority was 
assigned to them, without any check or control whatever, 
beyond the necessity to be interpreted by themselves of 
conforming, as closely as was possible under the circumstances, 
to the laws of England. The criminal law was, however, to 
be milder than it was at home, as the punishment of death 
was to be reserved for certain specified crimes of peculiar 
enormity. On the other hand, it was only in these special 
cases that a jury was to be allowed to pronounce its verdict ; 
in all others the sentence of the council would be sufficient. 
Power was reserved to the King to veto the legislation of the 
councils, and to overrule it by the issue of regulations in 

American writers have, with one accord, cried out against 
these instructions, on the ground that they contain no grant or 
acknowledgment of representative institutions. 1 This com- 
plaint, which would have been valid enough if it had only 
referred to a colony which had once been completely settled, 
is founded upon a forgetfulness of the difficulties which beset 
an infant settlement at the commencement of the seventeenth 
century. The only chance of success for such a colony lay in 
the introduction of some strong rule by which a check might 
be put upon the independent action of the settlers. Imme- 
diately upon landing, they occupied the position of a garrison 
in a hostile territory. The folly of a few wild spirits might 
compromise the safety of the whole community, and it was 
but seldom that the adventurers of whom it was composed 
were distinguished either for prudence or self-restraint. In 
their dealings with the Indians, the utmost foresight was 
needed. By provoking the native tribes, a danger of hostilities 
was incurred which might end in sweeping the infant colony 
into the sea. What was, in reality, the first necessity of the 
settlement, was not a parliament to discuss laws and regula- 
tions, but a governor of sufficient ability to know what ought 
to be done, and of sufficient authority to persuade or compel 
the most refractory to yield obedience to his commands. 

1 Smith's Hist, of Virginia, 1747, 41. Bancroft, Hist, of America, 
i. 121. 


From the want of such a man, the Northern Colony proved 
a total failure. It was under very different auspices that, after 
Failure of a delay of many years, a permanent settlement was 
thern^ niadc upon the shores of New England. If the 
Colony. Southern Colony proved more successful, it was in 
spite of the elaborate arrangements which James had made 
for its guidance. 

On December 19, 1606, the little company which was 
destined to succeed where so many had failed, sailed from 
the Thames in three small vessels. 1 They were in all 
Southern a hundred and five. The vessels were commanded 
by a Captain Newport. It was arranged that the 
names of the colonial council should be kept secret until the 
arrival of the expedition in America. This precaution had 
probably been taken to prevent any collision between Newport 
and the colonial authorities. It was, however, attended with 
unforeseen results. The chief persons who had engaged in 
the undertaking were jealous of the abilities of Smith, and 
absurd rumours were spread among them that he intended 
to make himself King of Virginia. They, therefore, resolved 
upon anticipating his supposed design by placing him in con- 
finement ; and they conducted across the Atlantic as a prisoner 
the man to whom the whole conduct of the enterprise ought 
to have been confided. 

After a tedious voyage, the expedition arrived at the mouth 
of the Chesapeake. They gave to the headlands between 
1607. which they sailed the names of Cape Henry and Cape 
in h t e h y e amve Charles, in honour of the two English princes. As 
Chesapeake. soon as they had landed, they opened their instruc- 
tions, and found that seven of their number had been appointed 
to form the council, and that both Smith and Gosnold were in- 
cluded in the number. After some hesitation, they selected a 
site upon a stream to which they gave the name of the James 
River, upon which they proceeded to build the town which is 
known as Jamestown to this day. The first act of the council 
was to nominate Wingfield, one of the earlier promoters of the 
expedition, to the presidency, and to expel Smith from their 
1 Purchas, iv. 1683 1733. Smith's Hist, of Virginia^ 41. 


body. It was not till some weeks had passed that they were 
persuaded to allow him to take his seat. 

In June Newport returned to England with the vessels. As 

soon as he had left Virginia the troubles of the colonists began. 

They had arrived too late in the season to allow 

Difficulties , . i i i i -i i i i 

of the them to sow the seed which they had brought 

with them with any hope of obtaining a crop. The 
food which was left behind for their support was bad in quality, 
and the hot weather brought disease with it. Nearly fifty of 
their number were gentlemen, who had never been accustomed 
to manual labour. Half of the little company were swept 
away before the beginning of September. Amongst those 
who perished was Gosnold, whose energetic disposition might, 
perhaps, if he had survived, have done good service to the 
colony. To make matters worse, the president was inefficient 
and selfish, and cared little about the welfare of his comrades, if 
he only had food enough for himself. The council deposed 
him ; but his successor, Ratcliffe, was equally incompetent, 
and it was only by the unexpected kindness of the natives that 
the colonists were enabled to maintain their existence. As the 
winter approached, their stock was increased by large numbers 
of wild fowl which came within their reach. In spite, however, 
of this change in their circumstances, it was only at Smith's 
earnest entreaty that they were prevented from abandoning 
the colony and returning to England. 

During the winter Smith employed himself in exploring the 

country. In one of his expeditions he was taken prisoner by the 

Indians. Any other man would have been instantly 

Smith taken J 7 . 

prisoner by massacred. With great presence of mind, he took a 
compass out of his pocket, and began talking to them 
about its wonders. Upon this, the chief forbade them to do 
him any harm, and ordered him to be carried to their village. 

Whilst he was there he still more astonished his captors by 
sending a party of them with a letter to Jamestown. They 
were unable to comprehend how his wishes could be conveyed 
by means of a piece of paper. At last he was conducted 
before Powhattan, the superior chief over all the tribes of that 
part of the country. After a long consultation, it was deter- 


mined to put him to death. He was dragged forward, and his 
head was laid upon a large stone, upon which the Indians were 
preparing to beat out his brains with their clubs. Even then 
his good fortune did not desert him. The chiefs daughter, 
Pocahontas, a young girl of ten or twelve years of age, rushed 
forward, and, taking him in her arms, laid her head upon his, 
He is set at to shield it from the clubs. The chief gave way 
liberty. before the entreaties of his daughter, and allowed 
him full liberty to return to Jamestown 

On his arrival there he found all things in confusion. The 
president had again formed the intention of abandoning the 
colony, and was only deterred once more by the energetic 
exertions of Smith The colonists were also indebted to 
him for the liberal supplies of provisions which were from time 
to time brought to them by Pocahontas. 

He had not been long at liberty, when Newport arrived 
with a fresh supply of provisions. He also brought with him 

about a hundred and twenty men, the greater part of 
Newport's whom were bent upon digging for gold. Smith applied 

himself to the more profitable undertaking of carry- 
ing his explorations over the whole of the surrounding country. 
The gold-diggers did not add anything to the stock of the com- 
munity ; and it was only by the arrival of another ship that 
the colonists were enabled during the summer of 1608 to avoid 
absolute starvation. Some little corn had, however, been sown 
in the spring, and it was hoped that, with the help of what they 
could obtain from the natives, there would be sufficient pro- 
vision for the winter. 

Shortly after Newport had again left the colony, Smith re- 
turned from one of his exploring expeditions. He found the 

whole colony dissatisfied with the conduct of the in- 

Smith . 

elected capable president, who, with the exception of Smith, 
was the only member of the original council still re- 
maining in Virginia. A third member had, however, been sent 
out from England. This man, whose name was Scrivener, had 
attached himself warmly to Smith, and, to the general satisfac- 
tion of the settlers, the two friends deposed Ratcliffe, and 
appointed Smith to fill his place. 


Smith had not long been president when Newport again 
arrived. The members of the company in England were anxious 
to see a return for the capital which they had expended. 
They pressed Smith to send them gold, and threatened to leave 
the colony to starve, if their wishes were not complied with. 
The only conditions on which he was to be excused were the 
discovery of a passage into the Pacific, or of the lost colony 
which had been founded by Raleigh. They sent him seventy 
more men, of whom, as usual, the greater number were gentle- 
men. They expected him to send them home, in return, pitch, 
tar, soap-ashes, and glass. To assist him in this, they put on 
board eight Poles and Dutchmen, who were skilled in such 

He at once wrote home to the treasurer of the company, 
Sir Thomas Smith, explaining to him the absurdity of these 
demands. The colonists, he told him, must be able to feed 
themselves before they could establish manufactures. If any 
more men were sent out, ' but thirty carpenters, husbandmen, 
gardiners, fishermen, blacksmiths, masons, and diggers-up of 
trees ' and ' roots,' would be better ' than a thousand of such ' 
as had lately arrived. 

Under Smith's rule the settlement passed safely through 
another winter. The Indians were compelled to respect the 
rising colony. The greater part of the gentlemen were induced 
to work heartily, and those who refused were plainly told that 
if they would not do the work they would be left to starve. It 
appeared as if, at last, the worst difficulties had been over- 

The summer of 1609 was drawing to a close, when news 
arrived in Virginia that a fresh charter had been granted, by 

which considerable changes were authorised in the 


The new government of the colony. The working of the 
original arrangements had been, in many respects, 
unsatisfactory. The council at home, which had been enlarged 
in 1 607,' had found but little to do, as all practical business 
connected with the support of the colony was in the hands of 

1 Ordinance in Hening, i. 76. 


the company. The company itself had proved but ill-fitted to 
devise the best measures for the maintenance of the settlers. 
Its members had been too anxious for a quick return for the 
money which they had laid out, and had been too eager to 
press the colonists to engage in trade before they had brought 
under cultivation a sufficient quantity of land for their own 
support. On the other hand, nothing could be more unsatis- 
factory than the accounts which they received of the proceed- 
ings of the colonial council. It was certain that the whole 
attempt would prove a failure if the settlement were allowed 
to be distracted by the disputes and follies of the members of 
the local government. When the last news was brought to 
England in 1608, Smith had but just entered upon his 
office ; and, even if the good effects of the change had already 
begun to appear, the company was not likely to receive any 
information which would give them an idea of the value of his 
services. Those who returned in the vessels which had left 
Virginia in the autumn were the declared enemies of the new 
president. Newport especially, who commanded the expedition, 
had been too often made to feel the superior ability of Smith 
to be likely to speak many words in his favour. 

The company, therefore, in asking for a change in its origi- 
nal charter, was acting in ignorance of the improved state of 
things in Virginia. The alterations made were, on the whole, 
calculated to benefit the colony. 1 In the first place, an end was 
put to the double government. The council in London was from 
henceforth to take charge as well of the commercial as of the 
political interests of the colony. Though the first appointments 
were to be made by the King, vacancies, as they occurred, were 
to be filled up by the company. Care was taken that, of the 
fifty-two persons who were named to take their seats in the new 
council, but a very small number should be engaged in com- 
merce. For some years to come, the arrangement of the in- 
tercourse which was to be kept up between Virginia and the 
mother country would no longer be in the hands of men who 
were liable to look upon the whole affair as a mere commercial 

1 Second charter, Hating, i. 80. 


speculation. There would, therefore, be some chance that the 
necessities of the colonists would be regarded, as well as the 
pockets of the subscribers. At all events, as long as such men 
as Bacon and Sandys took part in the deliberations of the 
council, the colonists were not likely to be again urged to search 
for gold, under the threat that, if they failed, they would be cut 
off from all further assistance from England. 

It was no less necessary to carry out a thorough reform in 

Virginia itself. The first thing to be done was to sweep away 

the colonial council, with its annual presidents. Even 

Change in A 

the system had the home government known what was passing 
ment in the in the colony, they could hardly have come to any 
other conclusion. The accident which had brought 
about the election of Smith might never again occur, and even 
during his year of office the council, if its vacancies were filled 
up, would be rather an obstruction than an assistance to him. 
By the new charter, the council in Virginia was deservedly 
swept away, and the council in London received full powers to 
appoint all officers who were needed for the government of the 

Undoubtedly, the best thing which the new council could 
have done would have been to have placed Smith at the head 
Appoint- of the settlement. But, being ignorant of his true 
DeTa wirr d va l ue > tnev to k the next best step in their power. 
as Governor, xhe government of merchants and captains had 
proved only another name for organised disorder. They, there- 
fore, determined to try the experiment of sending out persons 
whose rank had made them accustomed to command, and who, 
if they were under the disadvantage of being new to colonial 
life, might be supposed to be able to obtain respect from the 
factions by which the colony was distracted. It was also plain 
that the settlement must be regarded, at least for the present, 
as a garrison in a hostile country, and that the new government 
must be empowered to exercise military discipline. The selec- 
tions made were undoubtedly good. Lord de la Warr, an able 
and conscientious man, was to preside, under the name of 
General; Sir Thomas Gates, one of the oldest promoters of the 
undertaking, was to act as his Lieutenant ; Sir George Somers 


was to command the vessels of the company as Admiral ; Sir 
Thomas Dale, an old soldier from the Low Country wars, was 
to keep up discipline as Marshal ; whilst Sir Ferdinando Wain- 
man was invested with the rather unnecessary title of General 
of the Horse. Lord de la Warr was to be preceded by Gates, 
Somers, and Newport, who were jointly to administer the 
government till the appearance of the General himself. 

The whole scheme was well contrived, and if it had been 
carried out according to the intentions of the council all would 
have gone well. In May, nine ships sailed, with five hundred 
fresh men to recruit the colony, and with large stores of pro- 
visions. 1 Unfortunately, the ship which contained the three 
. commissioners was wrecked on the Bermudas, and 

Shipwreck . . . ' 

of the Com- the remaining vessels, with the exception of one which 

missioners. . . , .,.,_, , . . , 

perished at sea, arrived in the Chesapeake with the 
information that Smith's authority was at an end, but without 
bringing any new officers to fill his place. To make matters 
worse, the men who arrived were chiefly a loose and disorderly 
mob, who had been chosen without any special regard for the 
requirements of an emigrant's life, and with them were several 
of Smith's old opponents, who had previously returned to 

Smith, seeing that no lawful authority had come to replace 
his own, determined to maintain himself in his post. The new- 
comers raised unlooked-for difficulties. They not only showed 
great disinclination to submit to his orders, but they set at 
naught all the ordinary rules of prudence in their intercourse 
with the natives. The Indians came to Smith with complaints 
that his men were stealing their corn and robbing their gardens. 
He was doing his best to introduce order again amongst these 
miserable men, when an accident deprived the colony of his 
services. Some gunpowder in a boat, in which he was, acci- 
dentally took fire, and the wounds which he received made it 
impossible for him to fulfil the active duties of his 

smith re- * 

turns to office. He accordingly determined to return to Eng- 

England. . . . , , ... , ... 

land, leaving the unruly crowd of settlers to discover 
by a bitter experience the value of his energy and prudence. 
1 Compare Purchas, iv. 1733, w 'ith Smith. 


They were not long in learning the extent of their capacity for 
self-government. They utterly refused to submit to Percy, who 
had been elected by the council as Smith's successor. 1 As 
soon as the natives heard that Smith was gone, they attacked 
the settlement, and met with but little resistance. The settlers 
themselves wasted the provisions which should have served for 
their subsistence during the winter. There was no recognised 
authority, and every man followed his own inclination. When 
Smith sailed for England the colony consisted of 

Wretched . / . 

state of the four hundred and ninety men. Within six months a 

miserable remnant of sixty persons was supporting 
itself upon roots and berries. 

In this extremity, Gates 2 arrived, having contrived to escape 
in a pinnace from the Bermudas. On May 23, 1610, he landed 

at Jamestown. He had expected to find a flourishing 
Arrival of colony, where he could obtain support for the hundred 

and fifty shipwrecked settlers who accompanied him. 
He found famine staring him in the face. The corn which had 
been sown would not be ready for harvest for months, and the 
Indians refused to bargain with their oppressors. When he 
had landed all his little store, he found that there would only 
be enough to support life for sixteen days. It was therefore 
determined, by common consent, to forsake the country, as the 
only means to avoid starvation, and to make for Newfoundland, 
where the fugitives hoped to obtain a passage to England in 
the vessels which were engaged in fishing. 

On June 7 the remnants of the once prosperous colony 
quitted the spot which had been for three years the centre of 

their hopes, and dropped down the river. Before, 

The colony r ' . 

saved by the however, they had got out into the Chesapeake, they 

arrival of 1111 i /- i 

Lord De la were astonished by the sight of a boat coming up to 
meet them. The boat proved to belong to Lord de 
la Warr's squadron, which had arrived from England in time to 
save the settlement from ruin. 

The arrival of Lord de la Warr was the turning point in the 

1 " They persuaded Master Percy to stay . . . and be their presi- 
dent " (Smith, 93), must mean that the council persuaded him. 

2 Pnrchas, iv. 1745. 


early history of Virginia. He brought provisions upon which 
the settlers could subsist for a year, and by his authority he was 
able to curb the violence of the factions which had been with 
difficulty kept down even by the strong hand of Smith. Peace 
was restored with the Indians, and the colonists worked wil- 
lingly under the Governor's directions. 

He had not been long in Virginia before ill health compelled 

him to return. After a short interval he was succeeded by Sir 

_ _. , Thomas Dale. Dale introduced a code of martial 

Sir T. Dale s 

administra- law. This code was un justifiably severe, but even 
that was better than the anarchy which threatened to 
break out again on Lord de la Warr's departure. A still more 
advantageous change was brought about under his government. 
Hitherto the land had been cultivated for the good of the 
whole colony, and it had been found difficult to make men 
work heartily who had no individual interests in their labours. 
Dale assigned three acres of land to each settler. The imme- 
diate results of this innovation were manifest. The improve- 
ment was still more decided when Gates, who had been sent 
back to England, returned as Governor, in August 1611, with 
considerable supplies, of which the most valuable part consisted 
of large numbers of cattle. From that time the difficulties 
which had impeded the formation of the settlement were heard 
of no more. 

- For the Colony of Virginia Britannia, Laws divine, moral, and martial. 



THE opposition which the proceedings of the Ecclesiastical 
Courts had raised amongst the judges must have made Salis- 
Pariiament k urv anxious as to the success of the appeal which 
summoned. h e was about to address to the House of Commons, 
which was, as he well knew, animated by a still stronger dislike 
to those courts. All other means, however, of restoring the 
finances to a sound condition having been exhausted, it was 
determined to summon Parliament to meet early in 1610. 
Unusual precautions were taken to obtain a majority in favour 
of the scheme which the Lord Treasurer had in preparation. 
Eiectiorsto During the long interval which had passed since the 
vacancies. i as j- session several vacancies had occurred. To four, 
at least, of the constituencies which had seats at their disposal 
Salisbury made applications in favour of nominees of his own. 
The answers which he received throw some light upon the 
manner in which elections were at that time conducted. The 
bailiffs of Eye said that they had already selected a candidate 
at the nomination of a neighbouring gentleman, but that he 
had consented to waive his claim, when he heard that a letter 
had been received from Salisbury. 1 Another of the Treasurer's 
letters was sent down to Bossiney. It was carried by the mayor 
to a gentleman named Hender, who wrote to Salisbury, telling 
him that he had held the nomination for more than twenty- 
years, but that, on this occasion, he was willing to place it at 

1 Bailiffs of Eye to Salisbury, Oct. 16, S. P. DJHI. xlviii. 109. 


the disposal of the Government. ! The bailiffs of Boroughbridge 
answered a similar request by saying that they would rather die 
than refuse to elect Salisbury's nominee. 2 The corporation of 
Ludlow alone refused to elect the person designated, as they 
were bound to choose no one who was not a resident in their 
town. They would, however, take care that their new member 
should vote entirely according to the wishes of the Govern- 
ment. 3 

The session commenced on February 9. At a conference 

on the 1 5th, Salisbury laid before the House of Commons an 

exposition of the condition of the Treasury. As was 

Meeting of only natural, he laid far more stress on the necessities 

Parliament. Q{ ^ Kmg than Qn ^ prodigality by which they 

had, in a great measure, been caused. Nor did he fail to draw 
attention to the exertions by which the debt had been reduced 
to a sum of 3oo,ooo/., and the revenue had been brought to 
within 46,ooo/. 4 of the regular expenses, although the King 
would need much more to supply his extraordinary expenditure. 
He begged the Commons not to allow the ship of State to be 
wrecked at the entrance of the port. He was obliged, in 
noticing the objection that the King Had been too prodigal of 
his bounty, to fall back upon commonplaces on the necessity 
of rewarding merit, and to quote the example of other princes 
whose expenditure had been equally profuse. If the House 
would consent to assist the King in his need, he would, on his 
part, be ready to redress all just grievances. 9 

In taking the Treasurer's speech into consideration, the 
Feb 18 Commons decided upon postponing the question of 
Supply and the supply to be granted for the payment of the debt, 
until they had determined upon some regular sup- 
port by which the revenue itself might be permanently increased. 

1 Hender to Salisbury, Oct. 21, S. P. Dom. xlviii. 116. 

2 Bailiffs of Boroughbridge to Salisbury, Nov. 5, S. P. Dom. xlix. 10. 

3 Corporation of Ludlow to Salisbury, Dec. I, S. P. Dom. 1. i. 

4 So he said. The difference in the estimate, which is printed in 
Par!. Deb. in 1610, Introd. p. xii., and which is fixed by internal evi- 
dence in the beginning of 1610, is 49,ooo/. A few months later it was 

* Par!. Deb. in 1610, p. I. Harl. MSS. 777, fol. I. 


Various proposals were made. Amongst others, Thomas 
Wentworth, the member for the city of Oxford, and son of the 
Peter Wentworth who had been committed to the Tower by 
Elizabeth, for the boldness of his language in the House, pro- 
posed that the King should be asked to reduce his expenditure. 
The House, however, was not prepared for so strong 
a measure, and the whole question was referred to the 
Committee of Grievances. The Committee proposed that the 
Lords should be requested to state precisely what the King was 
willing to do. If the Lords refused to do this, the Commons 
wereto ask for leave to treat with the King for the abolition of 
the feudal tenures, and especially of the whole system of ward- 

It was plain that there was a difference in the manner in 
which the matter in hand was regarded by those who were 
principally concerned. Salisbury considered it to be the duty 
of the Commons to supply the wants of the King, and looked 
upon the redress of grievances as a favour which was to be 
granted to them if they performed their duty. With the Com- 
mons, on the other hand, the first object was that grievances 
should be redressed. 

In the conference which ensued, Salisbury plainly put 
forward the demands of the Government. He asked for a 
supply of 6oo,ooo/., half of which was to pay off the 
debt, whilst 150,0007. was to be employed in meeting 
the extraordinary expenses of the navy, and the remainder was 
to be laid by to be used on any emergency which might arise. 
He also asked for a permanent support of 2oo,ooo/. a year, which 
would give the King an annual income of 66o,ooo/., a sum 
nearly 5o,ooo/. in excess of his whole annual expenditure, 1 pro- 
vided that that expenditure continued at its present rate, and 
that his income was not diminished by the concessions which 
he was prepared to make to the demands of the nation. He 
was answered, that the supply could only be given by means of 
subsidies, and that the Lower House always kept such questions 

1 The extraordinary expenses were calculated to amount to about 
ioo,ooo/. But there can be little doubt that this was putting them far 
higher than was at all necessary. 



in its own hands. With respect to the permanent support, the 
Commons would consider of it. As Salisbury made no pro- 
posal to redress grievances, he was distinctly asked whether 
the Lords would join in requesting the King to give them 
leave to treat for the surrender of those rights connected 
The Com- w 'th the feudal tenures which were felt to be so op- 
Trezth^ to pressive to the subject. He answered that he could 
tenures. no t reply without first consulting the Lords. He 
mentioned, however, several points in which the King's pre- 
rogative trenched upon the ease of the subject. He proposed 
that they should consider whether these might not form part of 
the contract with the King. Among them was one of the old 
subjects of dispute, the right of purveyance. 

The Lords appointed a Committee to wait upon the King, 
for the purpose of asking him whether he was willing to treat 
on the tenures. James told them that he must take time to 
consider upon a question of such importance. 1 

Meanwhile the Commons were busy with a book which had 
been published rather more than two years before. It was a 
Pr. Coweiis ^ aw dictionary entitled The Interpreter. The author, 
Dr. Cowell, was the Reader on Civil Law at the 
University of Cambridge. His work had been brought out 
under the patronage of Bancroft, and for that reason, if for no 
other, it was likely to be subjected to minute criticism by the 
partisans Of the common law. It was said and it is by no means 
improbable that the inquiry which was made by the House of 
Commons was set on foot at the instigation of Coke. The opi- 
nions which were contained in the book were such as no House 
of Commons could fail in pronouncing unconstitutional. If in 
some places the author took pains to state that he did not put 
forth these opinions as unquestionable truths, he left no doubt 
in the minds of his readers to which side his own ideas inclined. 
Thus, after declaring that he left it for wiser men to decide 
whether it was binding upon the King to require the consent 
of Parliament to the enactment of laws, he asserted that the 
King of England was undoubtedly an absolute King, and pro- 

L. J. ii. 558. 


ceeded to quote authorities in support of the doctrine that to 
make laws was part of the prerogative of such a King. 1 In 
another place he stated this opinion still more forcibly. " Of 
these two," he wrote, " one must needs be true, that either the 
King is above the Parliament, that is, the positive laws of his 
kingdom, or else that he is not an absolute King. . . . And, 
therefore, though it be a merciful policy, and also a politic 
mercy (not alterable without great "peril), to make laws by 
consent of the whole realm, because so no one part shall have 
cause to complain of a partiality, yet simply to bind a prince 
to or by those laws were repugnant to the nature and consti- 
tution of an absolute monarchy." 2 In a similar spirit, he 
put it forth as an opinion held by some, ' that subsidies were 
granted by Parliament in consideration of the King's good- 
ness in waiving his absolute power to make laws without their 
consent.' 3 

The Commons requested the Lords to join them in calling 
the King's attention to the book. Before, however, the Lords 
interference na( i time to ta ^ e anv ste P s m the matter, they were 
of the King. ^old. by Salisbury that the King had summoned 
Cowell before him, and that he wished him to inform the 
Commons that he was much displeased with the book. He 
considered that it impugned the Common Law of England, 
and the fundamental grounds of the constitution of Parliament, 
and that in opposing the prerogative to the law the author had 
attacked both King and Parliament together. If the book had 
been brought before the King's notice earlier, he would have 
taken order with it ; as it was, he would take immediate steps 
for suppressing it. Salisbury also reported that the King had 
acknowledged that although he derived his title from his 
ancestors, ' yet the law did set the crown upon his head,' ' and 
that he was a King by the Common Law of the land.' He 
' had no power to make laws of himself, or to exact any sub- 
sidies de jure without the consent of his three estates, and, 

1 Article ' Prerogative,' ed. 1607. 

2 Article ' Parliament.' The article ' King ' contains similar doctrines. 
1 Article ' Subsidy.' 



therefore, he was so far from approving the opinion, as he did 
hate those that believed it.' l 

Soon afterwards, a proclamation appeared commanding the 
suppression of the book. The House received the news with 
Suppression pleasure, and ordered that thanks should be given to 
of the book. fa e King for the promptness with which their wishes 
had been met. 

A few days after the King's disavowal of the opinions con- 
tained in CowelPs book, Bacon, in the name of the Commons, 
March 8. once more brought the subject of tenures before the 
^.eech'on Lords at a conference. He begged them to assure 
tenures. the King that, in asking for leave to treat, the Lower 
House had never intended in any way to diminish the Royal 
revenues. It was a mistake to suppose that the dignity of the 
Crown would be in any way affected by the concessions the 
King was asked to make. The right of wardship was by no 
means peculiar to Royalty. It was no longer by the feudal 
tenures that men were under obligations to serve the Crown. 
The soldiers who had followed the English captains in the 
late wars had been bound by very different ties from those 
which compelled a vassal to hold himself in readiness to 
defend his lord. When the musters were held in the counties 
of England, men never dreamed of asking whose tenants they 
were, or how they held their land. All they remembered was 
that they were the subjects of the King, and this they would 
never forget if all the tenures in existence were swept away at 
a stroke. If the change would deprive the King of the right 
of protecting those who had hitherto been his wards, he must 
remember that he would only relinquish his claim in favour 
of the nearest relations of the orphans, who were, above all 
others, most likely to care for their welfare. Nor would there 
be the slightest difficulty in providing means by which the 
misuse of authority by harsh or avaricious relatives might be 
kept in check. He concluded by requesting the Lords to 
join the Commons in petitioning the King to give his answer 
as soon as he conveniently could. The work before them was 

1 rarl. Deb. in 1610, p. 24. It is curious that no care was taken to 
record this admission in the journals. 


one of great importance, and would require long deliberation. 
Solomon's temple, he reminded them, was made without noise, 
but it was not built in one day. l 

On March 12, the Commons received a favourable answer 
from the King to their demand. On the 26th, the Committee 
The Com- to which the subject had been referred, proposed that 
kavl tTtrelt ^ Km S should give up all the emoluments resulting 
on tenures. f rom th e feudal tenures, with the exception of the 
aids, which were due upon the knighting of the King's eldest 
son, and upon the marriage of his eldest daughter. For this, 
and for the remission of the claims which Salisbury had pro- 
They offer posed to abandon, they offered no more than ioo,ooo/. 
ioo,ooo/. Such an offer was not likely to be acceptable to the 
King, The concessions he was required to make would pro- 
bable be equivalent to a deduction of more than 4o,ooo/. from 
his revenue, 2 and he would be left with a total income of 
52o,ooo/. Such a sum was certainly insufficient to meet an 
expenditure of 6oo,ooo/. The Commons, however, believed 
that much of this expenditure was unnecessary, and they had 
not realised the impossibility of any sovereign coming after 
Elizabeth being as economical as she had been. Their view of 
the cast, however, was not likely to meet with acceptance at 
court. Salisbury told them that so far from ioo,ooo/. being 
sufficient, the King would not now accept even 2oo,ooo/. unless 
they also made up to him the loss which his revenue would 
sustain if he yielded to their demands. He may perhaps have 
thought that he had more chance of getting what he wanted by 
asking more than he expected to get. 3 On May 4, however, the 
Commons disappointed him by refusing his terms; and the nego- 
tiations were, in consequence, brought to an end for the time. 
A few days before the Great Contract, as it was 
of Griev-" " called, was thus broken off, Sandys reported on behalf 
of the Committee which had been occupied ever 
since the beginning of the session in drawing up the Petition 

1 Letters and Life of Bacon, iv. 163. 

2 Sir J. Caesar estimated the King's loss at 44, ooo/. (far!. Deb. in 1610, 
p. 164). 

3 Farl. Deb. in 1610, p. 146. 


of Grievances, that they had arrived at the question of the 
impositions which had been passed over so unceremoniously in 
the last session. He asked that search might be made for 
precedents bearing on the subject. Accordingly, on the 
following day, certain members, amongst whom was the well- 
known antiquary Sir Robert Cotton, were named for the 
purpose. On May n, however, before they had 
mons for- made their report, the Speaker informed the House 

bidden to , ,. , T ,. . 

discuss the that he had received a message from the King, to 

imposmons. ^ ^^ ^ - f ^^ j ntended Qn l y tQ take j nt(> 

consideration the inconveniences alleged to result from any 
particular imposition, he would readily hear their complaints ; 
but that if they were about to discuss his right to levy impo- 
sitions in general, they must remember that the Court of 
Exchequer had given a judgment in his favour. He there- 
fore commanded them to refrain from questioning his preroga- 
tive. 1 

As soon as the Speaker had finished, Sir William Twisden, 
who knew that the King had been absent from London for a 
week, asked him who gave him the message. The Speaker 
confessed that he had not received it from the King, but from 
the Council. Upon this a resolution was passed, that what 
had just been heard should not be received as a message from 
the King. James was at first greatly displeased, but, upon 
further consideration, he forbore to press the point. Scarcely 
had this episode come to an end, when both Houses were 
summoned to Whitehall, to meet the King, who had come 
back to London upon hearing of the resistance with which his 

message had been received. 2 He began by remind- 
The Kings ing them that they had been now sitting for fourteen 

weeks, and had as yet done nothing towards the 
relief of his necessities. As for the impositions, he was per- 
fectly justified in what he had done. He would, however, 
engage not to lay any more, at any future time, without hearing 

1 Cott. MSS. Tit. F. iv. fol. 255. See also C. J. i. 427, and ParL 
Deb. in 1610, p. 32. 

2 Abstract of the King's Speech, S. P. Dam. liv. 65. ParL Deb. in 
1610, p. 34. HarL MSS. 777, fol. 27 a. 


what both Houses had to say respecting the proposed increase 
of taxation. But he refused to be bound by any opinion which 
they might then express. The Kings of Spain, France, and 
Denmark had the right of levying impositions, and why should 
he not do as they did ? He would not have his prerogative 
called in question. 

Next morning the House met in high dudgeon. 1 Sir 
Francis Hastings declared that the King might as well have 
22 claimed a right to dispose of all their properties. 
Acom- He therefore moved for a Committee to consider 
poi"ted a to how they might obtain satisfaction. It was in vain 
tiling's that Sir Julius Caesar, now Chancellor of the Exche- 
speech. quer, advised that they should be content to take 
the law from the judges. The motion for the appointment of 
a Committee was carried without a division. The Committee 
met in the afternoon. Fuller and Wentworth maintained the 
right of Parliament to discuss all questions which concerned 
the commonwealth. Bacon answered by quoting precedents 
fivm the time of the late Queen, in which the House had un- 
doubtedly allowed its discussions to be interfered with by the 
sovereign. He said that the House might always discuss 
matters which concerned the interest of the subject, but not 
matters which related to the prerogative. He therefore recom- 
mended that the impositions should be complained of as 
grievances, but that the King's power to impose should not be 
called in question. Those who answered him were not very 
successful in dealing with Bacon's precedents, as it was difficult 
to get rid of the fact, that Elizabeth had often prevented the 
House from meddling with her prerogative. But on the general 
merits of the case, their reply was unanswerable. They argued, 
that if they had a right to discuss grievances which bore hardly 
upon individuals, much more had they a right to discuss a 
grievance which bore hardly upon the whole commonwealth. 

A petition of right was accordingly drawn up, in which the 
Commons declared that they could not be prevented from 

1 The debate in the House in the morning is reported in C. J. i. 430. 
The afternoon debate in Committee will be found in Parl. Deb. in 1610, 
P- 36- 


debating on any matter which concerned the rights and interests 
A petition of f tne subject. They had no intention of impugn- 
nght- j n g t h e King's prerogative ; but it was necessary for 

them to ascertain what were its true limits, as there was a general 
apprehension that upon the same arguments as those upon 
which the judgment in the Exchequer had been founded, the 
whole property of the subject might be confiscated at the will 
of the sovereign. Accordingly, they prayed to be allowed to 
proceed in their inquiries, in order that the matter being 
settled once for all, they might be able to pass on to his 
Majesty's business. 1 

A deputation was sent with this petition to the King at 

Greenwich. He received the members most affably. He had 

found that he had gone too far, and he was anxious 

May 24. ' 

The Kmg to draw back. He pretended that in the message 
way ' delivered by the Speaker he had only intended that 
the House should not debate on the impositions till he returned 
to London. His own speech had been misunderstood. He 
meant to warn them against impugning his prerogative, which 
they now declared that they had no intention of doing. He 
had no wish to abridge any of their privileges, and he gave 
them full liberty to consider the whole question. He only 
hoped that they would not forget his wants, and that they did 
not intend to take with one hand what they gave with the 
other. 2 

The Commons were well satisfied with this answer, and at 
once agreed to take the contract into further consideration. 
The contract For the moment, however, they were occupied with 
resumed. other matters. News had arrived of the murder 
of Henry IV. by the fanatic Ravaillac. For this atrocious 
Murder of crime the English Catholics were to pay the penalty. 
Henry iv. The House saw in it an attempt similar to that by 
which their own lives and that of their sovereign had been 
endangered five years before, and they dreaded its influence 
upon the minds of those who might be prepared to imitate the 

1 C. y. i. 431- 

2 Ibid. i. 432. Report of the King's Answer, S. P. Dom. liv. 73. 
Par 1. Deb. in 1610, p. 41. 


example of the assassin. They knew of no other way to meet 
the danger than that which had long been tried in vain. 
The Com- Tne y accordingly petitioned the King to put in 
monspeti- execution the laws against recusants. In this they 

tion against ' 

recusants, were joined by the Upper House. James thanked 
them, and promised to comply with their wishes. An Act was 
also passed, ordering that all English subjects without exception 
should take the oath of allegiance, and for the first time imposing 
a penalty upon married women who were recusants. If they 
refused to take the Sacrament in the Church of England they 
were to be imprisoned, unless their husbands were willing to 
pay io/. a month for their liberty. 

The House was proceeding to debate the contract, when they 

were again interrupted to witness a ceremony which must have 

. come like a burst of sunshine in the midst of these 

Creation of . 

the Prince of unsatisfactory disputations. On June 4, in the pre- 
sence of both Houses, Prince Henry was solemnly 
created Prince of Wales. He was now in his eighteenth year, 
and he had already won the heart of the whole nation. In 
his bright young face old men saw a prospect of a return to the 
Elizabethan glories of their youth. His mind was open to all 
noble influences, and, if he had lived, he would have been 
able to rule England, because he would have sympathised, as 
his father never did, with all that was good and great in the 
English character. No doubt there was much which was 
wanting to make him a perfect ruler. Prudence and circum- 
spection are not the qualities which manifest themselves in 
boyhood ; but these would have come in time. His thoughts, 
even in his childhood, had been filled with images which 
presaged a stirring life. There was nothing prematurely old 
about him, as there had been in his father's earlier years. 
When he first came to England, he talked of imitating the 
Plantaganets when he should be a man, and of leading armies 
to the conquest of France. These dreams passed away, and 
he threw himself heart and soul into the tales of maritime 
adventure which were so rife in England. In everything that 
concerned ships and ship-building he took a peculiar interest 
Nothing, however, marks the soundness of his character more 


than the steadfastness with which he remained constant to those 
whom he admired. Alone, in his father's court, he continued 
to profess his admiration of the unfortunate Raleigh. No man 
but his father, he used to say, would keep such a bird in a cage. 
The man to whom he owed the greater part of his knowledge 
of shipping was Phineas Pett, one of the King's shipwrights. 
On one occasion a complaint was made against Pett, and he 
was examined in the presence of the King. During the whole 
of the examination the Prince stood by his side to encourage 
him, and when he was pronounced innocent of the charge 
which had been brought against him, was the first to con- 
gratulate him on his success, and to give utterance to a boyish 
wish that his accusers might be hanged. 1 We can readily 
imagine that, as long as the Prince lived, the House of Com- 
mons were able to look with hope to the future, and that the 
ceremony which they were called to witness must have inclined 
them not to deal harshly with the King's demands, in the 
hope that the crown would sooner or later rest upon a worthier 

On June n, Salisbury addressed the Commons on the 

subject of the contract. He proposed that they should at 

once grant a supply to pay off the debt, and to meet 

Salisbury . , . . 

demands a the deficit caused by the current expenditure. The 
support was to be deferred till the next session, which 
would commence in October. The annual sum required by 
the King was now distinctly stated to be 240, ooo/., which, 
allowing for the loss he expected to suffer, was equal to the 
2oo,ooo/. which he had originally demanded. He also wished 
them to defer the presentation of their grievances to the 
following session. He told them that the impositions had been 
examined, and that several had been altogether remitted, at a 
yearly loss to the Crown of ao,ooo/. 2 

The proposal that the presentation of the Petition of 
Grievances should be postponed met with little favour in the 
House of Commons. In spite of messages sent by the King, 

1 Birch, Life of Henry, Prince of Wales, p. 157. 

- Parl. Deb. in 1610, pp. 52, 154, 165. See the Commission to draw 
up a new book of rates, Sept. 5. Patent Rolls, 8 James I., part 30. 


assuring them that he would hear their grievances, and 
give them an answer before the prorogation, they steadily 
refused to vote any money till they had completed their 

On June 23 the House resolved itself into a Committee, in 

order to consider the question of the impositions. The debate, 

which lasted for four days, was left almost entirely 

The debate . J 

on imposi- in the hands of the lawyers. Even Sandys, who 
upon prece- was usually heard on every important occasion, sat 
silent. The speakers on both sides seem to have 
had a horror of general reasoning. The Crown lawyers 
repeatedly called upon their antagonists to remember that 
they were debating a question of law and fact, into which 
they had no right to introduce political arguments. The 
popular speakers readily followed them upon this ground, 
and carefully fortified their case with quotations of statutes 
and precedents. If they ever strayed away into a wider 
field, it was only after they had completed the structure oi 
their main defences, and were provoked to reply to some 
dangerous assertion of their antagonists. The line of argument, 
which was thus adopted at the commencement of the great 
constitutional battle, was steadily maintained during a struggle 
extending over a period of eighty years. Those who made use 
of it have obtained much unmerited praise, and have incurred 
much unmerited obloquy. Englishmen are too often inclined 
to represent the course taken by their ancestors as an example 
which should be invariably followed by other nations, and have 
been ready to sneer at statesmen who have adopted, under totally 
different circumstances, a totally different system of political 
reasoning. French writers, on the other hand, are continually 
tempted to look down upon an opposition which contented 
itself with appealing to the practice of former ages, and with in- 
vestigating the laws of one particular nation, but which shrank 
from putting forth general principles, which might be a guide 
to all nations for all time. In fact, English Conservatism was 
as much the consequence as the cause of political success. 
Our ancestors did not refer to precedents merely because they 
were anxious to tread in the steps of those who went before 


them, but because it was their settled belief that England had 
always been well governed and prosperous. They quoted a 
statute not because it was old, but because they knew that, 
ninety-nine times out of every hundred, their predecessors had 
passed good laws. From this feeling grew up the attachment 
which Englishmen have ever shown to the law of the land. 
Knowing that, whatever defects it might have, those defects 
were as nothing in comparison to its merits, they took their 
stand upon it, and appealed to it on every occasion. It was 
an attachment not so much to law in general as to the particular 
law under which they lived. 

It must not, however, be supposed that the two parties 
were quarrelling about the mere letter of the law. The letter of 
Difficulty of the old statutes was singularly confused and uncertain, 
jhe e [ece. ng and could only be rightly interpreted by those who 
dents. entered into the spirit of the men who had drawn 

them up. Differences of opinion on the form of government 
which was most suited for the seventeenth century were sure to 
reappear in differences of opinion on the form of government 
which had actually existed in the thirteenth and fourteenth 
centuries, and would make themselves felt in any attempt to 
educe a true meaning from the early statutes. These differences 
were none the less felt because they did not on either side find 
their expression in any well-defined system of political opinion. 
Both parties agreed that there were certain definite functions 
which belonged to the King alone, and that there were other 
definite functions which belonged only to the House of Com- 
mons. But the great majority of the Lower House were 
beginning to feel that when any difference of opinion arose 
Opposite on any important subject between the King and the 
con^tltu^ Commons, it was for the King, and not for them- 
tionai law. selves, to give way. A few, however, with Bacon at 
their head, thought that the King ought to be, at least in a 
great measure, independent of the House of Commons. In 
looking back to the past history of their country, both parties 
allowed their view of the old constitution to be tinged with 
colours which were derived from their own political opinions. 
As might be expected, when such a history as that of England 


was in question, those who were the best politicians proved 
also to have the most accurate knowledge of history. Both 
parties, indeed, made one mistake. It is impossible to read 
the arguments which were used in the long debate without 
perceiving that all the speakers agreed in attributing to the 
constitution of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries far more 
of a settled character than it in reality possessed. They all 
seem to have imagined that on important points there was some 
fixed rule to which all had assented, the contravention of which 
was known to be a breach of constitutional law. 1 They failed 
to seize the true character of the epoch as a time of struggle 
during which the idea of law was gradually evolving itself in 
the midst of a conflict of opposing wills. But the popular 
party had the better of their adversaries in this, that what it 
alleged to have been the acknowledged law of that period was 
in reality the system upon which the constitution was finally 
moulded after the conclusion of the struggle, and towards 
which, during its continuance, every step taken in advance was 
constantly tending ; whereas the powers claimed for the Crown 
had gradually sunk under the unintermitted protests of the 
nation, and had been finally, by universal consent, either 
explicitly given up or tacitly abandoned, till they had been in 
part regained under very different circumstances during the 
reigns of the Sovereigns of the House of Tudor. 

If the popular party was right in its interpretation of the 
spirit of English history, it would have been strange if they had 
been unable to meet their opponents on merely technical 
grounds. Careless as the early Parliaments had been of laying 
down general principles, it would have been very remarkable 
if in the course of a century and a half they had not dropped 
some words which could be understood as a bar to all future 
attempts of the King to exercise the right of lay impositions in 

1 Besides the notes in Par I Deb. in 1610, we have in the State Trials 
(ii. 395) part of Bacon's speech, with the speeches of Hakewill and White- 
locke, the latter erroneously attributed to Yelverton ; and in Cott. MSS. 
Tit. F. v. fol. 244, Doderidge's speech ; and at fol. 242 a speech of 
Crompton's which was probably delivered on this occasion. 


general, although at the time they were only occupied in defeat- 
ing certain particular exactions. 

The two statutes upon which the greatest weight was justly 
placed were the Confirmation of the Charters by Edward I., 
Statutes an d another Act passed in the reign of his grandson, 
quoted. T he Act of Edward I. declared, ' that for so much 
as the more part of the Commonalty of the Realm find them- 
selves sore grieved with the maltolt of wools, that is, to wit, a 
toll of forty shillings for every sack of wool, and have made 
petition to us to release the same ; we at their request have 
clearly released it, and have granted for us and our heirs that we 
will not take such things without their common assent and 
good-will, saving to us and our heirs the custom of wools, 
skins, and leather granted by the Commonalty aforesaid.' ! 
Bacon, and those who followed on the same side, urged that 
this statute did not take away the original right of the Crown, 
because the words, ' such things ' were applicable only to the 
wool mentioned at the beginning of the sentence. He was 
answered by Hakewill, who argued that if the words were 
meant to apply to wool alone, it would have been absurd to 
insert a clause saving the customs on skins and leather. The 
other statute 2 stated that the Commons having petitioned 
against the duties which had lately been imposed upon lead, 
tin, leather, and woolfells, the King prayed the Parliament to 
grant him certain duties for a limited time, and promised that, 
at the expiration of the term, he would only exact the old 
custom on the wool and leather. Bacon argued, from the King's 
silence regarding lead and tin, that the imposition upon these 
articles was intended to continue. Fortunately, Hakewill was 
able to quote from a later paragraph that ' the King hath pro- 
mised not to charge, set, or assess upon the custom but in the 
manner aforesaid.' 

Even as an interpretation of the mere letter of the statute, 
Bacon's view of the case is manifestly inferior to that of Hake- 
will ; but if the Acts are read in the spirit of the times in which 
they were drawn up, the superiority of the popular party be- 

1 25 Ed. I. Confirm. Cart. cap. 7. 

2 14 Ed. III. stat. i. cap. 21. 


comes still more undoubted. The words in which these old 
contracts between the Kings of England and their Parliaments 
were drawn up were undoubtedly loose, but their intention was 
manifest. If the Commons only spoke of the impositions on 
wools, woolfells, and leather, from which they suffered, there 
could not be the slightest doubt that they would have had 
equally invincible objections to any other form of imposition. 
That after a long struggle the King gave up the point, and did 
not attempt to shift the duties from wool to some other articles 
of commerce, plainly shows that he understood the meaning of 
the words that were used better than the lawyers who attempted 
two hundred years afterwards to fix their own sense upon 

Among the many speakers on the popular side, Hakewill 
has the credit of having been the first to establish that the 
Argument Commons were technically in the right. He was no 
K\ n th? s re- ^ ess successful in meeting an argument which was 
rogativeof drawn from the supposed necessity of the case. It 


trade. was said, that if foreign princes laid burdens upon 

English commerce, it would be necessary to retaliate by laying 
similar burdens upon the importations into England of the 
produce of their dominions. This must be done at once, and 
there would be no time to summon a Parliament. J Hakewill 2 
answered by denying that it was likely that the negotiations, 
which were sure to be entered upon when the quarrel first arose, 
would be so quickly despatched as to allow no time for sum- 
moning Parliament. But the answer of Whitelocke, 3 a member 
who had entered Parliament for the first time in this session, 
went straight to the point. "This strain of policy," he said, 
" maketh nothing to the point of right. Our rule is, in this 
plain commonwealth of ours, that no man ought to be wiser 
than the laws. If there be an inconvenience, it is fitter to have 
it removed by a lawful means than by an unlawful. But this 
is rather a mischief than an inconvenience, that is, a prejudice 
in presenti of some few, but not hurtful to the commonwealth. 
And it is more tolerable to suffer a hurt to some few for 

1 Carleton's argument, Farl. Deb. in 1610, 61. 

State Trials, ii. 476. 3 Ibid. ii. 518. 


a short time, than to give way to the breach and violation 
of the right of the whole nation for that is the true inconve- 
nience ; neither need it be so difficult or tedious to have the 
consent of Parliament, if they were held as they ought or 
might be." 

Another argument had been put forth by Bacon, which was 
hardly likely to meet with acceptance. The King, he reasoned, l 
Ar ui ient ^ a d P ower to restrain goods from entering the ports, 
on the and if he might prohibit their entrance, he might 

King's right . , ., . . 

to restrain continue the prohibition until a certain sum was paid. 
n s> This reasoning was adopted by Yelverton, who made 
it the main staple of his speech. He had lately given offence 
to the King by some words which he had uttered in the course 
of the last session, but he had sought forgiveness, and had 
received a promise of the royal favour. He now came forward 
as the most thoroughgoing advocate of the prerogative in the 
House. The law of England, he told the astonished Com- 
mons, 2 extended only to low-water mark. Beyond that, every- 
thing was subject to the law of nations, which knew nothing 
of either statute or common law. All things upon the sea 
being thus within the King's immediate jurisdiction, he had a 
right to restrain them from approaching the shore. Bate's 
imposition was consequent upon a restraint of this kind. He 
was told, " You shall bring no currants ; if you do, you shall pay 
so much." He concluded by repudiating a doctrine which had 
been maintained by those who had spoken on the same side. 
It was not true, he said, that, if the impositions were excessive, 
the judges might interfere. No man could meddle with them 
but the King himself. 

Yelverton was answered by Martin, the member for Christ- 
church, who told him that Englishmen ' were, by the constitu- 
tion of the kingdom, entitled to be judged by the 

answered by ' J J 

.Martin and law of England. The merchants' liberty and riches 

Whitelocke. . , . , , . 

were 'upon the sea He had as 'good right to 
plough the sea as the ploughman had to plough the land. The 
common law ' extended ' as far as the power of the King.' It 

1 Letters and Life, iv. 199. 2 ParL Deb. in 1610, 85. 


was ' as the soul in the body. The liberty of the seas ' was 
'parcel of the liberty of the subject.' 

Whitelocke, who had shown that he could quote precedents 
to better purpose than any of the Crown lawyers, grounded his 
opposition on higher principles than any which they could 
allege in their defence. With them the King was the possessor 
of certain definite rights, which he might enforce without con- 
sidering whether the country suffered from them or no. With 
Whitelocke, on the other hand, the King only held them in 
trust for the commonwealth, in the interest of which those 
rights must be interpreted. ' The premises of the arguments 
of his opponents,' he said, ' are of a power in the King only 
fiduciary, and in point of trust and government ; ' but their 
conclusion inferred 'a right of interest and gain.' If the King 
had the custody of the ports, it was in order that he might 
'open and shut upon consideration of public good to the 
people and state, but not to make gain and benefit by it.' " The 
ports," he added, " in their own nature are public, free for all to 
go in and out, yet for the common good this liberty is restrainable 
by the wisdom and policy of the Prince, who is put in trust to 
discern the times when this natural liberty shall be restrained. . . 
In point of government and common good of the realm he may 
restrain the person. But to conclude therefore he may take 
money not to restrain, is to sell government, trust, and common 
justice, and most unworthy the divine office of a King." l 

There could be no doubt which opinion would carry the 

day within the walls of the House of Commons. Not only 

were the arguments of those who opposed the claim 

The House rt ^ 

almost of the King far superior, to those of their adversaries, 

unanimous , , TT . . , .. _ 

against the but the House instinctively felt, as soon as the ques- 
tion was fairly put before it, that its whole future 
existence was bound up with the arguments of the popular 
speakers. If the King was justified in what he had done, 
he might in future raise far larger sums in a similar manner, 
and obtain a revenue which would make it unnecessary for him, 
except on rare occasions, to consult his Parliament. Bacon 

1 Par/. Deb. in 1610, 153. 


and his friends did not divide the House. A Committee was 
appointed to draw up a petition which was to be inserted in 
the general petition of grievances. 

On July 7, the grievances were presented to the King. 1 

James, on catching sight of the long roll of parchment upon 

which they were written, called out that it was large 

The petition , - ... ,_ . "" , 

of grfev- enough to serve for a piece of tapestry. He promised 
to give an answer in a few days. Accordingly, on 
the loth, in the presence of both Houses, after Salisbury had 
given an account of the manner in which the impositions had 
been set, and had justified himself with regard to the part which 
he had taken in the matter, James gave his answers to some of 
the grievances, reserving the others for a future day. With most 
of his answers the Commons were well satisfied. On the 
subject of the impositions he proposed a compromise. He 
would retain those which had been already set, but he would 
give his consent to an Act by which he should be prohibited 
from levying any similar exactions for the future. 

The next day, the House resolved to grant a supply ; but 
in spite of all the exertions of the Court party, they refused to 
Grant of a & ve m ore than one subsidy and one fifteenth. This 
subsidy. would be sufficient to meet the most pressing neces- 
sities of the Government, and they were anxious not to give 
too liberally till the points in dispute between them and the 
King were finally settled. It would be well that, at the com- 
mencement of the following session, the King should still feel 
it necessary to look to them for the payment of his debts. In 
the course of the debate, one member was heard whispering 
to his neighbour, that the limitation of the supply would do 
the King good, and would serve as a subpoena to bring him to 
answer for himself when he was wanted. 

The Bin on ^ n accordance with the King's wishes, a Bill 2 
impositions. was Drou ght in, enacting that no imposition should 
hereafter be laid without the consent of Parliament, other 

1 Parl. Deb. 1610, 123. The whole petition is in Petyt's Jus Patlia- 
mentarium, 318. The reprint in the State Trials is imperfect. 

2 Parl. Deb. in 1610, 162. The Bill there printed is from the draft 
made at its reintroduction in the next session. 


than those which were already in existence. This Bill was 
dropped in the* House of Lords : probably, in order that it 
might stand over till the next session, when it would form a 
part of a general settlement of all questions pending between 
the Crown and the House of Commons. 

The Lower House now set itself to work upon the contract. 
On June 26, Salisbury announced that the King was ready 
The contract to accept 22o,ooo/. 1 On July 13, the Commons 
concluded, answered by proposing to give i8o,ooo/. Salisbury 
was indefatigable in attempting to bring the King and the 
House to terms. 2 At last he succeeded in inducing both to 
give way. The Commons consented to advance their offer to 
2oo,ooo/., 3 which James agreed to accept. As, however, they 
had now included in the concessions for which they asked the 
purveyance and other matters which had been originally put 
forward by Salisbury, the actual increase of the King's revenue, 
after accounting for the late diminution in the impositions, 
would have amounted to about ioo,ooo/., 4 giving him, in all, 
about 56o,ooo/. a year, an amount which ought to have been 
sufficient for his wants, though it was considerably less than 
the sums which he had lately been spending. 

A memorial was accordingly drawn up, in which the Com- 
mons promised to give the sum upon which the parties to the 
contract had finally determined. In whatever way they might 
agree to raise it, it ' should have these two qualities : one, 
that it should be a revenue firm and stable ; another, that it 
should not be difficult in the levy.' They were, however, de- 
termined that not a penny should be laid upon the food of the 
people. A list was also drawn up of the concessions which 
were to be granted by the King, in which, in addition to the 

> C. J. i. 444- 

4 Aston to , July 24, S. P. Dom. Ivi. 42. a C. J. i. 451. 

4 Csesar makes it only 85,ooo/., before deducting the 2O,ooo/. for 
the decrease in the impositions ; but this appears to be much too little 
(Parl. Deb. in 1610, p. 164). The King valued the Purveyance and the 
Wards at 8o,ooo/., which would have left i2O,ooo/. if no other con- 
cessions had been made. C. J. i. 444. This 8o,ooo/. represents rather 
what might be made of these sources of revenue, than what they actually 


tenures and wardships, were named a considerable number of 
points in which the law or the prerogative pressed hardly upon 
the subject. Parliament was to meet in October to decide 
upon the mode in which the required sum was to be levied. 

Regarded from a merely financial point of view, the ar- 
rangement was excellent. It is difficult to say which of the 
two parties to the bargain would have gained most if it had 
been finally carried out. To the King, it would have brought 
an increase of income of about loc^ooo/., 1 and with the 
exercise of some economy, might have enabled him to meet 
his expenditure for some time to come. Yet the tax-payers 
would have gained even more than the sum which the King 
lost by his concessions. An enormous amount of money was 
intercepted by the lawyers, in consequence of the disputes 
which constantly turned on questions connected with rights 
now to be abandoned for ever ; and the annoyance caused 
by these disputes was almost as bad as the loss of the money 
actually spent upon them. 

The memorial was presented to the House of Lords on 
July 21. Two days later, the King came down to prorogue 
The King's Parliament. Before he did so he ordered that the 
ih^riev? clerk should read his answer to those grievances 
.mcesread. which he had reserved for further consideration. 
Upon this answer, in all probability, the future fate of the 
contract depended. If the King gave way on the points of 
which the Commons complained, every cause of variance be- 
tween him and the House would have been at once removed, 
and he would have found no opposition to his demands during 
the next session. The Commons seem to have taken it for 
granted that they would receive a favourable answer, for they 
inserted in the memorial, as an argument by which they hoped 
to convince their constituents of the wisdom of their course in 
assenting to the contract, that they had obtained a gracious 
answer to their grievances. 

Unfortunately, the main question in dispute was not of a 
nature to render an agreement probable. Was it likely that, 
after a steady refusal during so many years to alter the existing 
1 L. J. ii. 660. 


system of ecclesiastical government, James would give way at 
last? Nothing less than this would content the Commons. 
They knew the importance of their demand, and, until it was 
granted, they could never be expected to render a hearty 
support to the Crown. 

To their request that the deprived ministers might again 
be allowed to preach, provided that they abstained from criti- 
cising the institutions of the Church, James at once 
ticaigrieV refused to listen. No Church, he said, had ever 
existed which allowed ministers to preach who re- 
fused to subscribe to its doctrine and discipline. If there 
were any particular cases where he could, without injury to 
the Church, reverse the sentence which had been pronounced, 
he should be glad to hear of them. To the old grievance of 
pluralities and non-residence he answered that it was impos- 
sible to do everything at once, but that he would order the 
Bishops to see that every minister who had two benefices 
supplied a preacher to instruct the people in his absence. To 
the complaint that excommunications were inflicted for trifling 
offences, he replied that the Bishops had agreed not to excom- 
municate for contumacy as soon as the Parliament would pass 
a statute inflicting some other punishment upon that offence. 
He said that he would himself examine into the working of 
the Ecclesiastical Commission, and would take measures for 
preventing the recurrence of any irregularity which might 
have occurred. They knew how anxious he had been to settle 
the vexed question of prohibitions, and he hoped to bring the 
matter to a final settlement, in which the rights of the temporal 
courts should not be neglected. 

It is evident that these answers were intended to be 
conciliatory, and that James imagined that he had done his 
utmost to satisfy the Commons ; but it is also evident that he 
had yielded nothing which they were likely to accept. What 
they required was, that the exercise of the power of the Eccle- 
siastical Courts should be limited by statute, so that a barrier 
might be raised against any future encroachments of the clergy. 
What he offered was, that he would himself see that no abuses 
were committed Even if they could trust him to decide rightly 


on such complicated questions, what assurance had they that 
all the restrictions which he might place upon the courts might 
not at any moment be swept away ? 

Two other grievances related to civil affairs. There had 
long been a complaint that the inhabitants of the four counties 
The four which bordered upon Wales had been subjected to 
the jurisdiction of the President and Council of 
Wales. The gentlemen of these counties had protested 
vigorously, as they were thereby deprived of the influence 
which, in other parts of the kingdom, they were accustomed 
to exercise in courts of justice. There was some doubt whether 
the statute under which the jurisdiction was exercised really 
bore the interpretation which had been put upon it. To the 
demand of the Commons that he would exempt the four 
counties from the jurisdiction of the Council, James answered 
that he must make further inquiries before he could determine 
upon a subject of such difficulty. * 

The other grievance was of greater constitutional importance. 
Since the accession of James, proclamations had been issued far 
Prociama- niore frequently than had been the custom in the pre- 
tions. ceding reign. Nor were they confined to the simple 

enunciation of the duty of the subject to obey the law. Some 
of them, as the Commons with justice complained, condemned 
actions which were forbidden by no existing law ; others imposed 
penalties greater than those which were authorised by law, or 
prescribed that the accused persons should be brought before 
courts which had no right to try the offence. If these proceed- 
ings were not checked, the powers of legislation would, to all 
intents and purposes, fall into the hands of the King. James 
promised to be more careful in future, but he claimed a right 
of still issuing proclamations which went beyond the law, in 
cases of emergency, when no Parliament was sitting which 
could remedy the inconvenience. He engaged, however, to 
consult his Council and the judges on the subject, and to 
cause the proclamations already issued to be amended. 

1 The whole question is treated at some length by Mr. Heath in his 
introduction to the 'Argument on the Jurisdiction of the Marches,' in 
vol. vii. of Bacon's Works. 


Immediately after these answers had been given, Parliament 
was prorogued, and the members dispersed to their several 
The mem- constituencies, to give an account of their con- 
acS>unt e of duct, and to ask the support of the nation in the 
to 6 the C ^S measures which it would be necessary to take in 
tuencies. apportioning the new burdens which were to be laid 
upon the country. 

Of these conferences, excepting in one single instance, we 
know nothing. The electors of Leicestershire expressed their 
readiness to see the contract carried irto effect, provided that 
the bill for abolishing impositions were passed, and a more 
satisfactory answer were given to the petition of grievances. 1 
It is likely enough that in other parts more stress was laid upon 
the removal of grievances, and less upon the fulfilment of the 
contract. Partly through the fault of Salisbury, but still more 
through the fault of James, the Government and the country 
had lost touch, and the attempt to settle the King's revenue 
by bargain only brought out into stronger relief the separation 
of feeling which divided the nation from its rulers. When 
once attention had been directed, not to the necessity of fur- 
nishing the King with the means of carrying out national objects, 
but to the largeness of his personal expenses, the inevitable 
consequence was that the eyes of the constituents would be di- 
rected in the first place to the fact that the King would gain 
more than he gave, and this would be in itself sufficient to 
make the contract the theme of disparaging remarks in every 
quarter of the country. 

1 Par/. Deb. in 1610, p. 130. 



WHILST James and the Commons were struggling over the 

Great Contract, events were occurring on the Continent which 

portended the outbreak of a European conflagration. To the 

statesman of the early part of the seventeenth 

Troubled L n 

state of century Germany was what Spam became under the 
feeble rule of Charles II., and what the Turkish 
empire is to the politicians of the present day. It was there, if 
anywhere, that the outburst of smouldering passions would en- 
danger the existing political system of Europe. Yet it was un- 
fortunately far more easy to point out the causes of the malady 

i SI7 . than to remove them. The Reformation had come 
The Refer- upon Germany before its national consolidation had 
Germany. been effected; and to the difficulty of deciding 
whether its population was to be Protestant or Catholic was 
added the difficulty of deciding where the power of settling the 
question really lay. 

In 1555 the preliminary question was resolved by the Peace 
of Augsburg. The lay princes were to be allowed, without fear 

1555- f opposition from the Emperor, to introduce Luther- 
CujusRe- anism into their territories. On the most important 

gio, ejus 

Reiigio. subject of the day, the central government of the 
Empire relinquished its claim to be heard. 

The maxim that the religion of a country belongs to him 
to whom the country itself belongs, which was thus adopted as 
the basis of the ecclesiastical settlement of the Empire, is seldom 
mentioned at the present day without obloquy. It has been 


forgotten that it was once a landmark on the path to freedom. 
For it was directed not against the religion of individuals, but 
against the jurisdiction of the Emperor. It was in the nature 
of things that local toleration should precede personal toleration, 
and that before the claims of the individual conscience could 
be listened to, the right of each State to resist external dictation 
should obtain recognition. That it was the duty of the lawful 
magistrate to suppress false religion was never doubted. The 
only question was who the persecutor was to be. 

The smallness of the German territories was undoubtedly 
conducive to theological bitterness. Nowhere were clerical 
coteries so narrow-minded, nowhere was the circle of orthodoxy 
fenced about with such subtle distinctions as in these petty 
states. But the same cause which narrowed the creed and 
soured the temper of the court divines, rendered the lot of the 
defenders of uncourtly opinions comparatively easy. It was 
better to be persecuted in a State of which the frontier was only 
ten miles from the capital than in a huge kingdom like France 
or England. If the Emperor had won the day, and had imposed 
a uniform creed upon the whole of Germany, escape would 
only have been possible at the expense of exile in a foreign 
land. Banishment from Saxony or Bavaria was a very different 
thing. In a few hours the fugitive Lutheran or the fugitive 
Catholic would be welcomed by crowds who spoke the same 
mother tongue with himself, and would be invited by a friendly 
prince to enjoy at once the satisfaction of martyrdom and the 
sweets of popularity. 

If the States of Germany had all been in the hands of laymen, 
it is not unlikely that the treaty of 1555 would have been ac- 
cepted as a final settlement. Though Lutheranism 
siasticai alone had been recognised by it, it is hardly probable 
that any serious difficulty would have been caused 
by the defection of several of the princes to Calvinism. 

The rock upon which the religious peace of Germany was 
wrecked was the ecclesiastical reservation. A stop was to be 
put to the further secularisation of the Church lands ; yet it 
was hardly wise to expect that this stipulation would be scru- 
pulously observed. Under the cover of sympathy with the 


Protestant inhabitants of the ecclesiastical districts, the princes 
were able to satisfy their greed of territory, and the remaining 
abbeys and bishoprics in the North of Germany were, under 
one pretext or another, annexed by their Protestant neighbours. 

At last a check was placed upon these encroachments. An 
attempt to secularise the ecclesiastical electorate of Cologne 
1582. and the bishopric of Strasburg ended in total failure, 
t^oiic'* The prelates, whose lands stretched almost con- 
reaction, tinuously along the banks of the Rhine, were too 
near to the Spanish garrisons in the Netherlands to be assailed 
with ease. 

The repulse was followed by a Catholic reaction in the eccle- 
siastical states. Protestant preachers were silenced or driven into 
exile ; Protestant congregations were dispersed ; and, before 
the end of the sixteenth century, the inhabitants of these states 
were once more contented members of the Roman Catholic 
Church. The ease with which the change was effected is not 
to be ascribed to the sword alone. The selfishness of the 
princes, and the wrangling of the theologians, were little cal- 
culated to attract the hearts of men by the side of the discipline 
and devotion of the Jesuits. " Order is Heaven's first law," and 
it was only when Protestants could appeal to an order more 
noble and more divine that they had any chance of victory. 

In this way, at the commencement of the seventeenth century, 
the Protestants saw themselves threatened in turn, and a cry 
Proteant arose from their ranks demanding the revision of the 
demands. Peace of Augsburg. " Recognise," they said in effect> 
" the changes which have been already made, and we, on our 
part, will cease to encroach further on the Church lands." In 
the same spirit they approached the question of the imperial 
courts, which were naturally inclined to decide disputed points 
in accordance with the existing law, and it was impossible 
to deny that the existing law was not on the side of the 
Protestants. A demand was accordingly made that the dis- 
putes then pending should not be brought before the courts at 
,all, but should be settled by amicable negotiation. 

Few will be found at the present day to deny the fairness 
of these terms. They were, in fact, substantially the same as 


those which, after forty weary years, were conceded at the 
Peace of Westphalia. The line drawn would have separated not 
merely Protestant from Catholic governments ; it would, with 
the single but most important exception of the dominions of 
the House of Austria, have separated Protestant from Catholic 
populations. The proposal was one which contained the 
elements of permanency, because it was substantially just. Yet, 
unless the Catholics were prepared to take into consideration 
the wishes and interests of the populations, it was impossible 
1606. for them to regard such terms otherwise than with 
Objections the deepest loathing. To them, the secularisation of 
Catholics, the Church lands was nothing better than an act of 
high-handed robbery. 

Yet, great as the difficulty was, it might not have been im- 
possible to overcome it, 1 if it had not formed part of another 
was the ^^ * ^ ar S er question. For the Catholics saw well 
Empire to enough that, for all practical purposes, they were 

be dissolved? , ,-,, , 

asked to decree the dissolution of the Empire. The 
authority of that venerable institution had been deeply impaired 
by the Peace of Augsburg. Would any remnant of power be 
left to it, if it were unable to vindicate the legal title of the 
suppressed ecclesiastical foundations ? If the Empire were to 
fall, what was to take its place ? It was easy to talk of settling 
difficulties by amicable negotiation instead of bringing them 
before a legal tribunal ; but could anyone seriously doubt that 
amicable negotiations carried on between a hundred petty 
sovereigns would end in anarchy at home and impotence 
abroad ? 2 

Such arguments were very difficult to answer. But they 
could not be answered at all excepting by men who were 
resolved to hold fast by the substance of order, even when they 
were breaking up its existing form. Unless, therefore, the 
Protestant leaders could make up their minds to renounce all 

1 By some such compromise as that which was adopted at Miihlhausen 
in 1620, when the Catholics bound themselves not to use force to recover 
the lands to which they still laid claim as of right. 

2 What Germany was in its disorganised state may be judged from 
Ritter's Geschichte der Deutschen Union. 


personal ambition, and, above all, to keep themselves clear from 
every suspicion of seeking to accomplish their own selfish 
objects under the cover of the general confusion, they would 
find their most legitimate designs frustrated by the swelling 
tide of adverse opinion. 

When minds are in this inflamed state, a collision is 
almost unavoidable. In 1607, in consequence of an attack 

. made, in the preceding year, by the Protestants of 

Theoccupa- Donauworth upon a Catholic abbot, the city was 
Donu- placed under the ban of the Empire, and occupied 
by Maximilian, Duke of Bavaria. In 1608, the 
Protestant Union sprang into existence, as a confederacy formed 
,608. in defence of religion ; it owed what sympathy it 
The Prates- obtained to the idea that it was in reality, as well as 
Union. in name, a defensive body. Unhappily this was not 
the case. Its nominal head, Frederick IV., the Elector Pala- 
tine of the day, was contemplating fresh annexations of eccle- 
siastical territory ; and its guiding spirit, Christian of Anhalt, 
was prepared to put forth all his unrivalled powers of intrigue 
to sweep the house of Austria and the Catholic religion out of 
the Empire together. 1 

In the following year, the step which they had taken was 
met by the formation of a Catholic League, at the head of 
1609. which was Maximilian of Bavaria. It was plain that 
The Catho- t h e two parties could not long remain in such anta- 
League. gonistic positions without coming to blows. As yet, 
however, the Catholic League was the weaker of the two 
associations. With the exception of the Duke of Bavaria, not 
a single secular prince had joined it, and neither the resources 
nor the character of the bishops fitted them for carrying on 
military operations. Events had recently occurred in Austria 
which made it doubtful how far Maximilian would meet with 
the support of the Austrian Government. Ferdinand of Gratz, 
indeed, the cousin of the Emperor Rudolph II. , still held his 

1 See Gindely's Rudolf IF. , and especially his account (i. 159) of the 
Elector Palatine's instructions to his ambassadors in the Diet of Ratisbon, 
ordering them to admit no agreement which did not put an end to the prin- 
ciple of the Ecclesiastical Reservation. 


ground for the Pope and the Jesuits in his own dominions, 
which comprised Styria, Carniola, and Carinthia ; but a 
successful revolution had recently put Austria, Hungary, and 
Moravia into the hands of the Emperor's brother Matthias, 
whilst Rudolph himself retained Bohemia alone. Both Rudolph 
and Matthias, weakened by the competition in which they had 
engaged, were forced, sorely against their will, to grant religious 
freedom to the estates of their several provinces. 

Under these circumstances, Maximilian was obliged to turn 
to Spain for help. He found that the Spanish Government 
was inclined to assist him, although it was jealous of his per- 
sonal influence in Germany. It was finally agreed that the 
King of Spain should furnish a sum of money, on condition 
that he should be named director of the League. 

A few months before the formation of the League, an event 

had occurred which was calculated to bring about a collision 

between the rival confederacies. On March 25. John 

Death of J J 

the Duke of William, Duke of Cleves, died without male heirs, 
and left his dominions exposed to all the evils of a 
disputed succession. At such a time, the succession to any one 
of the numerous States of Germany could not fail to be treated 
importance as a party question. But there was not one of all 
diluted those States the possession of which was of equal 
succession, importance to that of the territories which were now 
in dispute. It was not merely that the successful candidate 
would be possessed of the acknowledged right of imposing his 
own religion upon the inhabitants of an extensive and flourish- 
ing district, but that he would be able, if war should again 
break out, to command a position of the greatest strategical 
importance. The dominions of the late duke were an aggre- 
gate of petty states, which had been brought into his family by 
a series of well-limed marriages, and which formed a tolerably 
compact territory, lying along the banks of the Rhine, excepting 
where they were interrupted by the narrow strip of land be- 
longing to the Elector of Cologne. In the hands of the last 
duke, who had been a Catholic, they not only connected the 
outlying bishoprics of Miinster, Paderborn, and Hildesheim 
with the Ecclesiastical Electorates and the Spanish Netherlands, 


but, by their command of the Rhine, they served to interrupt 
the communications of the Protestants of Central Germany 
with the Dutch Republic. In the hands of a Protestant all 
these conditions would be reversed ; and it happened that the 
only claimants whose pretensions were not absolutely ridiculous 
were Protestants. 

The eldest sister of the last duke had married the Duke of 
Prussia, and had died without male heirs. Her eldest daugh- 
ter, who had married the Elector of Brandenberg, 
to the sue- was also dead, and her title had descended to her 
son, the Electoral Prince. The second sister of the 
late Duke of Cleves, on the other hand, was still alive ; and 
her husband, the Count Palatine of Neuburg, declared that the 
younger sister, being alive, was to be preferred to the descen- 
dants of the elder sister, who was dead. The whole case was 
still further complicated by a number of Imperial grants and 
marriage contracts, the stipulations of which were far from 
coinciding with one another. It was upon one of these that 
the Elector of Saxony founded a claim, which he hoped to 
prosecute successfully by the help of the Emperor, as he had 
carefully held aloof from the proceedings of the Princes of the 
Union. There were also other pretenders, who asked only for 
a portion of the land, or for an equivalent sum of money. 

At first, it seemed not unlikely that the Elector of Branden- 
berg and the Palatine of Neuburg would come to blows. They 
The Elector ^> otn entered the duchy in order to take possession, 
cf i3randen- They were, however, induced by the Landgrave of 

berg and the ' f 

palatine of Hesse and other Protestant princes to come to a 
take P u r 5es- mutual understanding, and they agreed that Cleves 
should be governed in their joint names until the 
controversy between them could be decided. 

It was not likely that the Catholic party would look on 
Th quietly at these proceedings. At their request, the 

Archduke Emperor cited the pretenders before his court, and 

Leopold .,.. , -....' 

seizes juiiers no notice having been taken of this citation, he 
of the"* 1 ' put the Possessioners, as they were called, to the ban 
Emperor. of the Empire) and ordered the Archduke Leopold, 

who, as Bishop of Strasburg and Passau, had an interest in 


resisting the encroachments of the Protestants, to take posses- 
sion of the territory until the question was settled. 

The Possessioners refused to admit these pretensions. Not 
only was the Emperor's Court notoriously partial in questions 
of this kind, but it was supposed that he was determined to set 
aside the grants of his predecessors, and that he would himself 
lay claim to Cleves as a fief vacant by default of male heirs. 
The Archduke, supported by a force which he had raised with 
the assistance of the League, obtained possession of the town 
of Juliers, by means of the treachery of the commander of the 
garrison, but was unable to advance further in the face of the 
forces of the Possessioners. These princes, on the other hand, 
appealed to foreign powers for aid in a struggle by which the 
interests of the whole of Western Europe were affected. 

The King of France had already declared himself in their 
favour. When he first heard of the death of the Duke, he at 
once said that he would never permit such an im- 
sioners sup- portant position to fall into the hands of the House 
fhelbn/of of Austria. He openly declared that he was ready 
to assist the Possessioners, not because he cared who 
obtained the inheritance, but because he would not allow either 
Austria or Spain to establish itself at his gates. 1 At the same 
time he ordered his troops to march towards the frontier, in 
order to assure the German Protestants that he did not intend 
to desert their cause. 

. The assistance of the Dutch, in a cause which interested 
them so deeply, might certainly be counted upon ; and, although 
the matter in dispute was of less immediate impor- 
Hoiiand and tance to England, yet it might fairly be expected that 
James would not be content to look on when Pro- 
testant Germany was assailed by Austria and Spain. He was, 
perhaps, the more ready to give his help as he foresaw that the 
forces on the other side were utterly unable to offer a prolonged 
resistance. The divisions in the Austrian family had rendered 
the Emperor powerless for the time, and Spain was engaged in 
the suicidal operation of expelling from her territory the de- 

1 Carew to Salisbury, April 5, 1609, S. P. France, 


scendants of the conquered Moors, who were, not without 
reason, suspected to be wanting in attachment to the faith of 
their Christian oppressors. James, therefore, who knew that 
the independence of Central Germany was the best guarantee 
for the permanent peace of Europe, consented to send a force 
to the assistance of the Princes; but he prudently declared 
that, as the French and Dutch were far more interested in the 
question than he could possibly be, he considered that they 
ought to be the first to move. 

He was the more unwilling to engage precipitately in the 
war, as the King of France seemed to be hanging back, under 
Projects 6f pretence of waiting for the meeting of the Princes of 
Henry iv. fa e Union, which was appointed to take place in 
January, at Hall in Swabia. It was supposed in England that 
this delay was caused by his unwillingness to engage the arms 
of France in the support of a Protestant cause. 

The English Government was mistaken. Henry was 
thoroughly in earnest. He had no doubt a personal object 
which gave zest to his public designs. The old profligate had 
made advances to the Princess of Conde, and had been deeply 
irritated when the young beauty had fled to the Spanish 
Netherlands, to save her honour. It was part of his quarrel 
with the Archdukes that they refused to deliver her up, though 
he protested loudly that he was only offended in his royal dig- 
nity by the disobedience of a subject, and that it was a mere 
calumny to say that he was in any way moved by the lady's 
charms. l It was not, however, Henry's habit to aim at personal 
satisfaction only. As far as we are able to judge of his inten- 
tions, he had made up his mind, as soon as the war of Cleves 
was at an end, to throw himself boldly upon the Archdukes' 
dominions in the Low Countries. At the same time he hoped 
to secure Lorraine by negotiating a marriage between the 
Dauphin and the eldest daughter of the Duke, who had no sons 
to inherit his possessions and he calculated that there would 
be little difficulty in driving the Spaniards from Franche Comte. 
Still greater importance was attached by him to the campaign 

1 Ubaldini to Borghese, April V Roman Transcripts, R. 0. 


which he projected in Italy. For the first time since Charles 
VIII. had crossed the Alps, a monarch was upon the throne of 
France who was aware that Italy would be more valuable as an 
ally than as a conquered province. On the other hand, Charles 
Emmanuel, the Duke of Savoy, an able but unscrupulous prince, 
had spent the greater part of his reign in a fruitless endeavour 
to extend his dominions .on the side of France. He had now 
learned, by a bitter experience, that he could have no hope of 
success in that direction ; and he was ready to turn his energies 
against the Spanish possessions in the Milanese. There was, 
therefore, no difficulty in establishing an understanding between 
the two powers ; and negotiations were commenced, which 
resulted in a treaty by which they bound themselves to join in 
the conquest of Milan, 1 which, with the exception of a portion 
which was to be the price of the co-operation of the Republic 
of Venice, was to be annexed to the Duke's dominions. Al- 
though in the treaty the French only stipulated for the de- 
struction of the fortress of Montmeillan, by which Savoy was 
commanded, it is probable that there was an understanding 
that, in the event of complete success, the whole of Savoy 
should be ceded to France. 2 It was also agreed that the Prince 
of Piedmont should marry the eldest daughter of the King 
of France. A large army was collected, in the course of the 
spring, on the Italian frontier, under the Duke's old opponent, 
Marshal Lesdiguieres, and a force was prepared to assist the 
Moriscos in defending their homes in Spain, in order to prevent 
the Spanish Government from sending any assistance to Milan. 
The King himself was to command the army which was to 
assemble in Champagne. 

It is not probable that under any circumstances Henry 
would have been able to carry out the whole of his plans. 
But if he had succeeded in establishing a strong barrier on the 
Lower Rhine between the Spanish Netherlands and the Catholic 
States, and had placed the Milanese in the hands of the Duke 

1 Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, v. 2, 137. 

2 See, besides, the French authorities quoted by Martin, Hist, d'e 
France, xii. 153. Beecher to Salisbury, Nov. 21, 1609 ; Feb. 2, 9, and, l&i 
March 19 ; April 10 ; May 3, 1610, S. P. France. 



of Savoy, he would have isolated Spain from Austria, and 
Austria from the Netherlands. The links which bound the 
unwieldy fabric together would have been broken, as forty 
years afterwards they were broken by Richelieu. 

Whilst Henry was engaged in preparation for the campaign 
in the spring, he had the satisfaction of knowing that in Ger- 
Preparation man y everything was going on in accordance with 
for the war. \^ w j s hes. The Princes of the Union met at Hall 
in January, and decided upon taking up the cause of the 
Possessioners. The forces which they agreed to furnish were 
to be placed under the command of Prince Christian of Anhalt. 
The Dutch promised to send four thousand men, and England 
was to furnish an equal number. The latter force was to be 
taken from amongst the English and Scotch who were in the 
pay of the United Provinces, and who were to return to their 
old service after the conclusion of the war. It was to be placed 
under the command of Sir Edward Cecil, a son of the Treasurer's 
elder brother, the Earl of Exeter. 

On their part the Catholic Princes had given up all hope of 
being able to resist the forces which were being brought against 
them. There seemed at one time a prospect that Spinola's 
veterans would throw themselves on the French line of 
march ; but even if the position of the Court of Brussels between 
France and Holland had been less dangerous than it was, its 
want of money was so great that there was reason to fear that a 
mutiny would break out in the army as soon as it was brought 
into the field. 1 Under these circumstances resistance was 
impossible, and the Archduke was obliged to submit to the 
humiliation of granting permission to the French to pass 
through the territory of the Netherlands on their way to 

The courier who carried this permission was still on his 
way to Paris when the knife of Ravaillac freed the House of 
^Murder of Austria from its fears. The murder of the King as 
Henry iv. ^g wag G Qft[ n g ou t to join the army was greeted 
tvith .a shout of exultation from every corner of Catholic Europe. 

1 Trumbull to Salisbury, April 18, 1610, S. P. Flanders 


Those who were endangered by his policy knew well that he 
had left no successor who was capable of carrying out his 

James at once declared ' that, whether he had the co-opera- 
tion of the French or not, he was determined to fulfil his 
engagements to the German Princes. He sent Sir Thomas 
Edmondes, who had already served with distinction in several 
important diplomatic employments, to Paris, in order to learn 
what was likely to be the consequence of the death of Henry 
IV. On his arrival, Edmondes found that the late King's 
widow, Mary de Medicis, was quietly in possession of the 
government, as Regent, in the name of her son Louis XIII., 
who was still a child. It was not to be expected that she 
would attempt to carry out her husband's designs. Even if 
she had had the power, she was far from having the inclination, 
to enter upon a general war. Educated as she had been at a 
petty Italian Court, she had learned from her childhood to 
look with awe and admiration upon the grandeur of the Spanish 

The Queen Regent had never forgiven her husband's rejec- 
tion of the proposal, made whilst the negotiations for the Truce 
of Antwerp were in progress, for a double marriage between 
her children and those of the King of Spain. Now that power 
had unexpectedly fallen into her hands, she was anxious to 
carry out the plan which had failed to obtain the approval of 
her husband. 

Yet even under the influence of these feelings, the Regent 
was unable to refuse to carry out that part, at least, of her 
The new husband's plan which consisted in sending troops to 
decfdesupon tne siege of Juliers. It was impossible that any 
forclTfo ru ^ er f France should allow the House of Austria 
juiiers. to extend its dominions upon the Rhine. It was 
therefore in vain that the Nuncio at Paris 3 exercised all his 
influence in endeavouring to divert her from her purpose. 

1 Instructions to Edmondes, May, S. P. France. The Council to 
Winwood, May 18, 1610, Winw. iii. 165. 

2 Nuncio at Paris to the Nuncio at Praeue. May ' . ^If3i Winw. iii. 

J 30, June 2, 

171, 176. 

11 2 


After a short delay, it was announced that Marshal de la 
Chatre would be ready to march on July 5. l 

Before, however, De la Chatre arrived at Juliers, the siege 

had already commenced. The English and Dutch contingents 

came up on July 1 7, and they felt themselves strong 

The siege. . J 3 . . " , J . 

enough to do without the assistance of the French. 
They were the more eager to reduce the place with all possible 
speed, as they were not without apprehension that the Regent 
might be intending to play them false. It was to no purpose 
that the French pressed for a delay. 2 The works were carried 
on vigorously, under the superintendence of Prince Maurice, 
who was in command of the Dutch troops ; and when De la 
Chatre arrived on August 8, he found that the siege was already 
far advanced. 

On the 22nd the garrison surrendered. The commander, 
in hopes of obtaining better terms, opened negotiations with 

De la Chatre. He was anxious to put the place 

AUg. 22. 

Surrender into the hands of the French. This was, of course, 
refused by the allies, and Juliers was placed under 
the charge of the Princes of the Union. 

The reduction of Juliers had been accomplished without 
any great difficulty. Winwood, who had been despatched to 
winwood's Diisseldorf, in order to conduct, in conjunction with 
negotiations. ^ e jr renc h ambassador Boississe, the negotiations 
which were to decide upon the disputed succession, had a far 
more difficult task before him. James was anxious for peace, and 
little inclined to allow the burden of maintaining it to fall on his 
own shoulders. " My ambassador," he wrote, " can do me no 
better service than in assisting to the treaty of this reconciliation, 
wherein he may have as good occasion to employ his tongue and 
his pen and I wish it may be with as good success as General 
Cecil and his soldiers have done their swords and their m;it- 
tocks ; I only wish that I may handsomely wind myself out of 
this quarrel, wherein the principal parties do so little for them- 
selves." 3 An agreement was unfortunately not easy to arrive at. 

1 Edmondes to Winwood, June 14, Winw. iii. 182. 

2 Winwood to Salisbury, July 22, S, P, Hoi. 27. 

9 The King to Salisbury, Hatfield MSS, 134, fol. 141. 


The Elector of Saxony had thrown himself into the hands 
of the Emperor, and had succeeded in obtaining his good-will. 
He now came forward with a demand that the whole matter in 
dispute should be referred to the Emperor, and that, in the 
meanwhile, he should be admitted to share in the possession 
of the disputed territories. This proposal was considered by the 
other two claimants as inadmissible. They offered to submit 
to the arbitration of the Princes of the Empire, who were not 
likely to support any claimant supported by the Emperor. 1 
Under such circumstances all hope of coming to an agreement 
was at an end. The negotiations were broken off, and Winwood 
returned to the Hague, leaving all the important questions 
connected with the Cleves succession still unsettled. 

Whilst the armies were occupied with the siege of Juliers, 
the English Government signed a treaty with France, by which 
the two powers engaged mutually to furnish one 
Treaty with another with troops, if either of them should be 
attacked by a foreign enemy. A stipulation was 
also inserted that, if the merchants of either country should 
suffer wrong in the dominions of a third power, both govern- 
ments should join in making reprisals upon the subjects of the 
offending State. 

A few weeks after the fall of Juliers James brought to an 
end another controversy in which he was far more deeply 
interested than in the defence of Protestant Europe against 
the encroachments of Spaia In May 1609, the conference 
1609. which had been convened at Falkland to discuss 
E r So Ct c" f ' ne 1 ues ti n of episcopacy broke up without coming 
in Scotland to any conclusion, 2 but its failure only made James 
more resolute to attain his end in some other way. At the 
Parliament which met in June, an Act was passed entrusting 
the Bishops with jurisdiction over testamentary and matri- 
monial causes, and a few months later, Spottiswoode received 
from the King a grant of a place amongst the Lords of Session. 
In the same year, without a shadow of authority from Parlia- 
ment or Assembly, James established a Court of High Com- 

1 Winwood to Salisbury, Sept. 12, 26, Oct. 12, 26, S. P. Holland. 
* Calderwood, vii. 26. 


mission in each of the two Archiepiscopal provinces. From 
The High that moment fine and imprisonment would be the 
Commission. } o ^ no j. on iy o f t nose wno had been guilty of acts 
of immorality, or who had committed themselves to heretical 
doctrines, but also of those ministers or teachers who questioned 
in any point the order established in the Church. The same 
fate awaited them if they uttered a word in favour of the men 
who were lying under the King's displeasure. 

With such an instrument as this in his hands, James could 
have but little difficulty in obtaining the consent of an Assem- 
bly elected under the influence of the Bishops to anything 
Assembly that might be laid before it. Such an Assembly met 
summoned a j Glasgow in Tune 1610. The names of those who 

to meet at J 

Glasgow. were to compose it had previously been sent down 
to the different Presbyteries, 1 and there were probably few, if 
any, of them who dared to make an independent choice. 

This Assembly, thus nominated, gave its consent to the 
introduction of Episcopacy. It began by acknowledging that 
it assents to the Assembly at Aberdeen, in 1605, was unlawful, 
ductTonof anc ^ that the convocation of Assemblies belonged to 
Episcopacy, the King. The Bishops, it was declared, were to be 
Moderators in every diocesan Synod, and all sentences of ex- 
communication or absolution were to be submitted to them for 
their approval. They were also to judge of the fitness of 
persons who obtained presentations, and to ordain them to the 
ministry. The Bishop was, moreover, empowered to try any 
of the clergy who might be accused of any delinquency, and, 
with the assistance of the neighbouring ministers, to deprive 
him of his office. 2 

Thus, after a struggle of many years, James had succeeded 
in establishing, under the shadow of Episcopacy, his own 
Causes of authority over the Presbyterian Assemblies. The 
of e the Kbl's means to which he owed his victory sufficed to bring 
project. disgrace upon it in the eyes of succeeding generations. 
Not only were the clergy deprived, by unjustifiable construc- 
tions of the law, of their natural leaders, but they themselves 

vii. 92. * Ibid. vii. 99. 


were convinced, by sad experience, of the inutility of making 
any further resistance to the overwhelming power of the King, 
which might, by means of the instrumentality of the High 
Commission, be brought to bear upon them at any moment. 
As if all this had not been enough, James allowed himself to 
employ Dunbar in tempting the Assembly, by means of what, 
under whatever specious names it might be called, was nothing 
less than direct bribery. 1 

The King, unable as he was to divest his Bishops of the 
purely official character which in reality belonged to them, did 
Oct. 21. his best to conceal it from the eyes of those who 
ofthe Crati n m 'ght be inclined to look too closely into his work. 
Bishops. The Archbishop of Glasgow and two of the other 
Bishops were summoned to London, where they received from 
the English prelates the consecration, which, as soon as they 
were once more in their own country, they in turn conferred 
on the remainder of their brethren. It was in vain, however, 
to attempt to place them on an equality with the English 
Bishops. However much the English Bishops were dependent 
upon the Crown, they were supported by the great body 
of the clergy, who submitted contentedly to their jurisdiction. 
Even if the House of Commons had had its way, their office, 
though it might have been restricted, would certainly not 
have been abolished. In Scotland, those who claimed to 
hold a similar position to that which had been occupied by 
Whitgift and Bancroft, were nothing more than puppets in 
the hands of the King, and were looked on with detestation 
by one part of the population, and with indifference by the 

Already, before the consecration of the Scottish Bishops, 

1 Spottiswoode (iii. 207) says that this money was merely paid in satis- 
faction of a debt owing to the Constant Moderators for their services. But 
the money thus paid only amounted to 3,oio/. Scots. Whereas, on May 8, 
the following order was directed to Dunbar: "It is our pleasure, will, 
and express command, that against this ensuing Assembly, to be kept at 
Our City of Glasgow, you shall have in readiness the sum of ten thousand 
marks, Scottish money, to be divided and dealt among such persons as 
you shall hold fitting by the advice of the Archbishop of St. Andrews and 
Glasgow," &c. Botfield, Original Letters, i. 425, 429. 


James had remembered that he had promised to reconsider his 
claim to forbid by proclamations acts which were not contrary 
to any existing law. 

On September 20, Coke was sent for, and two questions 
were put to him by Salisbury, first, whether the King could by 
The judges proclamation prohibit the building of new houses in 
consulted London ; and secondly, whether he could in the 

on the pro- J ' 

ciamations. same way forbid the manufacture of starch. The 
first of the proclamations in question had been issued with the 
intention of checking what was then considered to be the 
overgrowth of the capital, the other in order to prevent the 
use of wheat for any other purpose than that of supplying 
food. Coke asked for leave to take the opinion of other 
judges. It was in vain that the Chancellor, with Northampton 
and Bacon, attempted to draw out of him an opinion favourable 
to the Crown. They ^vere obliged to allow him to consult 
with three of the judges, and it was thought advisable to issue, 
on the same day, a proclamation by which the more obnoxious 
of the former proclamations were on various pretexts called in, 
though the King's right to interfere in cases of emergency was 
expressly reserved. A few days afterwards, the four judges 
delivered their opinion in the presence of the Privy Council. 
The King, they said, could not create any offence by his pro- 
clamation. He could only admonish his subjects to keep the 
law. Nor could he, by proclamation, make offences punishable 
in the Star Chamber which were not by law under the juris- 
diction of that Court. That there might be no doubt of their 
opinions on this question, they formally declared that the 
King had no prerogative but that which the law of the land 
allowed him. 

This firmness on the part of the judges was sufficient to 
check the attack which had been made upon the constitution. 
For some time proclamations imposing fine and imprisonment 
ceased to appear. 1 When in the course of the following year 
a fresh proclamation was put forth against the increase of 
buildings, James contented himself with directing that offenders 
should be punished according to the law. The names of the 
1 Rep. xii. 74. 

1610 THE NEW SESSION. 105 

men who rendered so great a service to their country should 
never be forgotten. The three judges who joined Coke in this 
protest were Chief Justice Fleming, 1 Chief Baron Tanfield, 
and Baron Altham. The King, however, took no pains to make 
this opinion of the judges known, and Parliament met under 
the impression that he was determined to maintain the right 
which he had claimed. 

The new session commenced on October 16. On the igth, 
the House of Commons showed its determination to carry on 
Opening of ^ s labours in the spirit of the former session by ap- 
the session, pointing a Committee to review the Bills which had 
failed in passing, and to select such as they thought were proper 
to be sent up once more to the House of Lords. 2 The Lower 
House was very thinly attended. On the 22nd not more than a 
hundred members were present. It was evident that there was 
little heart for the business upon which they were to be en- 
gaged. Still it was necessary to do something. On the 23rd a 
message was sent by the Lords to request the Lower House to 
meet them at a conference. Of that conference no account 
has been handed down to us. A few days later, however, the 
Commons sent to the Lords for a copy of the King's answers to 
their petition of grievances. It can hardly be doubted that they 
were hesitating to proceed with the contract until they could have 
a more satisfactory answer than that which had been given in the 
last session. On the 3ist, the day after they received the copy, 
they were summoned to Whitehall. James begged them to let 
him know whether they intended to go on with the contract or 
not. If not, he would take some other course for the supply of 
his wants. He was resolved to cut his coat according to his 
cloth, but he could do nothing till he knew how much cloth 
he was to have. 

1 The occurrence of Fleming's name here should make us cautious in 
supposing that he was influenced by servility in his judgment on Bate's 
case. He was regarded by his contemporaries as an honourable man. In 
1604 the House of Commons did him the high honour of requesting him to 
retain his seat upon his appointment to the office of Chief Baron. 

2 Cott. MSS. Tit. F. iv. fol. 130. The proceedings of this session will 
be found in far/, Deb, in 1610, 126-145. 


Of the debates of the next two days, if any there were, we are 
in complete ignorance. On November 3, Sir Maurice Berkeley 
Breach with moved that the King should be informed that nothing 
the King. could be done until a larger number of the members 
were present The House was in no mood to offer such excuses. 
Sir Roger Owen followed by declaring the terms upon which 
he was willing to proceed a course which was, doubtless, 
more satisfactory to those who were present than Berkeley's 
complimentary speeches. A full answer, he said, must be 
given to the grievances, and the King must resign all claim to 
lay impositions. The money granted in return must be levied 
in such a way as to be least burdensome to the country. The 
King must not be allowed to alienate the new revenue, nor to 
increase its value by tampering with the coinage. If doubts 
arose as to the meaning of any of the articles of the contract, 
they were to be referred to Parliament for explanation. Care 
must also be taken that the King did not allow himself to 
neglect summoning Parliaments in future, which he might do 
if his wants were fully supplied. 

It is not known whether these propositions were in any 
way adopted by the House. But the impression which they 
produced upon the King was instantaneous. It is probable 
that he no longer looked upon the contract with the eyes with 
which he had regarded it at the close of the former session. 
Representations had been made to him that, after all, he 
would not gain much by the bargain. His ordinary deficit 
had been 5o,ooo/., and his extraordinary expenses were reckoned 
at ioo,ooo/. As 2o,ooo/. had been added to his expenditure 
to defray the annual expenses of the household of the Prince 
of Wales, and as, at the same time, his income had been dimin- 
ished by 8,ooo/., in consequence of the concessions which he 
had made in his answer to the petition of grievances ' he would 
have to face a deficit of i78,ooo/. Of the 2oo,ooo/. to be 
brought by the Great Contract only 98,0007. would be net gain, 
and the future deficit, if the contract were completed, would 
begin at 8o,ooo/. and was likely to increase as his children 
grew up and required larger establishments to support their 
1 Par/. Deb. in 1610, 165. 


dignity. In the face of this difficulty James was told that it 
would be possible for him to obtain the required revenue with- 
out having recourse to Parliament at all. By giving a little more 
care to the condition of his landed property, and by putting in 
force with the utmost rigour all the rights which he possessed 
against his subjects, he might obtain a considerable increase 
of revenue. As a mere matter of business, considering that 
his present rate of expenditure could hardly be suddenly con- 
tracted, James had every reason for believing that the contract 
would not put an end to his difficulties, though it might make 
it easier to do so than it had been before. 1 

With such ideas in his mind, it must have been with con- 
siderable irritation that he heard of the determination of the 
Commons to include the grievances in the contract. He at 
once resolved to take up new ground. On the 5th, he sent a 
message to the House by the Speaker. In the first place, he 
told them that they must grant him a supply of 5oo,ooo/. to pay 
his debts, before he would hear anything more about the contract. 
When the contract was afterwards taken up he expected to 
have a larger sum granted than he had agreed in the previous 
session to accept. Instead of taking 200,000!. in return for the 
concessions which he was to make, he must have that sum in 
addition to the value of those concessions, or, in other words, 
he expected a grant of an additional annual revenue of about 
300, ooo/. The whole of this sum must be so raised as to be 
' certain, firm, and stable.' The House of Commons must also 
provide a compensation for the officers of the Court of Wards. 

The Commons were not likely to consent to these terms. 
If the contract was to be regarded as a bargain they had already 
offered about twice as much as the King's concessions were 
worth, and James, in refusing to meet their wishes further in 
answer to their grievances, had made it impossible for them to 
regard his demands in any higher light than in that of a bar- 
gain. They informed the King that they could not proceed in 
accordance with his last declaration. The King accepted their 

1 The rough draft of the paper printed in Part. Deb. in 1610, 163, is 
in Caesar's handwriting ; and Cttsar, no doubt, laid the opinions which arc 
there maintained before the King. 


refusal ; and the negotiations, which had lasted so long, came 
to an end. 

The King's answer was delivered on the i4th. The same 
afternoon a conference was held with the Lords. Salisbury was 
Salisbury sad at heart at the failure of his scheme. ' He well per- 
obtailfa l ceived, ' he said, that the Commons ' had a great desire 
supply. t o h ave effected that great contract,' and he knew ' that 
the King's Majesty had willingly given his assent to the same, and 
that yet, nevertheless, it proceeded not, wherein he could not 
find the impediment, but that God did not bless it.' l If they 
would not proceed with the contract, they might perhaps be 
willing to supply the King's most pressing necessities. In that 
case the King would, doubtless, grant his assent to several Bills 
which would be of advantage to his subjects. He would do 
away with the legal principle that Nullum tempus occurrit regi. 
Henceforth a possession of sixty years should be a bar to all 
claims on the part of the Crown. He would grant greater 
securities to persons holding leases from the Crown. The 
creditors of outlaws should be satisfied before the property was 
seized in the King's name. The fines for respite of homage 
should be abolished. The penal statutes should be examined, 
and those which were obsolete should be repealed. The King 
would give up the right which he possessed of making laws 
for Wales independently of Parliament ; and, finally, he would 
consent to the passing of the Bill against impositions as it had 
proceeded from the Commons in the last session. 

When the Commons took these proposals into consideration, 
it jvas evident that they were not in a mood to come to terms on 
Debate in the an y grounds short of the concession of the whole of 
Commons, their demands. One member said that he ' wished 
the King would be pleased to live of his own, and to remove 
his pensions and lessen his charge.' It was ' unfit and dishon- 
ourable that those should waste the treasure of the State 
who take no pains to live of their own, but spend all in excess 
and riot, depending wholly upon the bounty of the Prince.' 
Another said that no supply ought to be granted unless the 

1 These words were quoted by Fuller in a speech printed, without the 
speaker's name, in the Somers Tracts, ii. 151. 


whole of their grievances were redressed. The next day the 
House was adjourned by the King's command until he had 
time to consider on the position of affairs. 

On the 2 ist the Commons met again. A letter from the King 
was read, in which he promised to grant their requests in the 
The Kiug's matter of the prohibitions and the proclamations, as 
letter. we u as to gj ve hj s assent to the Imposition Bill. With 

respect to the four counties, he would suspend his considera- 
tion of the question till Midsummer, and after that he would 
leave them to the course of law and justice. 

On the 23rd, the King's letter was taken into consideration, 
Sharp things were said of the King's favourites, and especially 
of the Scotchmen by whom he was surrounded. It was finally 
agreed to thank the King for his proposed concessions, but to 
tell him that the House would not be satisfied unless he went 
further still. 

Meanwhile James's patience was rapidly becoming ex- 
hausted. He had long been chafing under the language which 
Parliament was held m ^ e House on the subject of the pro- 
dissoived. digality of himself and his favourites. He was 
determined to bear it no longer. He knew that at their next 
meeting the Commons would proceed to consider what fresh 
demands might be made upon him, and he was unwilling to 
allow them another opportunity of expressing their feelings. He 
complained of Salisbury, who continued to advise forbearance. 
A rumour, apparently unfounded, had reached him that some 
members intended to ask him to send the Scots back to their 
own country. On this Carr took alarm, and did all that he 
could to excite his master against the House. James lost all 
patience. He said that he could not have 'asinine patience,' 
and that he would not accept the largest supply which it was 
in the power of the Commons to grant, if they ' were to sauce 
it with such taunts and disgraces as ' had ' been uttered of 
him and those that ' appertained ' to him.' He accordingly 
ordered the Speaker to adjourn the House. It was with 
difficulty that his wiser counsellors prevented him from com- 
mitting some of the members to the Tower. 1 After a further 

1 Lake to Salisbury, Dec. 2 and 6, 1610, S. P. Dom, Iviii. 54 and 62. 


adjournment, Parliament was finally dissolved on February 9, 

The dissolution of the first Parliament of James I. was the 
i6u. signal for the commencement of a contest between 
mtntTfthe" ^ two most important powers known to the con- 
?weeTthT st i tut i n > which lasted till all the questions in dis- 
commons pute were finally settled by the landing of William 

and the r J J 

King. of Orange. 

When this Parliament had met, seven years before, the 
House of Commons had been content with tempe- 


taken by the rately urging upon the King the necessity of changing 
the policy which he had derived from his predeces- 
sor in those points in which it had become obnoxious to them- 
selves. Upon his refusal to give way, the Commons had 
waited patiently for an opportunity of pressing their grievances 
once more upon him. In 1606 they had been too much 
engaged in enacting statutes against the unfortunate Catholics 
to give more than a passing attention to these subjects. In 
1607 the discussion of the proposed union with Scotland took 
up the greater part of their time ; but in 1610 a fair opportunity 
was offered them of obtaining a hearing. James had flung his 
money away till he was forced to apply for help to the House 
of Commons. It was in vain that year by year his income was 
on the increase, and that he had added to it a revenue derived 
from a source which, in spite of the favourable judgment of 
the Court of Exchequer, was considered to be illegal by the 
majority of his subjects. 

When the King laid his necessities before them, they took 
advantage of the opportunity to urge their own demands. Step 
The point in b Y ste P he g ave wa Y- He agreed to give up all 
dispute. the obnoxious rights which were connected with the 
feudal tenures. He would abandon the oppressive system of 
purveyance. A bill should receive his assent, by which he was 
to be bound to raise no more impositions without the consent 

Salisbury to the King, Dec. 3. The King to Salisbury, Dec. 4. Lake to 
Salisbury, Dec. 3 and 4. Salisbury to Lake, Dec. 9, Hatfield MSS. 134, 
fol. 142, 143; 128, fol. 168, 171, 172. 


of Parliament. On one point alone he steadily refused to give 
way. The ecclesiastical system of the Church of England was 
to remain unchanged, with its uniformity of ceremonies, and 
its courts exercising a jurisdiction which Parliament was unable 
to control. It was on this rock that the negotiations split. In 
a question of first-rate importance the King and the Commons 
were unable to come to terms. 

If the Commons had been in ignorance of the path which 
it behoved them to follow, the preceding negotiation would 
have opened their eyes. They had been asked to conclude a 
bargain, and the result of that bargain would have been that 
they would have laid a fresh burden of taxation on themselves, 
and by so doing would have left the King free to govern as he 
pleased. Naturally they objected to so one-sided an arrange- 
ment. James on his side was not likely to let slip from his 
hands those reins of authority which he had received from his 
predecessors. A rupture of the negotiations was hardly less 
than inevitable. Salisbury's mistake was that he had attempted 
to drive a financial bargain without taking care that it should 
be preceded by a political reconciliation. 

James had made up his mind to defy such public opinion 
as found expression in the House of Commons. In February 
Feb i he granted to six favourites, four of whom were of 
Money Scottish birth, no less a sum than s^ooo/. 1 On 
Scottish' March 25, he conferred upon Carr an English 
favourites. p eera g e by t h e title of Viscount Rochester. It 
Mar. 25. was the first time that a Scotchman had obtained 
VLscont de a seat * n t ^ ie House of Lords, 2 and that Scotch- 
Rochester, man was the one who had done his utmost to 
rouse the King to resist the Commons. 

No wonder that Salisbury was at his wits' end to discover a 
cure for the financial disorder which, since the failure of the 
The Great Contract, threatened to be irremediable, and 

Baronets. fa a t h e gave his consent to a mode of procuring 
money from which, in less critical circumstances, he would 

1 Warrant, Feb. I, S. P. Warrant Book, ii. 191. 

2 See vol. i. p. 330, note 3. 


perhaps have turned away. For many years the demands of 
Ireland upon the English Exchequer had been considerable, 
and they had increased greatly since the flight of the Earls. 
Even now that peace was established and the colonists had 
begun to settle in Ulster, the military expenditure lay as a 
heavy weight upon James. Though, after consultation with 
Carew, Chichester had agreed to diminish the number of the 
troops, the expenses of the army alone far exceeded the revenue 
of the country, leaving the civil establishment still to be provided 
for. 1 The English Exchequer had hitherto borne the burden 
of supplying the deficiency ; but after the failure of the Great 
Contract, the English Government had enough to do to find 
money to meet its own wants. In this difficulty it is not sur- 
prising that James consented to an arrangement which had at 
all events the advantage of providing money when it was most 
needed. It was suggested to him that there were many among 
the English gentry who would willingly pay considerable sums 
for the grant of a hereditary title, and that the money thus 
obtained might be used for the support of the army in Ulster. 
Accordingly James offered the title of Baronet to all persons 
of good repute, being knights or esquires possessed of lands 
worth i,ooo/. a year, provided that they were ready to pay the 
Exchequer i,o8o/. in three annual payments, being the sum 
required to keep thirty foot-soldiers for three years. It was 
expected that there would be two hundred persons bearing 
the new title. 2 Although, however, the number was made up 
before the end of the reign, it was not for some years that even 
half that number was obtained. Within three years, 9o,ooo/. 
had been gained by the Exchequer in this manner, which, 
though it did not amount to the whole sum required to defray 
the expenses of the Irish Government, was a considerable assist- 
ance in a time of difficulty. 3 

1 After the reduction, the army cost 35,8io/. The revenue of Ireland 
was 24,0007. Lambeth MSS. 629, fol. 19, 98. 

2 Patent, May 22, 1611, in Collins's Baronetage, iv. 289. 

3 Paid up to March 25, 1614, 90,885^ Sent into Ireland up to 
Michaelmas 1613, I29.OI3/. (Lansd. MSS. 163, fol. 396 ; compare Lansd. 
MSS. 152, fol. i). For the three years the expenses of the Irish army 


The relief to the Exchequer caused by the creation of the 
Baronets was hardly felt in the midst of James's unrestrainabie 
profusion. Salisbury, indeed, resigned to the King all 
attempts to personal profits derived from his office of Master of the 
Court of Wards, and issued instructions to his officers, 
forbidding them to accept irregular payments from suitors. 1 
Negotiations were also entered upon with the several counties, 
on the basis of a relinquishment of all claims to purveyance in 
consideration of a composition, a scheme which before long 
was accepted by the large majority of the shires. 2 But it was 
in vain that Salisbury toiled. James, profuse in promises of 
reform, could not be thrifty, even under the pressure of alarm 
that he might have to reckon with another House of Commons. 

Whilst Salisbury was deep in accounts, James had to decide 
upon a case which, at the present day, would rouse the indig- 
nation of the whole population from one end of the 

Case of 

Arabella kingdom to the other. Politics would be forgotten 
and business would be interrupted till justice had been 
done. There can be no better proof of the indistinct notions 
which still prevailed on the subject of personal liberty than the 
indifference with which Englishmen heard of the harsh treat- 
ment of Arabella Stuart. 

During the first six years of his reign, James had treated 
his cousin with consideration. The pension which she received 
from Elizabeth was increased soon after he came to the throne, 
and she was allowed to occupy apartments in the palace, and 
to pass her time with the ladies who were attached to the court 
of the Queen. 

Amongst those of her letters which have been preserved 
the most interesting are those which she wrote to her uncle 

must have been about 106000!., so that though it was probably not 
literally true that quite all the money was expended upon foot soldiers 
actually in Ulster, it was at least spent upon troops available for the 
defence of the colony in the north. 

1 Instructions, Jan. 9, S. P. Dom. Ixi. 6. Pembroke to Edmondes, 
Court and Times, i. 132. 

2 Justices of Hertfordshire to Salisbury, April II, S. P. Dom. Ixiii. I. 
See also Hamilton's Quarter Sessions from Elizabeth to Anne. 



and aunt, the Earl and Countess of Shrewsbury. 1 Their 

1603. style is lively and agreeable, and they convey the im- 

wthe'Ear? P ress i n f a gentle and affectionate, as well as of an 

andCountess accomplished woman. She had no ambition to figure 

of Shrews- 
bury, among the great ladies by whom the Queen was sur- 
rounded, far less to aspire to the dignity of a pretender to the 
Crown. She had a good word for all who showed her any 
kindness, however small. She expressed her especial gratitude 
to Cecil for his declaration, at Raleigh's trial, of his assurance 
that she had been totally ignorant of any conspiracy against the 
King. In one of her letters she answered a jest of her uncle's, 
by assuring him, with the most winning earnestness, that she 
intended to prove that it was possible for a woman to retain her 
purity and innocence in the midst of the follies with which a 
life at court was surrounded. In another she stepped forward 
to act the part of a peacemaker, and conjured the Earl to for- 
give once more that notorious termagant, his stepmother, the 
Dowager Countess. Altogether, it is impossible to rise from 
the perusal of these letters without the conviction that, if only 
a man who was worthy of her should be found, she would be 
fitted, above all the ladies of that age, to fulfil the quiet domes- 
tic duties of a wife and mother. With the life which she was 
forced to lead she was ill at ease ; she did not care for the 
perpetual round of gaieties in which the Queen delighted, and 
she submitted with but an ill grace to take her part in the 
childish games by means of which the ladies of the court con- 
trived to while away the weary hours. 

Offers were made for her hand by various foreign potentates, 

but these were invariably declined. 8 To one of such a nature 

I6o4 as hers, it would have been intolerable to promise 

Offers of to m arry a man whom she had never seen. But 

marriage J 

declined. as the years passed on, it was evident that she was 
anxious to escape from the uncongenial life which she was 
leading. A little before Christmas, 1609, the Court was startled 
by hearing that she had been suddenly arrested, and summoned 

1 Lady Shrewsbury was a sister of Arabella's mother. The letters are 
in Miss Cooper's Letters and Life of Arabella Stuart. 

1 Fowler to Shrewsbury, Oct. 3, 1604, Lodge's Illustrations, iii, 97. 


before the Council. All that we know of what passed on that 
i6o ^ occasion is that the King assured her that he would 
She is have no objection to her marriage with any subject of 
before the his. 1 It may be gathered from this that some rumour 
tlcl1 ' had reached him that she was engaged in negotiations 
to marry a foreigner, and that he was afraid lest after such a mar- 
riage she might be made use of by someone who would in her 
name lay claim to the crown of England. However this may 
have been, her explanations were considered satisfactory. She 
was set at liberty at once, and immediately afterwards James 
showed that he had again received her into favour, by granting 
her an addition to her income. 2 

A few weeks after she had made her peace with the King, 
she gave her heart to young William Seymour. On February 2 
l6lo he found his way to her apartments, and obtained 
w r n^r Ses fr m ^ er own liP s ^ e assurance of her willingness to 
Seymour. become his wife. The promise which James had 
given led the happy pair to persuade themselves that they 
would meet with no obstruction from him, and they parted with 
the full intention of asking his approval of their marriage. Un- 
fortunately, however, either from an instinctive apprehension 
that he might refuse his consent, or from disinclination to expose 
their happiness so soon to the eyes of the world, they did not 
at once tell their own story to the King. Twice again they 
met clandestinely. Two days after their last meeting the King 
was in possession of their secret. They were both summoned 
before the Council and examined on the subject. 

William Seymour was perhaps the only man in England to 
whom James would have objected as a husband for Arabella. 3 

1 Arabella to the King, Letters and Life, ii. 114. There can have been 
no suspicion of her having formed any intention of marrying Seymour, or 
James would certainly not have used this language. Perhaps the true 
history of her arrest at this time is to be found in a letter of Beecher's 
mentioning a report which had reached Paris, that Lerma was desirous of 
marrying her to a relation of his own. Beecher to Salisbury, Jan. 20, 
1610, S, P. Fr. 

2 Chamberlain to Winwood, Feb. 13, Winw. u'i. 117. 

* Beaulieu to Trumbull, Feb. 15, Winw. iii. 119. W. Seymour to 

I 2 


His father, Lord Beauchamp, as the son of the Earl of Hertford 
Reasons for an d of Catherine Grey, inherited from his mother 
JETS th d e s " the claim s of the Suffolk line. It is true that Lord 
marriage. Beauchamp's eldest son was still alive, but if, as 
actually happened, he should die without children, a plausible 
title to the throne might at any time be made out in behalf of 
his brother William. Since the accession of James, the mar- 
riage of the Earl of Hertford had been pronounced by a com- 
petent tribunal to be valid, and it might be argued that the Act 
under which the Suffolk family had claimed the Crown was 
passed by a lawful Parliament, whereas the Parliament which 
acknowledged the title of James was itself incompetent to 
change the succession, as it had not been summoned by a lawful 
King. Arguments of this kind are never wanting in apolitical 
crisis, and if James did not speedily come to terms with his 
Parliament, such a crisis might occur at any time. 

That any political motive was mingled with Seymour's love 
for Arabella is in the highest degree improbable, and it is certain 
that an attempt to change the dynasty would as yet have failed 
to meet with the slightest response in the nation. James, 
however, could not divest himself of the notion that there was 
a settled plan to connect the title of the Seymours with the 
title, such as it was, of Arabella. He did not consider himself 
bound by the words of a promise which he had made without 
foreseeing the particular circumstances in which he would be 
called upon to fulfil it, and he forbade the lovers to think any 
further of marriage. Seymour engaged that he would give up 
all claims to his affianced wife, and it was supposed that the 
whole matter was at an end. 

For a little more than three months after this scene before 
the Council, Seymour kept his promise. At last affection 
The prevailed over all other considerations. Towards the 

"riratef 6 enc * f May, 1 he had made up his mind to fulfil the 
celebrated, promise which he had given to Arabella, rather 
than that which he had given to the King. She readily 

the Council, Feb. 10, Letters and Life of A Stuart, ii. 103. Seymour's 
letter is incorrectly printed with the date of Feb. 20. 
1 Rodney's Declaration, Add. MSS. 4161, fol. 26. 


gave her consent, and they were privately married a few days 
afterwards at Greenwich. 

Early in July, James heard of what had happened. He was 
indignant at what he considered to be the presumption of the 
Arabella and young couple, and it must be acknowledged that the 
com^itt^d d l a( ty na d been singularly unfortunate in her selec- 
to custody. j-j on o f a husband. No other marriage could have 
so infelicitously combined two titles to the English throne. 
James therefore determined to treat the pair as Seymour's 
grandparents had been treated by Elizabeth. Even if Ara- 
bella and her husband had no treasonable intentions, it was 
impossible to predict what claims might be put forward by 
their children, who would inherit whatever rights might be pos- 
sessed by both parents. Under the influence of fear, James 
became regardless of the misery which he was inflicting. Ara- 
bella was committed to the custody of Sir Thomas Parry, at 
Lambeth ; and Seymour was at once sent to the Tower. 

From her place of confinement, Arabella used her utmost 
endeavours to move the heart of her oppressor. It was all in 
vain. She had eaten of the forbidden tree, he said, and he 
meant it to be inferred that she must take the consequences. 
i6ii After a time James, having discovered that she 
She is still held a correspondence with her husband, deter- 
remote to mined to make its continuance impossible by re- 
moving her to a distance from London. Durham 
was selected as the place of her banishment, where she was to 
reside under the care of the Bishop. 

On March 15, 161 1, Arabella left Lambeth under the Bishop's 
charge. Her health had given way under her sufferings, and 
her weakness was such that it was only with difficulty that the 
party reached Highgate. There she remained for six days, and 
it was not until the 2ist that she was removed as far as Barnet. 
James declared that if he was king of England, she should 
sooner or later go to Durham ; but he gave her permission to 
remain till June 1 1 at Barnet, in order to recruit her health. 
She remained accordingly for some time under the charge of 
Sir James Crofts, the Bishop having continued hi's journey to 
the north without her. 


Before the day appointed for the departure of the prisoner 
she had contrived a scheme by which she hoped to effect her 
Her flight own escape, as well as her husband's. On June 3 
from Bamet. s h e di s g u i se d herself as a man, and left the house 
in which she had been for some weeks, accompanied by a 
gentleman named Markham. At a little distance they found 
horses waiting for them at a roadside inn. She was so pale and 
weak that the ostler expressed doubts of the possibility of her 
reaching London. About six in the evening she arrived at 
Blackwall, where a boat, in which were some of her attendants, 
was in waiting. It was not till the next morning that the party 
reached Leigh, where they expected to find a French vessel 
which had been engaged to take them on board. Not perceiving 
the signal which the captain of this vessel had agreed to hoist, 
they rowed up to another vessel which was bound for Berwick, 
and attempted to induce the master to change his course. He' 
refused to do so, but pointed them to the French ship of which 
they were in quest. As soon as they were on board, Arabella's 
attendants, fearful of pursuit, persuaded the captain to set sail, 
in spite of the remonstrances of the lady herself, who was only 
anxious to wait for her husband. 

Meanwhile, Seymour had effected his escape without 
difficulty. When he arrived at Leigh, he was disappointed to 
Seymour find that the French vessel had already sailed. He 
escapfn|to however, persuaded the master of a collier to 
Ostend. carry him over to the Continent. The man kept his 
promise, and landed him safely at Ostend. His wife was less 
fortunate. With her whole heart fixed upon the safety of her 
husband, when the vessel in which she was was within 

Arabella ,.,--,, i i . 

taken near a few miles of Calais, she caused it to linger on its 
course, in hopes of hearing some tidings of him for 
whose sake she had ventured amongst so many dangers. Here, 
within sight of the port of safety, the fugitives were overtaken 
by a vessel which had been despatched from Dover in pursuit 
of them. Arabella calmly resigned herself to her fate. She did 
not care what became of herself if she could be sure that her 
husband had reached the Continent in safety. 

Arabella was committed to the Tower. Her reason gave 


way, and in this miserable state she died, after an imprison- 
ment of four years. It was not till after her death 

Her im- ... . _ 

prisonment that Seymour obtained permission to return to Eng- 

and death. , , , 

land. 1 

A few days after Arabella's recapture, the Countess of 
Shrewsbury was summoned before the Council on the charge 
The of having furnished her niece with money, and of 

Countess of having been an accomplice in her flight. She boldly 

Shrewsbury. . / i 

answered that she had done nothing wrong ; if the 
Council had any charge to bring against her, she would be 
ready to defend herself at a public trial. 2 She was committed 
to the Tower for a year, and then was brought before a Com- 
mission appointed to examine her. She refused to answer any 
questions, alleging that she had taken a vow to give no evidence, 
and that it was the privilege of the nobility to answer only 
when called upon before their peers. The judges declared 
that she was bound to answer, and the Commission reported 
that if she were brought into the Star Chamber the fit punish- 
ment for her contumacy would be imprisonment during 
pleasure, and a fine of 2o,ooo/. This threat, however, was not 
carried into execution, and she was sent back to the Tower, 
where she remained for some years, till she was released 
in order that she might be present at her husband's deathbed. 

Amongst the cares which awaited James after the dissolu- 
tion was that of providing a new Archbishop of Canterbury. 
i6iou Bancroft died in November 1610. Except when 
DeatiTof called on to stand forwards as the champion of the 
Bancroft. clergy against the attacks of the House of Commons 
or of the judges, the latter years of his life had been passed 
for the most part in the unostentatious exercise of the duties 
of his office. After carrying his point at Hampton Court, and 
seeing the Nonconformist clergy ejected from their cures, he 
found occupation enough in endeavouring to make those who 
had submitted more worthy of the position which they held. 
His efforts were not unattended with success. It is undeniable 

1 Letters and Life of A . Stuart, ii. 112-246. 

2 More to Winwood, June 18, Winw. iii. 28. Northampton to the 
King, June 9, S. P. Dom. bciv. 23. 


that, within the limits which had been prescribed by the Eliza- 
bethan system, the clergy were advancing under his superin- 
tendence in intelligence and vigour. He succeeded in winning 
over some who by less skilful treatment would have been driven 
into opposition. The unmeasured violence with which he had 
met those whom he looked upon as the confirmed enemies of 
the Church passed away when he had to deal with men whose 
course was yet doubtful. To such he was always kind, and he 
spared no labour in inducing them to surrender opinions which 
he regarded as erroneous. 

The man who was recommended by the Bishops as the 
fitting successor of Bancroft was Launcelot Andrewes, at that 
E ec(a time Bishop of Ely. Of all those whose piety was 
tion that he remarkable in that troubled age, there was none who 

will be sue- 111 / i , 

ceeded by could bear comparison for spotlessness and purity 
of character with the good and gentle Andrewes. 
Going in and out as he did amongst the frivolous and 
grasping courtiers who gathered round the King, he seemed to 
live in a peculiar atmosphere of holiness. James reverenced 
and admired him, and was always pleased to hear him preach. 
His life was a devotional testimony against the Roman dogma- 
tism on the one side and the Puritan dogmatism on the other. 
He was not a great administrator, nor was he amongst the 
first rank of learned men. But his reverence for the past and 
breadth of intelligence gave him a foremost place in the midst 
of that band with which James was in such deep sympathy, and 
which met the Roman argument from antiquity by a deeper 
and more thoughtful study of antiquity, and the Puritan argu- 
ment from the Scriptures by an appeal to the interpretation 
of the Scriptures by the Church-writers of the early centuries. 
The work done by these men was no slight contribution to 
the progress of human thought. Yet there is no reason to 
regret that Andrewes was not appointed to the vacant arch- 
bishopric Few will be found who still believe with Clarendon 
that his appointment would have turned back the rising tide of 
Puritanism. What he could do in that direction he did in 
the study and in the pulpit, and work of this kind could as well 
be done in one official position as in another. The work of 


repression was not one to which he would have taken kindly, 
and he would have been himself none the better for the change. 
After some delay, James fixed his choice upon George 
Abbot, Bishop of London. He had formerly been chaplain to 
i6n. the Earl of Dunbar, whom he had accompanied to 
Abix?t i b nof Scotland in 1608, where he had been serviceable, 
the King. probably through his doctrinal agreement with the 
Scottish clergy. In January, 1611, Dunbar died, and James 
declared that he would show respect to his memory by pro- 
moting Abbot to the archbishopric. Thoroughly 
imbued with the Calvinistic theology, Abbot had 
made it the business of his life to oppose the doctrines and 
principles of the Church of Rome. At the same time, he had 
no wish to see any change in the Church of England, and he 
was prepared to defend the authority of the Sovereign in 
ecclesiastical matters, in the maintenance of which he saw the 
strongest bulwark against Popery and heresy. Nor was he 
wanting in other qualities more entitled to respect. His piety 
was deep and real, and his thorough conscientiousness was 
such that it might safely be predicted that, whatever mistakes 
he might make in his new office, neither fear nor interest 
would induce him to swerve for a moment from what he con- 
sidered to be the strict line of duty. 

These merits were balanced by faults which would have 

been far more conspicuous than they were, if the management 

of Church affairs had been left more completely in 

and defects. ,.,,, T ,, ,. , -, 

his hands than James allowed it to be. It was ob- 
served of him that he had never had personal experience of 
pastoral duties, and that when, in 1609, he became a Bishop, 
he had not been fitted for the exercise of his office by any 
practical knowledge of the difficulties and trials of the parochial 
clergy. It may, however, be fairly questioned whether any 
experience would have given him that knowledge of men and 
things which was required in order to fulfil satisfactorily the 
duties of his new position. His mind was deficient in breadth 
and geniality, and he never could have acquired the capacity 
for entering into the arguments and feelings of an opponent, 
which is the first requisite for public life. His theology was 


the theology of the Puritans, and Puritanism failed to show 
itself to its best advantage till it had been filtered through the 
minds of men who were engaged in the active business of life. 
In his hands, if he had been allowed to have his will, the 
Church of England would have become as one-sided as it 
afterwards became in the hands of his opponents. Practices 
which many pious Christians loved would have been rigorously 
proscribed, and doctrines which seemed irrefragable to a large 
and growing section of the clergy would have been checked by 
the stern exercise of authority. If he was not allowed to carry 
out his theory into practice, he unfortunately brought with 
him a temper which boded ill for the prospects of peace. It is 
said that under his administration the sentences of the High 
Commission acquired a harsher tone, and that his eagerness to 
repress heresy and vice led him far beyond the limits which 
Bancroft had imposed upon himself in the punishment of 

The new Archbishop, upon taking possession of his see, 
found himself already involved in a quarrel with Coke upon 
The High tne interminable question of the prohibitions. A 
Commission certain Sir William Chancey had been charged before 
Chancev's ^ e High Commission with adultery, and with having 
case - expelled his wife from his house without providing 

for her maintenance. The Commissioners, after hearing the 
case, ordered him to support his wife, and to make submission 
for his offence ; and upon his refusal to obey, they committed 
him to the Fleet. He applied to the Court of Common Pleas 
for a habeas corpus. The judges unanimously decided that the 
Commission had no power to imprison for adultery, and that 
the order to Chancey to find ' a competent maintenance ' for 
his wife was too vague to justify a committal. They therefore 
ordered that the prisoner should be set at liberty, though they 
took bail for his future appearance in order that they might 
have an opportunity of conferring with the Archbishop before 
they came to a final decision. 1 

Upon hearing what had happened, Abbot, who was as little 
inclined as Bancroft had been to submit to any diminution of 
1 Rep. xii. 82. 


the privileges of the clergy, appealed to the Council. 1 In con- 
Abbot sequence of this complaint, the judges were sent for, 
appeals to in order that the arguments might be heard on both 

the Council . , .. . . , , . , c ,, 

against sides of the question. Coke, in the name ot the 
judges of the Court of Common Pleas, produced a 
treatise which he had drawn up in support of the doctrine that 
the Commission had no right to fine and imprison excepting in 
cases of heresy and schism. 2 A few days later, the judges of 
the Common Pleas were sent for separately, and every effort 
was made by the Chancellor to shake their resolution. Finding 
that it was all in vain, the other judges were sent for, who at 
once declared that, in their opinion, Coke and his colleagues 
were in the right. One more attempt was made. The judges 
of the King's Bench, and the Barons of the Exchequer, were 
summoned before the King himself, whilst the judges of the 
Common Pleas were this time excluded from the conference. 
Before this ordeal some of those who were consulted gave way. 
When Coke was at last admitted, he was told that the other 
judges differed from him, and that the King would take care to 
reform the Commission, so as to obviate the objections which 
had been brought against it. Coke answered that he would 
reserve his opinion on the new Commission till he saw it, and 
that, however much he regretted that his brethren differed in 
opinion from himself, he was still more grieved that he had 
not been allowed to set forth his views in their presence. 3 

The new Commission, in which the jurisdiction in case 
of alimony was omitted, was issued in August Amongst the 
A new names of the Commissioners appeared those of Coke 
^d, lssi n an( * f s i x otners of the judges, apparently under the 
ucTes C re the ^ ea tnat t ^ iev woulcl be tempted to acknowledge the 
fuse to take legality of proceedings in which they were themselves 
called to take a part. The members of the Court 
were invited to meet at Lambeth in order to hear the Com- 
mission read. With the intention of showing that he refused to 

1 Lansd. MSS. 160, fol. 410. 

2 4/nst. 324; Colt. MSS., Faus'. D., vi. fol. 3-11. Lansd. MSS. 
1 60, fol. 412. 

1 Rep. xii. 84, 


acknowledge its legality until he had heard the terms in which 
it was couched, Coke refused to take his seat until the reading 
of the document was concluded. In this course he was 
followed by the other judges. As soon as the reading was 
over, they, with one voice, protested against it, as containing 
points which were contrary to the law of England. Upon this, 
Abbot had recourse to a scheme which he had planned as 
being likely to convince even Coke of the advantages which the 
country would derive from the maintenance of the Court. He 
ordered two men, who are described as blasphemous heretics, 
to be introduced, in the expectation that their language would 
be sufficiently alarming to turn the tide in his favour. He did 
not know the man with whom he had to deal. In spite of the 
Archbishop's ingenious device, the judges left the room with- 
out having taken their seats in a tribunal which was directed 
to inflict fine and imprisonment beyond the limits which they 
held to be authorised by the law. 1 

Abbot, however, though flouted by the judges, gained his 
point through the support of the King. He little knew that he 
was forging a weapon for the hands of the man whom, above all 
others, he cordially detested, and who would be certain to use 

it in defence of a system which he himself regarded 
between with the deepest abhorrence. That man was William 
Laud aT Laud, then a fellow of St. John's, at Oxford. Abbot 

had frequently come into collision with him in the 
University, and had done everything in his power to throw 
obstacles in the path of one who boldly professed his adherence 
to a very different system of theology from that in which he had 
himself been trained. 

It was in Laud that the reaction against Calvinism reached 
its culminating point. The whole theory and practice of the 
Calvinists circled round the profound conviction that God 
makes Himself known to man by entering into a direct com- 
munication with his spirit. The whole theory and practice of 
their opponents circled round an equally profound conviction 
that God makes Himself known by means of operations external 
1 Rep. xii. 88. The name of Bancroft is, of course, inserted in this 
report by mistake for that of Abbot. 

i6ii WILLIAM LAUD. 125 

to the individual Christian. Starting from this point, they 
were ready to ascribe an importance, which appeared to their 
adversaries to be little short of idolatry, to everything which 
could speak to the senses and the imagination. With them 
the place, which in the Calvinistic system was occupied by the 
preaching of the Word, was rilled by the sacraments which spoke 
of a reliance upon God which was not based upon the growth 
of the understanding or the feelings. Men were to be schooled 
into piety by habitual attendance upon the services of the 
Church. At those services nothing unseemly or disorderly was 
to be permitted, by which the mind of the worshipper might be 
distracted. Uniformity of liturgical forms and uniformity of 
ecclesiastical ceremony would impress upon every Englishman 
the lessons of devotion which were to sustain him in the midst 
of the distractions of the world. This uniformity was to be 
preserved by the exercise of the authority of the Bishops, who 
were divinely appointed for its maintenance. The men who 
held these opinions were the leaders in that great controversy 
with the Papal Church which was agitating Europe, and who 
based their arguments on the writers of the third and fourth 
centuries. It was there that they saw the principles prevailing 
which they had adopted, and it was from thence that they drew 
arguments by which their cause was to be defended. 

It is evident that each of these systems supplied something 

which was not to be found in the other. At the same time, it 

was evident that a considerable time must elapse 

The two 

systems before they would agree to tolerate one another. 

counter- _ . . . 

balance one For some time to come, a violent controversy was 
to be expected : uncharitable accusations would be 
made, and fiery words would be flung about from every pulpit 
in the land ; but if the Government would be content to main- 
tain order between the contending parties, no great harm would 
be done. The great body of the laity would refuse to listen to 
the violence of noisy partisans. Something would be learned 
from the more moderate on either side. Puritanism, with its 
healthy faith and manly vigour, would long have continued to 
supply the muscle and sinew of English religion, but its narrow 
severity would have given way before the broader and gentler 


teaching of the disciples of Hooker and of Andrewes. The 
storm would have been followed by a calm very different from 
the stagnation of the eighteenth century. 

If, on the other hand, the Government should determine to 
interfere, and to lend its aid to establish the unchecked supre- 
macy of either party, the most disastrous consequences 

Government would inevitably ensue. Once armed with powers sum- 
interference. . .. . . . 

cient to enforce their own principles upon the whole 

Church of England, that party which was fortunate enough to 
gain the ear of the King would excite a general resistance, and 
bring about a conflict from which the Sovereign himself would 
hardly escape scathless. 

Of those to whom Calvinism was distasteful, Laud was the 
most decided in his opposition. Of all men then living, he was 
Character tne " east fi tte ^ to be entrusted with political power, 
of Laud. NO i ess conscientious than Abbot, he was still more 
riveted to the system which he had adopted. To him the words 
might have been applied which were afterwards used of Robes- 
pierre : " This man will go far, for he believes every word he 
says." His thorough belief in the unbounded efficacy of 
external forms and institutions, combined with his complete 
ignorance of human nature, would be sufficient to goad to 
madness any nation which might be subjected to his control. 
Within the limits which his system allowed him he was all that 
could be desired. He was ever anxious to do good, and was 
unwearied in his labours for what he considered to be the cause 
of God, of the Church, and of his country. 

The question which brought Laud into collision with the 
Calvinists at Oxford was one which placed the principles of the 
His theory contending parties in distinct relief. In his exercise 
rf 'hTo? ivine f r t ^ ie degree of Bachelor of Divinity he maintained 
tpiscopacy. no t only that Episcopacy was of Divine origin, but 
that no congregation which was not under the government of 
a Bishop could be considered to form part of the Church. It 
was objected to him that, in that case, he unchurched the 
whole body of foreign Protestants. 1 He might have answered, 

1 This answer has, I think, been misunderstood by those who reply 
that if Laud's theory was true, it was to no purpose to urge that it led to 


if he had chosen, that Abbot's theory unchurched St. Anselm 
and St. Bernard ; for Abbot would acknowledge no church 
excepting where what he considered to be pure doctrine was 
preached. From that time Laud was regarded as a mere Papist 
by the Calvinist party, which was in the majority amongst the 
elder members of the University. This he certainly was not, 
though he looked at many questions from the same point of 
view as that from which they would be regarded by the 
Catholics. He doubtless found consolation in the support of 
that large number of the younger members of the University 
who shared in his opinions. 

Towards the end of 1610, Abbot's friends were thrown into 

dismay by hearing that Laud was likely to acquire an influential 

position at Oxford. It was known that Buckeridge, 

He is elected r 

President _ the President of St. John s, was to be appointed to 
the vacant see of Rochester, and that he was using 
all his influence with the fellows to induce them to appoint 
Laud as his successor. News of the apprehended danger was 
carried to Abbot, who immediately waited upon Ellesmere, who, 
after Bancroft's death, had been elected Chancellor of the 
University, and persuaded him to represent to the King the 
danger of allowing a man so deeply tainted with Popery to 
occupy a post of such importance. Laud, however, found an 
advocate in his patron Neile, the Bishop of Coventry and 
Lichfield, and the election was allowed to proceed. On May 10, 
1611, he was chosen President ; but as there was some irregu- 
larity in the proceedings, an attempt was made to set the 
election aside. The King, whose intervention was asked, 
referred the matter to Bilson, who, as Bishop of Winchester, 
was the Visitor of the College. Bilson reported that the 
irregularity certainly existed, and suggested that James should 
take advantage of it to claim the nomination for himself. 
James begged him to let him know whether the error in the 
proceedings had been intentionally committed. In the end, he 
summoned the parties before himself, and, after an examina- 
tion which lasted for three days, he decided that the election 

unpleasant consequences. It was an argumentum ad absurdum. The 
consequences were manifestly false, therefore the theory could not be true. 


was to stand good, as there was reason to suppose that the 
mistake had resulted simply from a misunderstanding of the 
statutes. He refused to take advantage of Bilson's suggestion, 
which would, as he said, be a bad example for the future. 1 

Abbot was more successful in directing the current of the 
King's indignation against the learned Conrad Vorstius, who 
Controversy had recently been appointed professor of theology 
wVifvors- m t ^ ie University of Leyden. His opinions con- 
tius - cerning the nature of God 2 were such as in our own 

days would certainly disqualify him from holding such an 
office in any Christian University. Connected as Holland 
and England then were, in the defence of their common 
religion, there would have been nothing strange if James had 
contented himself with offering a friendly remonstrance to the 
States. Such a course, however, would not have satisfied him. 
He threw himself into the quarrel with all the zeal of a theo- 
logical controversialist. He had on his side Maurice and the 
greater part of the Dutch clergy. On the other hand, the 
statesmen of Holland, and the mercantile aristocracy which 
they represented, were on the side of toleration. Their oppo- 
sition brought down upon their heads a whole torrent of pro- 
tests and invectives from the Royal theologian. It was only 
after a long resistance that the fear of alienating the King 
of England from their cause induced them to give way, and 
Vorstius was ordered to resign his professorship. 

Whilst this controversy was still in progress, James found 
an opportunity for the establishment of his reputation for 
1612. orthodoxy nearer home. An unfortunate man, 
Le r ate g an f name ^ Edward Wightman, was convicted by Bishop 
wighiman Neile of holding several distinct heresies. About 
the same time a question arose in London as to what was to 
be done with a man named Bartholomew Legate, who professed 
Arian opinions. Legate had frequently been brought into the 
presence of James, who had finally, upon his confessing that 

1 Laud's Diary. Answer to Lord Say's speech (Laud's Works, iii. 34; 
vi. 88). Bilson to the King, June 14, 1611. The King to Bilson June (?) 
and Sept. 23, 1611, S. P. Dom. Ixiv. 35, 36; Ixvi. 25. 

Winwood, iii. 294. 


he had ceased to pray to Christ for seven years, driven him 
out of his presence. He was then brought before the Con- 
sistory Court of the Bishop of London, by which he was com- 
mitted to Newgate. Having been released, he had the im- 
prudence to threaten to bring an action against the Court for 
false imprisonment, and he was again arrested, in order to be 
brought once more to trial. 

Unfortunately, James was in the full flush of his contro- 
versy with Vorstius. It was not to be borne that the heresy 
against which he was contending in Holland should rear its 
head in his own dominions. Elizabeth had burnt two heretics, 
and why should not he do the same ? There was, however, 
some doubt as to the legality of the proceedings which were 
contemplated ; and it was necessary to take the opinion of at 
least some of the judges. Coke, as was known, believed that 
the proposed execution was illegal. Abbot was therefore 
directed to write to Ellesmere, requesting him to choose some 
of the judges to be consulted on the point, and informing him 
that the King would not be sorry if Coke were excluded from 
the number. 1 

It must not, however, be imagined that Coke had any 
scruples on the score of humanity ; it was with him, like 
everything else, a mere question of law, and he never had the 
slightest doubt that it was perfectly lawful to burn a heretic ; 
but he believed that it was necessary to obtain a conviction in 
the Court of High Commission before a writ could issue out 
of Chancery for the execution. Hobart and Bacon, together 
with the judges who were consulted, declared that a conviction 
in the Bishop's court would be sufficient. 2 

Upon this it was determined to proceed against Legate in 
the Consistory Court, although even the judges, who held that 

1 Abbot to Ellesmere, Jan. 21 and 22, 1612, Egerton Papers, 447. 

- The Act of Elizabeth, it was agreed, abolished all statutes concern- 
ing the burning of heretics. Coke held that, previously to the reign of 
Henry IV., heretics had been burned by Convocation alone, and that the 
judicial powers of Convocation were now vested in the High Commission. 
The other lawyers held that Bishops had exercised jurisdiction over here&y 
before the reign of Henry IV., and that they consequently retained those 



such a course would be legal, thought it advisable to cite the 
prisoner before the High Commission. The only explanation 
of this decision is that James wished to show that he was able 
to override the opinions of Coke. 

The conviction followed as a matter of course, and the 
writ was issued out of Chancery without remonstrance from 
any quarter. On March 18, 1612, the wretched man was 
burnt at Smithfield. A few days later, Wightman suffered a 
similar fate at Lichfield. 

It seems strange to us that not a word was uttered against 
this horrible cruelty. As we read over the brief contemporary 
notices which have reached us, we look in vain for the slightest 
intimation that the death of these two men was regarded with 
any other feelings than those with which the writers were ac- 
customed to hear of the execution of an ordinary murderer. 
If any remark was made, it was in praise of James for the 
devotion which he showed to the cause of God. Happily, if 
men of education failed to regard these acts of tyranny in 
their true light, there was a spirit abroad amongst the com- 
mon people which warned the King that there was nothing to 
be gained by a repetition of the experiment which had been 
tried. When, a few years afterwards, a Spanish Arian was 
convicted of heresy, he was allowed to linger out the rest of 
his life in prison. This was bad enough, but it was at least a 
step in advance. Since the judicial murder of Wightman, no 
such atrocity has disgraced the soil of England. 1 

Not long after the execution of Legate and Wightman, an 
event took place which enabled James to vindicate his character 
for justice. The favour shown to Scotchmen at Court gave 
rise to much ill-feeling amongst Englishmen, who fancied them- 
selves slighted, and this feeling sometimes gave rise to actual 
violence. Amongst those who, on one occasion, took part in 
the festivities at Whitehall, was a gentleman named Hawley, a 

powers, though they could no longer make use of the Act of Henry IV. to 
require the sheriff to burn the heretic. It would now be necessary to 
obtain a writ de h>rctico ccmburendo out of Chancery. 3 Inst. 39 ; Rep. 
xii. 56, 93 ; Hale, Pleas of the Crown, part i. chap. 30. 
Fuller \. 418; State Trials, ii. 727. 


member of the Temple. He gave some slight offence to one 
Quarrel of the gentlemen ushers, a Scotchman of the name 
Maxwell and of Maxwell. Maxwell, instead of remonstrating, 
Hawiey. seized him by the ear to drag him out of the palace. 
Next day, all the Inns of Court were talking over the out- 
rage, and the members came in crowds to Hawiey, offering 
to support him in the quarrel. His first step was to send a 
challenge to Maxwell. Here, however, he was stopped. The 
King, who had heard what had happened, sent for him. Such 
was the feeling against the manner in which James supported his 
countrymen, that Hawiey purposely kept out of the way, in order 
not to receive the message, which would, as he supposed, only 
lead to his being subjected to fresh insults at Court. James was 
actually obliged to send for the Benchers of the Temple, and to 
assure them that, if Maxwell were in the wrong, he would give 
him no support. Upon this Hawiey came forward, and Maxwell 
was with some difficulty induced to make a proper apology. 

A few days before this quarrel occurred, a murder was com- 
mitted in London, under circumstances of no ordinary atrocity. 
About seven years previously, Lord Sanquhar, a 

Murder of . 

Turner by Scottish baron of the ancient family of Crichton, had 
of lord" lost an eye in playing with a well-known fencing- 
master of the name of Turner. He fancied that 
the injury had been inflicted by design, or, at least, through 
culpable negligence ; and, from that time forward, he bore a 
grudge against Turner for what he had done. As soon as he 
recovered from the effects of the wound, he went into France, 
and whilst he was there Henry IV., thoughtlessly or mis- 
chievously, asked whether the man who had disfigured him still 
lived. Not long afterwards Sanquhar returned to England de- 
termined to take vengeance for the injury which he had received. 
He brooded over his loss till he was ready to become a 
murderer, fancying all the while that he was only acting in ac- 
cordance with the dictates of the laws of honour. For some 
days he tracked his victim up and down London in vain. On 
his return from a visit to Scotland, he renewed the search. It 
was at this time that he descended a step lower in his career 
of baseness. He was aware that he was well known in White- 

K 2 


friars, where Turner's fencing school was situated, and that, if 
he set upon him in his own house, it would be almost impossible 
for him to escape detection. He therefore agreed with two of 
his countrymen to play the part of the assassin in his place. He 
himself went to France, in order to be out of the reach of the 
law, when the deed was done. For some time he waited for 
the news in vain. Either the two men had never intended to 
execute his orders, or their hearts failed them when the time 
came. When Sanquhar came back to London once more, 
Turner was still alive and well. This time, two of his own 
servants, Gray and Carlisle, undertook to accomplish the villany. 
But Gray's heart failed him, and he fled away, intending to 
take refuge from his master in Sweden. Upon this Carlisle 
assured Sanquhar that he should not be disappointed, as he 
was himself ready to carry the project into execution. He 
accordingly took with him a friend, named Irwin, and going at 
once to Turner's house, shot him dead with a pistol. Carlisle 
succeeded in escaping to Scotland, but his accomplice was 
taken. Irwin was examined, and gave reason to believe that 
Sanquhar was, in some way or another, implicated in the deed. 
The suspicions against him were strengthened by the fact 
that he had been keeping out of sight for three or four days. 
The King took the matter up warmly, and issued a proclama- 
tion offering a reward for his apprehension, as well as for that 
of Carlisle. Before the proclamation appeared, Sanquhar 
surrendered himself to the Archbishop at Lambeth. He pro- 
tested his innocence, and apparently thought that he might 
escape punishment as he had had no direct dealings with Irwin, 
and the only witnesses who could speak of his guilt from per- 
sonal knowledge had made their escape. In this hope he was 
doomed to disappointment. Gray was intercepted at Harwich 
as he was going on board ship, and made such revelations as 
were sufficient to drive Sanquhar to a full confession of his 
guilt. Carlisle was afterwards taken in Scotland, and brought 
up to London. Both he and Irwin were convicted without 
difficulty, and were immediately executed. 

On June 27, Sanquhar was indicted in the Court of King's 
Bench, for procuring the murder of the unfortunate Turner. 


He pleaded guilty, acknowledging in general terms that he 
had acted wrongly : but it was evident that he still 

1 rial and J ' 

execution of believed that he was justified in what he had done, at 


least by the laws of honour. He concluded his con- 
fession by asking for mercy. James was not inclined to interfere 
with the sentence of the law. Sanquhar, though a Scotchman, 
was not one of his favourites, and there was no motive, in this 
case, to pervert his sense of justice. The wretched man was 
accordingly left to his fate. On the morning of the 29th he 
was hanged in front of the great gate of Westminster Hall. 
Before his execution he expressed his sorrow for his crime, and 
ended by declaring that he died in the faith of the Roman 
Catholic Church. It is characteristic of the time that the 
compassion of the bystanders, which had been moved by his 
acknowledgment of his offence, visibly abated when this last 
statement was made. 1 

1 State Trials, ii. 743. Chamberlain to Carleton, May 20, July 2, 
Court and Times, i. 166, 179. 




IT is impossible to track out with any certainty the policy of 
Salisbury either in domestic or foreign affairs. Not merely had 
he often to affect an unreal acquiescence in James's opinions, 
but he seems, in order that he might keep himself in the current 
of political influence, frequently to have made a show of for- 
warding schemes of which he disapproved. Yet there is a strong 
probability that he hoped to make the English inter - 
Saiisbuiy vention in Juliers the basis of a fresh departure in 
Spanish anu ~ foreign policy, and to place England at the head of 
alliance. an a iij ance w hich, without assuming a provocative 
attitude, should at least oppose a barrier to that Spanish aggres- 
sion which, since the murder of Henry IV., had once more 
become a positive danger to Europe. 

It was in this spirit that he had warmly supported the union 
with France, and that as soon as this was assured, he turned 
The case of n ' s attention to those grievances of the English mer- 
the English c h an ts in Spain which in 1607 had moved the com- 

merchanls * ' 

in Spain. passion of the House of Commons, and which were 

still substantially unredressed. Cornwallis, indeed, had been 

most active in pressing these claims upon the attention of the 

Spanish Government, and had at his own expense 

employed advocates to maintain them in the courts 

of law. When he returned to England in 1609, he left behind 

him his secretary, Cottington, who was to act as agent for the 

King of England until the appointment of another ambassador. 

Cottington took up the cases immediately, and left no stone 


unturned to obtain justice. 1 At last, on December i, 1609, a 
judgment was given in the case of the 'Trial.' The vessel was 
to be restored to its owners, but nothing was said about the 
value of the merchandise, or about reparation for the inhuman 
treatment inflicted upon the crew. Nor was it easy to obtain 
restitution even of the vessel itself. The Duke of Feria, who 
had been Viceroy of Sicily when the seizure was effected, was 
dead, and his son, who had succeeded to his title, was far too 
powerful a personage to pay any attention to the sen- 
tence of an ordinary court. Cottington complained 
that, in spite of all his efforts, nothing was done. At last, three 
days after the signature of the treaty with France, 2 Salisbury 
wrote to him, ordering him to present his complaints formally 
before the Spanish Government, and to intimate that if justice 
were still denied, he was directed to return home at once, to 
give an account of the treatment to which English subjects were 

The effect of this was immediate. He was told indeed 
that, in the case of the ' Trial,' nothing could be done for the 
Effect of present, as the Duke of Feria was in France, and it 
remon? ton s was necessary to wait for his return. Orders were, how- 
strance. everj placed in his hands, commanding the various 
tribunals to proceed expeditiously in the other cases of which 
he complained. These orders he received on October 20, and 
on April 10 in the following year 3 he was able to 
report not only that he had at last obtained several 
decisions in favour of the merchants, but that those decisions 
had actually been carried into effect. There were, however, 
important cases still remaining undecided, and these were left 
to the advocacy of Sir John Digby, who was to go out as 
ambassador in the course of the summer of 1611. 

Whilst Salisbury was thus extending his protection to 
Englishmen whose interests were menaced by Spain, he did 
not neglect the wider political aspect of the situation. It was 

1 The despatches in the S. P. are full of details on this subject. 

2 Salisbury to Cottington, Aug. 21, S. P. Sp. The treaty was signed 
on the iQth. See p. 101. 

' Cottington to Salisbury, April 10, S. P. Sp. 


his anxious wish that the alliance with the enemies of the House 
The Princess f Austria might be strengthened by the marriages 
Elizabeth. of the King's children. 1 The Lady Elizabeth had 
grown up far from the frivolities and dissipations of the Court, 
at Combe Abbey, under the watchful care of Lord and Lady 
Ha'rrington. No better school could have been found for her 
than a country house, presided over by a master and mistress 
who gained the respect and the love of all who knew them. 
From them she learned the religion, free from fanaticism or 
superstition, which was at no distant date to support her under 
no ordinary trials. In the spring of 1611, she had not com- 
pleted her fifteenth year, but she was already noted for a grace 
and discretion beyond her years. She was the darling of her 
brother Henry, and she won golden opinions from young and 
old at her father's court, to which she was now transferred. 2 
Young as she was, proposals had already been made for her 
hand. Since the plan for marrying her to the Prince of Pied- 
mont had been wrecked on the Pope's refusal to countenance 
it, her hand had been demanded for the youthful heir to the 
throne of Sweden, who was afterwards to be so well known as 
the great Gustavus Adolphus. James, however, had refused 
to countenance an alliance with an enemy of his brother-in-law 
the King of Denmark, and it was not till the beginning of 
1611 that an offer was made which James thought worthy of 
being taken into consideration. 

The Elector Palatine, to whose leadership the Protestant 

Union owed its existence, had died in the previous year, leaving 

his son, Frederick V., a minor. Not long before his 


marriage death, the old Elector had made advances to the 
Elector English Court, with a view of obtaining the hand of 
Elizabeth for his heir. They had been not unfavour- 
ably received, but they do not appear to have assumed the 
form of a definite proposal. The idea was taken up, after the 
death of the Elector, by his widow, daughter of the great 

1 Elizabeth was now again James's only daughter. The two children, 
Mary and Sophia, who had been born after his accession to the English 
throne, had both died in their infancy. 

a Green, Princesses of England, v^l. v. 


William of Orange, and by her brother-in-law, the Duke of 
Bouillon, one of the leaders of the French Protestants. In 
January 1611, Bouillon met Edmondes at Paris, and sounded 
him as to the reception which the proposal of such an alliance 
would find in England. Edmondes, on applying for instruc- 
tions, was told to answer that James regarded the marriage with 
a favourable eye, but that he could not give a decided answer 
till a formal demand had been made. 1 The Electress, on hear- 
ing this, declared herself well satisfied, but said that she could 
not send a regular proposal till she had secured the consent of 
the three guardians of her son, Count Maurice, the Prince of 
Anhalt, and Count John of Nassau. 2 

This reply must have reached London about the end of April. 

About a month before another application for Elizabeth's hand 

had been made on behalf of the Prince of Piedmont 

The Duke 

of Savoy by the Savoyard ambassador, the Count of Cartignana. 
dou^ie e mar- On inquiry, it appeared that he had only authority to 
treat on condition that another marriage should be 
effected between the Prince of Wales and his master's daughter, 
and that even on those terms he was not at liberty to promise 
to the Princess Elizabeth the free exercise of her religion. It 
is probable that the Duke knew that in no other way would 
Paul V. be induced to give permission to the marriage. 

It is in the highest degree probable that, if Salisbury could 
have had his way, Cartignana would have been dismissed with 
a polite but decided refusal. But the Lord Treasurer had to 
reckon with that party at the English Court which was headed 
by Northampton, and which, believing that a restoration of 
Catholicism would be the safest bulwark against democratic 
Puritanism, hoped to effect its object by providing the Prince 
of Wales with a Catholic wife. Yet if Salisbury was unable 
entirely to break off the negotiation, he was strong enough to 
throw almost insuperable difficulties in its way. Cartignana, 
who was returning to Turin, was told that no overture could 
be made on the subject of the prince's marriage, and that as to 

1 The Council to Edmondes, Feb. 7. Edmondes to Salisbury, Jan 19, 
5. P. France. 

Edmondes to Salisbury, April 24, ibid. 


the Princess, she would never marry without the free exercise 
of her religion. The King, said Salisbury, would not so 
abandon her to make her Queen of the world. 1 

In Northampton's drearn of a Catholic restoration James 
assuredly had no part His own dream was nobler, if it was quite 
James's as impracticable. He wished to put an end to religious 
warfare, and to persuade the Catholic powers and the 
Protestant powers of the Continent that it was for their real in- 
terest to abstain from mutual aggression. Why should not he 
and his family be the centre round which this new league of peace 
should form itself? Why should not one at least of his children 
be united in marriage bonds with a Catholic? The difference 
of religion ought to prove no hindrance, if mutual respect kept 
those united who were disunited by creed. The arrangement 
by which a Catholic bride was to be provided for the future 
King of. England would be especially satisfactory if a princess 
could be found whose dowry would be large enough to be 
employed in the payment of her father-in-law's debts. Scarcely 
. had Cartignana left England when James's hopes 
infanta were encouraged by a far more brilliant proposal than 

offered. i - i i r. , i i 

that which the Savoyard envoy had it m his power 
to make. The Spanish ambassador, Alonzo de Velasco, de- 
clared that if the king would demand for his son the hand of 
the Infanta Anne, the proposal would not meet with a refusal 
at Madrid. Whatever Salisbury may have thought of the offer, 
James could not bring himself to suspect that the Spaniards 
Digby merely wanted to amuse him, 2 and directed Digby 
ask e fbr d the to demand the Infanta on his arrival at Madrid, if he 
infanta. found that the Spaniards were in earnest, and were 
willing to agree to reasonable conditions. 
June, !6n. When Digby arrived, in June, he found that the 
Government Spanish Government was by no means anxious for 
draws back. t h e alliance. Philip passed Digby on to Lerma, who, 
as soon as he saw him, began to make excuses. He said that, 

1 Salisbury to Winwood, April 3, Winw. iii. 271. Sir R. Dudley to 
p au l v., - Nov ? Q -' 1612, Roman Transcripts, R.O. 

' ' ec. 9, 

2 Eigby to the King, June 4, 1613, S. P. Spain. 

i6ii DIGBY AT MADRID. 139 

although he should be glad if such a marriage could take 
place, the difference of religion was an obstacle which could 
only be removed by the Pope ; and that if the King thought 
that his daughter would be drawn away from her faith, he would 
not consent to see her married to a heretic, if it were to save 
his kingdom. l In spite of these obstacles, however, the matter 
should be taken into consideration, and in due time an answer 
should be given. The fact was, as Digby soon learned, that 
the Queen-Regent of France had proposed that the double 
marriage, to which she had been unable to obtain her husband's 
consent, should now take place ; and that the Spaniards rightly 
judged that an alliance with a Catholic sovereign was more 
likely to prove lasting than one with Protestant England. Some 
weeks later, Digby was informed that the ambassador in 
England had exceeded his instructions, and that the Infanta 
Anne was to become the wife of the young King of France. 
If, however, the Prince of Wales would be content with her 
sister Maria, Spain would be ready to negotiate on the subject. 
In reporting this conversation, Digby begged the King to give 
up all thought of a Spanish match for the Prince. The Infanta 
Maria, he told him, was a mere child, not yet six years of 
age, and it was certain that the Spaniards were only desirous of 
playing upon his credulity. 2 

Salisbury was delighted with the turn matters had taken. 
The Prince, he said, could find roses elsewhere ; he need not 
trouble himself about this Spanish olive. 3 James, perhaps 
ashamed of having been deceived so thoroughly, was only 
anxious to let the matter drop. But his desire for a Catholic 
daughter-in-law had not died away, and Northampton was 
not likely to be slack in arguments in favour of such a plan. 
Salisbury, however, resolved that if there was to be a Catholic 
Princess of Wales it should be one of his own choosing. 

Before the end of October he sent for Lotto, the agent of 

1 Digby to , Birch, Life of Henry Prince of Wales, 53- Instruc- 
tions to Digby, April 7, 1611 ; Digby to Salisbury, June 1 8, 1611, 
S. P. Sp. 

' 2 Digby to the King, Aug. 9, 1611, S. P. Sp. 

* Salisbury to Winwood, Sept. 5, Winw. iii. 290. 


the Grand Duke of Tuscany, and asked him to enquire whether 
October ^* s mas t er would give one of his sisters to the Prince. 

Salisbury The agent said something about the question of re- 

proposes a . . 

Tuscan ligion. " If you want," replied Salisbury, " to change 

Princess. , .. . . , , .,, . 

the religion of the realm, we will never consent, but 
if you only wish that the Princess shall have the exercise of 
her own religion, we shall easily agree." He added that, as 
Treasurer, he had another point to mention. He wished to 
know what portion the Grand Dukes of Tuscany were accus- 
tomed to give. 1 

Whilst Salisbury's message was on the way to Florence, 
Cartignana reappeared in England with instructions to ask for 
November, the Princess Elizabeth alone. Salisbury threw all his 
ard marriage weight into the scale against him, and James inclined 
rejected. to f o ij ow Salisbury's advice. When, in December, 
sents to the he learned that the Electress had obtained the con- 
Ws'Jaughter sent of her son's guardians to his marriage with the 
EtectoT English Princess, he gave up all thought of marrying 
Palatine. n j s daughter to the Prince of Piedmont. Cartignana 
returned home complaining of the indignity put upon his master 
by the preference shown to a German elector. 2 

To show that something more than a merely family alliance 
was intended, James directed Winwood to attend a 

March 28, ' J 

1612. meeting which was held by the German Protestants 

Treaty of ,,......., , 

alliance with at Wesel in the beginning of 1612, and to assent to 

the Union. f England an( j the 

Princes of the Union agreed upon the succours which they were 

1 Lotto adds, in writing to his master, that there had been a talk of find- 
ing a Protestant wife for the Prince, ' ma degli Inglesi et occulti Cattolici, 
che ve ne sono pero mold, amrmano tutti, che se il signor Principe 
piglia una moglie heretica, che loro sono spediti per sempre, et che mai piii 
quel Regno non tornera Cattolico, che per essere stato non e molto 
Cattolichissimo. Sperebbono con 1'introduzione d'una Regina Cattolica 
di poter forse tornare al lor primiero stato.' Abstract from Lotto's de- 

spatches, Oct. ' ^-55' 3ii Roman Transcripts, R. 0. 
21, Nov. 4, 10, 

2 Chamberlain to Carleton, Nov. 13; Court and Times, i. 144; Tid- 
ings from England, Dec., S. P. Dom., Ixvii. 118. Edmondes to Salisbury, 
Dec. 21 ; Salisbury to Edmondes, Dec. 26, S. P. France. 


mutually to afford to one another in case of need. l The envoys 
who brought this treaty to England for ratification were em- 
powered to make a formal demand for the hand of Elizabeth, 
and on May 16, the marriage contract was signed. 2 

The treaty was perhaps the more acceptable to James 

because the Spanish Government had lately been compelled to 

unmask its views. All through the spring, Digby had 

Continued ' r J 

offers of been from time to time charged with messages to his 
master to the effect that Philip would gladly agree to 
give his younger daughter to the Prince, if only matters of re- 
ligion could be accommodated. When Lerma was asked what 
was meant by accommodating matters of religion, he coolly 
replied that Philip expected that the Prince of Wales should 
become a Catholic. 

For some time at least no more was heard of a Spanish 
marriage. No one would have rejoiced more than Salisbury at 
the failure of the negotiation with Spain, combined with the 
success of the negotiation with the Elector Palatine. He was no 
longer capable of joy or sorrow. His health had long 
Salisbury's been failing. Though he had not completed his forty- 
ninth year he was prematurely old. In December, 
1611, he had an attack of rheumatism in his right arm. To- 
wards the end of the month, it had almost entirely 
passed away. 3 A few weeks later he was seized with 
an ague, which was accompanied by symptoms which indicated 
that his whole system was breaking up. 4 From this condition he 
rallied, and it was supposed that the danger was at an end. In 
the second week in March he was able to walk in his garden 
and began to apply himself to the business of his office. A few 
days later it was given out that he was completely recovered, 
and that his illness had never been serious. 5 The change did 

1 March 28. Rymer, xvi. 714. 

2 Ibid. xvi. 722. 

3 Chamberlain to Carleton, Dec. 4 and 18, Court and Times, i. 151. 

4 More to Winwood, Jan. 25 and Feb. 17, Winw. iii. 331, 337. 

5 Chamberlain to Carleton, Feb. 26, March n and 21 (Court and 
Times, i. 135, 137 ; S. P. Dom. Ixviii. 78). Here, as in several instances, 
the editor of the valuable collection published as the Court and Time of 


not last long. The physicians were unable to discover the 
nature of the disorder which was again settling upon him. To- 
wards the end of April, he made up his mind to try the Bath 
waters, though he was told that the place would only prove 
injurious to him. He was anxious to be quiet, and to lose sight 
of the men who, as he well knew, were only waiting for his 
death to scramble for his offices. Before he went, he twice 
dragged himself to the council table, and on each occasion 
spoke for no less than two hours. 1 He remained at Bath for 
sixteen days. At first he revived a little, but afterwards he 
rapidly grew worse. His mind was troubled by the remem- 
brance of the plotters in London, and he could not rest satisfied 
without making one more effort to show them that he was still 
alive. In this determination he was strengthened by his dislike 
of what he called the suffocating sulphurous air of Bath. Sum- 
moning the last remains of his strength, he set out for London. 
He never accomplished his journey. On May 24 he breathed 
his last at the parsonage-house at Marlborough. 2 

When the dying statesman left Bath, his steps had been 
hastened by a desire to show himself once more in London, to 
the discomfiture of his rivals. Before he reached Marlborough, 
all such thoughts seemed to have left him for ever. If he ex- 
pressed any anxiety, it was that his children might live virtuous 
and religious lives. When he spoke of himself, his words were 
those of a man who had been too much occupied with the 
affairs of life to know much about theological questions. What- 
ever his faults were, and they were many, he had in the main 
striven to do his duty to his country. Whatever may be the 
truth concerning the dark intrigues with the Spanish ambas- 
sador, or concerning those more private vices with which ru- 
mour delighted to blacken his fame, to all appearance, at least, 
he died as one who was aware of having committed many faults, 

James /., has misplaced the letters, having forgotten to alter the date 
with the change in the commencement of the year. 

1 Chamberlain to Carleton, March 25, Court and Times, i. 162, April 
29, S. P. Ixviii. 104. 

2 Chamberlain to Carleton, May 27, Court and Times, i. 168 ; Finett 
to Trumbull, May 28, Wimu. iii. 367. 


but who was ignorant of any deed which might weigh down his 
conscience in the hour of death, and who had kept the sim- 
plicity of his faith intact. The victories and the defeats of the 
world were all forgotten now. Quietly and calmly the last of 
the Elizabethan statesmen went to his rest 1 

The news of the Treasurer's death was received in London 

with satisfaction. The heartless Northampton and his followers 

fancied that the time was now come when they might 

larity of rule England unchecked, and might divide the spoils 

of office amongst themselves. Bacon believed that 
a free field would now at last be open for the exercise of his 
talents, and for the reforms upon which he had meditated so 
long. James had long been weary of the yoke, and was by no 
means sorry to be rid of his monitor. Nor was it only at Court 
that the dead man's name was regarded with aversion. The 
popular party, which was daily growing in strength, looked upon 
him as the author of the hated impositions. Many who cared 
little about politics, only knew him as the great man who had 
kept the reins of government in his own hands, and who him- 
self was rich whilst the Exchequer was lying empty. Other 
causes have made posterity unjust to his memory. The system 
of government which he upheld was deservedly doomed, and 
when it had passed away, it was hard to believe that anyone 
could innocently have taken part in practices which a later age 
condemned as oppressive and injurious to the welfare of the 
nation. It was still harder to imagine that the man who suc- 
ceeded, whilst Essex and Raleigh, Northumberland and Bacon 
failed, could have prospered except by the most unscrupulous 

Salisbury's want of sympathy with the foremost men of his 
own generation prevented him from attracting round him the 
causes of rising talent of the next. He founded no political 
his failure. sc hool ; he left behind him no watchword by which 
the leaders in the great conflict which was so soon to break out 
could arouse the flagging energies of their followers ; he threw 
no light upon the questions which were for such a length ot 

1 Observations of Mr. John Bowles, Peck's Desiderata Curiosa 205. 


time to agitate the minds of his countrymen ; he stood alone 
whilst he lived, and when he died there were few to mourn his 

Bacon spoke truly of Salisbury when he told the King that he 
was fit to prevent affairs from growing worse, though he was not 
fit to make them better. James, in his reply, let it be known that 
he thought that Salisbury had failed in preventing his affairs 
from growing worse. 1 The charge was true, but it was not alto- 
gether true that the fault lay at Salisbury's door. It was James, 
whose extravagance had driven the Treasurer to the necessity 
of laying the impositions which raised such ill-feeling between 
the nation and the Crown ; and if Salisbury failed to give his 
support to the wider ecclesiastical policy of the House of Com- 
mons, his mistake in this respect was shared by James. 

Of Salisbury's unwearied industry it is unnecessary to speak. 
His presence at the Treasury breathed at once a new spirit 
into the financial administration. Nothing was too small to 
escape him. He succeeded without difficulty in raising the 
revenue to an amount which would have filled Elizabeth with 
admiration, though it was all too little for her successor. 2 All 
the while he was carrying on the business of Secretary, which 
he continued to hold, and directing the course of foreign and 
domestic policy. 

Of his foreign policy it is difficult, if not impossible, to 
speak with certainty. It is probable that if he had been left to 
himself he would have advocated a general policy of distrust 
towards Spain, and a cautious alliance with the Dutch Republic. 
But he was not his own master. James's fantastic views on the 
possibility of obtaining the concurrence of all sorts of persons 
by the simple expression of honest n-inion, had nowhere greater 
scope than in the direction of /us foreign relations. Salisbury 

1 Letters and Life, iv. 278, note I. 

2 A good sketch of what he effected in this office will be found in 
Sir Walter Cope's Apology, printed in Gutch's Collectanea Curiosa, i. 119. 
Mr. Spedding (Bacon's Letters and Life, iv. 276) says that the total result 
of Salisbury's financial administration appears to have been the halving of 
the debt, at the cost of almost doubling the deficiency. But the former 
was the result of his own labour ; over the latter he had but little control. 


had not to guide, but sometimes to influence, often merely to 
follow. He had to advocate schemes which he detested, and 
to co-operate with persons whom he disliked. It is probable 
that, if we knew all, these considerations would be found to supply 
the key to the riddle of his seemingly cordial relations with Nor- 
thampton, and of the friendly footing upon which, by the accept- 
ance of large su .ns of money, he stood with successive Spanish 
ambassadors. There can be little doubt that his latest achieve- 
ment, the alliance with the Elector Palatine, was all his own, and 
that it fairly represents the policy to which, if he had had free 
course, he would have addicted himself in by-past years. 

However ably the late Treasurer discharged the duties of 
his place, it could hardly be expected that the aspirants for 
office could look on with satisfaction whilst he engrossed the 
whole work and credit of government It remained to be seen 
whether those who were so eager to occupy his seat would be 
able to imitate his wisdom. 

It was generally expected that the white staff of the late 

Lord Treasurer would be placed in the hands of Northampton ; 

but Northampton was by no means eager, at such a 

TheTrea- . , ir i -i ,' 

sury put in time, to take upon himself the responsibilities of the 
^mission. office The Treasury was therefore entrusted to the 

charge of Commissioners. Their names were not likely to 
inspire confidence in their skill. The only man amongst them 
who had any practical acquaintance with finance was Sir Julius 
Caesar, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and even he had no 
abilities above those which might be possessed by any expe- 
rienced clerk. The high-sounding names of the Earls of 
Northampton, Suffolk, and Worcester, and of Lords Zouch and 
Wotton, only served to fill up the list. 1 

Far more eagerness was shown to obtain the Secretaryship, 

which did not entail the labour of watching over an empty 

Exchequer. The post was coveted by a large num- 

Candidates , . n tri j i i 

fortheSecre- ber of persons, each of whom imagined that he haa 

the best claim to succeed to the deceased statesman. 

Amongst them was one, who if James could have been bold 

Chamberlain to Carleton, June 17, Court and Times i. 173. Lord 
Wotton was a brother of Sir Henry. 


enough to accept him as an adviser, and humble enough to 
submit to his teaching, might have made the course of his reign 
different from what it was. Bacon offered to forsake the law 
and to devote himself to the task of reconciling the King with 
his Parliament. l James, however, was in no hurry to meet his 
Parliament again, and had a very insufficient perception of the 
necessity of changing his mode of government if he was to 
avoid disaster. Bacon was therefore passed over in silence. 
Gradually, however, the numbers of those who had any chance 
of obtaining the object of their desires diminished ; and at last 
it was rumoured among the courtiers that the choice lay be- 
tween Sir Henry Wotton, Sir Thomas Lake, and Sir Henry 
Neville. 2 

Sir Henry Wotton was supported by the influence of the 
Queen, and at first even by that of the Prince of Wales. He 
Sir Henry was looked upon as a man likely to walk in the path 
Wotton. which had been traced out by Salisbury. It was 
reported that before his death Salisbury had intended to resign 
the Secretaryship in his favour. He was a man of integrity and 
ability, and had won the regard of James as well by his reputa- 
tion for learning as by a service which he had rendered him 
before his accession to the English throne. There was some- 
thing in him of that steadiness and solidity of character for 
which Salisbury had been distinguished, but it is hardly likely 
that he would have succeeded as a statesman. Even if he had 
been naturally qualified to act as the guide of a nation which 
requires in its leaders sympathy with its noblest aspirations, his 
long absence from his native land was sufficient to create a wide 
gulf between himself and his fellow-countrymen. Since he had 
completed his education, he had spent the greater part of his 
life in Italy, at first by choice, and latterly as Ambassador at 
Venice. The opposition which had been aroused by nine years 
of unpopular government found no echo in his breast. He had 
only heard of the errors of his Sovereign through the medium of 
a distant correspondence. If he had learned in Italy to be toler- 
ant of differences of opinion, he had also learned to think 

1 Bacon to the King, Letters and Life, iv. 281. 

* Chamberlain to Carleton, June n, Court and Times, i. 171. 


of that great cause of Protestantism in which England was 
sure for a long time to come to feel the deepest interest. l 

Sir Thomas Lake was a man of a very different character. 
He had no pretensions to be anything more than a diligent 
Sir Thomas an( ^ reac ty official No scheme of policy, domestic or 
Lake. foreign, was ever connected with his name. Of the 

three rivals he is the only one of whom we hear that he offered 
a bribe to obtain the post which he coveted. His promotion 
would hardly have given pleasure to anyone, excepting perhaps 
to Northampton. 

The candidate whose selection would have given most satis- 
faction to the nation was undoubtedly Sir Henry Neville. In 
Sir Henry tne *eig n of Elizabeth, he had served with credit as 
Ambassador at Paris. He was in London at the 
time when Essex was planning his foolish and unprincipled 
rebellion, and had unfortunately been made acquainted with 
a portion at least of the schemes of the conspirators. There 
was no reason to suppose that he sympathised with them in 
the slightest degree ; but either from thoughtlessness, or from 
regard for his informants, he omitted to give information to the 
Government of what he had heard. As this amounted to mis- 
prision of treason, he was committed to the Tower, from which 
he was only released at the accession of James, in company 
with Southampton and the other conspirators who had escaped 
the scaffold. In the Parliament which met in the following 
year he sat for Berkshire, and although he refrained from taking 
any prominent part in opposition to the Government, there was 
never any doubt that his sympathies were with the popular 
party. A little before the end of the first session of 1610, he 
took an opportunity of stating to the King, in the plainest 
possible terms, what the demands of that party were, and of 
pressing upon him the necessity of giving way. It is evident 
that the elevation of such a man to the secretaryship would 

1 The manifest dislike which he felt for his embassy to Holland in 
1614-15 is enough to show how he felt in this matter. Winwood would 
never have begged to be removed to Italy or Spain. I have taken my 
view of Wotton from his voluminous unpublished correspondence in the 
Record Office. 



have been equivalent to a declaration on the part of the King 
that he was willing to retrace his steps, and in future to govern 
in accordance with the wishes of the House of Commons. The 
members of the last Parliament who happened to be in London, 
came flocking round their candidate. Southampton came up 
from the country, hoping that the time was now come when the 
friends of Essex might be admitted to power, and did all he 
could to forward Neville's prospects. 

Even if James had been otherwise disposed to look upon 
Neville with favour, all this would have been sufficient to move 
james de- ms jealousy. Although, from some unexplained 
beThTown" m otive, Rochester gave his support to the popular 
secretary. candidate, the King at once declared against him, 
saying that he would have no secretary imposed upon him by 
Parliament. 1 He let it be known that he had no thought, for 
the present at least, of making an appointment at all. He 
imagined that he was perfectly capable of acting as his own 
secretary, and of directing the complicated machinery of the 
domestic and foreign policy of the Government himself. Lake 
would be sufficiently capable of receiving and sending out the 
despatches and other necessary documents. If he needed any 
assistance beyond this, Rochester, whom he had recently raised 
to the dignity of a Privy Councillor, would be with him. To 
James it was a recommendation that Rochester had no real 
knowledge of public business. He wanted an instrument, not 
a statesman. In the same spirit he chose the Sir George 
Carew, who had been Ambassador in France, to be Master of 
the Court of Wards, apparently on the principle that a candi- 
date who was in no way distinguished amongst his contempo- 
raries was more likely, than an abler man would be, to submit 
to the bidding of his Sovereign. 

i6i It would have been strange if the attitude assumed 

Relations by the English Government during the last months 
E^dand of Salisbury's life had not made a difference in its 
andSpam. re i at i ons w j t h t he Court of Spain. As long as there 
had been any hope that the overtures of that Court would 

1 Chamberlain to Carleton, June II and 17, July 2, Court and Times, 
i. 171, 173. !79- 


meet with a favourable reception in England, Digby had found 
that the ministers of Philip III. were not indisposed to redress 
the grievances of which he was instructed to complain. As 

soon as he could obtain a hearing, he presented a 

chants' memorial, in which the wrongs done to the English 

ces ' merchants were set down in detail, 1 and he threatened 

the Spaniards with the severe displeasure of his master if justice 

were not done. He was met with abundant promises 

Dec., 1611. .. , , . .... 

of compliance, and orders were immediately given 
that the cases should be brought to a speedy decision. In 
some of the more recent ones, where the tribunals had not yet 
taken cognizance of the supposed offences, commands were 
issued that the goods which had been seized by the King's 
officers should at once be restored to their owners. 

Digby was not content, as Cornwallis had been, with merely 
demanding justice, and reporting his good or bad success from 
time to time to his Government. Immediately upon 
Digby in- his arrival at Madrid he set himself to investigate the 
thfcauses causes of the evils complained of, and did his best to 
evihTcom- devise a remedy against their recurrence. He was not 
piamed of. j on g m discovering that they were the almost inevitable 
result of the Spanish judicial system. Whenever, in consequence 
of a real or supposed infringement of the customs' law, sentence 
was given in the local courts against a merchant, the property 
in question was immediately confiscated and divided into three 
equal parts, which were assigned respectively to the King, 
the judge, and the informer. Thus it happened that the 
interest of the judge would lead him to pronounce sentence 
for the Crown whenever the case was sufficiently doubtful to 
give him an excuse for doing so. It was true that an appeal 
lay to the Courts at Madrid, and that not only were these 
courts notorious for their integrity, but as a matter of fact, 
scarcely a single instance had occurred since the peace, in 
which an Englishman had appealed to them without obtaining 
a sentence in his favour. But their forms of procedure were 
extremely wearisome, and it was seldom that a case was before 

1 Digby to Salisbury, Dec. 29, 1611, S. P. Sf. 


them for less than two or three years. Such a delay, involving 
as it did the residence at Madrid of the merchant himself, 01 
of his representative, in order to watch the proceedings, caused 
an expense which none excepting the most wealthy traders could 
afford. Nor were the difficulties of the merchant at an end 
even when he had obtained a favourable sentence, as his 
goods had been divided immediately after the original decision 
had been given against him. The informer was sure to be a 
beggar, who had spent long ago all that had fallen to his share. 
The judge had probably been removed to some distant station, 
perhaps in America, and if he were still to be found where 
the wrong had originally been done, it was no easy matter 
to put the law in force against a great man presiding in his own 
court. The King's third was the only one which there was a 
chance of recovering, but so low was the Treasury that the 
Royal warrants for satisfying claims of this nature scarcely ever 
obtained payment in less than two or three years. 

To remedy these evils Digby proposed two changes, which 
the Spanish Government at once promised to adopt. In future, 
Remedies whenever an appeal was made against the decision 
agreed to. o f the local court, it was to be brought before a special 
commission, which would be able to hear and determine the 
matter at once. The second concession was of still greater 
importance : the goods were no longer to be confiscated by the 
inferior judges, but bonds were to be given by which the owners 
engaged to pay their value, in case of the rejection of their 
appeal. In order to show his willingness to oblige the English, 
the King directed, a few days after these arrangements had 
been made, that several Englishmen, who were prisoners in the 
galleys, should immediately be set at liberty. 

Lastly, Digby had long been urging his Government to 

appoint consuls. It had often happened that, either through 

ignorance or wilfulness, English traders had suffered 

punishment for the breach of Spanish laws. Digby 

thought it would be well to have some experienced person 

present at the chief ports, to warn inexperienced Englishmen 

of their danger, and to send him intelligence which would save 

him from advocating the causes of men who were themselves 


to blame. The Government at home fully agreed with his 
suggestion, and appointed a person named Lee to act as Consul 
at Lisbon. They also directed that Cottington should reside in 
the same capacity at Seville. 1 

Before Salisbury's death a strange overture had reached 

James from Madrid. Philip III. had become a widower in 

the preceding autumn, and Digby was allowed to 

Rumours J 

that the understand that he would gladly take the Princess 
Spafnin- Elizabeth for his second wife. Queen Anne was 
forthe a delighted to hear that such a prospect was opening 

before her daughter, and Velasco informed his 
Government that not only was James ready to give his con- 
sent, but that Elizabeth herself would cheerfully renounce the 
Protestant faith in which she had been nurtured. 2 

In consequence of this information, the Spanish Court 
decided upon despatching a special mission to James. Pedro 
de Zuniga, who was chosen for this service, had formerly resided 
in England as ambassador, and was therefore well qualified, 
by his knowledge of the court to which he was accredited, to 

fulfil the delicate service entrusted to him. Ostensibly 
ZuTi Ja's 12 ~ he was only sent to give explanations concerning the 

French marriages ; but in Spain, nobody doubted that 
he was empowered to demand the Princess for his master, if, 
upon his arrival, he should have reason to believe that the offer 
would be accepted. As soon as he had time to discover what 
the King's real intentions were, he found that the marriage with 
the Elector was irrevocably decided upon, and that there was as 
much probability of the Princess Elizabeth deserting the religion 
of her childhood as there was of the King of Spain turning Pro- 
testant Accordingly, when James granted him an audience, he 
contented himself with giving explanations on the subject of' 
the negotiations with which the two courts had been occupied 
in the past year. As soon as he had finished, the King asked 
him if he had nothing more to say, and on his replying in the 

1 Digby to the Council ; Digby to Salisbury, Jan. 19, S. P. Spain. 

2 The important part of Digby's despatch of Jan. 4, 1612, is printed by 
Mrs. Everett Green, Lives of the Princesses, v. 178. 


negative, dismissed him with evident signs of anger. 1 It can 
hardly be doubted that he was eager to return in kind the 
insult which he had received in the preceding year, and that 
he was vexed at being baulked of an opportunity of venting 
his indignation. As soon as Zuniga was gone, James told his 
councillors what had passed, and assured them that nothing 
should ever induce him to allow his daughter to marry a 
Papist. 2 

Though James had made up his mind to carry out the 
contract into which he had entered with the Elector Palatine 
The recep- m May, there were still many points to be settled, 
Elector'^ an< ^ ^ was not ^ September that the negotiations 
England. were sufficiently advanced to allow the young Elector 
to set out to visit his affianced bride. When it was known that 
the vessel in which he sailed had arrived in safety at Gravesend, 
the enthusiasm in London was unbounded. As his barge 
passed up the river to Whitehall, he was welcomed by the 
thousands who had come out to see him arrive. James 
received him cordially, and even the Queen forbore to give 
expression to her dislike. It was not long before he was able 
to assure himself that he had won the heart of Elizabeth as 
well as her hand, though, if rumour is .to be trusted, she had 
hitherto shared her mother's dislike of a connection which she 
had been taught to regard as a marriage of disparagement. 
The impression which he made upon all who conversed with 
him was favourable, and even those who, before his arrival, 

1 Zuniga's despatch, Aug. 2, 1612, S. P. Sp. Mrs. Green (v. 179) 
supposes that James wished to receive a proposal, and was disappointed 
in not getting one. I do not think this is possible. If he still had any 
desire for the connection, he would not have allowed the contract to be 
signed in May. At that time he knew that Zuniga was coming. Besides, 
his conduct ever since the German alliance had been suggested to him 
was that of a man who wished to see it accomplished. Perhaps too much 
has been made of his anger on this occasion ; he had a very bad toothache 
at the time, which will account for a good deal of it. 

2 He had other reasons for distrusting Zuniga. A few days before, he 
had discovered that the ambassador had brought large sums of money with 
him for the purpose of corrupting the courtiers. Abbot to the King, 
July 22, 6". P. Dom. Ixx. II. 


had spoken slightingly of the match, were obliged to confess 
that, as far as his personal appearance went, he was worthy even 
of Elizabeth herself. 

Of all those who had favoured the Elector's suit no one 

had been more deeply interested in its success than the Prince 

of Wales. His attachment to his sister had ripened 

\L he mar- r 

nage into the warmest affection during the few years which 

favoured by. . . ,,,,... , .. 

the Prince had passed since she had left Lord Harrington s roof. 
He had been deeply vexed when he learned that 
there was a prospect of an offer being made to her by the King 
of Spain, and had publicly declared that, in his eyes, whoever 
favoured such a match was a traitor. He believed that the 
only aim of the Spaniards was to get the succession to the 
English throne into their hands, and that, as soon as they had 
possession of the Princess, they would immediately clear the 
way for her accession by murdering himself and his brother. 
He was proportionably delighted when he learnt that his father 
had irrevocably declared in favour of the Elector. 

Whilst James was engaged in concluding the arrangements 

for his daughter's marriage, he was also busy in deliberating 

, with his councillors upon the equally important 

Question of ... . 

the Prince's question of providing a wife for the Prince. He 

marriage. i i T- i / -i 

Proposed knew that the Duke of Savoy was ready, on the 
whrfsaloy slightest hint, to renew the offer which he had made 
:any - on behalf of his daughter, and that the Grand Duke 
of Tuscany had willingly accepted the overture made to him 
by Salisbury. The Grand Duke of Tuscany, however, had 
consulted the Pope, and had been informed that the union 
which he proposed would not meet with the approbation of 
the Church. 1 The Duke of Savoy, who was desirous of freeing 
himself from the chains of Spanish domination, was more bent 
upon securing a political ally than upon obtaining the appro- 
bation of the Pope. He offered to give his daughter a dowry 
of seven hundred thousand crowns, 2 and engaged that she 
would be content if she were allowed the exercise of her religion 

1 Carleton to the King, June 19 ; the Count of Vische to , July 14, 

1612, S. P. Ven, Le Vassor, Hist, de Louis XIII. (1757) i. 159. 
3 Northampton to Rochester, Oct. 7, 1612, S. P. Dom. Ixxi. i. 


in the most private manner possible. This marriage was 
warmly supported by Wotton, who had passed through Turin 
on his return from his embassy at Venice. His fondness for 
Italian society rendered him blind both to the political 
objections to the match, and to the domestic unhappiness 
which was likely to ensue if such a man as Prince Henry were 
to be condemned to live with a wife who would find it im- 
possible to sympathise with him in any one of his feelings. 

At first Wotton contrived to carry the Prince with him. It 
was not long, however, before the young man's good sense told 
him that such a marriage would conduce neither to his own 
welfare nor to that of the country. Yet, in spite of this feeling, 
he determined to keep quiet, in order not to provoke his father 
by untimely opposition to a plan which might never be actually 
presented to him for his acceptance. James, indeed, had not 
confined his attention to the two Italian Courts. The Duke of 
A ma ' Bouillon had been in England in the spring, when 
he had taken an opportunity of bringing before the 
Princess King the advisability of entering into a close alliance 
suggeste . ^.^ prance, anc j j ia( ^ even hinted that it was not 
impossible that, after all, the Spanish marriages might come to 
nothing, and that in that case the Regent would gladly bestow 
the hand of her eldest daughter upon the Prince of Wales. If 
this should not prove to be the case, there would be no 
difficulty in obtaining her sister, the Princess Christina. James, 
upon making inquiry, found that Bouillon had no authority for 
giving any hopes of the elder Princess, and was for a time dis- 
posed to give up all further thoughts of the alliance, as Christina 
was a mere child, in her seventh year. 1 

A week or two later he changed his mind. The French 
alliance would be worth having, in the state in which Europe 
then was. The mere fact of such an overture having come 
from France showed that the Regent was not disposed to place 
herself unreservedly in the hands of Spain. In truth, though 
she was glad enough to obtain the support of the Spaniards 
against her enemies, foreign and domestic, she had no idea of 

1 The King to Edmondes, June 1612, S. P. Fr. Christina was born 
on February 10, 1606. 


joining in a crusade against Protestantism. She wanted to be 
quiet, and she thought that an alliance with her great neigh- 
bours would be likely to preserve her from foreign war, and to 
overawe her turbulent nobles at home. If she could gain an 
influence in England as well as in Spain, so much the better ; 
it would be one chance the more for peace. With these 
guarantees, she would surely be able, when the time came 
when she would be called upon to deliver over the government 
to her son, to boast that in her hands France had not been 
exposed to the miseries of war. 

James, too, loved peace, and an alliance which might free 
the French Court from the subserviency to Spain which had 
Arguments lately characterised its policy was not to be lightly 
m us favour. re j ec ted. He therefore ordered Edmondes to discuss 
the matter in an unofficial manner with the French minister 
Villeroi, and to ascertain under what conditions the Regent 
would agree to the match. 1 After all, if the Prince should be 
willing to consent to defer his marriage for so long a time, the 
extreme youth of the Princess might not be an objectioa If 
the Regent could be persuaded to part with her daughter at 
once, she might be educated in England, and would, in all 
probability, be induced to embrace the religion of her future 

Edmondes accordingly made his proposal to Villeroi, and 
expressed his hope that if the marriage were agreed to, the 
Princess would be sent into England before the end of the 
following year. In consequence of that minister's illness, it 
was not till September 25 that he was able to forward an answer 
to James. Villeroi assured him that the Regent was most 
anxious for the conclusion of the marriage, but that she begged 
for a little longer time, in order that her daughter might be 
fully instructed in her religion before she left her home. 
Edmondes, however, stated that it was his belief that the 
Queen was so desirous of the marriage that, if she were 
pressed upon this point, she would certainly give way ; and, in 
fact, on November 7, he was able to write that Villeroi had 

1 Edmondes to the King, July 21, 1612, S. P. Fr. 


informed him that his mistress was ready to consent to part 
with her daughter at the time proposed by James. 1 

By the King's command, Edmondes's despatch of Septem- 
ber 25 was forwarded by Rochester to the Prince, with a request 
that he would give his opinion upon a matter which 

The question f l 

submitted to concerned himself so deeply. The Prince did not 

the Prince. . . . 

give any decided answer, i he Savoyard Princess, he 
said, would bring with her a larger dowry than the daughter of 
the Queen of France. On the other hand, the French ma) - 
riage would give far greater satisfaction to the Protestants 
abroad. If the offer of the Regent was to be accepted, it must 
be understood that the Princess was only to be allowed the 
exercise of her religion in private, and it must be expressly 
stipulated that she should be sent over before the end of the 
following year at the latest, in order that there might be a reason- 
able prospect of her conversion. If he seemed indifferent, his 
father must remember that he knew little or nothing of State 
affairs, and that the time for making love, which was his part in 
the matter, had not yet arrived. 2 

The French alliance had the support of no less a man than 
Raleigh. In a treatise which he wrote at this time 3 he went 
Raleigh's once more over the arguments against he Savoy 
pamphlet. match which had been urged by him when he Prin- 
cess's marriage was being discussed in the preceding year. A 
marriage with a German lady would, he said, be equally unde- 
sirable, as the friendship of Protestant Germany was already 
secured. On the other hand, it was of the utmost importance 
that France should be won over as soon as possible to the cause 
of European liberty. He saw at once that the present friend- 
ship between France and Spain could not last for ever, and 

1 Edmondes to the King, Sept. 25 and Nov. 7, 1612, 6". P. Fr. The 
first of these despatches is endorsed with a wrong date, which may mislead 
anyone who is in search of it. The true date will be found at the end of 
the despatch itself. 

2 Rochester to the Prince, Oct. 2 ; the Prince to Rochester, Oct. 5, 
1612 ; Birch's Life of Henry, Prince of Wales, 308. 

* A Discourse touching a Marriage between Prince Henry of England 
and a daughter of Savoy. Raleigh's Works, viii. 237. The date, 9 Jacobi, 
is evidently erroneous. 


that, if Spain should renew her aggressions, France would of 
necessity be found sooner or later in opposition to her natural 

It is evident that, in spite of these arguments, the Prince was 
ill at ease. He knew that if he expressed his real sentiments 
The Prince t ^ s father he would only draw down upon himself 
not satisfied. a torrent of argument. After all, even if the Princess 
should be sent over at an early age, it was not certain that he 
would succeed in converting her, and ' he was resolved,' as he 
afterwards expressed it, ' that two religions should never lie in 
his bed.' 1 He was secretly meditating a scheme of which, as 
yet, he did not breathe a syllable to anyone ; he would accom- 
pany his sister to Germany : when there, he would fling politics 
to the winds, and choose a wife for himself. 

This plan of his was destined never to be accomplished. 
For some weeks he had been far from well. During the 
The Prince's summer he had neglected to take the most ordinary 
precautions for the preservation of his health. In 
the hottest season within living memory he had allowed himself 
to take far too violent exercise. Like his father, he was fond 
of fruit, and had partaken of it in unusually large quantities. 
He had even indulged in the imprudent practice of swimming 
immediately after supper. 

Though he had complained of feeling unwell during the 
whole of the autumn, it was not till October 10 that he was 
actually attacked by an illness which is now known to have 
been typhoid fever. 2 A violent cold was attended with other 
symptoms of disease. Two days afterwards he recovered to 
some extent, and insisted, in opposition to the advice of his 
physicians, upon going out For some days he kept up, but 
he looked pale and haggard. On the 24th he foolishly played 

1 Wake to Carleton. Undated, 1612 (S. P. Ven.\ Wake derived 
his information from Newton, to whom the Prince spoke of his designs 
upon his deathbed. 

2 The Illness and Death of Henry, Prince of Wales a historical case of 
typhoid fever. By Norman Moore, M.D. This pamphlet, reprinted from 
the ' St. Bartholomew Hospital Reports,' vol. xvii., lays at rest for ever 
whatever may still be left of the old theory, that the Prince was poisoned. 


at tennis, in which he exposed himself in his shirt to the chilly 
air of the season. The next day the fever was upon him, and 
he was forced to take to his bed. 

On November i he was somewhat better, and the King, the 
Queen, and his brother and sister, as well as the Elector, were 
admitted one by one to his bedside to see him. They left him 
in the belief that he might yet recover. The amendment was 
not for any length of time ; he grew worse and worse, and the 
physicians lost all hope. On the 6th he was evidently dying. 
The Queen, who had often derived benefit from 

and death. . ^ . . 

Raleigh s prescriptions, sent, as a last resource, to the 
prisoner in the Tower for help. He immediately prepared 
a medicine, which was given to the dying Prince. It was all in 
vain ; before the day was over, the sufferer was no more. 

Of all who knew him, the one who felt his loss most deeply 
was his sister Elizabeth. Since her visit to his sick room on 
the ist, she had made repeated efforts to see him, and had even 
attempted to penetrate to his apartments in disguise. She was, 
however, not allowed to pass, as, by that time, it was considered 
that his disease was infectious. Nor had he forgotten her : the 
last words he uttered in a state of consciousness were, " Where 
is my dear sister ? " 1 

Throughout the whole of England the sad news was received 
with tears and lamentations. Never in the long history of 
Universal England had an heir to the throne given rise to such 
grief - hopes, or had, at such an early age, inspired every 

class of his countrymen with love and admiration. They were 
not content with sorrowing over his memory, they vented their 
affection in the foolish outcry that their beloved Prince had 
been murdered. Sometimes it was Rochester, sometimes it 
was Northampton, who was supposed to have administered the 
poison which carried him off. Nor was there any lack of sus- 
picions more horrible still : grave men actually whispered to 
one another that James himself had a hand in the imaginary 
murder of his son. 

If the Prince had lived, he certainly would not have thrown 

1 Corwallis, Life of Prince Henry, Somers" Tracts, ii. 231 ; Chamber- 
lain to Carleton, Nov. 12, 1612 ; Court and Times, i. 202. 


the reins of government into the hands of the leaders of the 
Character of House of Commons. He would not have anticipated 
the Prince. fae resu it o f the inevitable struggle by abandoning 
what he would have considered to be his rights ; he would have 
had his own views on every question as it arose, and he would 
have striven by every means in his power to carry them out. 
Northampton was right, as far as he and such as he were con- 
cerned, when he said that ' the Prince, if ever he came to reign, 
would prove a tyrant.' He would have made short work with the 
men and measures which Northampton regarded with approval. 

Whether the young Henry would have fulfilled the promise 
of his youth it is impossible to say. It is enough for us that 
a keen observer has placed it on record that he was slow of 
speech, pertinent in his questions, patient in listening, and 
strong in understanding. 1 

Northampton must have felt his position strengthened by the 
removal of a formidable antagonist. Yet he was not long in dis- 
Bayie/s covering that he and those who agreed with him were 
sermons. intensely unpopular. A little more than a week after 
the Prince's death, one of his chaplains, named Bayley, preached 
a sermon, in which he told his congregation that Religion was 
lying bleeding, and that there were members of the Council 
who attended mass, and told their master's secrets to their wives, 
by whom they were betrayed to the Jesuits. 2 Bayley was re- 
primanded by the Archbishop, but he only repeated his ac- 
cusation, in a more distinct form, on the following Sunday. 
Similar insinuations were made by other preachers, who took 
care not to bring any direct accusation which could be laid 
Star hold of by the Government. A few days later, 

faSTim* Northampton heard that it was a matter of common 
!Srsons n fo S r lx conversation that, after he had published the speech 
NOT?h- rins which he had delivered at Garnet's trial, he had 
ampton. written secretly to Bellarmine, beseeching him to 
take no notice of what he had said, as he had only spoken 
in opposition to the Papal claims, for the sake of pleasing the 

1 In Henricum Principem Wallice elogium, Bacon's Lit. and Prof. 
Works i. 323. 

2 This, I suppose, referred to Suffolk. 


King and the people. The story obtained credit the more 
easily as, in all the controversial works which had appeared 
upon the Catholic side, not a word had been said of North- 
ampton's speech. Whether it were true or not, Northampton 
took the course which in those days was the usual resource of 
persons in authority who thought themselves maligned. He 
summoned before the Star Chamber six unlucky persons, who 
had been detected in spreading the report, and sent them away 
smarting under heavy fines. As might be expected, such a 
proceeding, though it rendered the newsmongers of the day 
more cautious in what they said, had no effect in changing their 
opinions. 1 

But if Northampton was allowed to inflict punishment upon 

his personal opponents, he was not allowed to guide the policy 

of the Government Hopes had been entertained, by 

of the those who were interested in breaking off the marriage 

:ess> of the Princess, that James would be less willing to 
carry out his design now that, by the death of her brother, she 
was a step nearer to the throne. He was determined to show 
that he had set his heart upon the match by directing the 
signature of the final marriage articles upon November 17, and 
by ordering that the ceremony of betrothal should take place 
on the zyth, the marriage itself being necessarily postponed on 
account of the Prince's death. 

The solemnity of the betrothal was almost marred by Sir 
Thomas Lake, who was directed to act as Secretary for the 
occasion. In that capacity he was called upon to read the 
contract in French, in order that the young couple might repeat 
the words after him. His translation, however, was so bad, 
and his pronunciation so detestable, that those who were 
present could not refrain from laughing, till the Archbishop, 
whose whole heart was in the scene before him, broke in with 
the solemn words, "The God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of 

1 Chamberlain to Carleton, Nov. 19, Dec. 17, 1612, Court and Times, 
i. 206, 213 ; State Trials, ii. 862. The story of Abbot's producing the 
letter can only refer to this trial, and is quite irreconcilable with the facts 
given us upon contemporary authority. If another trial had occurred later, 
we should surely have heard of it. 


Jacob, bless these nuptials, and make them prosperous to these 
kingdoms and to His Church." l 

Although Lake was allowed to act as Secretary on this 
occasion, it was generally understood that, in spite of his Parlia- 
l6l3- mentary antecedents, Neville was now the candidate 
rfthe's^- most likelv to obtain the post, if the King should 
retaryship. determine to fill it up. In the beginning of January 
the Council petitioned him to name a Secretary. 2 With his 
usual impulsiveness, James had at first thrown himself into the 
business of the office, and had read and answered despatches 
with commendable regularity. But he had soon grown tired of 
the labour, and complaints were heard that business was often 
at a standstill for want of his application to the duties which 
he had voluntarily undertaken. James promised to consider the 
advice of his Council ; but he was too desirous of keeping 
power in his own hands to take any steps in the matter. 

But whatever might be the King's decision on this point, 
he threw no obstacles in the way of the solemnisation of the 
marriage to which all good Protestants were hope- 
Marriage of fully looking forward. The ceremony was performed 
e Princess. ^^ a ^ pQggj^jg p Om p and splendour on February 14, 

1613. Even the Queen herself condescended to be present, 
though she had long looked with displeasure on the alliance, 
and had hitherto refrained from showing any sign of favour to 
the Elector. His frank and hearty manners seem to have won 
her over, and to all appearance she was now perfectly contented 

1 Chamberlain to Carleton, Dec. 31, 1612, Court and Times, i. 215 ; 
Rymer, xvi. 725- 

2 Chamberlain to Carleton, Jan. 7. 1613, Court and Times, i. 218. 
Wotton was out of favour at this time, as James had just heard of his 
celebrated inscription in the Album at Augsburg, " Legatus est vir bonus 
peregre missus ad mentiendum Reipublicse causa." The difficulty of the 
ordinary explanation has often been felt. It is impossible that he should 
have meant to make a joke which is unintelligible excepting in English, a 
language which was not understood at Augsburg. Is it not possible that the 
interpretation, ' ' An ambassador is a good man sent to lie abroad for the 
sake of his country, " was a happy thought, which first occurred to him as 
a good excuse to make, when he was taxed by James with what he had 



with her daughter's lot None of those who were present at 
that gay scene had the slightest foreboding of what that lot 
would be. If it was to be sad and stormy, at least it was to be 
without shame. 

It was not long before the shadows of Elizabeth's future life 
began to fall upon her. The expenses connected with her mar- 
riage amounted to more than 6o,ooo/.' Such a burden would 
have been severely felt at any time ; but in the disordered con- 
dition in which the finances were, it was almost insupportable. 
James was accordingly obliged, as a mere matter of necessity, 
in less than a month after the wedding, to dismiss the greater 
number of the attendants who had been appointed to wait 
upon the Elector during his stay in England. The Princess 
felt the slight put upon her husband deeply. 2 It was not the 
last time that James would be forced to turn his back upon 
her for want of means to help her. 

On April 10 the Elector and his bride left Whitehall. They 
travelled slowly, as if Elizabeth were loth to take leave of the 
The land in which she had spent so many happy days. 

Princess and When they reached Margate they were detained by 

her husband , , , , . ... , 

leave Eng- the state of the weather, and it was not till the 25th 
that they set sail for Holland. 3 Both she and her 

husband were young to face the storms which were before 

them, neither of them having yet completed their seventeenth 


Before the Elector left her, in order to make preparations for 

her reception in the Palatinate, he was called upon to take part 
n a ceremony which was of no slight importance to 

join the* e! himself. On May 6 the States, at the request of the 
King of England, 4 signed a treaty with the Princes 

of the Union, by which the two parties engaged themselves for 

1 This includes all the expenses of the Elector's household during his 
stay in England, as well as the expenses of the journey to Heidelberg. 
The Princess's portion was 4O,ooo/. in addition. 

2 Chamberlain to Carleton, March II, 1613, Court and Times, i. 232. 
1 Chamberlain to Carleton, April 29, S. P. Dom. Ixxii. 120 ; Green's 

Princesses, v. 221. 

4 The King to Win wood, April i, 1613, S. P. Hoi. 


fifteen years to give mutual succour to one another in case of need. 
The French Attempts had been made in vain to induce the French 
do so. to join the alliance. There was, however, one point 

upon which France still made common cause with England : 
when at the commencement of 1612 the Imperial throne became 
vacant by the death of Rudolph II., both countries had strenu- 
ously resisted an attempt on the part of Spain to obtain the 
election of the Archduke Albert, 1 and had done everything in 
their power to promote the success of Matthias. Spain was now 
renewing the attempt to favour the brother-in-law of Philip III., 
and the French Government again declared that it would use 
every means to hinder the election of Albert to the dignity of 
King of the Romans. 2 

James was now in close alliance with Holland and with 
Protestant Germany, and upon friendly terms with France. 
Tames at the The position which England had thus taken up 
Proustant 6 promised to place him at the head of the league 
Alliance. which was forming against the House of Austria and 
the German Catholics. Already his voice had been heard even 
in the far North, where his ambassadors had been successful 
in mediating a peace between two Protestant States, and in 
putting an end to a war in which the genius of the young 
Gustavus had maintained an unequal struggle against the 
superior forces of the King of Denmark. 

The attitude taken by Spain was now thoroughly hostile. 
James's treatment of Zuniga in July 1612 caused great annoy- 
1612. ance at Madrid, and the relations between Digby 
their anish anc ^ tne Spanish Government grew perceptibly cooler. 
Government. Nothing was done about the promised appointment 
of a tribunal of appeal for the causes of the English merchants, 
and for some time a steady resistance was opposed to the am- 
bassador's demand for the establishment of the new consuls. 
At last, in January 1613, he was told that, though Lee, who 
was a Protestant, would be admitted at Lisbon, only a Catholic 
would be allowed to act at Seville. 3 

1 Beaulieu to Trumbull, June 29, 1612, Winw. xiii. 375. 

2 Edmondes to the King, April 24, 1613, S. P. Fr. 

1 Cottington to Lake, Jan. 5 ; Digby to Lake, Jan. 18, S. P. Spain. 
M 2 


For some time it was even thought possible that Spain 

might venture upon a declaration of war. The Virginian 

, Colony had long been a thorn in the sides of the 

I he Spanish _ ' 

Government Spanish Government, and long and anxious delibera- 

dissatistied . tij j j 

with Eng- tions were held at Madrid upon the expediency of 
sending an expedition against it. 1 The ill feeling in 
Spain was increased by the return of several vessels which had 
gone out to take part in the Spitzbergen whale fishery, from 
which they had been driven by the crews of the ships belonging 
to the English Muscovy Company, which claimed the exclusive 
right to that lucrative employment. 2 Nor was the treatment which 
the recusants were now receiving at the hands of James likely to 
conciliate the good- will of a Catholic nation. The oath of alle- 
giance had become a mere contrivance for filling the pockets of 
the courtiers. In 1611 a proclamation had been issued com- 
manding that the oath should be administered according to law. 3 
At first, two or three wealthy persons, who refused to take it, 
had been thrown into prison, and had only been released upon 
payment of large sums. It was, however, soon discovered that 
it was not necessary to go through these forms ; it was enough 
to intimate to the persons who were supposed to be unwilling 
to take the oath, that unless they were ready to pay for their 
immunity, proceedings would be taken against them. 4 This 
course was never known to fail. The money, almost invariably, 
went directly, without even passing through the Exchequer, 
into the hands of some hanger-on of the Court, who had 
managed to secure a share of the booty. The treatment which 
the ordinary recusants received was equally harsh. The 
number of the persons whose lands were seized was considerably 

1 Digby to the King, Sept. 13, 1612, S, P. Sp. In his despatches of 
the next six months, he frequently mentions the feelings of the Spaniards 
with respect to Virginia. 

2 Digby to Lake, Sept. 4, 1613, S. P. Sp. 

3 Proclamation Collection, No. 18, S. P. 

4 Caesar to the King, Aug. 14, 1612, Lansd. MSS. 153, fol. 46 a. 
There are in the same volumes several letters from recusants, offering com- 
positions for taking the oath, fol. 78-87. In the S, P. Dom. Ixx. 9, is a 
list of seventy persons to be called upon to take the oath, dated July 18, 


greater than it had been in the earlier years of James's reign. 
The new fine which had been imposed by Parliament upon 
persons whose wives refused the oath, pressed hardly upon 
Catholic ladies. Many of them were obliged to leave their 
husbands' houses in order to remain in concealment. l 

In the first days of 1613 the English Government was in 

expectation of a Spanish invasion. An order was therefore 

issued for an immediate search of the houses of the 

Fear of . , ,. , 

invasion in recusants for arms, and directions were given that 
none should be left in their hands beyond those which 
were sufficient for the defence of themselves and their families. 2 
It was not long, however, before all apprehension was at an 
end. If the disorderly state of the English finances had, for 
a moment, led the Spaniards to imagine that an appeal to arms 
would terminate in their favour, they must speedily have re- 
membered their own poverty, and a little reflection must have 
taught them that there was no surer means to fill the Exchequer 
of the King of England than an unprovoked aggression by a 
foreign enemy. They persuaded themselves that the colony 
in Virginia would certainly die out of itself, and they resolved 
to take no active measures to hasten what they considered to 
be its inevitable fate. 3 The defence of the English recusants 
must be postponed to a more convenient season. In the 
meanwhile they determined to replace their ambassador in 
England by one of the ablest diplomatists in their 
smfento service, Don Diego Sarmiento de Acuna, better 


Gondomar. He was instructed to watch events, but to take 
no active steps in favour of the persecuted Catholics. 4 

1 Lewknor to - (Tierney's Dodd, iv. 145). Many particulars in 
this letter are demonstrably gross exaggerations, but the facts of the per- 
secution are probably in the main true. See also the account given by 
Lady Blount, March 1613, in the same volume. App. 188. 

* Council to Sheriffs, &c., Jan. 10, 1613 (Tierney's Dodd, iv. ; App. 
188). The date given here is the true date. 

3 Digby to the King, Sept. 3, 1613, S. P. Sp. 

4 Instructions of Sarmiento, sent with Digby's despatch of May 27, 
1613, S. P. Sp. 




WHEN James first came to England, he was anxious to put an 
end to those personal disputes between the leading men by 
1606. which the later years of his predecessor had been 
Marriage of troubled. He hoped to accomplish this by bringing 
Essex Ind about marriages between the great families. The 

Earl of Suffolk had two daughters who would, as he 
Howard. thought, serve his purpose. The elder was destined 
for Lord Cranborne, the only son of the Earl of Salisbury ; 
the younger was to become the wife of the young Earl of 
Essex, who would, as it was hoped, forget his father's fate in 
this new alliance with the Howards and the Cecils. 1 It was 
no obstacle to the King's benevolent intentions that the bride 
and bridegroom by whose union such great things were to be 
accomplished were mere children. On January 5, 1606, they 
were called upon to pronounce those solemn vows of which 
they little knew the import. Essex was only fourteen, and 
Lady Frances Howard was a year younger than the husband 
who had been chosen for her ; but by a doctrine which the 
ecclesiastical law of England had accepted without examination 
from the jurisconsults of more southern climes, they were held 
to be of full age for the purpose of taking upon themselves the 
engagements of married life. Great were the festivities by 

1 It is also said that the match was proposed by Salisbury. The idea, 
probably, occurred to both of them. It is no argument against James's 
participation in the affair that he afterwards inveighed against early 


which the auspicious event was celebrated. Ben Jonson did 
his best to produce a masque worthy of the occasion, and 
Inigo Jones gave his talents to construct the machinery and 
the decorations which were to amuse the frivolous crowd. The 
hollowness of the ceremony which had been witnessed by the 
admiring spectators must have betrayed itself by the necessity 
of separating the boy bridegroom from his wife. Two years 
after his marriage the Earl was sent to travel on the Continent, 
and it was not till some time after he had attained the age of 
eighteen that he returned, apparently shortly after Christmas, 
1609, to claim his bride. 1 

If upon his return he looked for a faithful and loving wife, 
he was doomed to a bitter disappointment. He soon discovered 
Conduct of that sne regarded him with the deepest repugnance. 
to a her Essex Under the most favourable circumstances this ill- 
husband, assorted pair could never have lived together with 
any degree of comfort. The sterling qualities which Essex 
possessed, and which had already gained for him the respect of 
Prince Henry, were shrouded from the eye of the thoughtless 
observer by the heaviness and imperturbability of his outward 
demeanour. Of all women then living, the young girl of seven- 
teen who bore the name of Countess of Essex was the least 
capable of appreciating his virtues. Headstrong and impetuous 
by nature, she had received but an evil training at the hands of 
her coarse-minded and avaricious mother. The Court in which 
she had been bound to her child-husband was no place for the 
cultivation of the feminine virtues of modesty and self-restraint. 2 

1 The date is proved by the statement in the libel (State Trials, ii. 785) 
that Essex had lived with his wife for three years before the divorce case 
began, and after he had arrived at the age of eighteen. The date of his 
baptism was Jan. 22, 1591 (Devereux, Lives of the Devereux, i. 211), con- 
sequently he must have been eighteen in January, 1609. Lady Essex's re- 
ference to ' the winter ' in her letter to Mrs. Turner, State Trials, ii. 93, 
probably refers to the winter of 1609-10. 

2 It is difficult to pronounce with certainty upon the extent to which 
the Court immorality went. It is evident, from the circumstances which 
are known to us, that it was bad enough ; but I believe that Mr. Hallam's 
comparison of the Court of James with that of Charles II. is considerably 


She had already attracted the notice of the rising favourite, 
at that time still Sir Robert Carr, and if that unhallowed 
marriage had not stood in the way, she might have become 
his wife innocently enough, and have left no records of her 
butterfly existence with which history would have cared to 

She was startled from her dream of enjoyment by the sombre 
figure of the man who claimed her as his wife. At first she 
refused to live with him ; but she was at last forced by her 
parents to treat him as her husband, and finally to accompany 
him to his country seat at Chartley. The whole truth of her 
miserable life for the next three years can never be known ; but 
enough has been told to repel even the most callous investigator 
of history. It is enough to say that the wretched woman set 
her heart upon remaining a wife only in name, and upon pre- 
serving herself for the man to whom she had given her affections. 
She called in the aid of Mrs. Turner, a widow of abandoned 
character, in whom she had found a confidant. With the aid 
of Doctor Forman, one of those quack doctors, half-physician 
and half-sorcerer, who were the pests of that age, these two 
women proceeded to administer drugs to the unconscious 
husband. Partly by such means as these, and partly by the 
forbidding demeanour which the Countess assumed towards 
him, she succeeded in repelling his advances. 1 

At the beginning of the year 1613, three years had passed 
away since the return of the Earl from the Continent. With 

l6 , 3 the completion of this period a new hope awoke in 
o^Vocurin ^ G breast of Lady Essex. It was now possible to 
a divorce. obtain a declaration of the nullity of the marriage, if 
she could persuade a court to believe her declaration that her 
husband was incapacitated by a physical defect from entering 
into marriage ; and she may have thought that, in his eagerness 
to escape from a connection which had brought him so much 

exaggerated. Would it be possible for a series of letters, such as that of 
Chamberlain, containing so little of a scandalous character, to have been 
written after the Restoration? 

1 The Earl's account of the matter is probably that which is at the 
basis of the paragraphs in Wilson's History relating to the divorce. 


misery, he would allow her statements to pass without any strict 
examination. She succeeded in gaining the support l of her 
father and of his uncle, Northampton, to whom she probably 
told only as much of the story as suited her convenience. Nor 
were they insensible to the advantages which would accrue to 
them from a close alliance with Rochester. They had no doubt 
that a marriage with him would follow immediately upon the 
divorce. To the Howards, at that moment, such an alliance 
would be most welcome. For some months they had encoun- 
tered the opposition of Rochester, and they had found, by 
experience, that Rochester's opposition was fatal to their endea- 
vours to influence the policy or to share in the patronage of 
the Government. 

The Howards found little difficulty in gaining over the 
King. He would naturally be pleased with any prospect of 
bringing about a reconciliation between the two factions which 
were so troublesome to him. It is not likely that he was ac- 
quainted with the darker side of the story, and it is probable 
that he was blind to much which a man of clearer moral per- 
ception would have detected at once. Nor should it be for- 
gotten that he may well have been desirous of repairing the 
ruin of which he could not but feel that he had himself been, 
in no small degree, the author. 

In May a meeting was held at Whitehall, to consider upon 
. , the course which was to be pursued. The Earls of 

Meeting of 

the friends of Northampton and Suffolk appeared for the lady, 

whilst her husband was represented by the Earl of 

Southampton and Lord Knollys. 2 It was found that Essex was 

determined to admit of no assertion which would throw any 

1 In February a curious episode occurred. One Mary Woods accused 
the Countess of bribing her to procure poison for the Earl. This made 
the Howards for a little time hesitate about proceeding with the divorce 
(Chamberlain to Winwood, May 6, 1613, Winw. iii. 452). There are 
several examinations in the S. P. taken on the subject, but nothing can be 
made of them, as it is difficult to say whether it is more probable that 
Mary Woods invented the whole story, or that Lady Essex in reality tried 
to poison her husband. 

2 Lord Knollys was married to a third daughter of the Earl of Suffolk. 


obstacle in the way of his own remarriage ; and both Suffolk 
and Northampton knew that they could not prove their case 
without his consent. They were consequently compelled to 
allow that, though the Earl was incapable of being the husband 
of his present wife, there was nothing to prevent him marrying 
. another. Accordingly, the way having been thus 

mentofa smoothed, a commission was issued on the i6th 

commission .. . . . .. . 11*1 

to try the for the trial of the case, to Archbishop Abbot, 
Bishops King, Andrewes, and Neile, Sir Thomas 
Parry, and Sir Julius Caesar, together with the civilians, Sir 
Daniel Dun, Sir John Bennet, and Doctors James and 

As the case l proceeded, the Howards found that they were 
likely to meet with an unexpected obstacle in the unyielding 
conscientiousness of the Archbishop. Supported as they were 
by the King, they had met with willing instruments in some of 
the Commissioners, especially in Bishop Neile and Sir Daniel 
Dun. But the more Abbot heard of the evidence the less he 
was satisfied with the part which he was expected to play. 
With incredible effrontery, Lady Essex allowed her counsel to 
argue that her husband was bewitched, though we may be sure 
that she took care that Dr. Forman's name was not mentioned 
Abbot's m court. Abbot had grave doubts concerning the 
d^tlsflc- probability of such effects being produced by witch- 
Uon with the cra ft and these doubts were shared by the more 

Countess s . . J 

case. respectable members of the commission, and, as it 

appeared, even by the lawyers who pleaded on behalf of the 
lady. He was still more struck with the manner in which the 
proceedings were hurried over, and with the apparent shrinking 
on the part of Lady Essex's counsel from entering into the 
particulars of the case. Nor did it escape him that, even if the 
alleged facts were true, such a precedent would open a wide 
field for future evil, and that the proceedings of the Commis- 
sioners would be quoted by every couple who happened to 
be without children, and who were anxious to obtain a divorce 
by means of collusive proceedings. 

1 State Trials, ii. 785. 


After some time had been spent in hearing the evidence 
which was produced, and in listening to the arguments of the 
lawyers on either side, it was found that the Commissioners 
were equally divided in opinion. 1 Abbot, who knew that the 
King was bent upon obtaining a declaration in favour of a 
divorce, took an opportunity of an interview with him to beg to 
be released from his ungrateful task. James seemed much 
affected by the arguments which he used, and showed no signs 
of being displeased with him for the course which he had taken. 
But after the Archbishop had left him, and he was once more 
in the hands of Rochester and the Howards, he was again 
The number induced to take up their cause more warmly. The 
of the Com- e q ua j division of the members of the Commission 

missioners " 

increased. g ave him an excuse for adding to their number, and 
he allowed himself to take the unjustifiable step of appointing 
Bishops Bilson and Buckeridge, who could only be regarded in 
the light of partisans, to sit amongst the judges. 

Abbot determined to write a letter to the King. It was a 

great opportunity, and if he had been content to set down the 

arguments which he was prepared to maintain when 

Abbot's . . , , 

letter to the his opinion was asked amongst the other Com- 
missioners, 2 he would at least have left on record an 
unanswerable defence of the course which he had taken, even 
if he had failed in producing any lasting effect upon the mind 
of James. But, unfortunately, the Archbishop had an unlucky 
knack of committing blunders when it would seem that he could 
hardly have avoided taking the right step. Incredible as it 
appears, he contrived, in the letter which he wrote, to omit the 
slightest mention of any one of the points upon which the 
strength of his case rested, and to substitute for them a number 
of most questionable propositions. To the deficiency of evi- 
dence, and to the danger of the precedent, he did not even 

1 Chamberlain to Carleton, Aug. I, 1613 (Court and Times, i. 260). 
In this letter four Commissioners only are mentioned as pronouncing 
against the nullity. Doctor James, however, though probably absent at 
that stage of the proceedings, would have joined them if they had actually 
come to a vote. 

2 In the speech prepared, but never delivered. State Trials, ii. 845. 


make a passing allusion. But he argued at some length that 
there was no express statement in Scripture bearing upon this 
case, and that although it was perfectly possible that the effects 
attributed to witchcraft might have been produced by that 
means in the times of darkness and of Popish superstition, yet 
that it was impossible that the devil should be possessed of 
such power where the light of the Gospel was shining. He 
had not heard that either Lord or Lady Essex had taken 
measures against the supposed witchcraft, either by applying 
themselves to prayer and fasting, or by using medical remedies. 
He concluded by appending to his letter a string of totally 
irrelevant quotations from the works of celebrated Protestant 
divines. l 

It can hardly be a matter for astonishment that James re- 
fused to admit such reasoning as this. In the answer which he 
Answer of wrote, 2 he had evidently the better of the Archbishop, 

at least so far as the grounds were concerned upon 
which Abbot had based his reasoning. But he was not content 
with demonstrating that the arguments used in the letter were 
untenable. Proud of his own logic, he called upon Abbot to 
withdraw such insufficient reasonings, and to rest his faith for 
the future upon the unerring judgment of a Sovereign who was, 
as he told him, not without some skill in divinity, and who was 
undoubtedly impartial in the present case. 

Abbot did not take the advice thus tendered to him. 
When the day came for pronouncing the decision of the Com- 

missioners, the votes of the new members made it no 
missioners longer doubtful which way that decision would be 

pronounce . ._ , 

for the given. On September 25 there were seven votes 
given in favour of the divorce, against which the 
Archbishop, with four others, protested in vain. 3 In order to 
prevent the arguments of the protestors from being heard, 
an express order was brought from the King that the Com- 

1 State Trials, ii. 794. - Ibid. ii. 798, 860. 

3 Bishops Bilson, Andrewes, Neile, and Buckeridge, with Sir Julius 
Caesar, Sir Thomas Parry, and Sir Daniel Dun, were in the majority. 
The minority was composed of the Archbishop Abbot, and Bishop King, 
with Doctors Edwards, James, and Bennet. 


missioners should content themselves with giving their de- 
cision without adding the reasons by which they were in- 
fluenced. 1 

Of the conduct of James it is difficult to speak with patience. 
However impartial he may have believed himself to be, he in 
reality acted as a mere partisan throughout the whole affair, and 
Conduct of it was never doubted that his influence contributed 
James, materially to the result. Nothing could well have 
been more prejudicial to the interests of justice than his med- 
dling interference at every step, which did even more harm 
than the appointment of the additional members. Yet it may 
reasonably be doubted whether he was conscious of doing any- 
thing which bore even the semblance of an error. He was 
thrown almost entirely amongst men whose interests led them 
to influence him in one direction, and he probably looked 
with complacency upon an act which, at all events, freed two 
wretched persons from a life of misery. That it was improper for 
a Sovereign to meddle with the proceedings of a court once con- 
stituted, was an idea which certainly never entered into his head. 

There was one man who took part in these proceedings 
whose character for truthfulness and honesty of purpose is of far 
and of greater importance than that of James. Before the 
Andrewes. commencement of the sittings of the Commission, 
Andrewes had pronounced an opinion unfavourable to the 
divorce ; and yet, soon after he had taken his seat, he changed 
his view of the case, and steadily adhered to the opinion of the 
majority. Suspicions could not fail to arise that he had given 
way before the influence of the Court, and these suspicions de- 
rived some importance from the fact that he made no use of 
his intimate knowledge of the canon law, but, with rare excep- 
tions, remained silent during the whole course of the proceed- 
ings. All that can be said is, that against such a man it is im- 
possible to receive anything short of direct evidence, and that it is 
better to suppose that he was, by some process of reasoning with 
which we are unacquainted, satisfied with the evidence adduced, 
though he must have felt that there was that in the conduct of 

1 Chamberlain to Carleton, Oct. 14, 1613. Court and Times, i. 275. 


Lady Essex which prevented him from regarding the result of 
the trial with any degree of satisfaction. l 

For four months the trial had formed the general topic of 
conversation wherever men met together in public or in private. 
Unanimous The effrontery of the Countess, the shameless med- 
tn d ofthe dlingof the King and of his courtiers, the truckling sub- 
sentence serviency of Neile and his supporters, were discussed 

throughout ' * * 

the country. w jth a remarkable unanimity of abhorrence in every 
corner of the land. The sober stood aghast at James's disregard 
for the decencies of life, whilst the light-hearted laughed at the 
easy credulity with which he took for granted all the tales of a 
profligate woman. It may be doubted whether his rupture 
with the House of Commons contributed so much to widen the 
breach between himself and his subjects as his conduct on this 

The bitterest shafts of ridicule, however, were reserved for 
Bilson. Better things were expected of his known talents and 
General learning ; and those who thought it only natural 
expression that men like Neile should wallow in the mire for 
the conduct the sake of Court favour, were ill-pleased to see the 
Bishop of Winchester following his unworthy ex- 
ample. Bilson himself was not ill-satisfied with what he had 
done, and was gratified by the honour of knighthood which was 
conferred by the King upon his son. He was not long in dis- 
covering the unpopularity which he had incurred. His son 
was immediately nicknamed, by some wag, Sir Nullity Bilson, 
and the appellation stuck to the unfortunate man for the re- 
mainder of his life. His own son-in-law refused to live in his 
house, because he could not endure the jeers of his companions, 
who used to remind him that he only held his wife on the 
Bishop's sufferance, who would be able at any time to declare 
that his marriage was a nullity. 2 

Abbot's conduct thoughout the whole affair, on the other 
hand, made him for the time the most popular man in England. 

1 In the Harl. MSS. 39, foL 416, is a paper drawn up by Dr. Dun, 
which will give all that was to be said by those who were in favour of the 

2 State Trials, ii. 833. 


The country was delighted to find that in that corrupt Court 
Popularity there was at least one who could hold his ground in 
of Abbot. opposition to the King's wishes, when a matter of 
conscience was at stake. 

When the long-expected sentence was pronounced, Lady 
Frances Howard, now no longer Countess of Essex, was once 
Lady Fran- more free from the bonds under which she had 
ces Howard. wr ithed so long. The prize for which she had played 
the desperate game, and for the sake of which she had thrown 
away all feminine modesty, was within her reach at last ; the 
man for whose sake she had braved the scorn of the world, and 
had submitted to make her name the subject of unseemly jests, 
was now ready to take her as his wife. But even those whose 
sense of her degradation was the deepest had failed to measure 
the full extent of her guilt. They did not know that, whilst 
she was receiving the congratulations of all who believed that 
her smile would light them on the road to wealth and honour, 
she was carrying about with her the consciousness that in an 
instant the edifice of her fortunes might tumble into the dust, 
and that she was liable at any moment to be dragged off from 
the bright scenes which she loved too well, to take her place in 
the felon's dock as a murderess. 

The story of the tragedy, in which the proud beauty enacted 
so fearful a part, will in all probability never be known in all 
its details with anything approaching to certainty. The evidence 
upon which it rests has only reached us in a mutilated state, 
and even that which is in our hands is in such an unsatisfactory 
condition that it is impossible to come to any definite con- 
clusion on the greater part of the questions which may be 
raised. But amidst all these uncertainties one fact stands out 
too clearly to be explained away. The guilt of Lady Essex is 
proved by evidence of which no reasonable doubt can, by any 
possibility, be entertained. 

Overbury's Amongst those who had attached themselves to 

connection fa e rising fortunes of the favourite was Sir Thomas 

with Ro- 
chester. Overbury, a young man of considerable talents, 

and, as his published writings prove, not without some noble- 
ness of character. He was not long in obtaining an ascen- 


dency over the inferior mind of Rochester, who had submitted 
to be instructed by him in the wiles by which he hoped to make 
good his footing at Court 1 It is difficult to say how far Over- 
bury was actuated by any feeling higher than a desire for per- 
sonal aggrandisement It was probably through his means that 
Rochester adopted Neville as his candidate for the Secretary- 
ship, and entered on a rivalry with the Howards. The position in 
which Overbury was placed was not one to develope whatever 
virtues he may have originally possessed. Even if he had not 
been naturally of a self-satisfied and overbearing disposition, he 
could hardly have continued for any length of time to supply 
Rochester's deficiencies without contracting a habit of treating 
him with an arrogance which would, sooner or later, 

rlis opposi- 
tion to become intolerable. The inevitable breach was only 

Rochester s 111 re 1*11 

proceedings hastened by the efforts which he made to deter his 
to Lady ^ patron from the ill-advised course which he was 
pursuing with regard to Lady Essex. As it is certain 2 
that in earlier times he had assisted Rochester to compose the 
letters with which he courted that lady, it is difficult to explain 
the abhorrence with which he regarded the proposed marriage. 
It is possible that whilst he was ready to wink at an adul- 
terous connection with another man's wife, he was startled by 
a proposal which would result in making a marriage possible, 
and which would bring with it a reconciliation between his 
patron and the Howards. If it had been through his influence 
that Rochester had placed himself in decided opposition to the 
powerful Earls of Suffolk and Northampton, he may well have 
dreaded lest he should be the first to fall a sacrifice as soon 
as a reconciliation with them was effected. But however this 
may have been, it is certain that he employed all his energies 
in deterring Rochester from the step which he was about to 
take, and that he let no opportunity slip of blackening the 
character of the lady upon whom his patron had set his affec- 

1 The nature of the relations which existed between the two men comes 
out strongly in their letters. Harl. MSS. 7002, fol. 281. 

2 This could not be believed on anything short of his own evidence. 
Overbury to Rochester, Winw> iii. 478. 


As the time drew on for instituting proceedings for the 
purpose of procuring the divorce, Overbury's language became 
more than ever annoying to Rochester. Even if he knew no 
more than what was soon to be laid before the Commissioners, 
his behaviour was likely to lead to a rupture. It is, however, 
difficult to avoid the conclusion that he had heard something 
which would enable him to put a stop to the divorce if he 
pleased. Rochester was not the man to keep a secret, and if 
he had only told Overbury, in a moment of confidential in- 
tercourse, one half of the stories which he must himself have 
heard from Lady Essex, of the way in which she had treated 
her husband, he must have known that he had entrusted him 
with a secret which, if he should determine to reveal it, would 
make it impossible for the most subservient judges to pro- 
nounce in favour of the divorce. l 

If this conjecture be correct, it becomes at once intelligible 
why all who looked hopefully for a sentence of divorce should 
The King De anxious to get Overbury out of the way, at least 
j>erbu's ti^ ^ e proceedings were at an end. It was not long 
whh e Ro 6 before a golden opportunity presented itself of ac- 
chester. compHshing their purpose. Some one or other told 
James that it was commonly reported that, whilst Rochester 
ruled the King, Overbury ruled Rochester. Upon hearing this 
Tames determined to prove his independence. He 

He proposes ' 

to him a accordingly directed Abbot to suggest to Overbury 

diplomatic f *' .- - . . & , . . 7 ' 

appoint- as from himself, the propriety of his accepting a 
diplomatic appointment upon the Continent. Over- 
bury had no wish to leave England, where he knew that the 
road to advancement lay. He therefore requested Rochester 
to do what he could to save him from this banishment. From 
the uncertain evidence which we possess, it is difficult to make 
out precisely what Rochester's conduct was. 2 It is possible 
that at first he had been ready to assent to the expatriation of 

1 This seems a much more probable explanation than that Overbury 
was acquainted with some secret which would ruin Rochester, such as his 
supposed complicity in the imaginary murder of Prince Henry. 

2 The want of evidence is here felt the more, as the two reports of the 
trial of the Earl of Somerset differ in a material point. In one Somerset 



Overbury, but that when he discovered how unwilling he was 
to leave the country, he changed his plan, and encouraged him 
in resisting the King's wishes, foreseeing that he would be 
committed to prison in consequence. An imprisonment of a 
few months would keep his mouth shut till the proceedings were 
over, and it is not unlikely that Rochester may have looked 
with favour upon a course which would enable him to retain 
the services of Overbury, whilst he would secure his attachment 
more completely by appearing in the light of his liberator. 

Whatever Rochester's part in the matter may have been, 
the King was indignant with Overbury. He sent Ellesmere and 
Overbury Pembroke to him, with a formal offer of the appoint- 
IccepTit ment. As soon as Overbury perceived that excuses 
and is com- were o f no ava ii he boldly refused to comply, and 

muted to the ' 1 3 ' 

Tower added that neither in law nor in justice could he be 
compelled to leave his country. James was, of course, enraged 
with what he considered to be an insolent reply, and called 
upon the Council to vindicate his honour. They immediately 
summoned Overbury before them, and committed him to the 
Tower for contempt of the King's commands. 1 

In giving his assent to Overbury's imprisonment, Rochester 
was, no doubt, acting in concert with Northampton. As far 
as we can arrive at any probable conclusion as to their in- 
tentions, there is no reason to suppose that they meant any 
thing more than to get him out of the way for a time. 2 Orders 

(which was the title which was afterwards conferred upon Rochester) is re- 
presented as saying that Overbury asked him to take upon himself the 
refusal of the embassy ; in the other, as acknowledging that he hindered 
Overbury on purpose to procure his imprisonment (Amos, Great Oyer of 
Poisoning, 105, 151). Overbury's own letters, as well as the evidence 
given at the trial, corroborate the latter statement ; but Sir D. Digges 
gave evidence that Overbury once told him that he meant to undertake 
the employment, but that he afterwards sent him a message that he had 
changed his mind (Amos, 88). I have attempted to give an explanation 
which finds room for both statements, but of course it is nothing more 
than a mere conjecture. Compare Wotton's letter to Sir Edmond Bacon, 
April 22, 1613. Reliq. Wott. 

1 Chamberlain to Carleton, April 29, 1613, S. P. Dom. Ixxii. 120. 
The date of the committal was April 21. 

2 Is it not unlikely that, if Rochester and Northampton had determined 
on poisoning Overbury, they would have had him committed to the Tower ? 


were given that he should have no communication with anyone 
beyond the limits of his prison ; and, though his health was 
failing, he was not permitted to have a servant with him. So 
strictly were these orders interpreted by Sir William Waad, the 
Lieutenant of the Tower, that although Rochester sent every 
day to inquire after the health of the prisoner, the bearers of 
the messages were never allowed to see him, or even to deliver 
a letter which, on one occasion, they had brought with them. 

This was not what was intended. If Overbury should be 
released without feeling a sense of obligation to Rochester, the 
s!rG first thing he would do upon leaving the Tower 

Heiwys would be to disclose the secrets which Rochester 

appointed . 

Lieutenant was anxious to keep from the public ear. Waad 
Tower in must therefore be removed. It was not difficult to 
of e sn- a " find charges against him. He was accused of care- 
w. Waad. Jessness in guarding his prisoners, and especially of 
allowing too much liberty to Overbury. He had also per- 
mitted the Lady Arabella to have the use of a key, which 
might, as it was alleged, prove serviceable to her if she had 
any design of effecting her escape. 1 A successor was found 
in Sir Gervase Heiwys, who was likely to be more complaisant. 
It is plain that Heiwys, upon his appointment, entered 
into some kind of compact with Rochester and Northampton. 
Heiwys's Of its nature there is no sufficient evidence. But it 
w*j[th e Ro nt is probable that he did not go farther than to agree 
Chester and to take care that their letters reached Overbury, 

North- J 

ampton. whilst he would be at hand to supply whatever com- 
ments might be required, without allowing any suspicion to 
arise that he was acting from other motives than those of kind- 
ness to an unfortunate prisoner. 2 

Poison could have been administered far more easily in Rochester's own 
house, and even if they could foresee that they would be able to substitute a 
dependent of their own for Waad, their doing so would only be likely to 
draw attention to their proceedings. 

1 Waad's account of his dismissal, Sept. 1615, S. P. Dom. Ixxxi. 84; 
Somerset's speech, Amos, 109. 

2 This conjecture seems to derive some strength from the letters in 
Harl. MSS. 7002. 



Whilst the confederates were calmly forming their plans, 

there was one person who was not content with such half- 

measures. To Lady Essex the language which Over- 

of Lady bury had used was not merely a danger against the 

Essex ......... i 

towards recurrence of which it might be necessary to take 
3ury ' precautions ; it was an intolerable insult, which cried 
aloud for vengeance. 1 With the same fixity of purpose with 
which she had for three years pursued the object which she 
had in view, she determined that Overbury should die before 
he left the Tower. She had already, whilst he was still at liberty, 
attempted in vain to induce a man who had a quarrel with 
him to waylay him and assassinate him. 2 She now resolved 
to accomplish her design by means of poison. Mrs. Turner 
was at hand to give her every information on the subject 
of the drugs which it would be necessary to use. Everything, 
however, depended upon the character of the man to whom 
was assigned the office of taking immediate charge of the 
She pro- prisoner. Lady Essex's choice fell upon Richard 
appointment w eston, who had for many years been a servant 
tli^his" ^ ^ rs ' Burner, and who had lately been employed 
keepir. in carrying messages between the Countess and her 
lover. She accordingly used her interest with Sir Thomas 
Monson, 3 the Master of the Armoury at the Tower, who, in 
turn, persuaded Helwys to admit Weston as one of the keepers, 
and to give him the immediate charge of Overbury. 

1 A difficulty certainly occurs here. Is it likely that Lady Essex, who 
was preparing for a marriage with Rochester, and who had perhaps already 
committed adultery with him, would not have informed her lover of her 
intention ? It is not a difficulty to be lightly disposed of, but it must be 
remembered that Sir David Wood had already offered to murder Overbury 
if Lady Essex could obtain Rochester's promise to obtain pardon for him. 
When he came again, she told him that it could not be (Amos, 87). 
Either Lady Essex had been afraid to speak to Rochester on the subject, 
or he had refused to consent, or, if consenting, he had refused to com- 
promise himself. In any of the three cases, she would avoid making him 
her confidant on such a subject in future. 

2 Examination of Sir David Wood, Oct. 21, 1615, S. P. Dom. Ixxxii. 84. 
a Here, again, why should Monson have been employed if Helwys had 

been appointed with the express purpose of poisoning Overbury ? Surely 
Helwys would at once have been told to employ Weston. 


Weston. had not been long in charge of the prisoner when 

he was summoned by Mrs. Turner to attend upon Lady Essex 

at Whitehall. As soon as he was admitted into her 

wtltolrfto presence, she told him that a small bottle would be 

lun ' sent to him, the contents of which were to be given 

to Overbury. This bottle she had obtained from an apothecary 

named Franklin. At the same time she warned him not to 

taste any of the liquid himself. She added, that if he acted 

according to her orders, he should be well rewarded. 

Soon after this conversation Weston received the poison. 

As he was on his way with it to Overbury's lodgings, with the 

intention of mixing it with the soup which was to be 

Weston , . , IT- i 

stopped by sent up to mm, he met the Lieutenant, and supposing 
him to be aware of what was going on, showed him 
the bottle, and asked him if he should give it to Overbury 
then. Helwys, as soon as he discovered what the keeper's 
meaning was, persuaded him to desist from the wicked action 
which he was intending to commit. Weston put the bottle 
aside, and the next day emptied it into the gutter. 1 

Unhappily for himself and the other instruments in this 
abominable plot, Helwys had not the moral courage to de- 
nounce the culprit. Unless he could obtain credit 

They do not , . , . , , . 

reveal the for his tale, such a step would be certain rum to 
himself, and he could not know how far the Countess's 
secret was shared by the powerful members of her family. Even 
if they were themselves innocent, they would undoubtedly be 
able to do many ill offices to him, if by his means the shame 
of Lady Essex were published to the world. 

He therefore thought it better to hush the matter up than 
to attempt to bring a powerful criminal to justice. However 
much the information may have shocked him at first, he soon 

1 Western's Examination, Oct. I. Helwys to the King, Sept. 10, 
1615. Narrative of Helwys's execution (Amos, 178, 186, 213). Helwys 
and Weston agree in all important particulars, and the way in which 
Weston's confession was forced out of him makes this agreement valuable, 
as it shows that there had been no collusion between the two. Besides, 
is it likely that Overbury would have lived if the poison had been really 
given him so long previously ? 


grew to view it merely as it affected his own position. Even 
whilst he was arguing with Weston, upon Weston's telling him 
that he should have to administer the poison sooner or later, 
he replied that it might be done provided that he knew 
nothing of it. It was finally agreed that Weston should inform 
Lady Essex that the poison had been given, and should describe 
the supposed effects of it upon the health of the prisoner. 

Weston had the less difficulty in doing this, as Overbury 

was in reality far from well. He was ailing when he first 

entered the Tower. 1 and the sudden disappointment 

Overbury s 

health of his hopes had worked upon his mind. Every day 

his imprison- which passed without bringing an order for his re- 
lease increased his despondency. Whilst he was in 
this state, he suggested to Rochester that he should procure 
him an emetic, in order that, as soon as he heard that he had 
taken it, he might attempt to work upon the King's compas- 
sion by representing him as suffering from the effects of his 
confinement. Such treatment was not likely to improve his 
health. We may well believe that Rochester did not press the 
King very urgently to liberate the prisoner, even if he men- 
tioned the subject to him at all. James consented to allow 
Overbury to receive the visits of a physician, but he was too 
much incensed at his presumption to give any heed to his 
request for freedom. 2 

Whether the course of the unhappy man's disease was at 
this time assisted by poison is a question to which it is im- 
Lady Essex possible to give more than a very uncertain answer. 
{leTat- 5 m Amidst contradictory evidence and conflicting prob- 
tempts. abilities, all that can be made out is, that Lady Essex 
did not desist from her design. Rochester was in the habit 
of sending tarts, jellies, and wine to the prisoner, by means of 

1 That there was some truth in the statement which he made of his 
ill-health, in order to excuse himself from being sent abroad, is shown by 
the first letter in Harl. MSS. 7002, fol. 281. Still he was to all appear- 
ances a healthy man at that time. 

2 Rochester to Craig. Northampton to Helwys (Amos, 166). Mr. 
Amos remarks that these papers show that Rochester was willing that 
Overbury should be visited by a physician. Sir R. KilKgrew's letter in 


which he contrived to smuggle in the letters which he ad- 
dressed to him. Lady Essex, if we are to believe a story which 
both she and Helwys afterwards admitted to be true, took 
advantage of this to mix poison with the food which was thus 
conveyed to him. This, however, as Helwys stated, was never 
allowed to reach the prisoner. It cannot, however, be proved 
whether the food thus provided was in reality kept back or not, 
excepting in so far that it is highly improbable that it should 
have reached him and that he should, after partaking of it, 
have continued to live. There are even strong grounds for 
suspecting that no poison was ever put into the tarts at all. 
What is certain is, that Overbury 1 grew gradually worse. In 

the Harl. MSS. 7002 proves beyond doubt that Rochester asked him for an 
emetic for himself. A later letter of Litcote's proves that Rochester sent 
other medicines to Overbury. It is, to say the least of it, extremely im- 
probable that, if he intended to poison Overbury, he would bring suspicion 
upon himself by sending him harmless medicines at the same time. The 
same remark applies to the sending of the tarts, &c., afterwards mentioned. 
1 The letter of Lady Essex to Helwys (S. P. Dom. Ixxxvi. *6) was used 
at the time to prove the poisoning of the tarts, &c., and, together with 
the admissions of Helwys and Lady Essex, it certainly gives strong reasons 
for suspicion. The interpretation then given was that the word ' letters ' 
in it signified 'poison.' But are there not reasons which make this inter- 
pretation, to say the least of it, very doubtful ? The writer sends a tart to 
be changed ' in the place of his that is now come. ' This is not very clear. 
Does it mean that Overbury had returned one ? Possibly. She then 
promises to send a tart at four, and contemplates the possibility of Over- 
bury's sending the tart and jelly and wine to the Lieutenant's wife, and 
warns her not to eat the tart and jelly, because there are ' letters ' in them. 
Does it seem likely that when Weston was at hand, and, as she believed, 
still faithful to her, she would poison jellies and tarts which she was un- 
certain whether Overbury would ever touch ? If we read this in the light 
of Overbury's letter, in the Harleian collection, beginning : " You must 
give order," the difficulty becomes still greater, for we there see that Over- 
bury made a practice of sending the jelly, &c., back to the Lieutenant, 
which Lady Essex appears to have known. If Lady Essex really meant 
' letters ' when she wrote the word, all becomes clear. Helwys may after- 
wards have stated that ' letters ' meant ' poison ' in mere desperation, and 
when the lady confessed the same, she knew that her case was desperate, 
and probably meant to plead guilty. When, therefore, the examiners 
came to question her as to whether Helwys's statement was true, she may 


writing to Rochester, he became more and more importunate. 
Rochester seems to have represented to him that Suffolk was 
an obstacle to his release. Overbury accordingly wrote to 
Suffolk, protesting that if he regained his liberty he would use 
all his influence with his patron in favour of Suffolk. About 
the same time he wrote to Northampton, assuring him that he 
had never spoken dishonourably of Lady Essex, and promising 
to abstain from all reflections upon her for the future. 

From the stray fragments which have reached us of Over- 
bury's* correspondence, it seems as if both Rochester and 
Proceedings Northampton were still encouraging him in the 
and^North- 6 * belief that they were straining every nerve for his 
ampton. delivery, and as if Helwys was acting as their agent 
in bringing him to a sense of the obligations which he was 
supposed to be under to them. That Northampton, at least, 
received with pleasure the news of Overbury's illness and pro- 
bable death, there can be no doubt ; but there is no evidence 
to prove that he was aware of his niece's proceedings, though, 
on the other hand, there is no proof that he was kept in ignor- 
ance of them ; l and Mrs. Turner certainly stated shortly before 

have allowed it in order to be quit of them, knowing well that it would 
not do her much harm, as the evidence against her was strong enough 
already, It must not be forgotten that she afterwards retracted some 
statements made in the lost confession, in which she first stated that 
' letters ' meant poison (Bacon's Letters and Life, v. 282, and in the con- 
fession in . P. Dom. Ixxxvi. 6), and that if the second report of the trial 
be correct, she had only said that ' she meant, perhaps, poison ' (Amos, 
145). It seems to me much more probable that the tarts went backwards 
and forwards as media of a correspondence, and that Helwys invented the 
theory of the poison, in order to conceal his breach of trust in permitting 
it to go on through his hands, and to magnify his own merits in stopping 
the poison from arriving. If so much poison was really taken by Over- 
bury, how came he to live so long as he did ? 

The warrant in the Council Register, July 22, 1613, shows that 
Rochester was anxious Overbury should be visited by others besides the 

1 Here, again, the two reports of the trial are very perplexing. In the 
printed trial Northampton's letter to Rochester is quoted thus : "I can- 
not deliver with what caution and discretion the Lieutenant hath under- 
taken Overbury. But for his conclusion I do and ever will love him 


her execution that he was as deeply involved in guilt as any of 
the rest. 

Whatever may have been the cause of Overbury's illness, 
he was not without hopes of recovery. Months had passed 
away since he had been committed to prison, and Lady Essex 
was growing impatient. She was tired of Weston's protesta- 
tions that he had given enough to his prisoner to poison twenty 
men. She found that, in the absence of the King's physician, 
Dr. Mayerne, a French apothecary named Lobell attended 
upon Overbury. If we can venture to rest anything upon the 
uncertain evidence before us, 1 we may come to the conclusion 

better ; which was this, that either Overbury shall recover, and do good 
offices betwixt my Lord of Suffolk and you ... or else, that he shall not 
recover at all, which he thinks the most sure and happy change of all " 
(Amos, 25). In the other report the important words are : " Overbury 
may recover, if you find him altered to do you better services ; but the 
best is not to suffer him to recover " (A mas, 141). In quotations from 
written documents, the printed report seems to me to be the better 
authority, wherever they are not intentionally garbled. Does not all the 
constant correspondence with Overbury look as if it was expected that he 
would be free some day ? Of what use was all this trouble if it was in- 
tended to poison him ? 

1 Weston stated, in his examination of October I, 1615 (Amos, 180), 
that Helwys ordered ' that none should come . . . but the former apothe- 
cary,' i.e. Lobell . . . 'or his man, and that no other came at any time, 
or gave any clyster to Sir Thomas Overbury,' and on October 6 (Amos, 
182), that ' little before his death, and as he taketh it, two or three days, 
Overbury received a clyster given him by Paul de Lobell. ' The clyster by 
which death was caused was not administered two or three days before, but 
the very day before the death of Overbury. The only evidence of any 
kind against Lobell is derived from Rider's examination (Amos, 168). 
From this it appears that Rider met Lobell in October 1615, and talked 
to him of the rumours of Overbury's having been murdered. Lobell 
asserted that he died of consumption, and that the clyster which was 
said to have caused his death was prescribed by Mayerne, ' and that his 
son had made it according to his direction. ' A week afterwards Rider met 
him again, walking with his wife, and told him the poison was given by an 
apothecary's boy, meaning by this a boy who had at the time of the murder 
been young LobelFs servant. Upon this Mrs. Lobell said to her husband, 
'Oh ! mon mari, &c.' 'that was William you sent into France.' Upon 
this Lobell trembled and exhibited signs of great discomposure. It does 
not, however, follow that he had known of the servant's act. He knew 


that an assistant of Lobell's was bribed to administer the fatal 
drug. On September 14, he succeeded in accomplishing his 
purpose by means of an injection. On the following day the 
prisoner died, the unhappy victim of a woman's vengeance. 
His death took place only ten days before the judgment was 
delivered by the Commissioners in the case of the divorce, by 
which his murderess received the prize which she had stooped so 
low to win. How far Rochester was aware at the time of what 
was taking place it is impossible to say with certainty. Lady 
Essex, in distress at her failures, may have told him of her 
design, and may even have enlisted his sympathy ; but we have 
her own distinct statement to the contrary, 1 and the hypothesis 

that his sending him away would bring suspicion upon himself. Lobell's 
own account was that the boy's parents asked him to give him an intro- 
duction to some friends in France, which he did the more readily, as he 
knew his new master used him hardly. The argument against Lobell, 
however, acquires weight from the fact that he was not put on his trial. 
It should, however, be remembered that it was the interest of the prosecu- 
tion to keep the whole history of the apothecary's boy in the background. 
He was out of England, and if it had been proved that he was the real 
murderer, all the other prosecutions would fall to the ground at once ; as 
an accessory could not be prosecuted until a verdict was obtained against 
the principal. I have omitted all reference to Franklyn's evidence, as 
no weight whatever can be attached to the assertions of so unblushing 
a liar. The strongest points against Somerset have been put by Mr. 
Spedding (Bacon's Letters and Life, v. 326) ; but while his arguments are 
conclusive against the theory that Rochester had a clear case, and only 
wished in his proceedings before his arrest to shield his wife, they do not 
exclude the possibility that he, knowing as he may be supposed to have 
done in 1615, that Overbury had been poisoned, and knowing too that 
his behaviour about the tarts and powders laid him open to grave suspicion, 
did all that he could to remove the evidence of such suspicious conduct, 
and to free himself from a charge which, though untrue, might easily be 
believed to be true. 

1 On Jan. 12, 1616, when she was in prison she acknowledged to Fenton 
and Montgomery that she had had part in the murder ' como moza agra- 
viada y ofendida de que el,' i.e. Overbury, ' hablava indignisimamente de 
su persona, pero que el conde de Somerset, que entonces aun no era marido, 
ni lo havia sabido ni tenido parte en ello, antes ella se guardava y recatava 
del en esto, porque le tenia por muy verdadero amigo del Obarberi, que 
esto era la verdad, aunque el haver sido ella sola en ello fuese mas culpa. ' 
Sarmiento to Philip III. Jan. 30, 1616, Simancas MSS. 2595, fol. 23. 


of the truth of that statement is, on the whole, most in accord- 
ance with known facts. 

For two years the murder which had been cpmmitted 
remained unknown. Public curiosity was fixed upon matters 
of less personal interest. When governments are popular there 
is but little desire to scan their prerogatives closely, or to im- 
pose definite limitations on their authority. When they cease 
to have public opinion behind them, criticism on their actions 
and claims is certain to spring up. It is therefore easily in- 
telligible that the year which witnessed the triumph of North- 
ampton and Rochester should also have witnessed the first 
in a series of legal proceedings the object of which was to 
defend the prerogative from the assaults of hostile criticism. 

In the course of the winter of 1612-13, a commission was 
issued to inquire into the abuses existing in the management 
Commission f tne Navy. A similar inquiry had been made a few 
int n ?he re years before, which had resulted in little more than 
manage- the production of a voluminous report by Sir Robert 

ment of the * J 

Navy. Cotton. 1 As Cotton was at this time leaning towards 
the Catholic party, he was in high favour with Northampton 
and the Scottish favourite, and it is likely enough that the 
renewal of the investigation was due to his newly acquired 

The proposal to examine into the abuses of the dockyards 
was felt by Nottingham as a personal affront offered to him in 
his capacity of Lord High Admiral. He was a brave man, 
and had won the honours which he enjoyed by his services in 
command of the fleet which defeated the Armada ; but he was 
without the administrative abilities which would enable him to 
make head against the evils which prevailed in the department 
over which he presided ; and, as usually happens, he was the 
last to perceive his own deficiencies. 

He determined, therefore, to oppose the inquiry to the 

utmost. He directed Sir Robert Mansell, who, as Treasurer 

of the Navy, was equally interested with himself in 

Opposed by . , i-^,^~, .. 

Nottingham frustrating the proceedings of the Commissioners, to 

and Mansell. . , , ., I-T / i 

obtain a legal opinion upon the validity of the com- 
mission under which they were about to act. 

1 S. P. Dom. xli. 


Upon this Mansell applied to Whitelocke, who had been 
brought into notice by his great speech on the impositions, 
as a man eminently fitted to deal with the legal questions by 
They obtain which the prerogative was affected. He obtained 
fock^n"' 6 ' from him, without difficulty, a paper in which were 
opinion ggj down the objections to the commission which 

against its J 

legality. presented themselves to his mind. Whitelocke's 
paper has not been preserved ; but as far as we can judge from 
the report of the proceedings subsequently taken against him 
he declared that the commission was illegal, as containing 
directions to the Commissioners to ' give order for the due 
punishment of the offenders.' Such directions, he urged, were 
contrary to the well-known clause of Magna Carta, which pro- 
vides that no free man shall be injured in body or goods, except 
by the judgment of his peers or by the law of the land. 

This paper found its way into the King's hands. White- 
locke, however, had taken the precaution of not signing his 
name to it, and probably had not allowed it to leave his 
chambers in his own handwriting. Although, therefore, he was 
strongly suspected of being the author of it, no steps were for 
some time taken against him. 

Whilst he was thus exposed to the displeasure of the King, 
he drew down upon himself the anger of the Lord Chan- 
cellor, by an argument which he delivered in the 

Whitelocke's ' .. & . . 

argument course of his professional duties. Having occasion 

r ' to defend a plaintiff whose adversary appealed to the 

Court of the Earl Marshal, he argued that there was no such 

court legally in existence, and succeeded in convincing the 

Master of the Rolls, and in obtaining an order from him by 

which the defendant was restrained from carrying his cause out 

of Chancery. A few days later an attempt was made 

before the Chancellor to reverse this order. Elles- 

mere burst out into an invective against Whitelocke. It 

was in vain that the sturdy lawyer proceeded to quote the 

precedents and Acts of Parliament upon which he rested the 

conclusion to which he had come. Ellesmere only inveighed 

the more bitterly against him and the other lawyers who troubled 

themselves about questions concerning the prerogative. Even he, 


Lord Chancellor as he was, knew nothing about the precedents 
to which he had referred. The question was too great for him. 
He would acquaint the King with what had passed, who alone 
could judge of the whole matter. 

It was to no purpose that Whitelocke protested that he had 

not questioned the power of the King to grant commissions 

under which a Marshal's Court could be held, but 

milted to had only argued that, as a matter of fact, no such 

leet ' commission had been issued. On the following day 
Ellesmere told his story to Northampton and Suffolk, who, as 
Commissioners for executing the office of Earl 
Marshal, were personally interested in the question. 
These three together carried their complaints to the King, and 
aggravated the supposed offence by reminding him that White- 
locke had not only been one of the leaders of the opposition to 
the impositions in the late Parliament, but that he was, in all 
probability, the author of the exceptions to the commission for 
the reform of the navy, which had so greatly excited his dis- 

James directed that the offender should be brought before 
the Council. The three lords, well satisfied with their success, 
obtained an order that very afternoon to summon the obnoxious 
lawyer to appear. After he had been examined, he was imme- 
diately committed to the Fleet, where Mansell was already in 

About three weeks after his imprisonment, Whitelocke was 
again summoned before the Council to answer for the contempt 
which he was said to have committed, in the opinion 
whkdock 1 which he had given upon the Navy Commission. 
befc? e e the The charge against him on account of his argument 
tk^rr 1 o with * n ^ e Court of Chancery was dropped, in all proba- 
ceedmgs in bility in consequence of the discovery that he was 

reference to J . ... . , , 

the excep- right in point of law. At the same time Mansell was 

tions to the .. . , . , - , , 

Commission called upon to answer for the part which he had 

avy< taken in acting as agent between Nottingham and 

Whitelocke, though, to save appearances, it was given out that 

Nottingham's name had been improperly used in the affair. 

Hobart and Bacon appeared against Whitelocke. After 


objecting to the unceremonious language in which he had 
spoken of a document proceeding from the Crown, they charged 
him with making false statements in the opinion which he 

had given. It was not true, they said, that the Corn- 
Argument . . n- 

ofHobart missioners were empowered to inflict punishment 
con " themselves upon the offenders. It was never intended 
that they should do more than refer their offences to the ordi- 
nary course of justice. The commission itself has not been 
preserved, but in all probability it was ambiguous on this point. 
But the Crown lawyers took care not to rest their argument 
upon a mere question of fact which, however important to the 
parties themselves, would fail to command any general interest. 
They proceeded to argue that, even if the facts were as White- 
locke asserted them to be, he would still have been in the 
wrong. In the first place the officers who were subjected to 
the commission were the King's own servants, and were there- 
fore liable to punishment by him in his capacity of master, as 
well as in that of sovereign. This, however, was not enough ; 
they declared that there was nothing in Magna Carta which 
made it unlawful for the King to issue commissions with power 
to imprison the bodies, or to seize the lands and goods of his 
subjects without any reference to the ordinary courts of law. 
They affirmed that, in requiring a condemnation by the law of 
the land, as well as by the verdict of a jury, Magna Carta had 
in view the case of proceedings before courts which existed in 
virtue of the King's prerogative for the trial of cases in which 
political questions were involved. To deny this, they said, 
would be ' to overthrow the King's martial power, and the 
authority of the Council-table, and the force of His Majesty's 
proclamations, and other actions and directions of State and 
policy applied to the necessity of times and occasions which 
fall not many times within the remedies of ordinary justice.' 
The same reasoning was used to prove the legality of the pre- 
cautionary imprisonment which was a matter of necessity 
whenever resort could not be had, at a moment's notice, to the 
decision of a jury. 

As soon as these arguments were completed, Montague who, 
upon Doderidge's promotion to the Bench, had succeeded him 


as King's Serjeant, followed with charges of a similar nature 

Submission against Mansell. The statements of the lawyers were, 

4ke h an e d ^ course > supported by the Council itself. Both 

Mansell. Whitelocke and Mansell acknowledged the justice 

of the censure passed upon them, and requested the lords to 

assist them in an appeal to the clemency of the King. 1 

released, On the following day it was announced that the King 

had accepted their submission, and both the prisoners 

were set at liberty. 

These proceedings are of no small importance in the 
history of the English Revolution. They drew forth a declara- 
tion from the Privy Council, against which the judges 

Judicial irre- * ' . Jo 

sponsibiiity made no protest, to the effect that if it could be 

claimed by, , .... . .,,. 

the Govem- shown that a political question were involved in a 
case, it was an offence even to question the legality 
of the exercise of judicial powers by persons appointed by the 
Crown to act without the intervention of a jury. 2 Such a 
declaration was the counterpart of the judgment of the Ex- 
chequer in the case of impositions. In acting upon that judg- 
ment, the Government had done its best to make its authority 
independent of the votes of the House of Commons. It now 
declared its adhesion to a principle which would, in adminis- 
trative disputes, make it independent of the verdict of a jury. 

Amongst those who took a prominent part in establishing 

this conclusion was Bacon ; and though he has not left on 

record any sketch of his views on the English consti- 

Bacon's . , . . , ,. . . . 

theory of tution, there can be little difficulty in arriving at his 
real opinion on the relations which ought to subsist 
between the Government and the representatives of the people. 3 
His speeches and actions in political life all point in one 
direction, and they are in perfect accordance with the slight 

1 Whitelocke's Liber Famelicus, 33-40, 113-118. Bacon's Letters and 
Life, iv 346 ; Chamberlain to Carleton, June 10, Court and Times, i. 
241 ; Whitelocke's submission, June 12, Council Register. 

2 Bacon's Letters and Life, iv. 348. 

3 De Augmentis, viii. 3. But it is noticeable that even here he only 
says, " Venio jam ad artem imperii, sive doctrinam de Republica adminis- 
tranda." Of constitutional theory, not a word. 


indications of his feelings on this most important subject which 
are scattered over his writings, and with his still more expressive 
silences. There can be no doubt whatever that his ideal form 
of government was one in which the Sovereign was assisted by 
councillors and other ministers selected from among the wisest 
men of the kingdom, and in which he was responsible to no 
one for his actions within the wide and not very clearly defined 
limits of his political prerogative. The House of Commons, 
on the other hand, was called upon to express the wishes of 
the people, and to enlighten the Government upon the general 
feeling which prevailed in the country. Its assent would 
be required to any new laws which might be requisite, and to 
any extraordinary taxation which might be called for in time 
of war, or of any other emergency. The House of Lords 
would be useful as a means of communication between the 
King and the Commons, and would be able to break the force 
of any collision which might arise between them. In order 
that the Government might preserve its independence, and 
that, whilst giving all due attention to the wishes of its subjects, 
it might deliberate freely upon their demands, it was of the 
utmost importance that the Sovereign should have at his dis- 
posal a revenue sufficient to meet the ordinary demands upon 
the Treasury in time of peace, and that he should be able to 
command respect by some means of inflicting punishment on 
those who resisted his authority, more certain than an appeal 
to the juries in the courts of law. According to the idea, how- 
ever, which floated before Bacon's mind, such interferences with 
the ordinary courts of law would be of rare occurrence. The 
Sovereign, enlightened by the wisdom of his Council, and by 
the expressed opinions of the representatives of the people, 
would lose no time in embodying in action all that was really 
valuable in the suggestions which were made to him. He 
would meet with little or no opposition, because he would 
possess the confidence of the nation, which would reverence in 
their King their guide in all noble progress, and the image of 
their better selves. 

It is impossible to deny that in such a theory there is much 
which is fascinating, especially to minds which are conscious 


of powers which fit them for the government of their fellow- 
Not unna- men. In fact, it was nothing else than the theory of 
who'had 0116 government which had been acted on by Elizabeth 
Hved in the w jth general assent, though in her hands it had been 

reign of 

Elizabeth, modified by the tact which she invariably displayed. 
It was, therefore, likely to recommend itself to Bacon, who 
had not only witnessed the glories of that reign, but had been 
connected with the Government both by the recollection of his 
father's services, and by his own aspirations for office. 

The glories of the reign of Elizabeth, however, would have 
failed to exercise more than a passing influence over a man of 
They are Bacon's genius, if the tendencies of his own mind 
thTbenfof 7 had not led him to accept her theory of government 
his genius. even w hen it reappeared mutilated and distorted in 
the hands of her successor. The distinguishing characteristic 
of Bacon's intellect was its practical tendency. In speculative 
as well as in political thought, the object which he set before 
him was the benefit of mankind. " Power to do good," as he 
himself has told us, he considered to be the only legitimate 
object of aspiration. 1 His thoughts were constantly occupied 
with the largest and most sweeping plans of reform, by which 
he hoped to ameliorate the condition of his fellow-creatures. 
No abuse escaped his notice, no improvement was too extensive 
to be grasped by his comprehensive genius. The union with 
Scotland, the civilisation of Ireland, the colonisation of America, 
the improvement of the law, and the abolition of the last rem- 
nants of feudal oppression, were only a few of the vast schemes 
upon which his mind loved to dwell. 

With such views as these, it was but natural that Bacon 
should fix his hopes upon the Sovereign and his Council, rather 
He had than upon the House of Commons. It was not to 
the r p r h i^ ein be expected that the Commons would adopt with 
inTh^Houte anv earnestness schemes which, except where they 
of Commons, touched upon some immediate grievance, were so far 
in advance of the age in which he lived, that even after the lapse 
of two centuries and a half the descendants of the generation to 

1 In the essay ' Of Great Place* 


which they were addressed are still occupied in filling up the 
outline which was then sketched by the master's hand. Nor, 
even if the House of Commons had possessed the will, was 
it at that time capable of originating any great and compre- 
hensive legislative measure. It was as yet but an incoherent 
mass, agitated by strong feelings, and moved by a high and 
sturdy patriotism, ready indeed to offer a determined resist- 
ance to every species of misgovernment, but destitute of that 
organization which can alone render it possible for a large 
deliberative assembly, without assistance from without, to 
carry on satisfactorily the work of legislation. The salutary 
action of a ministry owing its existence to the support of the 
House, and exercising in turn, in right of its practical and in- 
tellectual superiority, an influence over all the proceedings of 
the legislature, was yet unknown. To Bacon, above all men, 
a change which should make the House of Commons master of 
the executive government was an object of dread ; for such a 
change would, as he imagined, place the direction of the 
policy of the country in the hands of an inexperienced and un- 
disciplined mob. 1 

Nor was it only on account of its superior capability of 

deliberation on involved and difficult subjects that Bacon's 

sympathies were with the Privy Council : he looked 

Bacons ' ' ' 

desire to free upon it with respect from the mere fact of its being 

the execu- . , ~. 

tive from re- the organ of the executive government, by means of 
which those measures of improvement by which he 
set such store were to be carried out. He had always before 
him the idea of the variety of cases in which the Government 
might be called to act, and he allowed himself to believe that 
it would be better qualified to act rightly if it were not fettered 
by strict rules, or by the obligation to give an account of its 
proceedings to a body which might be ignorant of the whole 
circumstances of the case, and which was only partially quali- 

1 What the faults of the House of Commons were when they did 
obtain the highest place in the State, has been shown in Lord Macaulay's 
posthumous volume. His narrative is enough to convince us that though 
the suspicions of those who thought with Bacon were unfounded, they 
were certainly not absurd. 


fied to judge of the wisdom of the measures which had been 

Whilst, however, he was desirous to restrain the House of 
Commons within what he considered to be its proper bounds, 
His feelings he had the very highest idea of its utility to the 
t^the r Hou d se State. Whenever occasion offered, it was Bacon's 
ofCommons. voice which was always among the first to be raised 
for the calling of a Parliament. It was there alone that the 
complaints of the nation would make themselves fully heard, 
and that an opportunity was offered to the Government, by the 
initiation of well-considered remedial legislation, to maintain 
that harmony which ought always to exist between the nation 
and its rulers. 

Englishmen do not need to be told that this theory of 
Bacon's was radically false ; not merely because James was 
His mis- exceptionally unworthy to fill the position which 
takes> he occupied, but because it omitted to take into 

account certain considerations which render it false for all 
times and for all places, excepting where no considerable part 
of the population of a country are raised above a very low level 
of civilisation. He left out of his calculation, on the one 
hand, the inevitable tendencies to misgovernment which beset 
all bodies of men who are possessed of irresponsible power ; 
and, on the other hand, the elevating operation of the possession 
of political influence upon ordinary men, who, at first sight, 
seem unworthy of exercising it 

We can hardly wonder, indeed, that Bacon should not have 
seen what we have no difficulty in seeing. That Government 
Causes of owes * ts stability to the instability of the ministers 
who, from time to time, execute its functions, is a 
truth which, however familiar to us, would have seemed the 
wildest of paradoxes to the contemporaries of Bacon. That 
the House of Commons would grow in political wisdom and 
in power of self-restraint when the executive Government was 
constrained to give account to it of all its actions, would have 
seemed to them a prognostication only fit to come out of the 
mouth of a madman. That the strength of each of the 
political bodies known to the constitution would grow, not by 



careful demarcation of the limits within which they were to 
work, but by the harmony which would be the result of their 
mutual interdependence, was an idea utterly foreign to the 
mind of Bacon. 1 Even if such a thought had ever occurred to 
him, at what a cost of all that he valued most in his better 
moments would it have been realised ! The supremacy of the 
representatives of the people over the executive Government 
would undoubtedly be accompanied by an indefinite postpone- 
ment of those reforms upon which he had set his heart, and, 
to him, the time which must be allowed to elapse before the 
House of Commons was likely to devote itself to those reforms, 
must have seemed likely to be far longer than it would be in 
reality if, indeed, he did not despair of any satisfactory results 
at all from such a change. In this, no doubt, he was mistaken ; 
but it must be remembered that, unlike the continental states- 
men who have in our own day fallen into a similar error, he 

1 The following extract from Mr. Ellis's preface to Bacon's Philosophical 
Works (Works, i. 62) is interesting, as showing that Bacon's speculative 
errors were precisely the same in kind as those which lay at the bottom of 
his political mistakes : 'Bacon . . . certainly thought it possible so to 
sever observation from theory, that the process of collecting facts, and 
that of deriving consequences from them, might be carried on indepen- 
dently and by different persons. This opinion was based on an imperfect 
apprehension of the connection between facts and theories ; the connection 
appearing to him to be merely an external one, namely, that the former 
are the materials of the latter.' According to Bacon's view of the Con- 
stitution, the House of Commons was the collector of facts, whilst the 
work of the Privy Council was to derive consequences from them, and the 
connection between the two bodies appeared to him to be merely external. 
Ranke gives in a few words the true explanation of Bacon's attachment to 
the prerogative : ' Bacon war einer der letzten, die das Heil von England in 
der Ausbildung der monarchischen Verfassung, oder doch in dem Ueberge- 
wicht der Berechtigung des Fiirsten innerhalb der Verfassung sahen. Die 
Verbindung der drei Reiche unter der verwaltenden Autoritat des Konigs 
schien ihm die Grundlage der klinftigen Grosze Groszbrittanniens zu 
enthalten. An die Monarchische Gewalt kniipfte er die Hoffnung einer 
Reform der Gesetze von England, der Durchfiihrung eines umfassenden 
Colonialsystems in Irland, der Annaherung der kirchlichen und richter- 
lichen Verfassung von Schottland an die englischen Gebrauche. Er liebte 
die Monarchic, well er grosze Dinge von ihr erwartete.' Englische Ge- 
schichte, Sammtliche Werke, xv. 93. 


had no beacon of experience to guide him. England was then, 
as she has always been, decidedly in advance, so far as political 
institutions are concerned, of the other nations of Europe. 
She had to work out the problem of government unaided by 
experience, and was entering like Columbus upon a new world, 
where there was nothing to guide her but her own high spirit 
and the wisdom and virtue of her sons. On such a course as 
this even Bacon was an unsafe guide. Far before his age in 
his knowledge of the arts of government, in all matters relating 
to the equally important subject of constitutional law, he, like 
his master, 'took counsel rather of time past than of time 

But, after all, it is impossible to account for Bacon's political 
errors merely by considerations drawn from the imperfections 
Bacon's ^ n * s m ig n ty intellect. If he had been possessed of 
fine moral feelings he would instinctively have shrunk 
from all connection with a monarch who proposed to 
govern England with the help of Rochester and the Howards. 
But there was something in the bent of his genius which led 
him to pay extraordinary reverence to all who were possessed 
of power. 1 The exaggerated importance which he attached 
to the possession of the executive authority led him to look 
with unbounded respect on those who held in their hands, as 
he imagined, the destinies of the nation. The very largeness 
d of his view led him to regard with complacency 
with the actions from which a man of smaller mind would 
hensiveness have shrunk at once. His thoughts flowed in too 
wide a channel. They lost in strength what they 
gained in breadth. An ordinary man, who has set his heart 
upon some great scheme, if he fails in accomplishing it, retires 
from the scene and waits his time. But whenever Bacon failed 
in obtaining support for his views he had always some fresh 
plan to fall back upon. He never set before himself any de- 

1 The feeling with which Lord Chatham regarded George III. is 
another example of the extent to which active minds are sometimes over- 
awed by the possessors of power. Chatham's loyalty was probably 
sharpened by his dislike of the Whig aristocracy, as Bacon's was by his 
opposition to Coke and the lawyers of his class. 


finite object as one for which it was worth while to live and die. 
If all his plans were rejected, one after another, there would be 
at least something to be done in the ordinary exercise of his 
official duties ; and the mere pleasure of fulfilling them effi 
ciently would blind him to the rottenness of the system of which 
he had made himself a part 

To Bacon the Royal prerogative was the very instrument 

most fitted for his purpose. To act as occasion might require, 

without being bound by the necessity of submitting 

Hisadmira- . ' 

tion of the to an antiquated, and, it might be, an absurd restric- 
tion of the law, was the very highest privilege to which 
he could aspire. He could not but regard the Sovereign who 
had it in his power to admit him to share in wielding this 
mighty talisman as a being raised above the ordinary level of 
mortals, and he was ever ready to shut his eyes to the faults 
with which his character was stained. 

How far he did this voluntarily it is impossible to say with 
certainty. No doubt, in his time, the complimentary phrases 
Hb weak- which he used were looked upon far more as a matter 
of course than they would be at the present day. 
It is only to those who are unaccustomed to the language of 
Bacon's contemporaries that his flattery appears at all noticeable. 
In many points, too, in which we condemn the conduct of 
James, that conduct would appear to Bacon to be not only 
defensible, but even admirable. Where, on the other hand, he 
was unable to praise with honesty, he may have been content 
to praise out of policy. To do so was the only manner in which 
it was possible to win the King's support, and he knew that 
without that support he would be powerless in the world. Some 
allowance must also be made for his general hopefulness of 
temper. He was always inclined to see men as he would have 
them to be, rather than as they were. Nothing is more striking 
in his whole career than the trustful manner m which he always 
looked forward to a new House of Commons. He never 
seemed to be able to understand what a gulf there was between 
his own principles and those of the representatives of the people. 
Whatever cause of quarrel there had been, it was in his eyes 
always the result of faction. He was sure that, if the real sen- 


timents of the gentlemen of England could be heard, justice 
would be done him. It would seem as if he regarded the King 
as he regarded the Parliament ; both had it in their power to 
confer immense benefits on England both, it might be hoped, 
and even believed, would do their part in the great work. 

Nor can it be denied that if he loved office for the sake of 
doing good, he also loved it for its own sake. He was profuse 
in his expenditure, and money therefore never came amiss to 
him. His impressionable mind was open to all the influences 
of the world ; he liked the pomp and circumstance of power, 
its outward show and grandeur, the pleasant company and the 
troops of followers which were its necessary accompaniments. 
His mind was destitute of that pure sensitiveness which should 
have taught him what was the value of power acquired as 
it was alone possible for him to acquire it. The man who 
could find nothing better to say of marriage than that wife 
and children are impediments to great enterprises, was not 
likely to regard life from its ideal side. He learned the 
ways of the Court only too well. Of all the sad sights of this 
miserable reign, surely Bacon's career must have been the 
saddest. It would have been something if he had writhed 
under the chains which he had imposed upon himself. Always 
offering the best advice only to find it rejected, he sank into 
the mere executor of the schemes of inferior men, the supporter 
of an administration whose policy he was never allowed to 

Whatever may have been Bacon's opinion on the mainte- 
nance of the prerogative, there can be no doubt that he would 
have been gravely dissatisfied with a system in which Parlia- 
ments had no place. Nor was the question of summoning 
Parliament one the serious consideration of which 


sirj. ( could be postponed much longer. In June, 1612, 

p^t^n the the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Julius Cassar, 

informed the King ' that the ordinary expenditure of 

the Crown exceeded the revenue by no less a sum than i6o,ooo/., 

and that the debt had risen to 5oo,ooo/. from the 3oo,ooo/. at 

which it stood at the opening of the session in the spring of 

1 Caesar's notes, Lansd. MSS. 165, fol. 223. 


1610. Upon this a Sub-Committee, of which Bacon as well as 
Caesar was a member, was appointed to report to the 

Efforts to ' 

improve the new Commissioners of the Treasury upon the state 
of the finances. The result of their labours was a 
plan which was actually carried into effect, by which the deficit 
might be reduced by about 35,ooo/., leaving i25,ooc/. still 
unprovided for, to say nothing of the extraordinary expenses 
which were certain to arise from time to time. What the amount 
of these extraordinary expenses was may be calculated from the 
fact that in the two years which ended at Michaelmas, 1613, 
although many claims upon the Government were left unpaid, 
it was necessary to borrow i43,ooo/., of which a great part was 
raised by a new issue of Privy Seals ; and that, in addition to 
the money thus obtained, no less a sum than 3&8,ooo/. had been 
obtained by means of payments, many of which were not 
likely to be repeated, and none of which could be considered 
as forming part of the regular revenue of the Crown. Some 
of this, no doubt, was expended in providing for outstanding 
claims ; but, in spite of all the efforts of the Government, the 
debt, as has been seen, continued to increase. It must, how- 
ever, be said that it was upon the report of this committee that 
James, for the first time, showed a desire to economise ; and 
though he could not at once withdraw the pensions and annuities 
which he had heedlessly granted, or reduce in a moment the 
scale of expenditure which he had authorised, he did what he 
could to check his propensity to give away money to every one 
of his courtiers who begged for it. 

In the year which ended at Michaelmas, 1613, the diffi- 
culties were especially great. In addition to the ordinary 
expenditure, a part at least of the expenses connected with the 
marriage of the Princess had to be met within the year. Those 
expenses amounted to more than 6o,ooo/., to which 4o,ooo/. 
had to be added for the portion of the bride. i6,ooo/. was 
wanted towards defraying the outlay at Prince Henry's funeral. 
Other extraordinary charges were pressing for payment, and 
amongst them 105, ooo/. was required to pay off a loan which had 
fallen due. 

No effort was spared to meet these demands. The Earl of 


Northumberland was forced to pay n,ooo/. on account of his 
fine in the Star-Chamber, 1 which, under other circumstances, 
would, in all probability, have been left in his pocket. 
65,ooo/., which had long been owed by the French Government, 
was extracted from the King of France. The repayment of 
the debt which the Dutch had contracted with Elizabeth had 
commenced in 1611, and was still continuing at the rate of 
4o,ooo/. a year. 57,ooo/. was produced by baronetcies in the two 
years, and all other means which could be thought of were re- 
sorted to without scruple. Privy Seals were again sent out to a 
select few who were supposed to be capable of sustaining the 
burden, though the last loan had not been repaid, and 6,ooo/. 
was borrowed from other sources. On one occasion, when 
the Exchequer was all but empty, Rochester produced 24,000!., 
which he requested the King to accept as a loan until the 
present difficulty was at an end. 2 It was all in vain. Recourse 
was again had to the sale of lands and woods. By this means 
a sum of 65,0007. was realised. 

Such a method of extricating the Exchequer from its diffi- 
culties must have an end. Already the entail of 1609 had been 
June. broken into, and lands had been parted with which 
Necessity were intended to be indissolubly annexed to the 

of calling a J 

Parliament Crown. 67,ooo/., moreover, of the revenue of the 
following year had been levied in anticipation, so that the pro- 
spect was more than ever hopeless. Under these circum- 
stances, it is not strange that the idea of calling a Parliament 
was accepted even by those who had been most opposed to 
such a measure. 

There were two men who had always consistently 
by Neville recommended the summoning of Parliament. Im- 
mediately upon Salisbury's death Bacon wrote to 
the King, advising this course, and offering to suggest measures 

1 It is generally supposed that the Star-Chamber fines formed a large 
portion of the King's revenue. This is by no means the case. The large 
fines were almost invariably remitted. 

2 Receipt Books of the Exchequer. In Chamberlain's letter to Carleton, 
April 29, 1613 (S. P. Ixxii. 120), the sum is erroneously given as 22,ooo/. ; 
20,ooo/. was repaid within the year. 


which might lead the way to a settlement of the differences 
between him and the House of Commons. l Some months be- 
fore, Sir Henry Neville had a conversation with James on the 
same subject, and gave his opinion strongly in the same 
direction. 2 It was not, however, till the summer of 1613 that 
James was willing to admit the idea of appealing once more 
to the representatives of the people, who had been dismissed 
by him so summarily. 

It was in 1612 that a memorial was drawn up 'by Neville, 
which brought plainly before James the popular view of the 
Neville's subject. 3 Neville's opinion was, that all the schemes 
Ad^sefthe which had been suggested for raising money in 
ofTp^ik? anv wa y exce pt by Parliament, would prove in 
ment - the end to be failures. It was no mere question 

of money. The ill-feeling which had been caused by the 
dissolution of the last Parliament had not been confined to 
its members. From them it had spread over every con- 
stituency in the kingdom. All Europe knew that the king 
and his subjects were at variance, and the enemies of England 
would be emboldened to treat with contempt a nation where 
there was no harmony between the Government and the 
people. If James wished to maintain his position amongst the 
Sovereigns of the Continent, he must prove to them that he had 
not lost the hearts of his subjects ; and there was no better way 
of accomplishing this than by showing that he could meet his 
Parliament without coming into collision with it. 

It might indeed be said that the Commons would still be 
unwilling to give money under any conditions whatever, or that, 
even if they consented to grant supplies, they would clog their 

1 Bacon to the King, May 31, 1612, Letters and Life, iv. 279. 

2 C. y. i. 485. The conversation at Windsor there mentioned took 
place in July, 1611. But the mention of projects in the memorial looks 
as if it had been drawn up at a later date. It is, perhaps, a repetition of 
arguments formerly presented. 

3 The copies which are among the State Papers are all anonymous. 
But Carte (Hist. iv. 17), who had another copy before him, speaks dis- 
tinctly of the memorial as being Neville's, and the internal evidence all 
points in the same direction. 


concessions with unreasonable demands. To these objections 
Objections Neville replied that it was a mistake to suppose that 
answered, ^g opposition in the last Parliament arose from 
factious motives. He had himself lived on familiar terms with 
the leaders of the Opposition, and he was able to affirm, without 
fear of contradiction, that they bore no ill-will towards the King. 
He was ready to undertake for trie greater part of them that, if 
the King would act fairly by his people, he would find these 
men ready to exert themselves in support of the Government. 
It was true, indeed, that it would be necessary to grant certain 
things upon which those who would be called to pay the 
subsidies had set their hearts. It remained to be considered 
what these concessions should be. 

It was difficult, he said, for any one man to set down the 
requirements of all the members of the House ; but from what 
Concessions ^ e knew of the leading men of the last Parliament, 
to be made ^g ^ a( j ventured to draw up a list l of concessions 
which, as he thought, would prove satisfactory to them. In this 
paper, which was appended to his memorial, Neville set forth 
certain points in which he thought that the law pressed hardly 
upon the subject. None of them, however, were of much 
importance. He undoubtedly attached greater weight to the 
eight concessions which James had offered to the Commons 
shortly after the breach of the contract. These he copied out, 
and, adroitly enough, refused to give any opinion on them, 
taking it for granted that they still expressed the opinions of the 
King. Amongst them was a renunciation of the right of levying 
impositions without consent of Parliament. 

Having thus laid before James a list of the points which it 

would be advisable to yield, Neville proceeded to urge that 

Parliament should be summoned immediately. Let 

Conduct re- . ... . . 

commended the King avoid the use of any irritating speeches, and 
? ' let him do his best while he was on his progress to 
win the good-will of the country gentlemen. Let orders be 
given to the Archbishop to allow no books to be printed, or 
sermons preached, which reflected on the House of Commons. 

1 This list will be found among the State Papers, Dom. Ixxiv. 46. 


Let the grievances presented in the last Parliament be ex- 
amined, and, if the King were willing to yield on any point, let 
him do it at once, without waiting for the commencement of 
the session. Above all, let him see that all promises made by 
him were actually carried into execution. 

No less important were Neville's practical suggestions for 
the conduct of business in the House of Commons. He saw 
that the system adhered to since Salisbury's elevation to the 
Peerage, of communicating the King's wishes through members 
of the Upper House, had not worked well. He therefore re- 
commended that the King should address the Commons either 
in person or by members of their own House, and that he 
should call on them to nominate a committee to confer with 
himself on all points on which he and they were at issue. 

Excellent as in many respects this advice was, Neville 
absolutely ignored the important fact that he had proposed 
to James nothing less than a complete capitulation. The King 
was, in short, to accept the Commons as his masters, and to give 
way where they wished him to give way, even if the concession 
cost him the abandonment of his most treasured principles. It 
was not so that James understood his position as a king, and 
if the position which he claimed was becoming untenable, the 
reasons which were making it necessary for the kingship to 
change its ground ought certainly not to have been passed 
over in silence. Still less ought Neville to have abstained from 
descending to particulars, and from giving reasons why it would 
be well for James to give way on certain points on which he 
had up to this time maintained an attitude of unflinching re- 

In Bacon James found an adviser who was not likely to 
commit this mistake. No one could be more fully convinced 
Bacon's tnat ^ was ^6 ^ utv ^ a Government to lead, and 
advice. not j- o De dragged helplessly along without a will of 
its own. To the renewal of the Great Contract in any shape, 
Bacon was utterly opposed. He held that it had been the great 
mistake of Salisbury's official life. It was introducing the idea of 
a bargain where no bargain ought to be between the King and 
his subjects who were indissolubly united as the head is united 

1613 BACONS ADVICE. 205 

to the body. He therefore recommended that a Parliament 
should be called for legislation, and not merely for supply. Let 
the King show his care for the public by giving the Commons 
good work to do, and he would once more stand in a befitting 
relation to them. He would be asking them to co-operate 
with him, not dealing with them as a merchant having adverse 
interests to theirs. As to money, let him say as little about it 
as possible, and strive to extenuate his wants by letting it be 
known that if only time were given him he could find a way 
without Parliament to balance his expenditure and his revenue. 
Probably the Commons would vote a supply which would be 
the beginning of future liberalities. Even if they did not, much 
would be gained if the session were to come to an end without 
a quarrel. "I, for my part," he wrote, "think it a thing in- 
estimable to your Majesty's safety and service, that you once 
part with your Parliament with love and reverence." 

So far Bacon's advice was but given in anticipation of all 
that modern experience has taught on the relationship between 
Governments and representative assemblies. That unity, which 
we secure by making the duration of a Cabinet dependent upon 
its acceptance by a majority of the House of Commons, 
Bacon would have secured by bringing the King to conciliate 
the majority by his skill in the practical work of legislation. 
Yet it is impossible to feel completely satisfied with the whole 
of the letter in which this admirable counsel is given. In deal- 
ing with the causes of the King's difficulties in the last Parlia- 
ment, he lays far too great stress on personal details, and none 
at all on that alienation of sentiment which was the true root of 
the mischief. He thought that the old grievances would now 
be forgotten, and that as James had not lately done anything 
unpopular, he was not likely to be annoyed by their revival. 
After having thus measured the retentive powers of his country- 
men's memories, he went on to say at the time when Roches- 
ter's interest in the divorce of Lady Essex was in the mouths 
of all that Lord Sanquhar's execution had produced a con- 
viction that the King was now impartial in dealing justice to 
Scotchmen and Englishmen alike ; that the deaths of the Earls 
of Salisbury and Dunbar had rid him of the odium which was 


attached to their persons ; and that the leaders of the House 
of Commons had found out by this time that nothing was to be 
gained by opposition, and would at last, through hope of the 
King's favour, be ready to support him in his demands. 1 

No doubt Bacon would not have cared to breathe a word 
on James's defects of character in a letter addressed to himself, 
but the total absence of any recognition of their existence in a 
set of notes drawn up solely for his own use 2 is fatal to the 
idea that he felt anything like the full difficulty of the task 
which he had undertaken. Here, as everywhere else in his 
career, his bluntness of feeling led him to overestimate the 
part played by intelligence and management in the affairs of 
the world. 

For the present nothing was done to carry out Bacon's 
plan. In the beginning of July the Privy Council was still un- 
convinced that the state of the finances was beyond 

July. . J 

Parliament the reach of ordinary remedies, and the question of 
postponed. surnmo ning a Parliament was postponed to a more 
convenient season. Yet, whether James was ultimately to adopt 
Bacon's advice or not, an opportunity occurred of showing that 
he had learnt to value him as an adviser. A year before, it 
had seemed as if nothing was to be done for him. He had then 

applied in vain for the Mastership of the Court of 
prospects of Wards, which had again become vacant by the death 

of Sir George Carew. He had counted upon success 
so far as to order the necessary liveries, but for some reason 
or other he was disappointed. Perhaps he omitted to offer the 

1 "That opposition which was, the last Parliament, to your Majesty's 
business, as much as was not ex ptiris naturalibus, but out of party, I 
conceive to be now much weaker than it was, and that party almost 
dissolved. Yelverton is won. Sandys is fallen off. Crew and Hide stand 
to be Serjeants. Brock is dead. Nevill hath hopes. Berkeley will, I 
think, be respective. Martin hath money in his purse. Dudley Digges 
and Holies are yours. Besides, they cannot but find more and more the 
vanity of that popular course, especially your Majesty having carried your- 
self in that princely temper towards them as not to persecute or disgrace 
them, nor yet to use or advance them." Bacon to the King, Letters and 
Life, iv. 368. 

2 Reasons for calling a Parliament. Letters and Life, iv. 365. 


accustomed bribe to Rochester. At all events, the place was 
given to Sir Walter Cope, a man of integrity, but of no great 
abilities. The wits made merry over the discomfiture of the 
Solicitor-General. Sir Walter, they said, had got the Wards, 
and Sir Francis the Liveries. 

Bacon, however, had probably, in the summer of 1611, 
received a promise from the King of succeeding to the Attorney- 
Generalship whenever that place should be vacated by Hobart, l 
and on August 7, two years afterwards, the death of Sir Thomas 
Fleming, the Chief Justice of the King's Bench, opened the 
way for his advancement. 

Bacon at once wrote to the King, and begged him to ap- 
point Hobart to the post. In case of his refusal he asked 
Aug. 7 . that he might himself be selected. 2 It was not 
the C Chief " long, however, before he communicated to the King 
oftheKin P 's a P^ an > by nieans of which James might get rid 
Bench. o f a hindrance to the exercise of his prerogative. 
Coke's resistance to the King on the subject of the pro- 
clamations and the prohibitions had never been forgotten; 
and Bacon suggested that it would be well to grasp at so 
good an opportunity of showing the great lawyer that he was 
not altogether independent. The Chief Justiceship of the 
King's Bench was indeed a more honourable post than that 
which Coke now held, but it was far less lucrative, and it was 
well known that Coke would be unwilling to pay for the higher 
title with a diminution of his income. His selection as 
Fleming's successor would be universally regarded as a penal 
promotion, which would deter others from offending in a 
similar manner. Room would thus be made for Hobart in the 
Common Pleas. As for himself, he would take care to put 
forth all his energies as Attorney-General in defence of the 
prerogative. It was an office the duties of which he was better 
able to fulfil than his predecessor had been, who was naturally 
of a timid and retiring disposition. Coke was to be bound over 
to good behaviour in his new place by the prospect of admission 
to the Privy Council. 3 

1 Letters and Life, iv. 242. " Bacon to the King, ibid. iv. 378. 

3 Letters and Life, iv. 381. 


Except in the last particular, Bacon's advice was followed. 
Coke, sorely against his will, was forced into promotion, but by 
his immediate admission to the Council all incentive to sub- 
missive conduct was removed. Hobart became Chief Justice 
Legal f tne Common Pleas, and Bacon stepped into the 

promotions. p i ace w hi c h had been held by Hobart The Solici- 
torship was given to Yelverton, whose opinion on most points 
coincided with that of Bacon, and whose speech in defence of 
the prerogative, in the debate on the impositions, had not been 

Coke was grievously offended at his own promotion. It is 
probable enough that it was something more than the mere 
Coke takes ' oss f income which rankled in his mind. He had 
offence. aspired to be the arbitrator between the Crown and 
the subject, and his new place in the King's Bench would 
afford him far less opportunity of fulfilling the functions of an 
arbitrator than his old one in the Common Pleas. 1 The first 

1 See Letters and Life, iv. 379. In writing of this affair, as well as 
of that of Bacon's advice on the caliing of Parliament, I have considerably 
modified my statements, upon consideration of Mr. Spedding's arguments. 
But I have found it impossible to adopt his views altogether. Take, for in- 
stance, such sentences as these : " To a man of Coke's temper, the position 
of champion and captain of the Common Law in its battles with Prerogative 
was a tempting one. His behaviour as Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, 
though accompanied with no alteration in himself, had entirely altered 
his character in the estimation of the people ; transforming him from the 
most offensive of Attorney-Generals into the most admired and venerated of 
judges, and investing him with a popularity which has been transmitted 
without diminution to our own times, and is not likely to be questioned. 
For posterity, having inherited the fruits of his life, and being well satisfied 
with vrhat it has got, will not trouble itself to examine the bill, which was 
paid and settled long ago. To us, looking back when all is over, the cost 
is nothing. To the contemporary statesmen, however, who were then 
looking forth into the dark future, and wondering what the shock of the 
contending forces was 1 to end in, his triumphs were of more doubtful nature. 
To some of them, even if they could have foreseen exactly what was going 
to happen, the prospect would not have been inviting. A civil war, a 
public execution of a King by his subjects for treason against himself, a 
usurpation, a restoration, and a counter-revolution, all within one genera- 
tion, would have seemed, to one looking forward, very ugly items in 
the successful solution of a national difficulty ; and those who saw in Coke's 


time that he met Bacon after these alterations were completed 
he could not avoid showing what his feelings were. He ' parted 
dolefully from the Common Pleas, not only weeping himself, 
but followed with the tears of all that Bench, and most of the 
officers of that Court.' 1 "Mr. Attorney," he said to Bacon, 
when next he met him, "this is all your doing ; it is you that 
have made this great stir." "Ah, my lord !" was the ready 
answer, "your lordship all this while hath grown in breadth ; 
you must needs now grow in height, else you will prove a 
monster." 2 

The year which had been noted by the great divorce case, 
and which was afterwards known to have been marked by the 

judicial victories the beginning of such an end, might be pardoned if they 
desired to find some less dangerous employment for his virtues." 

I have given the whole of this passage because it brings into a focus 
the real difference between Mr. Spedding's way of regarding the history 
of the seventeenth century and my own. With the main current of the 
argument I am in complete agreement. I hold that Bacon was a far better 
counsellor than Coke, and that if Bacon's whole advice had been taken we 
should have escaped much mischief. Nor can I deny that contemporary 
statesmen, if they could have foreseen what afterwards happened, and if 
they thought that Coke's conduct was likely to lead to the Civil War and 
the other evils in store, would have been very anxious to get Coke out of 
the way. What I complain of is of Mr. Spedding's omission to add 
that if contemporaries thought this they thought wrongly. The Civil War 
came about, not because Coke's principles prevailed, but because half of 
, Bacon's principles prevailed without the other. If James and his son had 
stood towards Parliament as Bacon wished them to stand, there would 
have been no danger to be feared from Coke. If he had gone wrong, it 
would have been easy to suppress his activity. The real mischief lay not 
in the inevitable change in the relationship between the Crown and the 
Commons being carried out Mr. Spedding acknowledges that it must 
have been carried out but in its being carried out with a shock. What 
my opinion is as to the cause of the calamity none of my readers will 
have any difficulty in understanding. As I write this note the saddening 
remembrance of the loss of one whose mind was so acute, and whose 
nature was so patient and kindly, weighs upon my mind. It was a true 
pleasure to have one's statements and arguments exposed to the testing fire 
of his hostile criticism. 

1 Chamberlain to Carleton, Oct. 27, S. P. Dem. Ixxiv. 89. 

2 Bacon's Apophthegms, Prof, and Lit. Works, ii. 169. 


murder of Overbury, witnessed in its close the festivities which 

Dec, 26. accompanied the marriage of the favourite. The 

irf tbe age ceremony was performed on the day after Christmas 

favourite. day at the Chapel Royal. Lady Essex now appeared 

to have the world before her. In order that the 

Rochester ,, .. , , -i/-^-% 

created Earl lady might not lose her title of Countess, Rochester 
l had, a few weeks previously, been created Earl of 
Somerset. As far as he was concerned, he showed the good 
taste not to appear surrounded by any extraordinary pomp. 
Lady Frances Howard, as she was now again for a short time 
styled, attracted attention by appearing with her long hair 
flowing down over her shoulders, a costume which was at that 
time reserved for virgin brides. The couple were married by 
the same bishop who had done a similar service to the bride 
six years previously. All who had to gain anything from the 
royal bounty pressed round the newly married pair 
sentecUt the with gifts in their hands. Nottingham and Coke, 
weddmg. Lake ancl vvinwood, did not think it beneath them 
to court the favour of the man who stood between them and 
their Sovereign. The City of London, the Company of 
Merchant Adventurers, and the East India Company, were 
not behindhand. Bacon, who had no liking for Somerset or 
the Howards, did as others, and prepared a masque to celebrate 
the marriage. He declared that, although it would cost him 
no less a sum than 2,ooo/., he would allow no one to share the 
burden with him. 1 A day or two after the marriage, the King 
sent for the Lord Mayor, and intimated to him that 

Entertain- -111 i 11 i 

mentat it was expected that he should provide an enter- 
Ta e y Tors >nt tainment for Lord and Lady Somerset. The Lord 
Mayor, however, desired to be excused from enter- 
taining the large company which might be expected to come in 
their train. He accordingly pleaded that his house was too 
small for the purpose. He was told that, at all events, the City 
Halls were large enough. He accordingly appealed to the 
Aldermen, who consented to take the burden off his shoulders, 
and directed that the preparations should be made in Merchant 
Taylors' Hall. It was arranged that the guests should make 
1 Letters and Life, iv. 594. 


their way in procession from Westminster to the City, the 
gentlemen on horseback and the ladies in their coaches. 

The bride was, naturally enough, anxious to appear on such 
an occasion in all due splendour. Her coach was sufficiently 
magnificent to attract attention, but, unluckily, she had no 
horses good enough for her purpose. In this difficulty she sent 
to Winwood, to borrow his. Winwood immediately answered, 
that it was not fit for so great a lady to use anything borrowed, 
and begged that she would accept the horses as a present 1 

When we remember what Lady Somerset was, there is 

something revolting to our feelings in the attentions which 

she received from all quarters. Yet it must not be 

of the forgotten that, if many of those who took part in 

these congratulations believed her to be an adulteress, 

there was not one of them who even suspected her of being 

a murderess. Yet it was well for the credit of human nature 

that one man should be found who would refuse re- 

Silent pro- , . , , , -,17, , i 

test of the solutely to worship the idol. Whilst, in the persons 
5 op ' of Coke, of Bacon, and of Winwood, the most learned 
lawyer, the deepest thinker, and the most honest official 
statesman of the age, combined with deans and bishops to 
do her homage, Abbot stood resolutely aloof. He appeared, 
indeed, in the chapel at the time of the marriage, but he re- 
fused to take any part in authorising what he considered to be 
an adulterous union. If conscience retained any sway over 
the heart of the giddy young bride, she must have been awed 
by the stern features of the man who was regarding her with 
no friendly eyes. To us, who know what the future history of 
England was, there is something ominous in this scene. It 
was, as it were, the spirit of Calvinism which had taken up its 
abode in that silent monitor ; the one power in England 
which could resist the seductions of the Court, and which was 
capable of rebuking, at any cost, the immorality of the great. 
Abbot was not a large-minded man, but on that day he stood 
in a position which placed him faj above all the genius and the 
grandeur around him. 

1 Chamberlain to Lady Carleton, Dec. 30. Chamberlain to Carleton, 
Jan. 5, Court and Times, i. 284, 287. 



As yet Lady Somerset had no thought of sorrow. Two 
years of dissipation and of enjoyment were to be hers ; and 
then the final catastrophe was to come, with all its irretrievable 
ruin. For the present, not a shadow crossed her path. Her 
husband was at the height of his power. Exercising more 
than the influence of a Secretary, without the name, 
wealth and he shared in all the thoughts and schemes of the 
King. Nor was there any want of means for keep 
ing up the dignity and splendour of his position ; there was 
no need now to ask the King for grants of land or of ready 
money ; every suitor who had a petition to present must pay 
tribute to Somerset if he hoped to obtain a favourable reply. 
What he gained in this way was never known. But it was 
calculated that, though his ostensible revenue was by no means 
large, he had spent no less than 9o,ooo/. in twelve months. It 
is true that he never received a bribe without previously obtain- 
ing the sanction of James, but if this makes his own conduct 
less blameworthy, it increases the dishonour of the King. 1 

With this example of James's infelicity in the selection of 
his companions, it was difficult for him to obtain credit in the 
Prevalence e >" es ^ tne wor ld when he stepped forward as a 
of duelling, moral reformer. Yet there can be little doubt that 
he was in earnest in his desire to combat the evils of the time, 
especially when they took the shape of sins to which he was 
himself a stranger. Such was the case with the increasing 
prevalence of duels. The death of Lord Bruce of Kinloss, 
who had lately succeeded to the title of his father, the late 
Master of the Rolls, and who was slain in a duel with Sir 
Edward Sackville, the brother of the Earl of Dorset, brought 
the subject more immediately before the notice of the King. 
He exerted himself successfully to stop a threatened combat 
between the Earl of Essex and Lord Henry Howard, the third 
1614- son of the Earl of Suffolk, arising out of the ill-will 
s-ar"' which prevailed between the two families in conse- 
, h c a r e ber quence of the divorce of Lady Essex. A proclama- 
agamst u. tj on was issued to put a stop to duels for the future. 
Bacon was employed to prosecute in the Star Chamber two 

1 Sarmiento to Lerma, Dec. 26, 1615, Simamas A1SS. 2594, fol. 94. 


persons who were intending to engage in single combat, and 
he declared that similar proceedings would be taken against all 
who, in any way whatever, committed any act which was con- 
nected with the giving or receiving a challenge. 1 

It was little that could be done by proclamations and 
prosecutions to put a stop to an evil which was rooted in 
opinion. The sense of honour which made men duellists would 
only give way before a larger conception of the duty of self- 
sacrifice in the public service, and this conception had little 
place in James's court. In the outer world it was strong and 
flourishing. There is something in a city community, when 
the city has not attained to an overwhelming size, which fosters 
the growth of local patriotism, and it is easy to understand 
why, in true liberality of spirit, the merchants of the City out- 
shone the Northamptons and Somersets of Whitehall 

Such a merchant was Thomas Sutton, one of that class of 
moneyed men which had risen into importance with the rising 
prosperity of the country, and which was already 
Simon's claiming a position of its own by the side of the old 
county families of England. He had no children to 
whom to leave his accumulated stores, and consequently his 
property was looked upon with longing eyes by all who could 
urge any claim to succeed to a portion of it at his death. An at- 
tempt had even been made to induce him to name Prince Charles 
as his heir, whilst the Prince was still a younger son, to whom 
an estate worth at least 6,ooo/. a year would be no unwelcome 
gift. To this proposal Sutton refused steadily to listen. He 
was more inclined to pay attention to those who, like Joseph 
Hall, successively Bishop of Exeter and Norwich, invited him 
to devote his money to some pious or charitable object. After 
some consideration he determined to erect a school, and a 
hospital for old and decayed gentlemen, at Hallingbury in 
Essex, and in 1610, he obtained an Act of Parliament giving 
him the powers requisite to enable him to carry out his inten- 

In the year after the passing of the Act, however, Sutton 

1 Letters and Life, iv. 395. 


purchased from the Earl of Suffolk the buildings of the old 

i6n. Carthusian monastery near Smithfield, then, as now, 
Hous? 3 "" commonly known as the Charter House, and obtained 
letters patent authorising him to transfer the institu- 
tion to that site. A few months later he died, in December 
1611, leaving a will in which he directed others to complete the 
work which he had begun. 

Scarcely was he in his grave when it was known that the 
heir-at-law had resolved to dispute the will. Strangely, as it 

igi2 seems to us, the claimant was summoned before the 
The validity Council and compelled to bind himself in the event 
win" of success 'to stand to the King's award and arbitra- 

ment.' Upon this Bacon drew up an able paper of 
advice to the King, suggesting various ways in which, if the 
judges decided against the will, he might dispose of the bequest 
more usefully than the testator had proposed to do. In 1613, 

1613. however, the will was declared to be valid, and 
held to' be Sutton's intentions were accordingly carried out. 
valid. After the trial was over, the executors took care to 

retain the good-will of James by presenting him with io,ooo/., 
under the pretence that they gave it to reimburse him for his 
expenses in building a bridge over the Tweed at Berwick, and 
that they were in this way carrying out the intentions of 
Sutton, who had left a large sum to be employed upon objects 
of general utility. l 

There might be differences of opinion as to the best way of 
employing a bequest left for charitable purposes. There could 
be no difference of opinion on the necessity of supplying 
London with pure water. 

The supply had long been deficient, but, although com- 
plaints had been constantly heard, and even an Act of Parlia- 
1606. ment 2 had been obtained in 1606, authorising the 
Mappi wa of r corporation to supply the deficiency by bringing in a 
London. stream from the springs at Chadwell and Amwell, no 
steps had been taken to carry out the designed operations. 

1 Herne, Domus Carthusiana, 37~95 > Bacon's Letters and Life, iv. 

- 3 Jac. I. cap. 18, explained by 4 Jac. I. cap. 12. 

1609 THE NEW RIVER. 215 

Vexed at the sluggishness of his fellow-citizens, Hugh Myddelton 
stood forward and declared that if no one else would do the 
work he would take it upon his own shoulders. His proposal 
was thankfully accepted. He had already paid considerable 
attention to the subject, as a member of the committees of the 
House of Commons before whom the recent Acts had been 

The first sod upon the works of the proposed New River 
was turned on April 21, 1609. With untiring energy Myddelton 
1609. persevered in the work which he had undertaken, in 
Rivefc^- s Pi te f the opposition of the landowners through 
menced. whose property the stream was to pass, and who 
complained that their land was likely to suffer in consequence, 
by the overflowing of the water. In 1610 his opponents carried 
their complaints before the House of Commons, and a com- 
mittee was directed to make a report upon their case as soon 
as the House reassembled in October. When they met again, 
the members had more important matters to attend to, and 
Myddelton's hands were soon set free by the dissolution. 

Although, however, he had no longer any reason to fear 
any obstacle which might be thrown in his way by Parliament, 
the opposition of the landowners was so annoying, and the 
demands which were made on his purse were, in all probability, 
increasing so largely in consequence of them, that he de- 
termined to make an attempt to interest the King in his 
project. James, who seldom turned a deaf ear to any scheme 
which tended to the material welfare of his subjects, consented 
to take upon himself half the expense of the undertaking, on 
condition of receiving half the profits. Under the sanction of 
the royal name the works went rapidly forward, and on Michael- 
mas Day, 1613, all London was thronging to Islington to 
celebrate the completion of the undertaking. 1 

1 Smiles's Lives of Engineers, i. 107. It is often said that Myddelton 
was knighted in reward for his services. This was not the case ; he 
received no honour till he became a baronet, many years later. 




IN the very midst of the festivities which accompanied the 
marriage of the favourite, and which notified to' the world the 
establishment of the Howards in power, James received a warn- 
ing from which he ought to have learned something of the true 
character of the men whom he delighted to honour. Digby 
igi had not been long at Madrid before he discovered 
Digby dis- that, with a very little money, it was possible to 
SpanTsh e obtain access to the most cherished secrets of the 
pensions. Spanish Government. In May, 1613, he got into his 
possession the instructions which the new ambassador, Sar- 
miento, was to take with him. From these he discovered that 
the Spanish ambassadors in London had long been in the habit 
of obtaining intelligence by the same means as those which he 
was employing in Spain. He gave himself no rest till he had 
tracked out the whole of the secret. In August, he informed 
James that a paper was in existence containing the names of 
all the English pensioners of Spain. l For the present, however, 
he was unable to procure a copy of it. In the beginning of 
September, he obtained some documents in which the pensioners 
were referred to, but their names were disguised under fictitious 
appellations. He thought that he could make out that a 
pension had been given to Sir William Monson, the admiral in 
command of the Narrow Seas. There was one name about 
which there could be no mistake. To his astonishment and 
horror, that one name was that of the late Lord Treasurer, the 
1 Digby to the King, Aug. 8, S. P. Spain. 


Earl of Salisbury. In December, he at last procured the long- 
desired key to the whole riddle. He was thunderstruck at the 
names of men whose loyalty had never been suspected, and 
who occupied the highest posts in the Government, and were 
in constant attendance upon the person of the King. He 
hoped, indeed, that some of the persons indicated might have 
refused to accept the offered bribe, but, even after the utmost 
allowance had been made, enough remained to fill him with 
astonishment and disgust. 

The secret was of far too high importance to be entrusted 

to paper. Digby, therefore, at once asked permission to return 

l6 , 4 . home on leave of absence, in order that he might 

He obtains acquaint the King, by word of mouth, with the dis- 

leave to ' ' 

return to coveries which he had made. The request was, of 

England , 

with this course, granted, and in the spring he set out to carry 
the important intelligence to England. James learnt 
that Northampton and Lady Suffolk were in the pay of Spain, 
though Somerset appears to have kept himself clear. 1 

What James's feelings were on the receipt of this startling 
intelligence we have no means of knowing, as his answers to 
Digby's despatches have not been preserved. We may, how- 
ever, be sure that he neglected to draw the only inference from 
the terrible tidings which could alone have saved him from 
- . further disgrace. In fact, such revelations as these 

Warning . ' . 

given to are the warnings which are invariably given to every 
thesTreve- Government which separates itself from the feelings 
and intelligence of the nation which it is called to 
guide. Was it wonderful that a Sovereign who stood aloof 
from the independent national life around him, should be sur- 
rounded by men who had accepted office rather in the hope 
of obtaining wealth and honour for themselves than from any 
wish to devote themselves heart and soul to the service of their 
country ? When selfishness, however much it might be dis- 
guised even from himself, was the ruling principle with the 
King, it could not be long before it showed itself in his 

1 Digby to the King, Aug. 8, Dec. 24, S. P. Spain. Compare Vol. I. 
p. 214. 


The lesson which James drew from the intelligence which 
he received was precisely the opposite of that which it ought 
i6i to have taught him. Instead of becoming less ex- 
Somerset elusive in his friendships, it made him more exclusive. 
iteiy m When the first vague knowledge of the existence of 
corruption amongst those whom he trusted reached 
him in the autumn, he made the members of the Privy Council 
feel that the conduct of affairs was less than ever left in their 
hands. They were still allowed to discuss public business, but 
upon all points of importance James reserved his decision till 
he had'had an opportunity of talking them over with his young 
Scottish favourite. 1 When the final revelation reached him, 
probably early in January 1614, the fact that Somerset's name 
did not appear in the list of Spanish pensioners must have in- 
clined the King to repose even still greater confidence in him, 
in proportion as his trust in Northampton was shaken. 

James, indeed, was much mistaken if he supposed that 
Somerset was ready to devote himself entirely to the service 
of his too confiding master. His weak brain was turned by 
his rapid elevation, and the calculated subservience of North- 
ampton flattered his vanity. He became a mere tool of the 
Howards. As such he was anxious to forward an intimate 
alliance with Spain, and to enter into close relations with 
Sarmiento, the new Spanish ambassador. Sarmiento had come 
to England with the express object of winning James over from 
his alliance with France and the Protestant powers. 

For the service upon which he was sent it would have been 
impossible to find a fitter person. It is true that it would be 
Sa/miento absurd to speak of Sarmiento as a man of genius, or 
sacC'iT" even as a deep anc * far-sighted politician. He was 
England. altogether deficient in the essential element of per- 
manent success the power of seeing things of pre-eminent 
importance as they really are. During his long residence 
amongst the English people, and with his unrivalled oppor- 

1 " The Viscount Rochester, at the council table, showeth much 
temper and modesty, without seeming to press or sway anything, but 
afterwards the King resolveth all business with him alone." Sarmiento's 
despatch sent home by Digby, Sept 22, 1613, 5. P. Spain. 


tunities for studying their character, he never could comprehend 
for a moment that English Protestantism had any deeper root 
than in the personal predilections of the King. But if the 
idea of converting the English nation by means of a court 
intrigue had ever been anything more than an utter delusion, 
Sarmiento would have been the man to carry it into execution. 
For he cherished in his heart that unbending conviction of the 
justice of his cause, without which nothing great can ever be 
accomplished. He thoroughly believed, not merely that the 
system of the Roman Church was true, but that it was so 
evidently true that no one who was not either a knave or a fool 
could dispute it for an instant. He believed no less thoroughly 
that his own sovereign was the greatest and most powerful 
monarch upon earth, whose friendship would be a tower of 
strength to such of the lesser potentates as might be willing to 
take refuge under his protecting care. Nor did it ever interfere 
with the serenity of his conviction, that he was from time to 
time made aware of facts which to ordinary eyes would appear 
to be evidence that the strength of Spain was greater in appear- 
ance than in reality. He passed them by when they were 
thrust upon his notice with the simple suggestion that, if any- 
thing had gone wrong, it was no doubt because his Majesty had 
neglected to give the necessary orders. It was this assumption 
of superiority which formed the strength of his diplomacy. All 
were inclined to give way to one who rated himself so highly. 
There are passages in his despatches which might have been 
penned by the Roman who drew the circle round the throne of 
the Eastern king, forbidding him to leave it till he had con- 
formed to the orders of the Senate. There are other passages 
which remind us forcibly of Caleb Balderstone shutting his 
eyes, and doing his best to make others shut their eyes, to the 
evidences of the decline of his master's fortunes. 

In addition to this abounding confidence in himself and in 

his mission, Sarmiento was possessed of all those qualities which 

are the envy of ordinary diplomatists. He had that 

made 11 * knowledge of character which told him instinctively 

ties ' what, on every occasion, it was best to say, and what 
was better left unsaid His prompt, ready tongue was always 


under control. No man at Court could pay a more refined 
compliment, could jest with greater ease, or could join with 
greater dignity in serious conversation. Such a man was, above 
all others, qualified to make an impression upon James. His 
conversational powers were sure to prove attractive to one 
who was so fond of chatting over all kinds of subjects, and his 
imperturbable firmness would go far to win the confidence of 
the vacillating king. 

Sarmiento was able, too, to appeal to the better side of 
James's character, his love of peace. A war with Spain would 
have been popular in England, and in the Council, since 
Salisbury's death, it would have had the eager support of 
Ellesmere and of Abbot. But there was too much of the old 
buccaneering spirit in the cry for war to enlist our sympathies 
in favour of those from whom it proceeded, 1 and it is undeni- 
able that James's strong feeling against a war commenced for 
purposes of plunder, or for the sake of gratifying sectarian 
animosity, was of the greatest service to the nation. 

In point of fact, whatever may have been the errors of 
which James was guilty, there can be no doubt that the 
dominant idea of his foreign policy was true and just. " Blessed 
are the peace-makers," was the motto which he had chosen 
for himself, and from the day of his accession to the English 

1 Lord Hay, who was present at the scene he described, told Sarmiento 
that "un dia, hecha ya la liga de los Pr jtestantes de Alemana y Francia 
con este Rey, el Principe muerto y el Salberi le apretaron para que rom- 
piese la guerra con V. Mag 3 ., dandole para esto algunas trazas y razones 
de conveniencia, y el Salberi concluya la platica con que, rota la guerra, 6 
este Rey seria Senor de las Indias 6 de las flotas que fuesen y viniesen, y 
que por lo menos no podria ninguna entrar ni salir de Sevillasin pelear con 
la armada Inglesa : y que lo que se aventurara a ganar era mucho, y a 
perder no nada. " The king replied that, as a Christian, he could not 
break the treaty. Salisbury said it had already been broken by Spain a 
hundred times. James said that might justify a defensive, but not an offen- 
sive war. Salisbury's reply was, that if he made everything a matter of 
conscience, he had better go to his bishops for advice, which made James 
very angry. Hay added, that from that day Salisbury began to fall into 
disgrace, and that Prince Henry began to speak of his father with dis- 
respect. Sarmiento to Philip III., Nov. , 1613. Simancas MSS. Est. 


throne he strove, not always wisely, but always persistently, 
to maintain the peace of Europe. His abhorrence 
aSedto of violence and aggression was the most honourable 
trait in his character. It might be doubted whether 
he would not stand in need of more than this to steer his way 
through the storms which were even then muttering in the 
distance, but for the present, at least, he was in the right path. 
He had expressly assured the German Protestants that his 
assistance was only to be reckoned upon if they abstained from 
all aggression. If he had done no more than to desire to live 
in friendship with Spain, and to gain such influence over the 
Spanish Government as would have enabled him to preserve 
peace upon the Continent, he would have deserved the thanks 
of posterity, even if he had seemed craven and pusillanimous 
to his own generation. 

If Sarmiento had studied the character of James during a 
lifelong intimacy, he could not have contrived anything better 
Affair of calculated to make an ineffaceable impression upon 
Li n sa a de ms mm d than the line of conduct which he adopted 
Carvajai. m an affair which chance threw in his way not many 
weeks after his arrival in England. There was a certain lady, 
Donna Luisa de Carvajai, who had for more than eight years 
been living in the house in the Barbican, which had been 
occupied in turn by the Spanish ambassadors. To zealous 
Protestants her mere presence without any assignable reason 
was objectionable. She had sacrificed a good estate to found 
a college in Flanders for the education of English youths in 
her own religion, and she had settled in England with the 
express intention of persuading everyone who came within her 
reach to forsake the paths of heresy. She had been a frequent 
visitor of the priests shut up in prison, and had made herself 
notorious by the attentions which she had paid to the traitors 
who had taken part in the Gunpowder Plot. She had herself 
been imprisoned for a short time in 1608, for attempting to 
convert a shop-boy in Cheapside, and for denying the legiti- 
macy of Queen Elizabeth's birth. 1 It was well known that she 

1 I owe my information on this imprisonment of Donna Luisa, and on 
the college she founded in Flanders, to the kindness of the late Sir Edmund 


kept a large retinue of English servants, and it was rumoured 
that her household was nothing less than a nunnery in 
disguise. Abbot especially had his eye upon her. One day 
he heard that she had left the embassy, and had gone for 
change of air to a house in Spitalfields. He immediately 
Herim- obtained from the Council an order for her arrest, 
prisenment. an( j h a( j h er sent to Lambeth, to be kept in confine- 
ment under his own roof. Sarmiento, as soon as he heard 
what had been done, directed his wife to go immediately to 
Lambeth, and ordered her to remain with the lady till she was 
liberated. Having thus provided that at least a shadow of 
his protection should be extended over her, he went at once 
before the Council, and demanded her release. Failing to 
obtain redress, he sent one of his secretaries, late as it was in 
the evening, with a letter to the King. James, hearing a stir 
in the ante-chamber, came out to see what was going on. As 
soon as he had read the letter, he told the secretary that ever 
since Donna Luisa had been in England, she had been busy in 
converting his subjects to a religion which taught them to 
refuse obedience to a King whose creed differed from their 
own. She had even attempted to set up a nunnery in his 
dominions. If an Englishman had played such tricks at 
Madrid, he would soon have found his way into the Inquisition, 
with every prospect of ending his life at the stake. He was, 
however, disposed to be merciful, and would give orders for 
the immediate release of the lady, on condition of her engaging 
to leave England without delay. 

The next morning a formal message was brought to Sar- 
miento, repeating the proposal which had thus been 

J-fer release 

effected by made. There are probably few men who, if they 
had been in Sarmiento's place, would not have 
hesitated a little before rejecting the offer. To refuse the 
King's terms would be to affront the man upon whom so much 
depended. Sarmiento did not hesitate for a moment. The 

Head, who showed me an extract from a letter of Mr. Ticknor's, describ- 
ing a book in his library, giving an account of the lady's proceedings and 
printed at Seville immediately after her death, which took place in 
Sarmiento's house in January, 1614. 


lady, he said, had done no wrong. If the King wished it, she 
would no doubt be ready to leave England at the shortest 
notice. But it must be clearly understood that in that case he, 
as the ambassador of his Catholic Majesty, would leave England 
at the same time. The answer produced an immediate effect. 
That very evening Donna Luisa was set at liberty, and Sarmiento 
was informed that her liberation was entirely unconditional. l 

There is nothing in Sarmiento's account of the matter 
which would lead us to suppose that he acted from any deep 
Effect of his design. But it is certain that the most consummate 

the d Kings s ^^ could not have served him better. From hence- 
mind. f or th the two men knew each other ; and when the 

time arrived in which James would be looking round him for 
the support of a stronger arm than his own, he would bethink 
him of the Spanish stranger in whom he had so unexpectedly 
found a master. 

Sarmiento was not the man to be elated by success. He 

knew well that over-eagerness on his part would be fatal to his 

hopes of being able ultimately to divert James from 

Sarmiento s , _, , ,,. __ , , . . 

continued the French alliance. He could afford to wait till 
an opportunity occurred in which he might assume 
for Philip the character of a disinterested friend, and might 
thereby be enabled to throw his net with greater skill. He had 
good friends at Court, who kept him well informed, and he 
was aware that, for the time at least, James had set his heart 
upon marrying his surviving son to a sister of the young King 
of France, and that not only had Edmondes long been busy 
at Paris discussing the terms on which the French Government 
would consent to give the Princess Christina to Prince Charles, 2 
but that in the beginning of November the negotiations were so 
far advanced that the marriage was considered in France to be 
all but actually concluded. 3 Nor was the Spanish Ambassador 

1 Sarmiento to Philip III., Nov. ^, Simancas MSS. 2590. fol. 8. 

Sarmiento to Northampton (?). Sarmiento to the King, Oct. ^, 1613. 
S. P. Spain. 

2 Edmondes to the King, Jan. 9, July 29, Nov, 24, 1613, 5". P. France. 
s Sarmiento to Philip III., Nov, Simancas MSS. 2590, fol. 12. 


ignorant that in this desire James was encouraged not only by the 
moderate English Protestants, but also by his Scotch favourites, 
whose national predilection led them, as it had so often led 
their ancestors, to look with favour upon an alliance with France. 

Those who have derived their ideas of Sarmiento from the 
idle stories which were a few years later so readily accepted 
by the credulous multitude, and which have found 
sioners oir their way into every history of the reign, will no doubt 
Spam- imagine that he was occupied during this period of 
inaction in winning over to his side, with offers of pensions and 
rewards, all whose influence might hereafter be oif use to him. 
The truth is that no ambassador of the day was so little dis- 
posed to profusion as Sarmiento. The tales of the floods of 
Spanish gold which were popularly supposed to be flowing at 
regular intervals into the pockets of every Englishman worth 
buying, if not quite as imaginary as the stories of Pitt's English 
gold, which still find their place in French histories of the Great 
Revolution, have but slight support in actually existing facts. 
When Sarmiento arrived in England, there were only four sur- 
vivors out of the seven who had been placed upon the pension 
list shortly after the signature of the Peace of London. l These 
four, the Earl of Northampton and Lady Suffolk, Sir William 
Monson, the admiral of the narrow seas, and Mrs. Drummond, 
the first lady of the bedchamber to the Queen, continued, as a 
matter of course, to draw their annual stipends. But Sarmiento 
as yet made no proposal for increasing their Yiumber. He no 
doubt knew perfectly well that if he could gain the King he 
had gained everything, and that, excepting in some special 
cases, as long as he could find his way to the ear of James, the 
assistance of venal courtiers would be perfectly worthless. The 
good offices of the Catholics and of those who were anxious tc 
become Catholics, were secured to him already. 

Amongst those of whose assistance he never doubted was 

the Queen. The influence which Anne exercised 

ie Qua . over k er nus ].j an( j was not great, but whatever it was 

she was sure to use it on behalf of Spain. Mrs. Drummond, 
1 See Vol. I. p. 214. 


in whom she placed all her confidence, was a fervent Catholic, 
and from her, whilst she was still in Scotland, she had learned 
to value the doctrines and principles of the Church of Rome 
She did not indeed make open profession of her faith. She 
still accompanied her husband to the services of the Church of 
England, and listened with all outward show of reverence to 
the sermons which were preached in the Chapel Royal. But 
she never could now be induced to partake of the communion 
at the hands of a Protestant minister, and those who were 
admitted to her privacy in Denmark House l knew well that, as 
often as she thought she could escape observation, the Queen of 
England was in the habit of repairing to a garret, for the pur- 
pose of hearing mass from the lips of a Catholic priest, who was 
smuggled in for the purpose. 2 

Ready as the Queen was to do everything in her power to 
help forward the conversion of her son and his marriage with 
The Eari of a Spanish princess, her assistance would be of far 
Somerset, j ess va i ue than that of Somerset. It is not likely 
that Somerset cared much whether his future queen was to 
be a daughter of the King of Spain or a sister of the King of 
France. But his insolent demeanour had involved him in a 
quarrel with Lennox and Hay, the consistent advocates of the 
French alliance, and under Northampton's influence he had 
suddenly become a warm advocate of the marriage with a 
daughter of the Duke of Savoy, which had been adopted by 
the partizans of Spain, as soon as they saw that an apparently 
insuperable obstacle had been raised in the way of the match 
with the Infanta, by Philip's declaration that it was impossible 
for him to give a Spanish princess to a Protestant 

l6 i 4 . At the time of Somerset's marriage, Sarmiento fol- 

Cottington's j owec j t he fashion, and presented both the bride and 
Sarmiento. the bridegroom with a wedding present But no pe- 
culiar intimacy had as yet sprung up between them, and indeed, 

1 This was the name given to Somerset House during her residence there. 

2 Sarmiento to Philip III., ^" g t " 2 , 1613. Minutes of Sarmiento's 
Despatches, Tune J"" e . 2 3, 24 l6l4> simancas MSS. 2590, fol. 6, 

J 30 July 2, 3, 4 '' ' 

2518, fol. I. 



it was not till after he had obtained permission from the King 
that Somerset consented to accept the jewels, of which the 
ambassador's gift consisted. 1 Sarmiento was, therefore, a few 
weeks after the marriage, somewhat surprised to receive a visit 
from Cottington, who announced to him that he had been 
charged with a message from the favourite. Somerset, he said, 
was anxious to put a stop to the negotiations with France, and 
in this he was acting in concert with Lake, who was at the time 
the candidate of the Howards for the secretaryship which had 
been vacant ever since Salisbury's death. Cottington added 
that he was commissioned to request the ambassador to seek an 
audience of the King, and urge him by every argument in his 
power to have nothing further to do with the French Court. 

Sarmiento was highly delighted at the overture. It seemed, 
he wrote home a few days afterwards, as if God had opened a 
Sarmiento's wav before him. But he was far too prudent to 
prudence. comply with Somerset's request. He knew that, if 
he thrust himself prematurely forward, his words would be 
regarded with suspicion ; and that no one would believe that 
anything that he might now say would not be repudiated at 
Madrid as soon as it had served its purpose. It was not from 
him that any open attack upon the French alliance could safely 
come. He accordingly assured Cottington that he was always 
ready to listen to advice from such a quarter, but that he 
could not help thinking that the step proposed would be pre- 
mature. A few weeks later Somerset made another attempt to 
drag the cautious ambassador on to over-hasty action. It was 
all in vain. His suggestions were received with becoming defer- 
ence. Nothing could be more polite than Sarmiento's language. 
But the compliments in which he was so profuse always ended 
in a refusal to compromise his master's cause by the slightest 
appearance of eagerness to seize the prey. 2 

Sarmiento may have been the more cautious because, on 

1 Accounts of the Spanish Embassy, Feb. , 1614. Sarmiento to 
Philip III., May, 1616. Simancas MSS. 2514, fol. 15, 2595, fol. 77. 
The Earl's jewel was worth about 2oo/. ; the Countess's rather less. 

2 Sarmiento to Philip III., Tan. l -, Feb. --, 1614. Simancas MSS. 

J 25' 12' 

2592, fol. i, 16. 


one point of capital importance, his friends had been unable to 
maintain their ground. The proposal to summon 

James r r 

decides upon Parliament had long been resisted by Northampton. 

summoning T _ , , . . . . . . . 

a Pariia- In September, when the question was debated in the 
Council, he had told the King that to do so would 
only be to call together an assembly of his enemies, 1 and James 
assured him, after the conclusion of the discussion, that he be- 
lieved that he was in the right. On February 5, James acquainted 
the Council with the condition of the negotiation with France, 
and on the i6th he asked its opinion whether he should summon 
Parliament. The two subjects were understood to be closely 
connected with one another, and to involve a rejection of that 
good understanding with Spain which was desired by North- 
ampton and his supporters. The majority of the Council, 
however, did not side with Northampton, and the answer of the 
Board was that they had taken the King's question into con- 
sideration, and that they were of opinion that the only course 
to be pursued was the summoning of Parliament. 2 

It was high time. In spite of the enormous sales of land, 
it had been found impossible to obtain money enough to defray 
the necessary expenses of the Government. The garrisons in 
the cautionary towns in Holland were ready to mutiny for their 
pay. The ambassadors were crying out for their salaries and 
allowances. The sailors who manned the navy were unpaid, 
Amount of an( i tne fortifications by which the coast was guarded 
the debt. were | n ur g en t need of repair. 3 Lord Harrington, 
who had a claim upon the King for 3o,ooo/., which he had 
spent upon the establishment of the Princess, was put off with 
a patent giving him a monopoly of the copper coinage of the 
country. In every department there was a long list of arrears 
which there were no means of satisfying, and which amounted 
on the whole to 488,0007. To repay the money borrowed upon 
Privy Seals 1 25,000/1 would be needed, and the 67,0007. which 
had been levied by anticipation from the revenues properly 

1 Digby to the King, Sept. 22, 1613, S. P. Sp. Sarmiento to Philip III. 

Feb. Simancas MSS. 2592, fol. 17, 27. 
15, 17, 

2 Council to the King, Feb. 16, S. P. Dom. Ixxvi. 22. 

* Speeches of Winwood and Caesar, C. J. i. 461, 462. 


belonging to the following year, must in some way or other be 
made good. Altogether, the King's liabilities now amounted 
to 680JOOO/. 1 to say nothing of a standing deficit which, after 
including the extraordinary expenditure, was certain to exceed 
200, coo/, a year. 

Before the resolution to summon Parliament had been taken, 
the Government had before it a list of the concessions proposed 
Proposed by Neville to be made. Partly from this, and partly 
legisiation. f rom o ther sources, a list of Bills was drawn up to be 
offered to the new Parliament. 2 Undoubtedly if even a quarter 
of those bills had become law, that Parliament would have 
been noted for its useful legislation. But it would have acquired 
its reputation by the abandonment of all interest in those higher 
questions which, once mooted, can never drop out of sight. 
Not a word was suggested by the Government of any solution 
of the vexed question of impositions, or of the still more vexed 
question of the ecclesiastical settlement. 

Whether Neville was hampered by his knowledge that the 
King had resolved to stand firm on these two points it is 
impossible to say. It must have required a very sanguine 
temperament to expect that the elections would produce an 
assemblage likely to content itself with being a mere Parlia- 
ment of affairs, that last vain hope of statesmen who wish to 
turn aside from the problems before them, because they find it 
impossible to solve them to their own satisfaction. 

For the first time within the memory of man, the country 
was subjected to the turmoil of a general election in which a 
A contested great question of principle was at stake. Under these 
election. circumstances, the ministers of. the Crown were in- 
duced to take steps to procure a favourable majority, to which 
they had thought it unnecessary to resort ten years previously. 
How far they went it is difficult to say, with the scanty informa- 
tion which we possess. Neville, indeed, had offered to undertake, 
The Under- on behalf of the future House of Commons, that if 
takers. t h e King would concede all the chief points in 
dispute, the House would not be niggardly in granting the 

1 Lansd, MSS. 165, fol. 257. The statement is dated May 2. 
8 Bacon's Letters and Life, v. 14. 


supplies which he requked. It seems, however; that there 
were some who went beyond this very safe assertion, and who 
were allured by promises of Court favour to engage to do what 
they could to obtain the return of members who were likely to 
favour the prerogative. Whoever they may have been, they 
were certainly not men of any great importance, and it is not 
probable that they offered to do more than to influence a few 
elections here and there. 1 

Unimportant as the whole affair was, the Government 
injured its own chances of success by meddling with such in- 
trigues. Rumour magnified the matter into a conspiracy to 
procure a whole Parliament of nominees. The Undertakers, 
as they were termed in the phraseology of the day, had dared 
to speak in the name of the whole Commons of England. It 
was not long before the most discouraging reports reached the 
Council of the reception which the Government candidates 
were everywhere meeting with. 2 It was in vain that lords 

1 Compare Bacon's estimate of them, in his Tetter just quoted, with the 
following extract of a letter from Suffolk to Somerset, written about the 
end of March : "The last night, Pembroke came to me in the garden, 
speaking in broken phrases, that he could not tell what would come of this 
Parliament, because he found by the consultation last day that my lords 
had no great conceit that there would be any great good effected for our 
master : divers of my lords having spoken with many wise Parliament men, 
who do generally decline from the Undertakers, only Pembroke and my- 
self were the hopeful believers of good success, two or three petty Coun- 
cillors more seemed to be indifferently conceited, but so as my Lord of 
Pembroke is much unsatisfied that they are no more confident in his 
friends. . . . We are appointed to meet again on Saturday. Pembroke 
and I have undertaken to bring to my lords the demands that will be 
asked of the King this Parliament, and that they shall be moderate for 
the King, and yet pleasing to them. Which we affirm to my lords we 
conceive will be attractive inducements to get the good we look for, and 
what this shall work at our next meeting you shall know as soon as it is 
past. But I must make you laugh to tell you that my Lord Privy Seal 
soberly says to me, ' My Lord, you incline before the Council too much to 
these Undertakers.' This troubles me nothing, for if we may do our \ 
master the service we wish by our dissembling, I am well contented to 
play the knave a little with them, which you must give me dispensation 
for following your direction. " Cott.-MSS, Tit. F. iv. fol. 335. 

2 Lake to , Feb. 19, Nichols' Progresses, ii. 755. Chamberlain 


and great men wrote to every borough and county where they 
had any influence. Constituencies which had never 

The elec- * 

tions are un- before raised an objection to the persons who had been 

favourable . .,,,., 

to the pointed out to them, now declared their determina- 

tion to send to Westminster men of their own selec- 
tion. It frequently happened that the Court candidates were 
flatly told that no votes would be given to any man who was 
in the King's service. The pressure which was put upon the 
electors, whilst it failed in the object for which it was intended, 
only served to strengthen the belief that an attempt had been 
made to pack the Parliament So strong was the feeling against 
the Government in the city of London, that although Sir Henry 
Montague, who had represented the city in the last Parliament, 
and who had served as Recorder for many years, was again re- 
turned, in compliance with the custom which prescribed that 
the Recorder of the city should be one of its representatives, 
yet Fuller, the strenuous asserter of the principles of the 
popular and Puritan party, was elected without difficulty. Not 
one of the men who had distinguished themselves on the 
popular side during the debates in 1610 was without a seat. 
Sandys and Hakewill, Whitelocke and Wentworth, were all 
there, once more to defend the liberties of England. The 
scanty ranks of the defenders of the prerogative were headed 
as before by Bacon and Csesar ; and the four candidates for the 
Secretaryship, Neville and Winwood, Wotton and Lake, were 
all successful in obtaining seats. One of the most remarkable 
features of the new House was the number of those who ap- 
peared for the first time within the walls of Parliament. Three 
hundred members, making nearly two-thirds of the whole 
assembly, were elected for the first time. The fact admits of 
an easy explanation : the constituencies in their present temper 
would be on the look-out for men who represented the de- 
termined spirit of the nation even more strongly than the 
members of the late Parliament had done. Amongst those 
who were thus elected were two men who were to set their 
mark upon the history of their country. Sir Thomas Went- 
worth, a young man of twenty-one, and heir to a princely 

to Carleton, March 3, March 17, Court and Times, 300, 235. The last 
letter is misplaced. 


estate in Yorkshire, represented the great county of the north ; 
John Eliot, a Devonshire country gentleman, nine years older 
than Wentworth, was sent to the House of Commons by the 
little borough of St. Germans. We may be sure that neither 
Wentworth nor Eliot were unobservant spectators of the events 
of the session ; but, as far as our information extends, neither 
of them took any part in the debates. 1 

The unfavourable character of the elections made it more 

than ever necessary that a Secretary should be chosen who 

1613. could speak with authority in the name of the 

Necessity of Government, and who could make use of any in- 
choosing * 

a Secretary, fluence which he might possess as a member of the 
House of Commons to frustrate the expected opposition. As 
late as September in the preceding year Neville was still con- 
fident of success. 2 But he had great difficulties to contend 
with. The Howards had no cause to be satisfied with him, as 
he had never taken care to conceal his dislike of the divorce. 
Northampton, besides, had reason to look askance upon him, 
as he suspected him of having some connection with the scheme 
by which Mansell had hoped to overthrow the Commission for 
the Reformation of the Navy, in which Northampton took a 
peculiar interest. 3 Above all, the King never could forget the 
part which he had taken in the last Parliament, and the plain 
words in which he had set forth the grievances of the Commons. 
In October, Neville discovered that his hopes were destined to 
be disappointed. It was generally believed that the favourite 
would continue to act in that confidential capacity to the King in 
which he had hitherto been employed, and that Lake, as the 
nominee of the Howards, would be admitted to perform the 
subordinate duties of the Secretaryship. 4 In order to console 
Neville for his disappointment, Somerset 5 proposed to purchase 

1 The only known list of this Parliament is that printed from the Kim- 
bolton MSS. in the Palatine Note Book, voL iii. No. 30. 

2 Chamberlain to Carleton, Sept. 9, 1613, Court and Times, i. 271. 

3 Whitelocke, Liber Famelicus, 46. 

4 Chamberlain to Carleton, Court and Times, i. 277. 

4 He was still only Rochester, but it is perhaps better to avoid con- 
fusion by giving the title by which he was known in 1614. 


for him the office of Treasurer of the Chamber. Neville, at once 
replied, that he would take neither money, nor anything bought 
for money, at the hands of a subject, and gave him to under- 
stand that, though he was ready to act as Secretary, he would 
not put up with any lower place. 

In February hopes of success were given him once more. 

It was intimated to him by Suffolk that he was selected for the 

appointment ; but that, as the King was still displeased 

with him for his conduct in the former Parliament, 

he must expiate his misdemeanours before he could hope to be 

promoted. 1 If this was anything more than a mere trick on 

the part of Suffolk, to secure his services during the session, 

either James must soon have changed his mind, or Neville 

must have refused to make the required submission. 

Appoint- iii r~, 

mentof On March 29, Win wood took the oaths as Secretary. 

Winwood. T , ,. f , ,. . . 

Lake, as some compensation for his disappointment, 
was admitted to the Privy Council on the same day. 2 

Winwood's whole heart was in the opposition to Spain and 

the Catholic powers. It was by him that all those treaties had 

. been negotiated which bound England to support 

cations for the Dutch Republic and the Princes of the German 

Union against the House of Austria. In the Council 
he would be sure to side with Abbot and Ellesmere in denounc- 
ing the entanglements of a Spanish policy. In some respects, 
indeed, he was far less fitted than his friend Neville to act as leader 
of the House. He had, with the exception of occasional visits, 
been absent from England for many years, and he was hardly 
aware how completely the feeling of his countrymen had 
changed since the death of Elizabeth. Nor had his position at 
the Hague tended to soften down the asperities of his some- 
what unconciliatory temper. He was also at the further dis- 
advantage of being altogether untried in Parliamentary life, 
and of being destitute of that peculiar experience which is a 
necessity to those who attempt to guide the deliberations of a 

1 Suffolk to Somerset, Cott. MSS. Tit. F. iv. fol. 335. 

2 It was said that the Dutch, hoping much from the appointment, gave 
7,ooo/. to Somerset to obtain it. Sarmiento to Lerma, Dec. ^j Siutaitcas 
MSS. 2594, fol. 94. 


large public assembly. It was probably this very circumstance 
which recommended him to James. His appointment must 
have, in some respects, been of the nature of a com- 
promise. His name brought with it no reminiscences of 
Parliamentary opposition, nor did it revive the remembrance of 
the time when Somerset and the Howards were at deadly feud, 
and when Neville and Lake were the rival candidates, supported 
by the two parties who were struggling for power. 

Winwood's position was not to be envied. He had to in- 

dilce a hostile House of Commons to grant supplies, at the 

same time that he would have to refuse those con- 

The King's 

speech at the cessions upon which their hearts were set. It was 
the "esfion. not long before he had to make his first essay in the 
art of guiding the House. The session was opened on 
April 5 by a speech from the King. Bacon had indeed 
suggested to James the lines upon which he would have had 
the King's opening speech constructed. But though James, to 
a certain extent, followed the advice given, he could not help 
showing his eagerness for a money grant more openly than a 
third person would have done. He told the Houses that he 
called them together for three reasons : he was anxious that, 
by their support, religion might be maintained, the future suc- 
cession to the Crown provided for, and his necessities relieved 
by the grant of a supply. He commended to their 
of the consideration the increase of Popery, which was 

recusants. ,. . . .., . 1-1111 

spreading m spite of the exertions which he had 
used to combat it both with his tongue and with his pen. He 
had no wish for any more rigorous laws against recusancy, but 
he hoped that some means might be contrived for executing 
more strictly those which were already in existence. He then 
referred to the events which had taken place in his own family 

since he had last met his Parliament. God had taken 
daughter's his eldest son from him, but He had just given him 

marriage, , .,., 1111-1 t 

a grandson m his place, and he looked to Parliament 
to settle the succession, in case of the failure of heirs through 
Prince Charles, upon this child and the other children who 
might be born to the Electress. He had chosen a husband for 
his daughter out of a Protestant family, in order that, if his own 


issue male should fail, the future kings of England might be 
brought up in the Protestant faith. 

Thus far, he must have carried with him the sympathies of 
every man amongst his audience. He now entered upon more 
and demands dangerous ground. The extraordinary charges con- 
supphes. nected with the marriage had emptied the Exchequer, 
and there were other expenses which pressed heavily upon him. 
He would, however, speak plainly to them. He would not 
bargain with them for their money. He would see what they 
would do in their love. He had shown them that he relied 
upon their affection, by having recourse to them rather than to 
his own prerogative. He must, however, clear himself on one 
point : it had been rumoured that he relied upon some private 
Undertakers, ' who, with their own credit and industry, would 
do great matters.' This he declared to be false : he would 
rather have the love of his subjects than their money. 1 

1 Par!. Hist. 1149. James is generally accused of deceiving his 
hearers on this point ; and it is said that in 1621 he acknowledged that ' in 
the last Parliament there came up a strange kind of beasts called Under- 
takers, a name which in my nature I abhor, ' In this, however, there is 
no necessary contradiction with what he said in 1614. There were, no 
doubt, men in 1614 who were called Undertakers; but the question is, 
how far the King availed himself of their efforts. We have seen that Bacon 
and Northampton laughed at the scheme, though there were a few among 
the Council who encouraged them. We do not know enough about their 
proceedings to say what it was that they proposed to do, but the rumour 
appears to have been that they offered to influence the returns to such an 
extent as to procure a Government majority. Such a rumour was absurd 
in itself, as James said in his speech of the 8th : "If any had been 
so foolish as to offer it, yet it had been greater folly in me to have 
accepted it. " No doubt he knew that letters had been sent by the Lords 
of the Council and others to influence the electors ; but he may have held 
that such letters did not amount to interference with elections. Besides, 
influence of this kind was used on both sides. The following extract from 
Whitelocke's Liber Famelicus (p. 40) gives an insight into the manner in 
which elections were conducted : 

' ' I was returned a burgess for the town of Woodstock, in the county 
of Oxon, where I was recorder, and was elected, notwithstanding the town 
was hardly pressed for another by the Earl of Montgomery, steward of the 
manors, and keeper of the house and park there. 

" There was returned with me Sir Philip Gary, younger son to Sir 


Three days later, James again addressed the Houses. This 

Parliament, he said, was to be a Parliament of love. The 

April 8. world was to see his own love to his subjects, and 

The King's tne i ove o f n j s subjects to their King. God was 

second * 

speech. loved for <~he gift which he gave> and he, who ' as a 
King represented God, would begin by offering them a gift, and 
he expected from them cheerfulness in retribution for his favour. 
He then went over the heads of his former speech. He again 
denied that he had attempted to ' hinder or prompt any man 
in the free election,' and asserted that he had never 'put any 
confidence in a party Parliament' He declared that he would 
begin this Parliament by making offers of concessions which 
would soon be laid before them. As to their grievances, it 
would be better that each member should present them on be- 
half of his own constituency ; ' to heap them together in one 
scroll like an army ' would ' but cast aspersion upon ' him 
and his ' government, and ' would ' savour more of discontent 
than of desire for reformation.' He was unwilling to give up 
any of the honours and flowers of the Crown, but he would not 
stretch the prerogative further than his predecessors had done. 
He never intended his proclamations to have the force of law, 
but he thought that they ought to be obeyed, until Parliament 
could meet to provide a remedy for the evil in question. He 
once more denied having made any bargain with the Under- 

Edward Gary, master of the jewels. He was nominated in the place by 
Sir Thomas Spencer, who, being steward of the town, refused to serve 
himself, but commended that gentleman. 

1 ' I was returned burgess also for the borough of Corfe Castle, and 
that was by the nomination of ... the Lady Elizabeth Coke. . . I gave 
her thanks for it, and yielded up the place to her again, and in it was 
chosen Sir Thomas Tracy. 

"My worthy friend, Sir Robert Killigrew, gave me a place for Hel- 
stone, in the County of Cornwall, and I caused by brother-in-law, Henry 
Bulstrode, to be returned for that place." 

The Tact, probably, was that, whilst the recommendations of the in- 
fluential landowners were generally in accordance with the feeling of the 
electors, the recommendations of the Court Lords were not. That James 
had made a bargain with certain persons to return members favourable to 
him, has not been proved. 


takers, and declared that he relied altogether upon the love of 
his subjects. 

What is most remarkable in this speech is the air of self- 
satisfaction which pervades the whole of it. James had evi 
dently no idea that anyone besides himself was competent to 
judge what grievances ought to be redressed, or in what degree 
his prerogative was injurious to the interests of the nation. 

The first question taken up by the House was raised by 

a member who doubted whether Bacon could take his seat, 

as there was no precedent for the election of an 

Question A 

whether the Attorney-General. The matter was referred to a 
Generai y committee, who were ordered to search for precedents. 

might sit. The House fina]ly dedded that Bacon might be 

allowed to sit, but 'that for the future no Attorney- General 
A supply might take his seat in the House. On April u, 
demanded. Winwood rose to move the grant of supplies, and 
read over the list of concessions which the King was prepared 
to make. To ask for supplies so early in the session when no 
special reason for haste could be alleged, was entirely without 
precedent, and the course taken by the inexperienced Secretary 
must have caused considerable surprise. The next day, when 
the House was about to take up the subject, Myddelton rose 
and said that Winwood's offers chiefly concerned the country 
gentlemen, and offered to the House a Bill concerning the 
Impositions. Other members followed, bringing forward one by 
one the old list of the ecclesiastical grievances. It was in vain 
that Winwood rose and spoke at length upon the necessities of 
the public service, and that he panegyrized the foreign policy of 
the King ; that Caesar entered into details of the misery which 
was inflicted upon the debtors of the Crown ; and that Bacon 
appealed to the House to consider the state of the Continent, 
where war might break out at any moment. The House was 
it is post- unwilling to grant the supply until the rumours re- 
poned. lating to the Undertakers had been inquired i.nto. 1 
The A few days later Sandys moved that the grievances 

Sfe^edtoa wr >i c h had been presented to the last Parliament 
committee, should be referred to the Committee on Petitions. 
It had already become evident that the House would not 
' C. J. i. 456-463. 


be satisfied with the instalment of redress which had been 
offered them by the King, and that James would hardly obtain 
supplies from this Parliament unless he were ready to face the 
deeper questions at issue. Yet even in the improbable event 
of his consenting to give way on these, his concession would 
lose all its grace by being delayed till after the attitude of the 
Commons had become known. 

On April 17, the whole House received the Communion 

together. They chose St. Margaret's, the church of the parish 

in which they were sitting, in preference to West- 

The House . .,.,,-/ e j / i > i 

receive the minster Abbey, ' for fear of copes and wafer-cakes. * 

oramunion. ^ Jg from ^ ^ ^ ^ pecul j ar conne ction of 

St. Margaret's with the House of Commons dates. The object 
of the members in thus solemnly taking the Communion 
together was partly the expectation that they would be able 
to detect any recusant who might have slipped in amongst 
them. When the day arrived it was found that there was not 
one member absent. 

The next day the Bill on Impositions was read a second 
time. It was ordered that it should be considered in Com- 
The BUI on m ittee of the whole House, in order that, as Hake- 
impositions. w ^ sa ^ j ^g three hundred new members might 
hear the arguments, and that, understanding the true state of 
their right, they might leave it to their posterity. The House, 
it appeared, insisted that the resolution to which it had come 
in 1610, was indisputably true, thus setting aside the judgment 
of the Court of Exchequer, which was legally and constitu- 
tionally binding. The members felt that the question was 
one to be decided on political rather than on legal grounds, 
and they were at all events in their right in declaring that un- 
less it were settled to their mind, they would grant no subsidies. 

The Commons had other grievances in view. A patent 
had been granted for the manufacture of glass, which they re- 
garded in the light of an injurious monopoly, whilst 

Monopolies. _ 111 

the Government looked upon it as an encouragement 

to native industry. A company had been recently established 

for exclusive trading with France, which was liable to the same 

objections under which the Spanish Company had sunk. On 

1 Chamberlain to Carleton, April 14, S. P. Dom. Ixxvii. 7 ; C. J. i. 463. 


May 2 the question of the Undertakers was again before them, 
The Under- an d in spite of Bacon's l attempt to persuade them 
takers. to j-, e con tent with a protest, they directed that 
the suspected Undertakers should be strictly examined. After 
a long investigation, the Committee were unable to obtain any 
evidence whatever of any corrupt bargain having been struck. 
At last a paper was produced, which was owned by Sir Henry 
Neville. He said that he had written it more than two years 
before, as containing the heads of the advice which he then 
offered to the King. As there was no reason why he should 
not have done his best to persuade the King to call a Parlia- 
ment as soon as possible, and as his advice must have seemed 
wise to those who now read it, the House had nothing to do 
but to express its satisfaction in the course which he had taken ; 
and finding that its search was likely to prove fruitless, it 
allowed the matter to drop. 2 

The arguments which were used in the Committee on the 
Impositions for the benefit of the new members have not been 
The impo- preserved. It was, however, determined that a con- 
siuons. ference with the Lords should be demanded, and 
that they should be requested to join in a petition to the King, 
and the parts were assigned which each manager was to take. 3 

On May 21, the House took the subject again into con- 
sideration, before sending to the Lords to demand a conference. 
Owen's In the argument which the managers were directed 
fr?m I the t to P ut forward there was, unluckily, one point which 
ford f was sufficiently doubtful to offer a hold to the sup- 
countries, porters, of the prerogative. One of the managers 
was Sir Roger Owen, the member for Shrewsbury, a man who, 
with no real claim to distinction, chose to consider himself an 

1 Bacon's Letters and Life, v. 42. 

* C. J. i. 485. Chamberlain to Carleton, May 19, S. P. Ixxvii. 26. 
Lorkin to Puckering, May 28, Court and Times, i. 314. For the paper, 
see p. 202. A few days before, Sir Thomas Parry, the Chancellor of. the 
Duchy of Lancaster, had been detected in interfering in the Stockbridge 
election. He was expelled the House, as well as the sitting members. 
The King sequestered him from the Privy Council. 

3 C. J. i. 481, 486. 


authority upon the constitutional law of the nations of the 
Continent as well as upon that of England. He had, in the 
last Parliament, argued strongly l that the right of imposing, 
without the consent of the three estates, was not allowed by 
the law in any European monarchy. He was now instructed 
to enforce this argument upon the Lords. Such a theory was 
entirely irrelevant to the question at issue, and it involved a 
long discussion upon the principles upon which foreign con- 
stitutions were founded, to which the Lords could hardly be 
expected to have the patience to listen. Wotton 

Answered by , . . TT , 

Wotton and saw his opportunity. He knew very well that, as 
a matter of fact, foreign Sovereigns did succeed in 
obtaining money which had not been voted by their estates, 
and he was not inclined to inquire too closely into the methods 
by which this power had been acquired. He accordingly, 
after expressing a hope that Owen would look well to the 
ground upon which he was treading, asserted his own belief 
that the power of imposing belonged to hereditary but not to 
elective monarchs. He was supported by Winwood, who after 
declaring that he had no wish to maintain the right of im- 
posing, added that his opinion was that the foreign princes in 
question imposed in right of their prerogative. Owen, he said, 
had made several assertions, but had proved absolutely nothing. 
It was high time to draw back from the ground which 
Owen had so inconsiderately taken up. Sir Dudley Digges 
Reply of accordingly put the matter upon its right footing. 
The ground upon which the House rested its claim, 
he said, was that which Englishmen had received from their 
ancestors : 2 Nolumus leges Anglice mutare. All else was 
merely illustrative of the main argument, and was used as an 
answer to those who urged the King to imitate the Kings of 
France and Spain, if he wished it to be thought that he was 
not inferior to those monarchs. 

Still there was something more to be said. The contrast, 
which had been insisted upon so strongly between the elective 

1 ParL Deb. in 1610, 112. 

2 "That the first ground that we have received from our neighbours, 
Nolumus" &c. should evidently be 'from our ancestors,' C. J. i. 493. 


and the hereditary monarchies of the Continent, admitted of very 
different inferences from those which had occurred 
to Wotton and Winwood. They had argued that 
hereditary monarchs had the right of imposing ; others might 
corne to the conclusion that if kings were not to impose, it was 
necessary that they should hold their crowns by a tenure which 
was not altogether independent of the consent of their subjects. 
This seems to have been the ground which was taken up by 
Sandys, as far as we can judge from the very imperfect notes of 
his speech which have come down to us. It is certainly un- 
fortunate that his words have not been preserved in full, as it 
would have been interesting to trace the first dawning of the 
idea that, in order to preserve the rights of the subject intact, 
it would be necessary to make some change in the relations 
between the authority of the Crown and the representatives of 
the people. He began, apparently, by referring to the enormous 
burden of taxation which had been imposed upon France by 
the sole authority of Henry IV. He reminded the House 
that it was not merely the right of laying impositions which 
was claimed by those hereditary sovereigns of which they had 
heard so much ; they exercised also the right of making laws, 
without the consent of their estates. What could come of 
such a state of things but tyranny, from which both prince and 
people would suffer alike ? The origin of every hereditary 
monarchy lay in election. If, on every occasion of the demise 
of the Crown, the new Sovereign does not go through the for- 
malities of an election, he must remember that the authority 
which he holds was, in its origin, voluntarily accepted by the 
people ; and that, when the nation gave its consent to the 
authority which he is called to exercise, they did so upon the 
express understanding that there were certain reciprocal con- 
ditions which neither king nor people might violate with 
impunity. A king who pretended to rule by any other title, 
such as that of conquest, might be dethroned whenever there 
was force sufficient to overthrow him. 1 He concluded by 

1 This is, I suppose, the meaning of the brief notes, " No successive 
King, but first elected. Election double, of person, and care ; but both 
come in by consent of people, and with reciprocal conditions between 


denying the validity of the argument that the King of England 
might do whatever the King of France might do, and by 
moving that Owen might be called upon to substantiate his 

It would have been well if the debate had come to an end 
here. Though the doctrine of the original contract thus pro- 
andof pounded by Sandys will not stand before the re- 
Wentworth. searc hes of modern historical inquiry, it was, never- 
theless, a far closer approximation to the truth than any rival 
theory which was at that time likely to be opposed to it. He 
was, however, followed by Wentworth, the Puritan lawyer, who 
sat for the city of Oxford, and who had given offence in the 
last Parliament by the freedom of his language. He was one 
of those men who are always to be found in times of political 
excitement, and who, whilst they generally succeed in speaking 
to the point, are careless of the decencies of expression under 
which the real leaders of the movement are accustomed to veil 
their opinions. On this occasion his speech was in strong con- 
trast to the calm argument of Sandys. The Spaniards, he said, 
had lost the Low Countries by attempting to lay impositions. 
All the power of the greatest of the French monarchs had not 
saved them from dying like calves by the butcher's knife. 
Princes who taxed their people as they had done should 
remember that in the description given by Ezekiel of the 
future state of the Holy Land, a portion of the soil was assigned 
to the Prince, in order that he might not oppress the people. 
Kings who refused to profit by this example might read their 
destiny in Daniel's prediction that there should stand up a raiser 
of taxes in the glory of the kingdom, but that within a few days 
he should be destroyed. 1 

As soon as the debate was at an end, Winwood 

May 24. 

The House carried up to the House of Lords the message de- 
refueto manding a conference. The Lords, after some con- 
sideration, resolved to consult the judges. The 
judges were now led by Coke, and Coke's notion of the position 

King and people. That a King by conquest may also (when power) be 
expelled." C. J. i. 493. 

1 Chamberlain to Carleton, May 26, Court and Times, i. 312. 


of the judges was something far loftier than that of advisers of 
the House of Lords. The judges, therefore, by Coke's mouth 
requested that they might not be required to give an opinion, 
on the ground that they were expected in judicial course to 
speak and judge between the King's majesty and his people, 
and likewise between His Highness's subjects, and in no case 
to be disputants on any side. 1 Coke probably had a vision of the 
twelve judges being called on in some way to review the judg- 
ment of the Court of Exchequer and to decide magisterially 
between the King on the one side and the House of Commons 
on the other. If so, his ambition was not gratified. The 
Lords, either fearing that Coke intended to throw the weight of 
his authority against the King, or not liking to undertake the 
burden of resisting the Commons, if they were themselves un- 
fortified by the support of the judges, answered on May 24, with 
a refusal, at least for the present, to meet the Lower House in 
conference. 2 

If as yet the Lords were unwilling to occupy the ground 
which the Commons had assigned them, as leaders in a consti- 
The division tutional resistance to the Crown, an examination of 
in the Lords, ^g division must have been reassuring to all who 
did not despair of some day seeing the two Houses on the same 
side. Of the sixty-nine peers who recorded their opinions, at 
least thirty 3 voted in the minority. Of the majority, sixteen 
were bishops, Matthew, Archbishop of York, being the only one 
who voted for conferring with the Lower House. Amongst the 
twenty-three lay peers who voted with the majority were the two 
Scotchmen, Somerset and Lennox, the latter of whom had re- 
cently been raised to the English earldom of Richmond. There 
were nine Privy Councillors present ; so that it appears that if, as 
is probable, they all voted against the conference, it was impos- 

1 L. J. ii. 706. 

2 C. J. ii. 707, 708; Cott. MSS. Tit. F. iv. 257. Petyt's Jus 
Parliamentarium, 340. 

3 Chamberlain gives the numbers as thirty-nine and thirty. Accord- 
ing to the Journals, there were seventy-one present Perhaps, if Cham- 
berlain is right, two went out without voting. The difference of two 
votes is not of much importance. 

1614 VOTE OF THE PEERS. 243 

sible to find more than twelve independent lay peers who would 
vote with the Government, and of these at least four or five were 
in some way or other under obligations to the court 

Annoying as the refusal of the Upper House must have 

been to the Commons, they felt themselves to be still more 

deeply aggrieved when they heard of some words 

Speech of , .\ J , f , ' 

Bishop which had fallen from one of the speakers m the 
debate in the House of Lords. Of all the syco- 
phants who sought for power and place during the reigns of 
James and of his son, Bishop Neile was justly regarded as the 
worst. He had lately been notorious as the one amongst the 
Commissioners sitting in the case of Lady Essex who had been 
most active in pushing on the divorce with indecent haste. 
As soon as the sentence was pronounced, he put forth all his 
efforts in attempting to ruin the Archbishop, and although 
he did not succeed in this as he desired, he ingratiated himself 
with James sufficiently to obtain the bishopric of Lincoln, 
which had been originally destined for Abbot's brother Robert, 
who had done the King no small service in his controversy 
with Bellarmine. Neile now stood up to vilify the House of 
Commons. The matter, he said, on which the Lords were 
asked to confer with the Lower House was one with which it 
had no right to meddle. No man who had taken the oaths of 
supremacy and allegiance could, with a good conscience, even 
join in a discussion upon the question of the Impositions. Not 
only were the Commons striking at the root of the prerogative 
of the Crown, but they would, if they were admitted to argue 
;heir case, be sure to give utterance to seditious and undutiful 
speeches, which would be unfit for the Lords to listen to, and 
which would tend as well to a breach between the two Houses 
as to one between the King and his subjects. 1 

The next day the whole House of Commons was in an up- 
roar. The idea that it is well to allow violence and folly to 
May 25. remain unpunished is of slow growth, and it would 
indignation be } on g before it would be received as an axiom by 

of the 

Commons, any party in the State. One member called for a 

bill confiscating to his Majesty's use the profits of the bishopric 

1 JL. y. ii. 709. 


of Lincoln for the next seven years. Another said that Neile's 
head ought to be set upon Tower Hill. A third declared that 
banishment was the fitting punishment for lesser offences than 
this. Those who treated the subject more calmly were doubt- 
ful whether it would be preferable to make their complaint 
to the King or to the House of Lords. A Committee was 
appointed to take the question into consideration. 

On the following day, the committee reported that.they had 
decided by a small majority to recommend that an immediate 
reference might be made to the King, and that no 
other business might be taken up till an answer was 
received. As soon as the report had been made, Sandys rose 
to hinder the House from the suicidal step which it was advised 
to take. He told them that by complaining to the King of 
words spoken in the House of Lords, they were not only in- 
sulting the Peers, and placing the King in a position of great 
difficulty, but they were cutting at the root of their own most 
cherished right of freedom of speech. If the Commons might 
appeal to the King to punish a Peer for words uttered in the 
House of Lords, it was clear that they could never again pro- 
test against any claim which might be put forth by the King 
to a similar jurisdiction over the House of Commons. This 
reasoning carried conviction with it, and in spite of the opposi- 
tion of Sir Roger Owen and a few others who were afraid that 
justice would not be done by the Peers, it was decided to aban- 
don the idea of an appeal to the King, and to ask satisfaction 
from the Lords ; it was also resolved, that until satisfaction had 
been given to the House no business should be proceeded with. 

The King had long been watching the debates in the House 
of Commons. He could now have little doubt that the House 
The King's would take up the position which they had occupied 
letter. a j- ^g close of the last session. They had already 

shown that they were determined to carry their point in regard 
to the Impositions before they consented to a grant of money. 
They were only waiting till the Committee had finished its 
labours to present a petition of grievances as objectionable to 
him as that from which he had turned aside four years before. 
On both of these points he had made up his mind not to give 


way. He accordingly wrote a letter to them, objecting to their 
resolution to abstain from business till they had obtained 
satisfaction from the Upper House, and telling them that it did 
not belong to them to call or dissolve assemblies. They sent 
in reply a deputation of forty members, with the Speaker at its 
head, which was directed to inform him that they had never 
claimed any such right, but that they intended merely to for- 
bear from entering upon matters of moment, as they were unfit 
to treat of such subjects until they could clear themselves from 
the imputations which had been cast upon them. 1 

On May 30, the Lords sent down an answer, to the effect 

that they should always be sorry to hear any aspersion cast upon 

, the other House, but that, as the accusation against 

Ine .Lords 

reply con- the Bishop was grounded simply upon common fame, 

cerningthe ,., ...... r J T/ . , 

Bishop's they did not think it right to entertain it. If, how- 
ever, they had any express charge brought before them, 
they would be ready to do justice. 2 The excuse was manifestly 
frivolous. The Commons had appealed from common fame 
to those who were present when the speech was delivered. It 
would no doubt have been better to have ignored the whole 
affair ; and the Lords might very well have refused to discuss 
with any external body words which had been spoken within 
their own walls. If they had done this, the Commons would 
probably have drawn back, for fear of damaging their own 
claims. But it was impossible for the Commons to accept the 
excuse which was made. They replied by sending Sir Roger 
Owen with a paper containing the words which had been 
uttered by the Bishop, as closely as they could gather them. 
Upon this, the Lords called upon the Bishop to explain his 
speech. He seems to have been frightened at the position into 
which his rash, headlong temper had brought him. 

The Bishop __ , , , , , , , 

excuses him- He protested, with many tears, that he had been 

misconstrued, and that he never meant to speak any 

evil of the House of Commons. The Lords acquainted the 

Commons with what had passed, and added, that though they 

1 C. y. i. 500. Chamberlain to Carleton, June I, 1614, Court ana 
Times, i. 318. 2 L. J. ii. 711. 


had taken care to give them contentment in this matter, they 
wished it to be understood that in future they would not allow 
any member of their House to be called in question on the 
ground of common fame. 1 

Here the Commons ought to have stopped. Unluckily, a 
House of Commons without definite leadership, and more 
especially one with a large proportion of new members, is apt 
to degenerate into a mere mob. The Lords had thrown them 
out of gear by refusing the conference on the Impositions, and 
from that moment all reasonable and well-considered action 
was at an end. Each speaker in turn urged more vehemently 
than the last that some steps should be taken against the 
Bishop. One member declared that Neile had once given a 
false certificate of conformity to a recusant. The House could 
not resist the temptation of inquiring into the Bishop's mis- 
conduct, and, without perceiving that it was lowering itself 
by indulging in personal recriminations, determined that the 
June 3 . charge should be examined. 2 Upon this the King 
The King ] ost a ii patience. On June 3, he sent them a mes- 

threatens to J ' 

dissolve. sa g e that, unless they proceeded forthwith to treat 
of supply, he should dissolve Parliament. 

On the receipt of this message, some of the members were 
willing that something should be done to satisfy the King. It 
_ . was too late for this. The House felt instinctively 

Excitement ..... 

in the that the objects on which its heart was set were not 

to be attained, and it did nothing to check its more 
violent members. Christopher Neville, a younger son of Lord 
Abergavenny, poured forth a torrent of abuse against the 
courtiers, and declared that they were ' spaniels to the King, 
and wolves to the people.' Hoskins boldly entered upon the 
more tender subject of the Scottish favourites, and even went 
so far as to put them in mind of the possibility of an imitation 
of the Sicilian Vespers. 

According to the belief of contemporaries Hoskins was set 
on by persons of high station, and every indication points to 
Northampton as the person who was suspected to have been at 

1 L. J. ii. 713- * C.J. i. 54. 


the bottom of the plot. There is every reason to suppose that 
the charge was true. An understanding between the King and 
North- tne House of Commons would not have suited Nor- 
foment the thampton. If James had been put in good humour 
quarrel. by a spontaneous grant of subsidies, he might have 
made concessions of which Northampton would have strongly 
disapproved. Amicable relations with the present House would 
bring with them a decided Protestant policy abroad, and, as 
Northampton would have put it, a Puritan and democratic as- 
cendency at home. His view was that the King ought to resist 
the Commons, to grant toleration to the English Catholics, and 
to strengthen himself by a Spanish alliance, to be confirmed 
by a marriage between Prince Charles and the Infanta Maria. 
The portion which she would bring would be sufficient to pay 
the debts of her father-in-law, and when those were paid some 
means of getting rid of the deficit might readily be found. 

James was too angry to discover the miserable impolicy of 
this advice. Digby had recently returned from Spain, and 
was able to inform him that Lerma had been making fresh 
overtures for the renewal of the negotiations for the marriage. 1 
But until James could be assured of the approval of the Spanish 
Ambassador, he did not venture to dissolve the Parliament. 
He accordingly sent to Sarmiento, asking him to inform him 
whether, in the event of his quarrelling with the House of 
Commons, he could depend upon his master's support. 2 Sar- 

1 Digby to the King, Jan. 3, 1615. Printed with a wrong date in 
Lords' Journals, iii. 239, as having been written in 162 -. 

2 Minutes of Sarmiento's despatches, June - 20 ' J"" e 22 ' 23 ' 24 , 1614. Si* 

30, July 2, 3, 4 

mancas MSS. Est. 2518. Printed in App. to Francisco de Jesus. 
There is a curious passage in a paper which undoubtedly proceeded 
from Sarmiento's pen, after his return to Spain, in which he describes his 
method of obtaining a mastery over James : " El medio que el Conde de 
Gondomar ha tenido para quitarle estos miedos " (i.e. his fears lest Spain 
should deceive him) " y irle empenando en la amistad con V. Mag* 1 , ha 
sido mostrandole el gran poder de V. Mag 4 , y una muy gran llaneza y 
confian9a con mucha verdad en su tratto, encareciendole lo que se tratta en 
Espana, la seguridad con que podra vivir en sus mismos Reynos, asentando 
esta amistad ; pues viendole unido con esta Corona se aquietaran todos sin 


miento, unwilling to commit himself, vaguely answered that 

Philip was always perfectly disinterested in his friendships, and 

that he was undoubtedly desirous of being on good terms with 

England. This was enough for Tames. On Tune 7 

June 7. J J i 

Parliament he dissolved the Parliament, which had sat for little 

dissolved. , T . 

more than two months. Not a single bill received 
the Royal Assent. The Parliament was, in consequence, nick- 
named by the wits, ' The Addled Parliament.' l 

Up to the unfortunate episode of the speech of Bishop 
Neile, the proceedings of the House of Commons had been all 
that could be desired. They were undoubtedly right in refusing 
to grant supplies until the questions of the impositions and of 
the grievances had been settled in their favour. There might 
indeed arise upon the Continent, at any moment, dangers 
which would call upon them to support the Crown even at the 
cost of postponing to a future time the demand for justice 
which they put forward on behalf of themselves and of their 
children. But that time had not yet come. The visions of 
war which Bacon had called up before them were not as yet 
realities, and the Commons wisely decided to provide for the 
dangers which were at hand, rather than to supply James with 
means of defence against perils which were still in the future. 
Even the violence of their behaviour during the last few days 
of the session admits of some excuse. They knew that the 
refusal of the House of Lords to hold a conference was the 
death-knell of their hopes. There could not be the slightest 
doubt that in thus rejecting their demand the Peers were acting 
in concert with the King ; and the Commons, perceiving that all 

que nadie ose menearsele : que los mismos Catolicos de quien oy se rezela 
tanto seran los mas seguros y de quien mejor se podra fiar, y juntamente 
con esto ha procurado conserbar y aumentar en Inglaterra la religion 
Catolica, particularmente entre los ministros y personas mas poderosas de 
aquel Reyno, para que estos de su parte ayudassen tambien a empenar a 
aquel Rey en estrecha amistad con esta Corona y ser seguros de la parte de 
V. Mag 15 para en caso que se rompa y sea necesaria la guerra " Consulta 
by Aliaga and Gondomar, Jan. , 1619. Simancas MSS. Est. 2518. 

1 Chamberlain to Carleton, June 9. Lorkin to Puckering, June 18, 
Court and Times, i. 320, 323. 


their labours had been in vain, would have been more than men 
if they had felt disposed to treat with deference those who 
were taking such a course. 

These, however, were not the feelings of James. Not 

having ever grasped the idea that he had asked the Commons 

to surrender points upon which it was impossible for 


tionofthe them to give way, he was proportionately exasperated 

at their steady refusal to give up their claims. His 
first act was to summon before the Council those members 
who had been appointed to take part in the conference with 
the Lords, and to order them to deliver up all the notes and 
collections which had been prepared to assist them in con- 
ducting their argument. All these papers were immediately 
burnt in the presence of the Council, in order, no doubt, to 

prevent their publication. After this was done, four 
members im- members who had distinguished themselves by the 

violence of their language, Wentworth, Hoskins, 
Christopher Neville, and Sir Walter Chute, were sent to the 
Tower. All this while James was sitting in a neighbouring 
room, amusing himself by looking through an opening in the 
hangings, in order to see his orders carried out. 

On the same day, Sandys and four other members were 
ordered not to leave London without permission. In a few 

weeks, however, they were allowed to return home, 
of other though Sandys was required to give bonds for his 

appearance whenever he might be called for. 1 Sir 
John Savile, Sir Roger Owen, Sir Edward Phelips, and Nicholas 
Hyde were put out of the commission of the peace. 2 Of the 
four members who were sent to the Tower, Wentworth was 
Release of allowed, on June 1 9, to go out for a few days to 
prisoned vlslt nis w ^ 6 ' an ^ was finally released on June 29. 
members. Neville was set free on July 10, and Chute on 
October 2 . 3 Hoskins did not escape so easily. When he was 

1 Privy Council Register, June 8, 9, 15, 29, and July 10. 

2 Whitelocke, Liber Famelicus, 43. 

* Privy Council Register of the above-mentioned dates. Chamberlain, 
writing to Carleton on June 30 (Court and Times, i. 325), was mistaken 
in supposing that Wentworth was still a prisoner. 


questioned as to what he meant by threatening the Scots with 
Sicilian Vespers, it appeared that he had no clear notion of 
the meaning of the words which he had used, as he had not 
Examina- udied history very deeply. On being asked where 
wams f Md rn ~ ne g ot his information, he said it was from Doctor 
Sharp. Sharp, a clergyman, who had pressed him to animate 
the House against the Scots, and had assured him that, in so 
doing, he would have the protection of Sir Charles Cornwallis, 
the late ambassador in Spain, and even of the Earl of North- 
ampton himself. 1 Cornwallis declared that he had nothing to 
do with this speech of Hoskins, though he had procured the 
election of another member, by the help of a letter from North- 
ampton, and had given him notes of a speech which he was to 
deliver, complaining of the recusants and the Scots. This 
speech, however, he said was never delivered. Sharp, on the 
other hand, declared that Cornwallis had promised to give 
Hoskins 2o/. for the loss of his practice during the session, 
a piece of evidence which was denied by Cornwallis. The 
Government considered the whole matter as a conspiracy to 
frustrate its objects by hiring members to stir up the passions 
of the House. 2 Both Cornwallis and Sharp were committed 
to the Tower, from which they were only liberated, together 
with Hoskins, at the expiration of a twelvemonth. 3 

Of the two men whose advice had most contributed to the 
calling of this Parliament, one of them Sir Henry Neville, did not 
Death of ^ on survive its dissolution. He died in the summer 
Neville. o f 1615, regretted by all who knew how to value his 
integrity and worth. The condition of the other was far sadder. 
Bacon's Bacon lived on in the service of the Crown, a silent 
failure. witness of his own failure. He had built his hopes 
on the possibility of reconciling King and Parliament, and from 
all that is known of him he was quite capable of accomplishing 
his task, if only his hands had been free. His hands un- 
fortunately had not been free. He had under-estimated the 

1 Wotton to Sir Edmund Bacon, June 16, Rel. Wott. ii. 434. 

2 Chamberlain to Carleton, June 30, Court and Times, i. 325. Corn- 
wallis to the King, June (?), S. P. Ixxvii. 43. 

3 On June 8, 1615. Privy Council Register of that date. 


difficulties in his way, and above all, had omitted to reckon 
on the impossibility of persuading James to change his nature, 
and to look upon a struggle in which he was himself deeply 
concerned, with the impartial eye of a mere spectator. It is 
easy to trace out mistakes committed on either side, but, under 
the existing personal and political conditions, it is hard to see 
how the Parliament of 1614 could have ended otherwise than 
it did. 

No man, however highly placed, can shake himself 
altogether loose from the limitations imposed on him by the 
consentient wills of his fellow-creatures, and James would 
soon learn that by refusing to accept the terms offered by 
the House of Commons, he had only placed himself in the 
power of others who were less plain-spoken, and who had 
ends of their own to serve by flattering and cajoling him. 

A few days after the dissolution, James sent for Sarmiento, 
and poured into his willing ear his complaints of the insolence 
James of the Commons. " I hope," he said, when he had 
grievances to finished his story, "that you will send the news to 
Sarmiento. y Our ma ster as you hear it from me, and not as it is 
told by the gossips in the streets." The ambassador, having 
assured him that he would make a true report, James went on 
with his catalogue of grievances. "The King of Spain," he 
said, "has more kingdoms and subjects than I have, but there 
is one thing in which I surpass him. He has not so large a 
Parliament The Cortes of Castile is composed of little more 
than thirty persons. In my Parliament there are nearly five 
hundred. The House of Commons is a body without a head. 
The members give their opinions in a disorderly manner. At 
their meetings nothing is heard but cries, shouts, and con- 
fusion. I am surprised that my ancestors should ever have 
permitted such an institution to come into existence. I am a 
stranger, and found it here when I arrived, so that I am obliged 
to put up with what I cannot get rid of." Here James coloured 
and stopped short, perhaps because he had been surprised into 
an admission that there was something in his dominions of 
which he could not get rid if he pleased. Sarmiento, with 
ready tact, came to his assistance, and reminded him that he 



was able to summon and dismiss this formidable body at his 
pleasure. " That is true," replied James, delighted with the turn 
which the conversation had taken, "and, what is more, without 
my assent, the words and acts of the Parliament are altogether 
worthless." Having thus maintained his dignity, he proceeded 
to assure Sarmiento that he would gladly break off the negotia- 
tions with France, if only he could be sure that the hand of 
the Infanta would not be accompanied by conditions which it 
would be impossible for him to grant. The ambassador gave 
him every encouragement in his power, and promised to write 
to Madrid for further instructions. 

If only James could have looked over Sarmiento's 
shoulder as he was writing his next despatch, he would soon 
have sickened of his scheme for freeing himself from his own 
subjects by the help of Spain. Sarmiento's plans aimed at 
June. something far more splendid than the alleviation of 
|unf for >s the distress of a handful of Catholics in England. He 
Europe, believed as many besides himself believed that a 
crisis was at hand in which the very existence of the Catholic 
system would be at stake. He saw in the overtures which had 
lately been made by James to the Continental Protestants, the 
foundation of an aggressive league against the Catholic powers. 
The attack, he thought, would be commenced by a demand 
that the Catholic sovereigns should grant liberty of conscience 
to their subjects, and he never doubted that such a concession 
would be fatal to the retention by the Pope of the influence 
which he still possessed. He therefore proposed to carry the 
war into the enemy's quarters. If liberty of conscience, under 
the guarantee of England and the German Union, would dis- 
integrate Catholicism in the South, why should not liberty of 
conscience, under the guarantee of Spain, disintegrate Protes- 
tantism in the North ? Nor had he any doubt that England 
was the key-stone of Protestantism. If the countenance of Eng- 
land were withdrawn from the Protestants on the Continent, 
the Catholic Princes would be able to resume their legitimate 
authority. The Dutch rebels would be compelled to submit 
to their lawful sovereign. The French Huguenots would be 
unable any longer to make head against the King of France. 


The German Protestants would find it impossible to resist the 
Emperor. Sigismund of Poland would regain the throne of 
Sweden, from which he had been driven by his usurping 
uncle Charles IX. and his usurping cousin Gustavus Adolphus. 
The Restoration of Catholicism would go hand in hand with 
the cause of legitimate monarchy. Law and order would take 
the place of religious and political anarchy. The only re- 
remaining Protestant sovereign, the King of Denmark, it could 
not be doubted for an instant, would conform to the counsels 
and example of his brother-in-law, who, before many years were 
past, would be the Roman Catholic king of a Roman Catholic 

Nothing less than this was the mark at which Sarmiento 
aimed. It is true that he did not think it necessary, as 
and f or Philip and Lerma had thought it necessary three 
years before, to ask that the conversion of the Prince 
should precede his marriage. He had seen enough of James 
to know that such a proposal would only irritate him. He 
thought he could make sure of his prey without difficulty in 
another way. If he could only by the political advantages 
which he had to offer, tempt James to relax the penal laws, the 
cause of English Protestantism was lost. Catholic truth, when 
once these artificial obstacles were removed, would be certain 
to prevail. A Catholic majority would soon be returned to the 
House of Commons, and James himself, if he wished to pre- 
serve his crown, would be driven to declare himself a convert, 
and to lend his aid to the suppression of heresy. 1 

There were not wanting a few facts which, with the exercise 

of considerable ingenuity, or by the instigation of a hopeful 

imagination, might be made to serve as a foundation 

which he for this stupendous edifice of fancy. The cessation 

founded his .,, 

expecta- of the war with Spain had led to a reaction against 

extreme Puritanism, now no longer strengthened 

by the patriotic feeling that whatever was most opposed to 

the Church of Rome was most opposed to the enemies of 

1 Minutes of Sarmiento's despatches, June 20 ' J "" e 22 ' 23 ' 24 , 1614. Si- 

30, July 2, 3, 4 
mamas MSS. 2518, fol. I. 


England. And as the mass of the nation was settling down 
into content with the rites and with the teaching of the 
English Church, there were some who floated still further 
with the returning tide, and who were beginning to cast longing 
looks towards Rome. Four times a day Sarmiento's chapel 
was filled to overflowing. From time to time the priests 
brought him word that the number of their converts was on the 
increase : and they were occasionally able to report that some 
great lord, or some member of tho Privy Council, was added to 
the list 1 Already, he believed, a quarter of the population 
were Catholics at heart, and another quarter, being without any 
religion at all, would be ready to rally to the side of the Pope if it 
proved to be the strongest. 2 An impartial observer might, per- 
haps, have remarked that no weight could be attached to such 
loose statistics as these, which probably owed their origin to 
the fervid imaginations of the priests and Jesuits who thronged 
the ambassador's house, and that, whatever might be said of 
the number of the converts, there was not to be found amongst 
them a single man of moral or intellectual pre-eminence. 

Indeed, as far as we are able to judge, they were for the most 
part persons who were very unlikely to influence the age in 
which they lived. The giddy and thoughtless courtier, or the 
man of the world who had never really believed anything in 
his life, might forswear a Protestantism which had never been 
more than nominal, and England would be none the worse. 

Notwithstanding his conviction of the soundness of his 
reasoning, Sarmiento knew that he would have considerable 
difficulty in gaining the consent of Philip to his scheme ; and 

1 These cases are occasionally mentioned in Sarmiento's despatches ; 
but Lord Wotton's name is the only one which is not concealed, 
1 Sarmiento divides the population as follows: 

Recusants ...... 30x3,000 

Catholics who go to church . . . 600,000 

Undecided 900,000 

Puritans 600,000 

Other Protestants 1,200,000 

Sarmiento to Philip III. ^ P a "' 29 , 1614. Simancas MSS. 2592, fol. 69. 


especially in persuading him to withdraw his demand for the 
immediate conversion of the Prince. He, therefore, 

He urges ... 

Philip to began by assuring him that it would be altogether 
James's useless to persist in asking for a concession which 
James was unable to make without endanger- 
ing both his own life and that of his son. Even to grant 
liberty of conscience by repealing the laws against the Catholics 
was beyond the power of a king of England, unless he could 
gain the consent of his Parliament. All that he could do 
would be to connive at the breach of the penal laws by releas- 
ing the priests from prison, and by refusing to receive the fines 
of the laity. James was willing to do this ; and if this offer 
was accepted, everything else would follow in course of time. 1 

Sarmiento may well have doubted whether his suggestions 
would prove acceptable at Madrid. On the first news of 
, , Somerset's overtures, Philip, or the great man who 
The Pope's acted in his name, had determined upon consulting 
the Pope. 2 The reply of Paul V. was anything but 
favourable. The proposed union, he said, would not only 
imperil the faith of the Infanta, and the faith of any children 
that she might have, but would also bring about increased 
facilities of communication between the two countries which 
could not but be detrimental to the purity of religion in Spain. 
Besides this, it was well known that it was a maxim in 
England that a king was justified in divorcing a childless wife. 
On these grounds he was unable to give his approbation to 
the marriage. 3 

August. Even those to whom the Pope's objections are no 

The junta objections at all cannot but wish that his judgment 

oftheolo- J Jo 

gians. had been accepted as final in the matter. In his eyes 
marriage was not to be trifled with, even when the political ad- 

1 Minutes of Sarmiento's despatches, June ?*' -j u " e 22 ' 23 ' 24 . Simancas 

30, July 2, 3, 4 

MSS. 2518, fol. i. 

2 Philip III to Paul V., June. Francisco de Jesus, 6. Guizot, 
Un Projet de Mariage Royal, 43. 

3 The Count of Castro to Philip TIL, July . Francisco de Jesus, 6. 
Guizot, 46. 


vantages to be gained by it assumed the form of the propagation 
of religion. In his inmost heart, most probably, Philip thought 
the same. But Philip was seldom accustomed to take the 
initiative in matters of importance, and, upon the advice of the 
Council of State, he laid the whole question before a junta of 
theologians. It was arranged that the theologians should be 
kept in ignorance of the Pope's reply, in order that they might 
not be biassed by it in giving their opinions. The hopes of the 
conversion of England, which formed so brilliant a picture in 
Sarmiento's despatches, overcame any scruples which they may 
have felt, and they voted in favour of the marriage on con- 
dition that the Pope's consent could be obtained. The Council 
adopted their advice and ordered that the articles should 
be prepared. On one point only was there much discussion. 
Statesmen and theologians were agreed that it was unwise to 
ask for the conversion of the Prince. But they were 

September. * 

Preparation uncertain whether it would be safe to content them- 
nra'i-riage selves with the remission of the fines by the mere 
contract. connivance of the King. At last one argument 
turned the scale. A change of law which would grant com- 
plete religious liberty would probably include the Puritans and 
the other Protestant sects. The remission of penalties by the 
royal authority would benefit the Catholics alone. 1 

Digby was expected to return to his post at Madrid before 
the end of the year. With the men who, like Somerset, looked 
, upon an intrigue with Spain as a good political 
return to speculation, or whose vanity was flattered by the 
cheap courtesies of Sarmiento, he had nothing in 
common. The Spanish ambassador never ventured to speak 
of him except as of a man of honesty and worth, to whom his 
master's interests were dearer than his own. No doubt, as long 
as human nature remains what it is, a man through whose hands 
the most important business of the day is passing can hardly 
help feeling a growing interest in the success of the policy which 

1 Consultas of the Council of State, ^, Aug. ^-, Nov. - 7 , 1614; 

Aug. 8' 16, 30 27 

Consults of the junta of theologians, Sept. ", 1614. Simancas MSS. 
2518, fol. I, 3, 5, 9- Francisco de Jesus, 7. 

1614 . DIGBY 1 S ADVICE. 257 

is to gain him a name in history, as well as to secure him the 

immediate favour of his sovereign. Yet Digby had not accepted 

the charge of the negotiations without a protest. He 

His views on . . . 

the mar- had told the King that, in his opinion, it would be 
far better that his son's wife should be a Protestant. 
Why should he not look for support to the affections of his 
subjects rather than to the ducats of the Infanta ? A Spanish 
Princess of Wales would bring with her elements of trouble and 
confusion. Under her protection the English Catholics would 
grow in numbers and authority, till it would become impossible 
to repress their insolence without adopting those harsh and 
violent measures which had long been foreign to the spirit of 
the English law. Having thus done his duty by warning James 
of the danger which he was incurring, Digby proceeded to 
assure him that, whatever his wishes might be, he would do his 
utmost to conduct the negotiations to a successful issue. If the 
future Princess of Wales was to be a Catholic, he thought that 
a marriage with an Infanta would be better than a marriage 
with the sister of the King of France. In Spain the Prince 
would find the most unquestionable royal blood, and from Spain 
a larger portion might be obtained for the relief of the King's 
necessities. The only question was whether the marriage could 
be arranged with no worse conditions than those with which 
other Catholic princes would be contented. 1 

The whole foreign policy of James was so mismanaged, and 
his attempt to conciliate Spain turned out so ill, that it is diffi- 
cult to estimate at its true value so moderate a pro- 

Ine span- r 

ish alliance test. Knowing, as we do, all that was to follow, it is 

and the ' . 

Spanish not easy for us to remember that, if there was nothing 
to be said in favour of the Spanish marriage, there 
was much to be said in favour of keeping up a good under- 
standing with Spain, if only the Spaniards made it possible to 
do so. To put ourselves in Digby's place, it is necessary to 
realise the weariness which the long religious wars of the six- 
teenth century had left behind them, and the anxious desire 
which was felt in so many quarters that the peace which had at 

1 Digby to the Prince of Wales, 1617. State Trials, ii. 1408. 


last been gained might not be endangered by zealots on either 
side. Could not England and Spain, the most powerful Pro- 
testant State and the most powerful Catholic State, come to an 
understanding on the simple basis of refraining from aggression? 
Perhaps even with that policy of meddling which had not been 
entirely renounced at Madrid, it might not have been altogether 
impossible, but for the events which a few years later occurred 
in Germany to reawaken the feverish antipathies of religious 
parties. At all events, if Digby's advice had been regarded, 
James would have found himself with his hands free, when the 
crisis came, and would have occupied a position which would 
have enabled him to mediate in reality as well as in name. 




THE dissolution of Parliament had been a triumph for North- 
ampton. He had long been looking forward to his own ap- 

june 15. pointment to the high office of Lord Treasurer. The 
Nonh- f investigations conducted by the Commissioners who 
ampton. had been appointed after Salisbury's death, had re- 
lieved him from any fear lest he should be held accountable for 
a deficit which was plainly not of his making. In these inves- 
tigations he had taken part, and had shown no little diligence 
in conducting the inquiry. Whether his hopes were likely to 
be realised it is impossible to say. He was already stricken 
down by disease. During the whole of the session he had been 
lying ill at Greenwich. On the day after the dissolution, he 
was well enough to come up to London. His strength, how- 
ever, was not sufficient to bear a surgical operation to which he 
submitted, and on the i5th of June he died, unregretted by 
men of all classes and of all parties. 1 

Even if he had lived, Northampton might have failed in at- 
taining the object of his ambition, as for some months before his 

ffolk death, James had known that he was a recipient of a 
appointed Spanish pension. Suffolk's character, on the other 

Treasurer. . 111 , * i-v> i i 

hand, had passed under Digby s investigations with- 
out a stain, and Suffolk, like his uncle, was a warm partisan of 
the Spanish alliance. It was therefore only natural that the 
vacant appointment should be given to him. On July 10, the 
King informed him that he had made choice of him for no 

1 Chamberlain to Carleton, June 30, Court and Times, i. 325. 
s 2 


other reason than for his approved fidelity and integrity. The 
office of Lord Chamberlain, vacated by Suffolk, was conferred 
Somerset upon Somerset. The King told him that he gave 
Chamber- ^' m t ^ ie pl ace which would bring him into such close 
lain - relations with himself, because he loved him better 

than all men living. 1 The offices of the Lord Privy Seal and 
of the Warden of the Cinque Ports, which had belonged to 
Northampton, were to be kept vacant till some one could be 
found fitted to hold them. In the meanwhile, Somerset was to 
transact the .business of both these places. Not very long 
afterwards, the Chancellorship of the Exchequer was given to 
Sir Philip Sydney's old friend, Sir Fulk Greville, in place of Sir 
Julius Caesar, who had been appointed Master of the Rolls. 

The new Lord Treasurer had no light task before him. The 
state of the finances had been slightly improved during the past 
state of the vear > Dut tne y still presented formidable obstacles to 
revenue. anv Treasurer who was rash enough to entertain hopes 
of being able to balance the two sides of the account. From a 
statement 2 drawn up the day after Suffolk's accession to office, 
it appeared that the estimated annual expenditure of the Crown 
now amounted to 523,0007., and that even by including the 
4o,ooo/. which the Dutch were bound to pay every year until 
the whole debt was wiped off, the revenue could not be cal- 
culated at more than 462, ooo/., leaving a deficit of 6i,ooo/. 
There were, as usual, extraordinary expenses to be taken into 
account, and a debt of about 7oo,ooo/. was pressing on the 
King, who had no means of paying a farthing of it. James had 
certainly not chosen an opportune time for breaking with his 

At the time of the dissolution some of the bishops made 

A Benevo ^^ O ^ el tO ^ e ^ m ^ ^ Va l u 6 of the best piece 

lence offered of plate in their possession, to help him out of his 

Bishops and difficulties. The proposal was eagerly accepted, and 

in a few days all the great lords and officers of the 

Crown were following their example. Soon, every man who had 

1 Chamberlain to Carleton, July 14, S. P. Ixxvii. 64. Lorking to 
Puckering, July 21, 1614, Court and Times, i. 335. 
5 Lansd. MSS. 169, fol. 135. 


anything to hope from the favour of the Court was bringing 
money to the Jewel House for the King's use. 1 The idea 
occurred to some one that it would be well to call upon all 
England to follow the example of the bishops. The King, 
however, first wrote to the Lord Mayor to request a loan from 
the City of ioo,ooo/. The reply was that they would rather 
give io,ooo/. than lend ioo,ooo/. 2 If this offer was accepted, 
as there can be little doubt that it was, it may be considered as 
having laid the foundation of the general Benevolence, as these 
voluntary gifts were called. A few of the gentlemen of the 
counties round London, and a few towns apparently in the 
immediate neighbourhood of the capital, followed the example 
of the courtiers. In this way a sum of 23,ooo/. was collected 
before July 18. 

But this was not all that was intended. The King was 
under the impression that the refusal of supplies by the House 
Appeal to f Commons had proceeded merely from a factious 
the country. Opposition, and that a direct appeal to the country 
would be attended by the most favourable results. He was, 
indeed, stopped by Coke from sending missives under the 
Great Seal, as had been originally intended ; but the Council 3 
made no difficulty in writing letters to every county and borough 
in England, requesting them to send in their contributions. It 
was on July 4 that these letters were despatched. The Council 
began by acquainting the sheriffs and other magistrates to whom 
they were directed, that the late Parliament had not granted 
such supplies as might have been expected. Upon this many 
of the clergy, and the Lords of the Council, and others, had, of 
their own free will, presented to the King plate or money. 
Their example had been followed by the judges, by gentlemen 
of property in the adjacent counties, and by some cities and 
boroughs. The Council was, therefore, desirous that the gen- 
tlemen and other persons of the county or borough addressed 
should know what was being done, in order that they might 

1 Chamberlain to Carleton, June 30, 1614, Court and Times, i. 325. 

2 Chamberlain to Carleton, July 7, 1614, S. P, Ixxvii. 58. 

3 Bacon had advised that this should not be done, as likely to make 
people think that they were not free to refuse. Letters and Life, v. 8l. 


show their love and affection to the King. Whatever was 
collected was to be sent to the Jewel House at Whitehall, to- 
gether with a list of the names of the givers, in order that the 
King might take note of their good affection. The money thus 
obtained was to be employed solely in the payment of debt, 
especially of that incurred on account of Ireland, the navy, and 
the Low Country garrisons. l 

It is possible that the Council meant to leave those whom 
they addressed free to give or to refuse ; but, from the very 
Effect of nature of the case, it was impossible that those who 
this appeal. were addressed should feel entirely at their ease. 
The concessions which had been offered by the King at the 
opening of the last session prove how completely he might 
have every gentleman in England at his mercy. Many of 
them were directly tenants of the Crown, and those who were 
not might easily be entangled in the meshes of a law which 
gave every facility to the Sovereign in prosecuting his extremest 
rights. In spite of this, however, the letters of the Council did 
not produce the effect which was anticipated. In every county 
the sheriffs were told that the King would have no difficulty in 
obtaining a supply, if it should please him to call a Parliament. 3 
July, and then August, and then the first fortnight of September, 
passed slowly by, and not a single favourable answer had been 
vouchsafed to the letters of the Council 3 Since July 18, a 
poor SOQ/. was all the money which had been sent in to 

The Council determined to appeal once more to the country. 
By this time events had occurred in Germany which, as they 
Affairs in hoped, would give weight to their demand for money 
cieves. m th e eves O f a u t rue Englishmen. The old quarrel 
of Cieves was threatening to break out once more with re- 
doubled violence. In the previous November Wolfgang 
William, the young Palatine of Neuburg, had married a sister 

1 The Council to the Sheriffs &c. , July 4, Council Register* 

2 Raleigh's ' Prerogative of Parliaments,' Works, viii. 218. 

3 The Council, in their letter of Sept. 17, say that they had had no 
answers. They would hardly consider the Devonshire reply, afterwards 
referred to, an answer at all. 


of the Duke of Bavaria, He had already secretly professed 
himself a convert to the Roman Catholic Church. A few 
weeks after his marriage he came down to Diisseldorf with the 
intention, it can hardly be doubted, of making himself master, 
sooner or later, of the whole of the disputed territory, with the 
help of the Archduke and the Catholic League. 

The Brandenburg party was not likely to remain long quiet 
under these apprehensions. Foreseeing that an attack would, 
juiiers in some time or other, be made upon them, they deter- 
a h Dut a c n h ds f rnined to strike the first blow. An attempt to seize 
garrison. Dusseldorf failed, but they succeeded in getting into 
their hands the town of Juiiers, which had, since the conclusion 
of the siege, been held by a garrison composed of troops in the 
service of both pretenders. As soon as he had gained his 
object, the Brandenburg commander invited Dutch troops into 
the place. This proceeding was approved of by the States, 
who gave out that they wished to preserve the peace between 
the irritated rivals. 

The Palatine replied to this aggression by declaring his 

conversion to Catholicism, and by fortifying Dusseldorf, which 

,. . . had previously, like the other tow T ns of the country, 

The Palatine ., . , , ^ 

ofNeuburg been held in common by the two Governments, 
hfmsefu He called on the Court of Brussels to come to his 

help against the Dutch. 

The Archduke, having obtained the consent of the King 
of Spain, levied large forces, which he placed under Spinola 

Some attempts were made to negotiate, but they 
invades the were altogether unsuccessful. In August, Spinola 

set out with his army. On his way he restored the 
Catholic magistracy at Aix-la-Chapelle, which had been over- 
thrown four years before by the Protestant majority of the 
citizens. In a short time he was master of all the towns in the 
Duchies on the left bank of the Rhine, with the exception of 
Juiiers itself. He then passed the river, and, after a siege of 
four days, compelled Wesel to capitulate, on condition that the 
Spanish garrison should evacuate the place whenever the States 
withdrew their soldiers from Juiiers. The Dutch, on their 
part, alarmed at the progress of Spinola, ordered their troops 

264 THE BENEVOLENCE. CH. xvirr. 

to enter the Duchies. Maurice accordingly took possession 
of Emmerich and Rees, and though he had orders 
Emmerich' not to break the truce by attacking the invading 
and Rees. armv> ft was obvious that, unless some means were 
taken to arrange the questions in dispute, a collision between 
the two armies was imminent. 1 

Under these circumstances, it was more than ever desirable 
that the English Treasury should be full enough to be ready 
Second f r tne worst. On September 17, the necessity of 
Council" to 6 *ke King was again laid by the Council before the 
the sheriffs, country. The sheriffs of the several counties were 
reminded of the letter which had been sent to them in July. 
They were told that the King's want of money was now more 
pressing than ever, in consequence of the dangers to which his 
allies were exposed. Spmola had gathered a large army, and 
there could be little doubt that he was in league with both the 
King of Spain and the Emperor. In the Duchies of Cleves 
and Juliers, he had seized upon all the towns which lay upon 
the Rhine. By this aggression not only was the Elector of 
Brandenburg, his Majesty's ally, deprived of his possessions, 
but the Elector Palatine was placed in a position of consider- 
able danger. Nor was it unlikely that an attack was intended 
upon England itself, or upon some other part of his Majesty's 
dominions. As a precautionary measure, orders had been 
given for a general muster. The navy was to be prepared for 
service, and all recusants were to be disarmed. The Council 
concluded their letter by expressing their surprise to the 
sheriffs that they had received no answer to their former letters, 
and by begging that they would lose no time in exerting 
themselves in a service which was so needful for the good of 
the country. 2 

It is, of course, impossible to say how far some 
of the sum of the counties were moved by such an appeal. 

16 " But the smallness of the sum which was actually 
realised is sufficient to show that there was no general response 

1 Bentivoglio, Rdationi (ed. 1650), 145. Wolf, Gcschuhte Maxi- 
milians /., iii. 487. 

2 The Council to the Sheriffs, Sept. 17, Council Jtegister. 

l6l4 SMALL RESULTS. 265 

to the request for money on the part of a King who had 
turned a deaf ear to the demands of the House of Commons. 
After every exertion had been made during nine months, the 
amount of money obtained barely exceeded 23,ooo/. Then 
there was a pause. In November, 1615, the work of collection 
began again, and after eight more months had been spent in 
pressing the people to contribute, a further sum, nearly amount- 
ing to i5,ooo/., was obtained. In the following year a last pay- 
ment, of rather less than 5,ooo/., was gradually raised. The 
whole sum thus obtained from the people of England was no 
more than 42,600!. As 23,500^ had already been paid by the 
City of London and by the Bishops and the courtiers previously 
to the general appeal, the total result of the Benevolence may 
be calculated at not much more than 66,000!., or less than 
two-thirds of the value of a single subsidy with its accompany- 
ing fifteenth. 1 

No doubt care was taken not to utter a single word which 
might deprive these payments of their character of voluntary 
Means used contributions. But the Council certainly allowed 
to obtain it. it se lf to give very strong hints that it would not be 
well with those who refused to pay. It was significant that the 
judges of assize were entrusted with the task of recommending 
payment. Those whom they addressed must have known well 
how probable it was that they might some day or other be 
dependent for at least some portion of their property upon 
these novel collectors of contributions. Several instances have 
been reported to us in which we can easily trace the spirit in 
which these free gifts were asked for. When Whitelocke, who 
had property in Buckinghamshire, came before the judges, 
they refused to receive his name, in hopes of being able to 
make a better profit of him if they could deal with him in 
London. As he had no wish to be cajoled in this manner, he 
put down his name on the roll for z/., whilst their attention was 
called away in another direction. Two of his acquaintances, 
however, were not so fortunate. Lord Knollys took the 
liberty of putting down their names, without their consent, for 5/. 

1 Receipt Books ; Breviates of the Receipt ; Dormant Privy Seal 
Books, R, 0. 


apiece. 1 At the same time the Council kept a vigilant eye 
upon what was being done in various parts of the country. 
Having heard that Lord St. John, the Lord Lieutenant of 
Bedfordshire, had been cool in the cause, they immediately 
wrote to him, telling him that his behaviour had been taken 
note of, and advising him to take care what he was doing. 2 In 

some shires the resistance was more general. Even 
income" 06 before the second letters had been written, the in- 
counties. habitants of the great western county of Devonshire 
had offered a remonstrance, and had declared that, however 
ready they were to assist the King in his difficulties, they 
were unwilling to injure their posterity by establishing such a 
precedent. A few weeks later the county of Somerset appealed 
to the Act of Richard III. against Benevolences. 3 Similar 
protests were made by Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire. 4 

The Council, upon this, summoned before them three or 
four of the justices of the peace, from each of the recalcitrant 

counties. Care was taken that no two counties 

Deputations .,,.,. , 

summoned should be heard on the same day, probably in order 
to prevent them from settling upon any common plan 
of action. As soon as these poor gentlemen were admitted, 
they were overwhelmed with a flood of records and precedents 
Over- which they were utterly unable to resist. Coke him- 

wkh prae- sel f took P art against them. The statute of Richard 
dents. jjj ^ h e sajd^ was intended to prevent exactions pass- 

ing under the name of free gifts ; it was never meant to stand 
in the way of really voluntary contributions like the present. 
He had no difficulty in showing that Benevolences had been 
paid during the reigns of the first two Tudors, in spite of the 
statute of Richard III. 5 The bewildered men had nothing left 
but to acknowledge their error. The Council took care to 
follow their returning steps with a fresh letter urging the counties 
to go on with the good work. 

1 Whitelocke, Liber Famelicus. 

- The Council to St. John, Oct. 9, S. P. Dom. Ixxviii. 14. 
8 I Ric. III. cap. 2. 4 Privy Council Register, Nov. 2, 14, 16, 30. 
5 There is a report in the Lansd. MSS. 160, fol. 118, of an argument 
of Coke's on the Benevolences, said to have been delivered on November 8. 


It was not long before St was discovered that even those 
counties which had not ventured upon open remonstrance were 
The not always likely to give satisfaction to the Govern- 

^irecon- rnent. Leicestershire had notified that, after several 
tribution meetings, a resolution had been come to to present 

refused, as 

insufficient, the King with i,ooo/. But it was one thing to pass 
resolutions, and another thing to collect the money. After 
some time the Lord Treasurer was informed that no more than 
4<Do/. could be obtained, as many who had promised had re 
Feb. 5, fused to pay. Upon this the Council wrote to the 

l6is- sheriff and the justices of the peace, rating them for 
their backwardness, and telling them that so mean a sum could 
not be accepted. They accordingly admonished them to take 
the business in hand once more. When they had done their 
best they were to forward a perfect list, not only of the names 
of those who paid, but of the exact value of the sums subscribed. 
Another list was to be furnished containing the names of those 
who were able to pay, but had held back from contributing. 
A similar letter was written to the borough of Taunton, which 
had also sent a sum which was held to be inadequate. 1 

In July, 1615, when the stream was again flagging, another 
appeal was made to ten of the twelve Welsh shires. They had 

j u iy. sent nothing, pleading their poverty. They were 
^ e ^ elsh told that this was no excuse, as it was never intended 
written to, j-j^ an y j^ men o f property should contribute, and 
there was a sufficient number of them to do something for the 
and the most King. At the same time letters were written to those 
English" 1 amongst the English counties which were most back- 
counties, ward. Stafford, Durham, and Westmoreland had 
not furnished a single contributor. In Shropshire there had 

In it he states that ' this Table hath done nothing contrary to the laws o* 
this realm. ' The story of Coke's opposition to the Benevolence must be 
founded on his dislike of the use of the Great Seal, as savouring of com- 
pulsion. There is no evidence of anything more. The opinion in Rep. 
xii. 119 must have been delivered on some other occasion. 

1 The Council to the Sheriffs of Somerset, Nov. 15; the Council to 
the Sheriffs of Devon, Nov. 30 ; the Council to the Sheriffs of Warwick, 
Dec. 9, 1614; the Council to the Sheriffs of Leicester, Feb. 5; the 
Council to the Borough of Taunton, Feb. 26, 1615, Council Register. 


been found one, in Herefordshire two, in Sussex three. The 
clergy of the diocese of Durham were also visited with a letter. 
The result of these letters was that from three of the Welsh 
shires 394/. was obtained, Cumberland sent 67/., Westmoreland 
857., Shropshire 95/1, the Durham clergy i26/., whilst Sussex 
provided as much as 772/. Staffordshire and Herefordshire 
remained impenitent to the last. 1 

At a time when the feeling in the country is running strongly 
on any subject, it generally happens that some one or other starts 

forward with an ill-considered and exaggerated expres- 
st. John's sion of that feeling. On this occasion the person by 

whom this part was performed was Oliver St. John, 
a gentleman of Marlborough. As soon as the second appeal 
of the Council reached that town, the mayor applied to St. 
John, amongst the other residents, to know what he was willing 
to give. St. John not only refused to subscribe, but wrote a 
letter which he requested the mayor to lay before the justices 
of the county. In this letter, after saying truly enough that 

1 3". P. Dont. Ixxvii. 12. The sums mentioned are those paid after 
Oct. 10, 1615, but as the letters were written on July 21, and as we know 
from the Receipt Books of the Exchequer that, with the exception of loo/, 
paid in on July 26, no money was received by the Exchequer till Nov. 18, 
we may be pretty sure that the sums given above are the whole of the 
payments made in consequence of the letters. The only certain instance I 
have found of direct ill-treatment in consequence of slackness in paying 
the Benevolence was in Lincoln diocese. On June 30, 1615, Bishop 
Neile wrote to his clergy, telling them that in consequence of their having 
been backward in this respect, as well as for other reasons, they were no 
longer to be exempted from providing arms for the musters. Neile to 
Lambe, June 30, 1615, S. P. Dom. Ixxx. 123. Probably, however, 
Whitelocke's statement of the reasons for whrch George Croke was omitted 
from the list of lawyers who were to be made Serjeants-at-law, refers to 
the Benevolence. " It is not to be forgotten," he says, "that the Serjeants- 
at-law gave each of them 6oo/. to the King. . . Mr. George Croke was 
left out because he refused to give the money, and offence was taken at his 
words, because he said he thought it was not for the King " (p. 44). Mr. 
Foss {Lives of the Judges, vi. 3, 294) interprets these words as referring to 
a refusal to pay an ordinary gratuity expected from all persons elevated to 
the degree. The date, however, September or October, 1614, favours the 
other interpretation. 

1614 -ST. JOHN'S CASE. 269 

it was unreasonable that those should be called upon to supply 
the King who were unacquainted both with the extent of his 
necessities, and with the sums which might possibly be re- 
quired to satisfy them, he went on to stigmatise the Bene- 
volence as contrary to Magna Carta, and to the well-known 
Act of Richard III. He even charged the King with breaking 
his coronation oath, and added a declaration of his belief that 
all who paid the Benevolence were supporting their Sovereign 
in perjury. 

After such a letter as this, it can hardly be a matter of sur- 
prise that he was sent for to London by the Council, in order 

1615. that he might be brought before the Star Chamber, 
Sought be- to answer f r the contemptuous language in which 
he had spoken of the King. He was immediately 
Chamber. committed to the Fleet, from which, after he had 
been examined, he was transferred to the Tower, but in con- 
sequence of the illness of the Lord Chancellor, it was not till 
April 29, 1615, that proceedings were commenced against him. 
As Attorney- General, Bacon took a prominent part in the 

To Bacon the feelings with which the great majority of 
patriotic Englishmen were animated in hanging back from 
Bacon's contributing were utterly unintelligible. With the 
charge. Parliamentary opposition to the Impositions he had no 
sympathy whatever, and if he agreed, to some extent, with those 
who asked for ecclesiastical reform, he looked upon the de- 
termination of the House of Commons to force their views upon 
the King as an unwarrantable interference with the Royal pre- 
rogative. The tendency of thought which isolated him from 
so many of his countrymen on these questions, made him blind 
to the objections which were commonly felt to the Benevolence. 
He regarded the dissolution of Parliament as an accidental 
circumstance arising from the bitterness of feeling produced 
by the Bishop of Lincoln's speech. Overlooking the growing 
divergence between the policy of the King and that of the 
House of Commons, he fancied that the House would in the 
end have granted the supplies required, even if a deaf ear had 
been turned to their complaints. He accordingly maintained 


that those who paid the Benevolence were only carrying out 
the intentions of the House of Commons. He had no difficulty 
in showing that no actual threats had been used by the Council 
to induce anyone to pay ; l and he argued that the Benevolence 
was in reality, as well as in name, a free gift, and that it had 
nothing in common with those exactions which, in former 
times, had passed under that name. In this view of the case 
he was supported by Coke, and by the other members of the 
Court. Coke even retracted his former opinion against the 
legality of a Benevolence demanded by letters under the Great 
St. John's Seal. 2 St. John was sentenced to a fine of 5,ooo/., 
sentence. an( j j- o imprisonment during the King's pleasure. 
The fine was, as usual, remitted, after a full submission made 
on June 14, and he was, probably soon afterwards, set at 
liberty. 3 Two or three years afterwards, he addressed a letter 
to the King, couched in terms of fulsome flattery, asking that 
the record of his punishment might be cancelled. 4 This 
request was granted, and from this time he drops out of 

It happened with St. John as it had happened with Fuller 

seven years before. It is not the men who spring forth first 

to defend the cause of liberty who become its martyrs. 

He is right _ . . . ., ..... 

in the main It is those who suffer in silence till the time comes 

when they are no longer justified in forbearing to 

speak out, who endure the trial. Yet, setting aside St. John's 

intemperance of language, there cannot be a doubt that he was 

1 He even went so far as to say that there was ' no certifying of the 
names of any that denied. ' This was true at the time when St. John wrote 
his letter, but it had since become untrue. 

1 Staff Trials, ii. 899. Charge against St. John, Bacon's Letters and 
Life, v. 136. Bacon to the King, Feb. 7, April 29, ibid. v. 113, 135. 

3 Ibid. v. 147. 

4 Dixon's Personal History of Lord Bacon, 188. The letter is shown 
by internal evidence to have been written after Bacon became Lord 
Keeper, and also after St. John's release from the Tower ; not, as Mr. 
Dixon seems to have thought, immediately upon his incarceration. On 
October 21, 1618, a release from the fine inflicted was given to St. John 
(Pat. 16 Jac. I. Part 20), and it is very probable that this was an answer 
to the petition. 


right on the main point. To a great extent, at least, the Bene- 
volence was not a free gift. The small amount actually raised, 
and the slowness with which it came in, would be enough to 
prove this, even if we did not know that the Council, vexed at 
the neglect with which their entreaties were received, allowed 
themselves at last to give very strong hints of the mode in 
which they looked upon those who refused to pay. Can those 
who speak of the whole collection being voluntary, honestly say 
that they believe that more than a mere fraction of the amount 
obtained from the general subscription would have been 
realised if the subscribers had received the assurance that 
their names would never have become known to the Govern- 
ment ? l 

The question of the Benevolence called out an argument 

upon the King's financial position from a man of very different 

calibre from the malcontent St. John. Raleigh had 

writes The been so long a prisoner that he had lost all reckon- 

Prerogative . c ., f ., ,.,. , i j TT 

of Purlin- mg of the currents of the political world. He 
imagined that James was personally innocent of the 
rank crop of abuses which was springing up on every side. He 
was ready to lay the blame upon the evil counsellors who pre- 
vented the truth from reaching the ears of the King. In a 
Dialogue a which he wrote at this time, and by which he hoped 
to regain the favour of James, he called upon him to take 
up once more the policy of Elizabeth, to cast away all those 
unpopular schemes for raising money to which he had been 
addicted, and to throw himself unreservedly upon the love of 
his subjects. Such a book was hardly likely to find favour with 
James. He was, not unnaturally, incensed by an argument 
which, in reprobating his counsellors, proceeded to condemn 
the whole scheme of policy upon which he had, of his own free 

1 By 13 Car. II., cap. 4, the King was authorised to issue a Commis- 
sion for accepting voluntary presents of a limited amount. The last clause 
of the Act is : " And be it hereby declared that no commissions or aids of 
this nature can be issued out or levied but by authority of Parliament ; and 
that this Act, and the supply hereby granted, shall not be drawn into 
example for the time to come." 

2 The Prerogative of Parliaments, Works, viii. 


will, embarked. Raleigh, who had hoped to gain his freedom 
as a reward for the good advice which he had offered, was dis- 
appointed to find that the only notice taken of him was an 
order for the suppression of his work. 

At the same time with the case of St. John, another affair 

was engaging the attention of the King and the Council, which 

owed all its importance to the excited state of feel- 

Peacham's ing which prevailed in consequence of the levy of 

deprivation. the Benevolence> Edmond Peacham, the Rector of 

Hinton St George, in Somersetshire, was one of those who felt 
strongly on the subject of the ecclesiastical abuses of the time. 
Whether his temper had been soured by real or fancied ill- 
usage, it is impossible to say ; but what we know of him is not 
of a character to prepossess us in his favour. His language was 
intemperate, and his conduct would lead us to imagine that 
his complaints against the authorities proceeded rather from 
personal rancour than from any settled principle. 

The chief object of his dislike seems to have been the 
Ecclesiastical Court of his diocesan, the Bishop of Bath and 
Wells. He is first heard of as being in London, shortly before the 
dissolution of the last Parliament, where he held a conversation 
with Sir Maurice Berkeley about a petition which had been 
sent up from Somersetshire against the officials of the Eccle- 
siastical Courts. 1 At some time or other he committed to 
writing some charges against the Consistory Court, 2 which he 
followed up by bringing accusations of no light nature against 
the Bishop himself. The former production was not discovered 
by the authorities, but the latter having come before the notice 
of the Bishop, its author was at once sent up to Lambeth for 
trial before the High Commission. After due investigation 
these charges were adjudged to constitute a libel, and he was 
sentenced to be deprived of his orders. 3 

This sentence was delivered on December 19, 1614. Ten 

1 Examination of Peacham, March 10, 1615, State Trials, ii. 877. 

- The book mentioned in Yonge's Diary, p. 28, is, I suppose, the 
sime as the ' Consistory villanies,' spoken of by Bacon in his letter to the 
King of Feb. 28, Letters and Life, v. 123. 

* Sentence of deprivation, Dec. 19, S. P. Ixxviii. 78. 

1614 PEACHAM^S CASE. 273 

days before, by order of the Privy Council, he had been trans- 
ferred from the Gatehouse, in which he had hitherto 

He is com- 

mitted to the been confined, to the Tower. 1 In searching his 
house, apparently for the missing papers which he 
had written against the Consistory Court, the officials came 
across some writings, which they brought away with them. 
They consisted partly of loose papers, and partly of a compo- 
sition in the form of a sermon, which had been carefully drawn 
up from materials which had first been jotted down on separate 
sheets. They were thought to be of sufficient importance to 
lay before the Council. They were there investigated, and 
it was decided that they contained treasonable matter. 

As far as we can judge from the interrogatories which were 
administered to Peacham, the treatise was of a peculiarly 
offensive nature. It found fault with the Govern- 
the offensive ment in no measured terms. It touched upon all 
the stock objects of popular dislike, the misconduct 
of the officials, the prodigality of the King, and his refusal 
to subject the ecclesiastical to the temporal Courts. 2 The 
King might some day be smitten with a death as sudden as 
that which overtook Ananias or Nabal. It was possible that 
the people might rise in rebellion, on account of the oppression 
which they experienced, and of the heavy taxation which was 
imposed upon them. It was also possible that, when the 
Prince came to the throne, he would attempt to regain the 
Crown lands which had been given away, upon which those 
who were interested in retaining them would rise in rebellion, 
saying, " Come, this is the heir ; let us kill him." Peacham 
concluded his performance by saying that, when James had 
come to the throne, he had promised mercy and judgment, but 
that his subjects had found neither. 

Peacham was sent for and examined. He acknowledged 
Peacham tnat ne ^ a( ^ intentionally aimed at the King, and jus- 
examined. t jfl e( j hi s conduct by saying that it was proper that 
by the ' examples of preachers and chronicles, kings' infirm- 

1 Council Register, Dec. 9. 

2 I suppose this is what is meant by ' his keeping divided Courts. 


ities should be laid open.' He refused, however, to give any 
further information. 

It cannot be a matter of surprise that James should have felt 
indignant at the discovery. The fact that Peacham's notes had 
Causes of been copied out fairly was taken as evidence that they 
the per- were intended either to be preached from the pulpit, or 

sistence of . . , . . . 

the Council to be made public through the press, and these were 
tSig n the tIgai the circumstances in the case which no doubt weighed 
with the Council in taking up the affair as a serious 
matter. The Government was aware that the levy of the Benevo- 
lence had caused great dissatisfaction in many parts of the king- 
dom, and that Somerset was one of the counties which had taken 
the lead in remonstrating against it. It was, therefore, anxious to 
discover whether Peacham stood alone, or whether he had acted 
at the instigation of any of the leading gentry of the county. So 
lately as on November 20 three of Peacham's neighbours had 
been summoned before the Council, to give account of the feeling 
prevailing in the county, and to hear the arguments of the Council 
in favour of the measure which had been adopted for raising 
money. 1 Of these three, it may perhaps have been known 
that Sir Maurice Berkeley had been in communication with 
Peacham at the time of the last Parliament, and Paulet 
undoubtedly lived near Peacham, and had presented him 
with the living which he held. Although, therefore, there is 
no direct evidence on the point, there can be little doubt 
that the Council imagined that Peacham's book was not 
a mere isolated piece of folly, but that it had been prepared 
as a signal of discontent, and perhaps of rebellion, in con- 
nection with the principal landowners of the county. As he 
resolutely refused to make any confession which would implicate 
1615. others in the composition of his paper, directions 
Jan. is. were given that, if he still continued obstinate, he 
should be put to the torture. Winwood, the Secretary of 
State and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, together with Bacon, 
Yelverton, Montague, Crew, the four law advisers of the Crown, 

1 Council Register, Nov. 2, 1614, This is an order for Sir M. Berkeley, 
Sir N. Halswell, and J. Paulet, Esq., to appear before the Council on 
the 20th. 


and Helwys, the Lieutenant of the Tower, were ordered by the 
Council to renew the examination, and, if they should 
put to the see fit, to put ' him to the manacles.' l The old man 
was accordingly tortured, in the vain expectation that 
he would reveal a plot which existed only in the imagination of 
the Councillors. He suffered in silence either being unable 
to confess anything which might satisfy his persecutors, or being 
unwilling, as yet, to invent a story which might tell against him- 
self in the end. 2 

There was no reason to suppose that any of those who were 
intrusted with this odious work imagined, for a moment, that 
State of they were doing anything wrong. Though the com- 
h e n sub'ect mon ^ aw ex P ress ty rejected the use of torture, it was 
of torture, generally understood that the Council had the right 
of obtaining information by its means, whenever -they might 
come to the conclusion that the evidence of which they were 
in search was sufficiently important to render it necessary to 
appeal to such a mode of extracting a secret from an obstinate 
person. The distinction then so familiar between the law 
which ruled in ordinary cases, and the prerogative by which it 
was overruled in matters of political importance, has happily 
passed away even from the memory of men. It is, therefore, 
not without difficulty that we are able to realise to ourselves a 
state of feeling which would regard proceedings of this kind 
as contrary to the law, and yet as being perfectly justifiable. 3 
And yet it is indubitable that such a feeling existed, and there 
can be little doubt that it was shared by all those who witnessed 

1 Warrant, Jan. 18, Bacon's Letters and Life, v. 91. 

2 State Trials, ii. 871. 

3 "It is true, no doubt, as Coke discovered afterwards, that 'there 
was no law to warrant tortures in England.' But it is also true that the 
authority under which they were applied was not amenable to the Courts 
of law. As the House of Commons now assumes the right to commit any 
commoner to prison for what it judges to be contempt of its authority, so 
the Crown then assumed the right to put any commoner to torture for what 
it judged to be obstinacy in refusing to answer interrogatories. As the 
judges cannot now call upon the House of Commons to justify the com- 
mittal, so they could not then call upon the Crown to justify the torture." 
Spedding in Bacon's Letters and Life, v. 93, note. 

T 2 


the scene. Bacon's part, as Attorney General, was entirely 
subordinate ; and, though he may possibly have regarded the 
use of torture as inopportune in this particular case, there is no 
reason to suppose that on the general question he felt in any 
way different from those who were associated with him. 1 

The torture having proved to be a total failure, no con- 
spiracy, or any shadow of a conspiracy, having been detected, 
there remained the question of Peacham's own guilt. 
Peachams Whether the treatise had anything to do with the 
discontent which prevailed in Somerset or no, it at 
all events contained abuse against the King ; and, as abuse 
of the King was likely to stir up dislike of his government ; and 
as this dislike might possibly end in rebellion, the book might, 
without any very forced reasoning, be considered a treasonable 
production. There is no reason to suppose that either Bacon 
or those who joined with him in condemning the book were 
saying more than they believed. A Government is at all times 
liable to interpret the law of treason with considerable laxity, 
and it is notorious that its limits were at that time by no means 
strictly defined by the judges themselves. 

To embark on a prosecution of this nature, however, is at 
no time a proceeding likely to commend itself to any Govern- 

. ment, unless it has first assured itself, by taking the 

to be con- best advice available, that its proposed course is 

legally unassailable. At present, the advisers to 

which a Government would have recourse would be the 

Attorney and Solicitor General. In the beginning of the seven- 

1 Bacon's language in 1620 is explicit against the theory that though, 
as a humane man, he would rather not inflict torture, he had not the 
modern feeling against it. " If it may not be done otherwise," he wrote, 
"it is fit Peacock be put to torture. He deserveth it as well as Peacham 
did." Bacon to the King, Feb. 10, 1620, Letters and Life, vii. 77. In 
another place, he writes : "By the laws of England no man is bound to 
accuse himself. In the highest cases of treason torture is used for discovery, 
and not for evidence." Of the Pacification of the Church, ibid. iii. 114. 
He means that torture was used for discovering facts against others, but 
that the evidence extracted is not used against the tortured man. This 
seems to have been the case here. It was evidence of a conspiracy which 
wai wanted, not evidence to hang Peacham. 


teenth century, custom authorised it to consult the judges, and 
this was precisely what the Council had resolved to do, even 
before Peacham had been tortured. 1 

As Attorney-General, Bacon was anxious that, for the 
credit of the Government, and for the hindrance of future 
Jan attempts to stir up open resistance to the Crown, the 

Bacon's prosecution should prove successful. He foresaw, 
ms ' however, one danger in the way. " I hope," he wrote 
to the King, who was staying at Royston, " the end will be 
good. But then every man must put to his helping hand. 
For else I must say to your Majesty, in this and the like cases, 
as St. Paul said to the centurion when some of the mariners had 
an eye to the cock-boat, ' Except these stay in the ship, ye 
cannot be safe.'" 2 

There can be no doubt to whom this allusion referred. 
Coke was the one amongst the judges whose action moved in 
an orbit of its own, and whose strength of purpose and fertility 
of argument had reduced his colleagues to a position of 
dependence on himself. James, at least, understood what 
Bacon meant. He directed the Council to take the opinion of 
The judges the judges of the King's Bench, not collectively, but 
suitetfsTpa- individually. In this way he hoped to get at the 
real opinion of the three who sat in the same Court 
with Coke, and who might otherwise be overawed by the Chief 

As might have been expected, Coke took strong objection 
to this method of proceeding. He was quite ready to acknow- 
Coke-s ledge that the judges might fairly be called upon 
resistance. to gj ve ^gj,. a d v i ce . But he held that they ought 
to be consulted as a body. " Such particular and auricular 
taking of opinions," he said, " is not according to the custom 
of the realm." 3 

1 Bacon's Letters and Life, v. 91, note 2. 

2 Bacon to the King, Jan. 21, Letters and Life, v. 96. 

3 " For the course," wrote Bacon, " your Majesty directeth and com- 
mandeth for the feeling of the judges of the King's Bench their several 
opinions, by distributing ourselves and enjoining secrecy, we did first find 
an encounter in the opinion of my Lord Coke, who seemed to affirm that 
such particular and (as he called it) auricular taking of opinions was not 


No attention was paid to Coke's remonstrance. Informa- 
tion was laid before the four judges separately on the point 
on which their opinion was requested, and such 

The opinions .... , ,111-11 

of the three records were put in their hands as would be likely to 
influence their decision. In the case of the three 
puisne judges who were consulted by the Solicitor-General 
Yelverton, and the two Serjeants, Montague and Crew, there 
was no difficulty in obtaining a favourable opinion. Bacon, 
who had taken the Chief Justice upon himself, found that he 
had a harder task. Coke met him at once by protesting 
against the course which had been adopted. It was altogether 
a novelty. It was not according to the custom of the realm. 
Every feeling of the man and of the judge was aroused against 
a proceeding which, whatever semblance it might wear in the 
eyes of Bacon, was undoubtedly, a direct attack upon his 
darling project of constituting the Bench as an arbitrator 
between the Crown and the nation. 

It was not without difficulty that Coke was induced even 
to take the papers which were offered to him. At last he con- 
Coice's sented to look over them, and told his rival that he 
opinion would give him an answer in due time. After some 
delay the answer arrived. As might be expected, it was by no 
means satisfactory to Bacon. 1 There were two grounds upon 

according to the custom of this realm." Bacon to the King, Jan. 27, 
Letters and Life, v. 100. It is plain that the stress is laid upon being con- 
sulted in private. In a subsequent letter, giving an account of his own 
interview with Coke, this is put in a still clearer light. " Coke," he says, 
" fell upon the same allegation which he had begun at the council table, 
that judges were not to give opinions by fractions, but entirely according 
to the vote whereupon they should settle upon conference ; and that this 
auricular taking of opinions, single and apart, was new and dangerous." 
Bacon to the King, Jan. 31, ibid. v. 107. At a later time, no dcubt, 
Coke expressed himself against the propriety of the law-officers consulting 
the judges at all (3 Inst. 29), and quoted a conclusive precedent in his 
favour from the Year-Books ; but this point was never moved on the 
present occasion. Luders, in his Consideration of the Law of High 
Treason, iii. 113, acknowledges that it was the practice to consult the 
judges together. 

1 Bacon to the King, Jan. 27, 31, Feb. 14, Letters and Life, v. 100, 
107, 121. 

i6is COKE'S OPINION. 279 

which the treasonable nature of Peacham's production might 
be questioned. The first was that the writing had never been 
published. The second was that, even if it had been published, 
it did not amount to treason. It does not appear whether 
Coke touched upon the former point at all ; but he asserted 
boldly that no mere declaration of the King's unworthiness to 
govern amounted to treason unless it ' disabled his title.' l 

It is highly probable that in delivering this opinion Coke 
was actuated as much by temper as by reason, and there can 

be little doubt that in his previous contention that 
assumed by the judges might not be consulted separately, he was 

resenting an attack upon his own domination. Yet, 
even if this be admitted, it does not follow that his self-assertion 
did not, in some way, respond to a real want of the time. 
Bacon was, it may be, standing, more truly than Coke upon 
ancient custom ; but it was an ancient custom which was fast 
losing its force. When the kings of old consulted their 
judges, they were themselves liable to checks of every kind 
from the nation itself in Parliament and out of Parliament. 
James had just thrown off the restraints of Parliament, and if 
he was to be under none at all, he would be a sovereign of 
another kind from those who had ruled in ancient days. So, 
too, it is easy to find fault with Coke's objection to the separate 
consultation of the judges whilst he had no objection to 
urge against their united consultation, or with his distinction 
between disabling the title and assailing the character of 
the King. 2 Such imperfect generalisations are the steps of 
progress, and Coke was at least stumbling forward in the right 

Whatever Coke's theories might be worth, their enunciation 
would be likely to influence the course of the proceedings 
which were about to be taken against Peacham in Somerset. 
It is true that the two judges, appointed to ride the Western 
Circuit were neither of them members of the Court of King's 
Bench, and as such were not immediately within the sphere 

1 Innovations of Sir E. Coke, ibid. vi. 92. 

2 For all that can be said on this score, see Spedding's Letters an 
of Bacon, v. 114. 


of Coke's influence. But his authority carried weight with 
Bacon tries every lawyer. Bacon was therefore uneasy lest his 
Coke" s ceal opinion should get abroad. He did not scruple 
opinion. to advise that a false rumour should be deliberately 
spread, to the effect that the judges had only doubted whether 
His treat- tne publication of a treasonable writing was necessary 
Coke' f to k rm g the writer under the penalties of treason ; 
opinion. < f or t h atj > he said, ' will be no man's case.' These 
last words reveal his real thoughts about the matter. He was 
afraid lest, if Peacham's writings were not held to be treason- 
able, the country would be flooded with seditious writings; 
whilst little harm would be done by declaring that publication 
was necessary to constitute the offence, as it would seldom 
happen that such papers would be seized before they had been 
shown to anyone by the writer. It is evident that Bacon was 
not merely interested in securing the King's favour by taking 
vengeance upon the unlucky prisoner, but that it was the 
bearing of the case upon those who might hereafter be tempted 
to assail the authority of the Crown, of which he was chiefly 
thinking. 1 

A few days before this advice was given, directions had 
been given by the Council that Peacham should be sent down 
Peacham mto Somerset for trial. 2 Either on that very evening 
sir jdm or on t ' ie following morning, he told a tale which 
Sydenham. induced the Government to cancel the order for his 
removal, and to retain him for further examination. As a last 
resource, in hopes of escaping from being sent down, as he sup- 
posed, to almost certain death, he charged Sir John Sydenham, 
the brother-in-law of his patron, Mr. Paulet of Hinton St. 
George, with having suggested to him the objectionable words 
which had brought him into trouble. 3 Sydenham was imme- 
diately sent for, 4 and on the next day Paulet was also directed 
to come up to London, bringing with him five of his servants, 

1 Bacon to the King, Feb. 28, 1615, Letters and Life, v. 123. 

2 Council Register. Cancelled order, Feb. 24. 

* Examination of Peacham, Aug. 31, 1615, S. P. Dom. Ixxxi. 
4 Council Register, Feb. 25. 


who were indicated by name. 1 As Peacham had brought no 
charge whatever against Paulet, it must be supposed that, as 
the words attributed to Sydenham were said to have been 
spoken while he was on a visit at Hinton St. George, it was 
thought advisable to have the testimony of those who were in 
the house at the time. 

In the meanwhile the Bishop of Bath and Wells was em- 

ployed to examine the prisoner once more. Peacham stuck to 

his story about Sydenham, but declared that he had 

Peacham ' 

examined by no new names to give up. When asked whether 
Paulet had ever said anything objectionable to 

him, he replied that he must take time to answer 
that question. Bacon, who was by no means satisfied that 
Peacham 's book had not been part of an organised conspiracy 
amongst the gentry of Somerset, recommended that Peacham 
should be told that he was to be sent down at once to take his 
trial, in order that he might be frightened into making further 
disclosures relating to the secrets with which he was supposed 
to be familiar. 2 

What explanation Sydenham gave we do not know. But 
as he succeeded without difficulty in satisfying the Council, we 
may be sure that the charge brought against him was a false one. 
After a detention of more than four weeks he was dismissed 
without a stain on his character. Two days later Paulet and 
his servants were also allowed to return home. 3 

The threat used to Peacham produced a different effect 

from that which had been expected. The alleged conspiracy 

having no existence whatever, Peacham had nothing 

his hand- to tell \ and when he found that his first inven- 

tion was only met by an order to be ready to 

prepare for his trial, he boldly denied that the papers were in 

1 Council to Paulet. Council Register, Feb. 26. That there was no 
charge even brought against Paulet, appears from the following passage 
in the order allowing him to return : March 26. " Their Lordships have 
thought fit to dismiss the said Mr. Paulet, against whom there was no 
accusation at all, as also his servants afore-mentioned. " 

2 Bacon to the King, Feb. 28, Letters and Life, v. 123. 
1 Council Register, March 24 and 25. 


his handwriting at all, and that if he had ever said so, it was 
because he was afraid of being again put to the torture. He 
stated his belief that the papers were in the handwriting of a 
namesake of his, who had been in the habit of frequenting his 
house. 1 

Of course all this was a mere fabrication. Although the 
Government was probably at last convinced that no conspiracy 
His trial and existed, Peacham was sent to Taunton for his trial, 
conviction. jj e was fa erQ CO nvicted without difficulty, as the 
two judges who went down for the assizes were sure to lay 
down the law in accordance with the views of Bacon and the 
King. 2 

Shortly after his conviction, Peacham was again pressed to 
tell the truth. He made a statement that, after his treatise had 
He u again been written, he heard Sydenham use words which 
examined, seemed to him ' a confirmation of that which he 
had formerly written,' and that he had meant nothing more 
than this when he charged him with being the real author 
of his seditious writings. He declared that he had never 
intended either to publish them or to preach them. His 
purpose was to make use of them as an assistance to him in 
conversation, as soon as he had taken everything that was 
objectionable out of them. 

It was unlikely that such an improbable story as this should 
find belief. A man does not jot down his thoughts on loose 
sheets, and then write them out fairly, with a text at the head 
of them, for such a purpose as this. But if Peacham was a 
foolish and untruthful man, he was none the less an object of 
an oppressive interpretation of the law. The sentence of death, 

1 Examination of Peacham, March 10, Bacon's Letters and Life, 
v. 126. 

2 They were Chief Baron Tanfield and Serjeant Montague. I do not 
know whether they were appointed in regular order, but it was, to say the 
least of it, an unlucky circumstance that Montague should have had any- 
thing to do with the trial. He had not only been one of the law-officers 
of the Crown who had been employed to tamper with the judges, but, as 
the brother of the Bishop of Bath and Wells, who had been libelled by 
I'eacham, he was unfit to be employed in the case. 

1616 PEACH AM* S DEATH. 283 

indeed, which had been pronounced, was never executed. 
About seven months after his trial, he died in 


March. Taunton gaol. Gaols were, in these days, unhealthy 
HIS death. pi aces> an( j Peacham's death may have been 
hastened by the sufferings which he underwent. But all that 
is positively known is the fact of his death. 1 He was not a 
man in whom it is possible to take any personal interest ; but 
his trial brings vividly before us the state of alarm in which a 
Government must have been before it attempted to obtain 
from the judges a decision that a seditious libel was an act 
of high treason. 

In Ireland as well as in England James found a difficulty 

in gaining acceptance for his mode of government. It is true 

i6ii that the accession of strength which the Plantation 

Irish griev- of Ulster had brought to the English Government 

had been so considerable that it was believed at 

Court that the neck of the Irish difficulties had been broken. 

Yet the very strength which James thus acquired was likely to 

lead him into difficulties, if it induced him to imagine that he 

could permanently defy the feelings and prejudices of the 

native population. 

The grievances of the Irish were various. Most of the port 
towns, in addition to their old hardships, had lately been de- 
prived, by legal process, of a privilege, which they claimed by 
charter, of exemption from the payment of customs. The 
lords and gentry who refused to adopt the Protestant religion 
were stripped as much as possible of all political influence. At 
the same time, the chiefs who had accommodated themselves 
to English rule were in constant fear lest the example which 
had been set in Ulster might be imitated in other parts of 

There was, however, one question on which all classes 
agreed together ; they all clung to the religion of their fathers. 
It was not only the faith which they had learned to honour 
from their infancy ; it was the symbol of their independence, 

1 Chamberlain to Carleton, March 27, l6iG, Court and Times, 
i. 392. 


hung out in the face of the English Government, and every 
effort made to change their conviction only tightened its hold 
upon them. As long as Chichester remained at the head of 
affairs, the Government was not likely to proceed to extremi- 
ties. Proclamations were issued for the banishment of priests, 
orders were given to deprive of their offices the magistrates who 
refused to take the oath of supremacy, and the shilling fine was 
still held threateningly over the heads of those who refused to 
attend the Protestant churches ; but the Deputy's tact kept him 
from carrying these threats into execution, excepting in a few 
scattered instances. 1 

Such a condition of things was pregnant with future disaster. 
Enough was done to provoke opposition, and not enough to 
disarm it. It may indeed be conceded that it would be diffi- 
cult enough for the Government to give up its long-cherished 
convictions, and to surrender a share in the administration of 
affairs to men who were regarded as traitors by the very fact of 
their refusing to take the oath of supremacy, and who were 
using all their influence to prevent the poorer classes from ac- 
cepting that religion which, in official eyes, was synonymous 
with loyalty. 2 But, however difficult it may have been to 
recognise the fact, it is certain that Ireland could never be 
wisely governed until it was recognised that no force would 
ever be sufficient to compel Irishmen to adopt the religion 
of England. 

But if the Government was blind in refusing to look the 

question of Irish Catholicism fairly in the face, there is some- 

thing absolutely astonishing in the infatuation with 

ment pro- which James allowed himself to hope that unless he 

paid some attention to the complaints of the Catholics, 

it would be possible to gather together in a Parliament the 

representatives of hostile races and creeds, without provok- 

1 In his letter to Salisbury of Nov. I, 1611, Chichester says that the 
Pope has more hearts than the King. The only right way to act is to 
bring the nobility, lawyers, and the chief men of the corporations to church. 
But, he adds, this would cause a rebellion. Irish Cal. iv. 310. 

2 See, for instance, the Report of the Bishop of Ferns in Mant's 
History of the Church of Ireland, 371. 


ing an immediate collision. If, indeed, he had allowed the de- 
claration of his intention to call a Parliament to be preceded 
by an announcement of his willingness to consent to a repeal 
of the disqualifications to which the Catholics were subject, he 
might have been welcomed as a mediator between the two 
bodies into which the inhabitants of Ireland were now un- 
happily divided. Without some such step as this he was 
merely opening a battle-field for contending factions. 

Neither James nor Chichester had any such thought in their 

minds. They wished to procure a Parliamentary confirmation 

of the Ulster settlement and to open for Ireland an era 

The new 

consti- of legislation. The members of the Irish Govern- 

tuencies. -11 i , /- , 

ment, indeed, were not slow to perceive that, if they 
wished to have a majority they must make it for themselves. 
Unless they could fill the benches of the House of Commons 
with new colonists and Government officials, any measures 
which they were likely to propose would only be thrown in 
their faces by a hostile majority. They were not without good 
excuse for attempting to change the character of the House. 
The old constituencies represented only those parts of Ireland 
which had been reached by the English civilisation of the 
Middle Ages, and it was at all events necessary to extend the 
right of voting over the unrepresented districts. In assigning 
members to every county they could hardly go wrong. Of 
the 66 county members who would be thus elected, it was 
calculated that 33 would be found voting with the Govern- 
ment. On the other hand, it was certain that the majority of 
the members returned for the old boroughs would be sturdy 
recusants, and the only hope of out-voting them lay in an ex- 
tensive creation of new constituencies. 

It was accordingly proposed, in the autumn of 1611, 
that 36 new boroughs should receive charters empowering 
them to send no less than 72 members to Parliament, and as 
in these cases the right of election was confined to the 
exclusively Protestant corporations, there could no longer be 
any doubt on which side the majority would be. In the 
House of Lords no difficulty was expected. It was true that, 
of the 21 lay Peers who were of age, 16 were recusants ; but 


the 19 bishops were quite enough to turn the scale the other 
way, 1 

There was one thing which both James and Chichester had 
forgotten. Valuable as a Parliamentary majority is when it is 
the exponent of the feelings and opinions of a nation, 
of'the* men are not likely to pay much regard to its decisions 
ICS ' when it represents nothing more than the unreason- 
ing will of a set of Government nominees. The Irish Catholics 
saw at once that, in such a Parliament, their cause was hopeless. 
The tribunal by which they were to be judged was packed 
against them. It would be in the power of adversaries who 
would probably refuse even to listen to their case, and who 
would certainly not give themselves the trouble to understand 
it, to give the force of law to the most oppressive measures. 
Nor had they any prospect of being able to convert, at any 
future time, the hostile majority into a minority. While the 
Government was what it was, it would be able to maintain the 
requisite number of votes on its side as long as there was a 
hamlet in the north of Ireland which could be dignified by the 
name of a borough. 

As soon, therefore, as it was known, in the autumn of 1611, 
that a Parliament was to be summoned, and that new corpora- 
tions were to be erected, the Catholics were, by no 

They wish ' J 

to know means unreasonably, anxious to know what Bills were 

what Bills i 1 , i /- -r-r 1 1 A 

areinprepa- to be laid before the Houses when they met. Ac- 
cording to the provisions of Poyning's Act, these 
Bills were to be sent over to England in order to be submitted 
to the Council for approbation, before the Irish Parliament was 
allowed to express an opinion upon them. At least in the 
course of a few months, therefore, Chichester might have been 
able to accede to their request ; but he was unwilling to admit 
them into his counsels, and preferred to leave them to imagine 
the worst At last they obtained information, in some surrep- 
titious way, that, amongst other unobjectionable proposals, 
there was one which affected them deeply. The English 
Council had been asked to give its sanction to a Bill by which 

1 Calculations of the division of votes, Oct. 1611, Irish Cal, iv 307. 


every Catholic priest was to be banished from Ireland, under 
a penalty of being adjudged guilty of treason if he 
The'pro- refused to leave the country, or afterwards returned 
posed Bill to j t Nor was this all : any layman receiving a 
Jesuits and priest into his house, or affording him any kind of 
support, was for the first offence to pay a heavy fine, 
for the second to undergo the penalties of a praemunire in- 
volving imprisonment and confiscation of property, and if he 
was found guilty of a third offence was to suffer death as a 
traitor. 1 

Such provisions as these were new to Ireland. Even if this 
were all, it would be enough to place every Catholic layman at 
the mercy of the Government ; and it was obvious that the 
same arrangements which would render it possible to pass such 
a measure might be counted upon, with equal certainty, to give 
the force of law to any still more iniquitous scheme which it 
might please the King and his ministers to propose. Accord- 
ingly, on November 23, 1612, a petition was for- 
Th^pethion warded to the King by six of the Lords of the Pale. 2 
of the Lords They complained that the Deputy had not acquainted 
them with his proposed measures, and expressed their 
apprehension lest unfair advantage should be taken of the new 

5 The Bill is printed in a Latin translation by O'Sullivan (Hist. Cath. 
Hib. 240). I believe it to be genuine, not only because it explains the 
proceedings of the Catholic Lords, but because, excepting that it sets the 
fine at 4OO/. , it agrees with the notes of the proposed Bills in Cott. MSS. 
Tit. B, x. 289 : ' An Act that Jesuits and seminary priests shall be 
adjudged traitors if they shall be found within that kingdom after a certain 
day to be preferred, and that their receivers and relievers shall for the first 
offence forfeit ioo/., for the second be in case of prsemunire, and for the 
third in case of treason.' This is probably the Act which was actually 
sent over which is described in another copy of heads as ' An Act against 
Jesuits, seminary priests, and other disobedient persons,' &c. (Feb. 23, 
1612, Irish Cal. iv. 439). Another Act. (Cott. MSS. Tit. B, x. 295), 
begins, ' All the statutes of religion made in England (especially concern- 
ing Jesuits, seminary priests, and recusants) to be enacted here ; ' but this 
was never adopted by the Irish Government. The list of proposed Bills 
in O'Sullivan (240) are mere notes of business, having, for the most part, 
nothing to do with Parliament at all. 

* LelanJ, ii. 443. 


corporations to give the force of law to extreme measures. 
Most of these corporations, they said, were erected in places 
which were mere hamlets. It would be far better to wait till 
commerce had, in the course of time, turned them into towns, 
and in the meanwhile to be satisfied with the representation 
which the county members would give to the newly-settled 
districts. If the King would call a Parliament in which Ire- 
land was fairly represented, and would give his consent to the 
repeal of the penal laws already in existence, he would win the 
hearts of his subjects for ever. 

To this letter no answer was vouchsafed. On February 24, 
1613, Chichester, who had already received a grant of O'Dog- 
Feb. 24. herty's lands in Innishowen as a mark of his sove- 
raked e td e the re ^g n ' s favour, was raised to the Irish Peerage by the 
Peerage. title of Lord Chichester of Belfast. Before the end 
of April the number of the new boroughs was swollen to 39, 
returning, together with the University of Dublin, 80 mem- 
bers to Parliament. 1 The session was appointed to open on 
May 1 8. 

Apparently as a matter of precaution, directions were given 
by the English Privy Council to send over Sir Patrick Barn- 
May H. wall, who had spoken strongly in opposition to the 
EnHb^ 11 new boroughs. 2 On the xyth, the day before the 
May i 7 . meeting of Parliament, ten of the Catholic lords laid 
Protestor before Chichester a protest against the creation of 

the Catholic , . . 

Lords. the new boroughs, and after complaining of irregula- 
rities in the elections, objected to the choice of the Castle as the 
place in which the Parliament was to be held, on the ground 
that there was gunpowder enough in its vaults to blow up the 
whole assembly. Chichester replied that the new boroughs had 
had been created by the King's undoubted prerogative, that all 
questions relating to elections were subject to the determina- 
tion of the House, and that the gunpowder in the Castle had 
been removed. Not being satisfied with his argumentative 
triumph, the Lord Deputy proceeded to ask ' of what religion 

1 Irish Cal. iv. 643. 

2 Council Register, May II. 


they were that placed the powder in England, and gave allow- 
ance to that damnable plot, and thought the act meritorious if 
it had taken effect, and would have encouraged the actors.' 
Nothing, he further explained, was in the way of a good under- 
standing except ' the doctrine of Rome and the dregs of Anti- 
christ.' l Such language was only too calculated to bring on 
that very misunderstanding which Chichester deprecated. 

On the 1 8th the Deputy rode in state to St. Patrick's, before 

opening the session. As soon as the train reached the door of 

the Cathedral, the Catholic peers drew back, and 

May 18. . . , 

Opening of remained waiting outside till the conclusion of the 
Parliament. serv j ce> w hen they again took their places in the 
procession. Chichester rode straight to the Castle, and took 
his seat in the room which had been prepared for the House 
of Lords. After a long speech from the Archbishop of Dublin, 
who was also Lord Chancellor, the Deputy addressed the 
House of Commons, telling them that the King had recom- 
mended to them Sir John Davies as a man fit to be their 
Speaker, and that he hoped they would immediately elect him. 
When he had finished his speech, the Commons returned to 
their own house. 

It was hardly to be expected that the Catholics in the 
House of Commons should take this recommendation in good 
Election of P art - As soon as Sir Thomas Ridgway had proposed 
a Speaker. t ^ e e i ec ti O n of Davies, Sir James Gough, a staunch 
Catholic, started up and argued that both the members who 
represented the new boroughs, and those who, though they had 
taken their seats for old constituencies, were not residents in 
the places where they had been elected, were disqualified from 
sitting as members of the House. It would, therefore, be 
necessary to decide who had been lawfully chosen before they 
were entitled to elect a Speaker. As soon as he had said this, 
several members called out to him to tell them the name of 
the man whom he proposed instead of Davies. Gough, whose 
theory required that he should hold his tongue, and refuse to 
nominate anyone till the elections had been scrutinised, blurted 

1 Brief Relation, Irish Cal. iv. 73 2 5 Petition and answer, May 17, 
ibid. iv. 668. 



out the name of Sir John Everard, a name which was dear to 
Irish Catholics as that of the man who had, for conscience' sake, 
resigned his dignified position upon the Bench. It was in vain 
that Sir Christopher Nugent and William Talbot, the legal 
oracle of the party, tried to bring back the discussion into its 
old channels. Sir Oliver St. John, with the authority of one 
who had been a member of the English House of Commons, 
rose to second Davies's nomination, and insisted on putting 
the question immediately to the vote. It was at that time 
customary that those who voted in the affirmative should leave 
the House, whilst those who voted in the negative should 
remain in their places. When, therefore, St. John and those 
who voted with him, were gone, the Catholics, seeing that 
they were in a minority, at first refused to be told ; but when 
they saw that the field was left to themselves they were unable 
to resist the temptation of gaining a momentary advantage. 
Throwing their argument to the winds, they seated Everard 
in the chair before their opponents had time to return. 

It was not likely that the leaders of the Government party 
should be disconcerted by such a manoeuvre as this. Having 
Struggle in quietly counted the number of Davies's supporters, 
the House, t h e y announced that, as their candidate had obtained 
127 votes, and as, though their opponents had refused to be 
counted, it was impossible, from the numbers of those who 
were known to be present, that they could muster more than 
97, Sir John Davies was duly elected Speaker of the House. 
Finding that Everard showed no signs of any intention to 
leave the chair, the two tellers, Sir Thomas Ridgway and Sir 
Richard Wingfield, took Davies in their arms and dropped 
him in his opponent's lap. Even this somewhat unparlia- 
mentary proceeding, however, was insufficient to effect its 
object, and it was only after an unseemly struggle, that the 
candidate of the minority was finally ejected from his seat. 
As soon as Everard and his partisans perceived that they had 
no chance in a conflict of this kind, they left the House in a 
body. When they reached the outer door they found it locked, 
and it was some time before they were able to make their way 
out. To all entreaties to return, they answered that those who 


remained were no House and that their Speaker was no Speaker. 
As justice was not to be obtained, they would appeal to the 
Deputy and to the King. As soon as the seceding members 
were gone, those who were left behind adjourned to the 2ist, 
the day which had been fixed for the presentation of the Speaker 
to the Deputy. 1 

Before the Commons met again, the Catholic Peers sig- 
nified their adhesion to the step which had been taken by the 
members of their party in the Lower House. On the ipth they 

joined with their friends in the Commons in re- 
the King questing Chichestcr to forward to the King and the 

English Council a request that they might be allowed 
to send a deputation to plead their cause in London. 2 On the 
aoth the recusants of the House of Commons waited again 
upon the Deputy, and asked to be excused from attendance 
upon their duties, on the extraordinary plea that their lives 
were not safe. They also asked what authority Chichester 
had received from the King to empower him to erect the 
new corporations. On the 2ist, which was the day on which 
the Speaker was to be presented, they at first expressed their 
willingness to take their places on certain conditions ; but, after 
further consideration, they refused to do so unless the members 
for the new boroughs were sequestered from their seats until the 
elections had been examined. In this they were supported by 
the Lords, who also begged to be excused from attendance, and 
again asked that the whole matter might be referred to the King. 3 
These conditions were, as a matter of course, rejected, and 

Chichester went down to the House and formally 
stalled 5 installed Davies in his office. On his return, h 

wrote to the English Government, giving a full ac- 
count of what had passed, and recommending that the proposal 
of sending a deputation to England should be accepted. 4 The 

1 Farmer's Chronicle. The Commissioners' Return ; True Declara- 
tion ; A Brief Relation, SiC.Des. Cur. Hib. i. 168, 196, 351, 404, 421. 
Farmer erroneously places the election on the igth. 

2 The Petitions, Des. Cur. Hib. i. 197, 201. 
* Brief Relation, Irish Cal. iv. 732. 

4 This letter is referred to in a letter of the Council to Chichester, 
Council Register, May 30, 1613. 


next day eleven of the Catholic Lords formally seceded from the 
Upper House. It was in vain that a proclamation was issued 
by the Deputy, in which they were required to return to their 
places, if it were only to pass the Act of recognition of His 
Majesty's title. Chichester was told that they were quite 
ready to recognise the King's authority, but that they would 
never take their seats till their grievances had been redressed. 
Accordingly, finding that there was nothing to be done, 
Chichester adjourned the two Houses. On the 28th he de- 
spatched the Earl of Thomond, Sir John Denham, and Sir 
Oliver St John to England, to give an account of his proceed- 

ings to the King ; and a day or two later he gave 
tiontothe permission to six of the recusants to follow. As 

soon as he had received an answer to his letter of 
May 21, he gave directions that others of the recusant mem- 
bers should go over to England to join the original deputation 
in laying their complaints before the throne. 1 On June 17, 
Parliament was prorogued to a more favourable opportunity. 2 

The Irish deputation can hardly have expected that their 
complaints would be very favourably received. Even if they 
what chance had had no prejudices to contend with in the mind 
of be^ ey f J ames > tne 7 mu st have known that, in its original 
heard? shape, their theory was utterly irreconcilable with 
Parliamentary practice, and that in its final form of a claim to 
ignore the King's prerogative in the creation of boroughs until 
it had been confirmed by themselves, they were still more directly 
flying in the teeth of parliamentary usage. On the other hand, 
however, they knew that it was not of very much importance 
whether they had the letter of the law on their side or not. It 
was under the cover of strict legal right that the King had at- 
tempted to do them a great injustice. By the help of a factitious 
Parliamentary majority he had intended to give the colour of 
law to a^ policy which they justly regarded with abhorrence. All 
that it was necessary for them to do all, in fact, that they were 
able to do was to show him, in the plainest manner possible, 

1 Des. Cur. Hib. i. 206, 207, 216, 426. Chichester and Council to 
the King, May 1613, Irish Cal. iv. 685. 

2 Commons' Journals, Irel. i. II. 


that they would not be parties to such a transaction. If the 
new settlers were to impose laws upon the older population 
of the country, it could not be helped ; but, at least, their 
tyranny should be seen in its true colours. The work of a 
faction should not bear the appearance of proceeding from the 
representatives of the nation. So far the Irish Catholics had 
been successful, and they might even hope that their de- 
termined attitude might induce the King to reconsider his 
designs, and to learn that a constitution must be carried out in 
its spirit, and not merely in its letter. 

The petition, 1 which was brought over by the agents of the 
Irish recusants, was drawn up with some ability. It began 
with a complaint of the numerous false returns which 
brought by were alleged to have been made by the sheriffs. After 
the slightest possible reference to the question of 
Everard's election, it passed on, leaving wholly unmentioned 
the contested right of creating new constituencies, to the only 
point upon which its authors were formally in the right. By an 
Act 2 which had been passed in the English Parliament in the 
reign of Henry V., and which consequently, like all the older 
English statutes, was valid in Ireland, it had been enacted that 
none should be elected to Parliament who were not resident in 
their several constituencies. The Act had long ago become 
obsolete in England, but it might fairly be argued that a time 
when an attempt was being made to carry unpopular measures 
through the legislature, by means of men of an alien race, was 
not one in which it was possible for Irishmen to surrender their 
strict legal rights on such a point. 

On July 8 the question came on for a hearing before the King 
The Irish anc ^ t ^ ie Council. An additional number of the mem- 
deputation bers of both Houses had been sent for, 3 and they, as 

heard before , . . , , . ... 

the English well as the original deputation, were patiently listened 
to. On the iyth James concluded the discussion by a 
speech, in which he told the complainants that he knew that the 
question of religion was at the bottom of the whole dispute ; and 
that whether their objections to the elections were justifiable or 

1 DCS. Cur. Hib. L 211. - i Hen. V. cap. i. 

3 Des. Cur. Hib. 230. 


not, they were certainly in the wrong in seceding from Parlia- 
ment. He then asked them whether they disputed his power 
to make new boroughs. They were forced to answer that they 
could not object to the prerogative which he claimed, but 
that they thought that the use to which he had put it was de- 
cidedly inexpedient. 1 They were then left to wait till James 
had time to consider their case, and to pronounce a decision 
upon it 

Unfortunately, the amicable course which these proceedings 
were taking was interrupted by an unfortunate dispute between 
Taibot tne Government and one of the leading members of 
questioned. tne deputation. A book had recently been pub- 
lished by the Jesuit Suarez, in which the right of subjects to 
depose and murder their sovereigns, after sentence of depriva- 
tion by the Pope, was maintained in all its naked atrocity. In 
the course of the discussion, Abbot, who had made extracts 
from this book, laid them before the Irish who were present. 
One of them, William Taibot, who had taken a leading part in 
the contest in Dublin, hesitated to express his abhorrence 
of the doctrines in question, but, after some delay, signed a 
paper in which he asserted that the opinions of Suarez con- 
cerned matters of faith, of which he was not a competent 
judge. As for his own loyalty, he was ready to acknowledge 
King James to be his lawful Sovereign, and to bear him true 
faith and allegiance during his life. 2 With this the Council 
ought, undoubtedly, to have been content ; but in those days 
the inexpediency of attacking speculative error by force was 
not so well understood as it is at present. Taibot was accord- 
ingly committed to the Tower. 3 A few days afterwards another 
member of the deputation, Thomas Luttrell, was sent to the 
Fleet for a similar offence. 4 Luttrell was probably released 
not long afterwards, but Taibot, having refused to make 
any further submission, at least until after orders had been 
given to proceed against him in the Star Chamber, 5 was 

1 Lansd. MSS. 156, fol, 241, 242. 

z Bacon's charge, Letters and Life, v. 5 > Des. Cur. Hib. i. 232. 

8 Council Register, July 17, 1613. 

4 Ibid. July 22, 1613. s On Nov. 25, 1613, ibid. 


sentenced by that Court to a fine of io,ooo/. He was, how- 
1614. ever, permitted to return to Ireland, and, in all 
Sent"nc 3 eon probability, the fine, as was usual in such cases, 
Taibot. was remitted. 1 

In addition to the original complaints, a paper had been 
handed in to the King, in which was set down a long list of 
1613. grievances under which the Irish were suffering. 2 
New y IS He accordingly made up his mind to send over four 
Co^u 065 ' Commissioners, who were directed to investigate 
toi"nvestf- nt u P on ^ e s P ot a ^ the charges which had been brought 
gate them, against the Government. 3 The four Commissioners, 
Sir Humphrey Wynche, Sir Charles Cornwallis, Sir Roger 
Wilbraham, and George Calvert, arrived in Dublin on Sep- 
tember ii. 4 After a long and patient investigation, they sent 
over their report on November i2. 5 

In the first place, they reported that they had investigated 
fourteen cases in which complaints had been made of undue 
elections, amongst which they only found two in which the 
charge was, in their opinion, substantiated. In some cases it 
appeared that the Irish had not taken the trouble to make 
themselves acquainted with the English election rules ; in others, 
the licence which the prevailing faction had allowed to itself was 
certainly not greater than that which was often taken by the 
sheriffs of English counties. After narrating the proceedings 
at the choice of the Speaker, and lamenting the evident preva- 
lence of recusancy, they proceeded to comment on the general 
grievances of the kingdom. They acknowleged that much 
oppression had been exercised by the soldiers, but alleged that 
few complaints had been made on the subject, and that the 
Deputy was determined to lose no time in redressing the evils 

1 Des. Cur. Hib. i. 321. 

2 Delivered in on July 15, 1613, Lansd. MSS. 156, fol. 241 b. A 
fuller collection was delivered to the Commissioners in October, Des. Cur. 
Hib. i. 237. Compare i. 362. 

3 Instructions to the Commissioners, Des. Cur. Hib. 327. 

4 In Des. Cur. Hib., i. 283, this date is given as the 25th. The 
Commissioners themselves say that it was the nth, ibid, i. 362. 

5 The Commissioners' return and certificate, Des. Cur. Hib. i. 334. 


petitioned against. Of the remainder of those complained of, 
they denied that some were grievances at all ; for those the 
existence of which they admitted, they promised, in the 
Deputy's name, immediate redress. 

As soon as this report was received in England, Chichester 
was directed to send over a certain number of the members 

of the two Houses, who had returned to Ireland in 

the preceding summer, in order that they might be 
present when the king delivered his judgment. 1 At the time 
when these orders reached Chichester, the Irish Catholics were 
in a state of considerable excitement. One of the members 
of the deputation, Sir James Gough, had given out, on his 
return, that the King intended to grant liberty of conscience. 
On examination, it proved that Gough had heard James say, 
as he had already said so often, that he had no intention of 
meddling with any man's conscience. He had neglected to 
report that the ordinary language of the King proved that these 
words had reference only to the secret belief of his Catholic 
subjects, and not to the external practice of their religion. 2 If 
the Catholics still misunderstood the King's intentions, they 
must have been undeceived by a proclamation which was 
shortly afterwards sent over from London, in which James 
declared himself to have been thoroughly satisfied with the 
course which Chichester had taken throughout the whole affair. 3 
At the same time, Chichester was himself summoned to Eng- 
land to be present at the final sentence. 

On April 12, 1614, James delivered his judgment As 
might be supposed, that judgment was altogether against the 
The King's Catholics. In almost every step which they had 
decision. taken they had been formally in the wrong, and of 
this James was sure to make the most. The only point on 
which he gave way was, that the members for the few boroughs 
which had been created since the writs had been issued should 
not take their seats during the present Parliament. 4 On 
May 7, the Irish deputation was directed to sign a form of sub- 

1 Council to Chichester, Council Register^ Jan. 27, 1614. 

* DCS. Cur. Hib. i. 287. 3 Ibid. i. 291. 

* Ibid. i. 302. 


mission which was presented to them. They did so, under 
protest that they merely meant thereby to testify their readi- 
ness to admit Davies as their Speaker, but that they had no 
intention of relinquishing their claims to the redress of the 
grievances of which they had complained. 1 A few 
Cokedis- days afterwards they were once more before the 
legal Council. Their legal objections were listened to, 

objections. an( j QQ^Q employed his unrivalled stores of learning 
to overthrow their assertions, by quoting a succession of 
English precedents. 2 

It was easy for Coke to gain a victory in such a contest as 
this. But it was far more difficult for James to decide upon 
a policy which would assure to him the loyal submission ot 
Chichester nis I^h subjects. When Chichester, who had been 
to s cy e out summoned to London in February in order that he 
^ai'nsTthe ml g nt & ve an account of the country under his 
recusants. charge, returned to Dublin, he carried with him 
instructions which authorised him to put in force once more 
all the worn-out schemes for driving the Irish into the Pro- 
testant Church. He was to republish the proclamation for 
the banishment of Jesuits. He was to exact the shilling fine 
for recusancy. He was to take the sons of the Catholic 
lords from their parents, and to send them over to England 
for education. If the towns persisted in electing magistrates 
who refused the oath of supremacy, he was to confiscate their 
charters. Foreseeing that such orders as these were likely 
to rouse opposition, James added directions that citadels 
should be built at Cork and Waterford, that Dublin Castle 
should be put in a state of repair, and that all suspicious 
persons should be disarmed. It would also be more than ever 
necessary to make Ulster into a huge garrison against the 
Irish population, by forbidding those marriages which had 
already begun to take place between the Scottish colonists and 
the natives, and which threatened to obliterate the line of distinc- 
tion which it was so necessary for the Government to preserve. 3 

1 Petition, May 8, Irish Cal. iv. 818. 

2 Council Register, May 18, 1614. Lansd. MSS. 159, fol. no, in b. 
2 Instructions to Chichester, June 5, 1614, Irish Cal. iv. 834. 


On the other hand, in a letter which was forwarded to the 
withdrawal Deputy, not long after his arrival in Ireland, James 
agafnst BlU announced his intention of overlooking the past 
Jesuits. offences of the recusant members, and of withdrawing 
the obnoxious Bill against Jesuits and their supporters, which 
had been originally the real, though not the ostensible, ground 
of the dispute. To this concession was added a direction not 
to allow the members of the eight boroughs which had been 
created since the issue of the writs to take their places. The 
same fate was to fall upon the representatives of three places 
which had not been able to show any right to elect members at 
all, and upon those of two boroughs where the elections had 
not been duly conducted. 1 

What was likely to be the effect of neglecting the oppor- 
tunity which had been offered to James to come to terms with 
Universal his Irish subjects, by throwing overboard the irri- 
discontent. tating but ineffectual checks upon recusancy which 
were in existence, might have been learned by the perusal of a 
paper which was written about this time, apparently with a 
view to its being laid before the Government. 2 That by which 
the author was most struck was a new feature which had 
lately arisen on the face of Irish society. In former times 
rebellions had been partial ; some part of the kingdom, or 
some class of the inhabitants, had remained faithful to the 
Crown ; now, however, nothing of the sort was to be expected. 
For the first time, the merchants of the cities, the lords of 
English origin, and the native Irish were banded together, as 
one man, against the new colonists, and the alien religion 
which they brought with them. It was true that, for the 
present, the King's Government had force on its side ; but let 
anything occur which would offer a chance of success to a 
rebellion, and there was ' just cause to fear the union of that 
people whose hearts are prepared to extirpate both the modern 
English and the Scots, which is not difficult to execute in a 
moment, by reason they are dispersed, and the natives' swords 

1 The King to Chichester, Aug. 7, 1614, Des. Cur. Hib. i. 323. 

2 'A discourse of the present state of Ireland, 1614.' By S. C. Des. 
Cur. Hib. i. 430. 


will be in their throats in every part of the realm (like the 
Sicilian Vespers) before the cloud of mischief shall appear.' 
It is true that the writer could recommend no better remedy 
against the evil than that which could be obtained by the 
building of additional forts, and by similar repressive measures ; 
but his words of warning were none the less ominous, because 
neither he nor his readers were able to discern the true path 
of safety. 

But if the distant prospects of the country were dark and 
lowering, all was bright in the immediate future. The con- 
cession made by the King in withdrawing the Jesuit 

Prospects T-..H i i 1,1 

of a quiet Bill seemed likely to be rewarded by a quiet session 
whenever Parliament should again meet in Dublin. 
The recusants, finding that the intention was relinquished of 
forcing new laws upon them by means of a factitious Parlia- 
mentary majority, and having so far gained their object, saw 
that, whilst they had everything to lose by further opposition, 
they might possibly obtain additional concessions by taking 
part in the debates, and that at all events their presence would 
act as a check upon the Protestant members. 

Accordingly, when the new session began, on October n, 
Davies took his place in the chair as quietly as if no disturbance 
Meeting of had. ever happened. On the following day, indeed, a 
Parliament. mern b er proposed that the disputed elections should 
be examined in the House. After some discussion, however, it 
was agreed to refer the whole question to a committee, which 
was chosen from amongst the members of both parties indis- 
criminately. After some time had elapsed, the committee re- 
ported that it would be advisable to let the question drop, at 
least for the present session ; and in this decision the Catholic 
party, being unwilling to contest what had now become for them 
a mere point of form, at once acquiesced, 1 especially as they 
were assured that the present return should not be used as a 
precedent. 2 As to the Government measures for recognition 

1 Commons' Journals, IreL i. II, 14, 23. Davies to Somerset, 
Oct. 31, Irish Cal. iv. 905. 

2 St. John to Winwood, Nov. 4, ibid. iv. 912. 


of the King's title, and for the attainder of Tyrone, they were 
all passed without difficulty. 

There was, indeed, one point upon which Chichester fore- 
saw that he would have greater obstacles to contend with. 

Like all Deputies, he was much in want of money, 
ment P ofthe and the English Privy Council was always more 

ready to supply him with advice which he did not 
want, than with the gold of which he stood in need. Under 
these circumstances, an English Parliament would have been 
asked at once for a subsidy ; but a subsidy had never once 
been heard of in Ireland, and it seemed a dangerous experi- 
ment to introduce a novelty of this kind at a time of such 
excitement. Accordingly, some weeks before the meeting of 
Parliament, an attempt was made to raise a Benevolence, in 
imitation of the contribution which was making such a stir in 
England. 1 It was, perhaps, because this measure was coolly 
received that the Deputy decided upon preparing a Subsidy 
Bill. As, however, it was necessary to send it over to England 
for approval, and the prevalence of westerly winds made it 
unlikely that an answer could be received in time to pass the 

Act before Christmas, Chichester determined to pro- 
ofParlL- " rogue Parliament, and to hold another session in 

the spring of 1615. The prorogation accordingly 
look place on November 29. Before he had signified his 
intention, a paper was handed to him, containing a list of 
grievances, amongst which was found a petition that the re- 
cusant lawyers who had been debarred from practising since 
Chichester's return from England, might be permitted to re- 
sume their avocation. 2 

It was on April 18, 1615, that a third session was opened. 

Chichester replied to the grievances of the Corn- 
Opening of mons, but could grant them no hope of the removal 
session* of the restrictions upon the lawyers. In spite of 
Grant of a the disappointment, however, which the Catholics 
subsidy. mus( . k ave f e j^ tng y g ave t j ie j r f u jj SU pp 0rt to t h e 

Subsidy Bill, which was carried up to the Upper House 

1 St. John to Winwood, Sept. 3, Irish CaL iv. 877. 

2 Commons' Journals, IreL i. 44. 


within ten days after the commencement of the session. 1 
To increase the satisfaction of the Government, the Commons 
had renewed their order of the last session for allowing the 
question of the elections to drop for the present, 2 and were 
employing their time upon two Acts which, upon their own 
request, had been sent over to England at the close of the last 
session. By one of these all legal distinction was taken away 
between the different races by which Ireland was inhabited ; 
by the other, a statute was repealed by which the intermarriage 
of Irish with Scots had been prohibited. 3 James, therefore, 
had consented to relinquish at least one of the measures which 
he had pressed upon Chichester when he left England in the 
preceding year. 

It was impossible that the Catholic members should let 
slip the opportunity of expressing their hope that their con- 
ciliatory behaviour would be met in a similar spirit 

Grievances. . , ' _ , . - _,. . , 

by the Government. It would seem as if Chichester 
had been desirous of meeting them half-way ; for when the 
question of the recusant lawyers was brought forward, Sir 
Thomas Ridgway, who would hardly have acted in opposition 
to the Deputy, himself proposed that a petition should be 
presented in their favour. Accordingly, when on May i6, 4 the 
petition of grievances was presented, it was found to contain, 
amongst other recommendations, a wish that the recusant 
lawyers might be restored, and that the Act of Elizabeth by 
which the shilling fines were imposed might be repealed. 5 As 
there is no trace upon the Journals of any debate on these 
points, it is to be presumed that the proposals made received 
the assent of both parties. There must have been moderate 
men amongst the Protestants, who, after sitting for some time 
on the same benches with Sir John Everard and others who 
resembled him, must have discovered that, whatever theorists 
might say, there was no reason to fear lest the stability of the 
throne should be shaken by the cessation of a petty persecu- 

1 Commons' Journals, Irel. i. 6l. 2 Ibid. i. 52. 

3 Statutes of Irel. 11, 12, 13 Jac. I. cap. 5 and 6. These and the 
following statutes were passed in this session. 

4 Commons' Journals, Irel. i. 68. 5 Ibid. i. 92. 


tion which only served to irritate those who were the objects 
of it 

To the petitions of the Commons were annexed a number 
of Bills, which they requested the Deputy to send over to 
May 16. England. As soon as he had received them, he 
o"f p7rlS? n prorogued the Parliament to October 24, when it was 
ment. understood that a fourth session was to be held, at 

which it was hoped that the requests of the Catholics would be 

The Catholics, however, were doomed to disappointment. 

On August 22, James unexpectedly directed Chichester to 

dissolve Parliament : and on November 29. he 


ofparik- wrote again to Chichester, recalling him from his 

ment and 

recall of post, and directing him to hand over his authority 
to the Chancellor and Sir John Denham, who 
were to act as Lords Justices till the appointment of a new 
Deputy. 1 It is difficult to resist the conclusion that the real 
cause of Chichester's recall was his unwillingness to turn a 
deaf ear to the petition of the Commons. We know that, 
since his return from England, he had done little or nothing 
to carry out the King's instructions to put in force the laws 
against the recusants. An abortive conspiracy, which had 
been discovered in Ulster at the close of 1614, may well have 
warned a man who was less ready than Chichester to accept 
the teaching of facts, that it was not a time to provoke 
additional enmities. The part taken by Ridgway in the last 
session, too, is enough to render it extremely probable that the 
petition which he advocated was not disliked by the Deputy. 2 

1 The King to Chichester, Aug. 22, Nov. 29, Irish Cal. v. 159, 187. 

2 Soon after taking possession of his office, Chichester's successor wrote 
a letter which countenances the idea that the question of the treatment of 
the recusants was at the bottom of the change. His Majesty's affairs, he 
wrote, prosper in all things, ' saving in that strong combination of re- 
cusancy wherein the well or ill doing of this state doth much depend. I 
make no doubt of the strength of His Majesty's laws in force in this king- 
dom, if it be extended unto them with convenient moderation, but will 
work alteration in many of the most obstinate. It hath been at sundry 
times worthily begun heretofore, b^lt there hath wanted constancy in the 
pursuit, whereby it hath been esteemed awork of humour, and for particular 


If it be really the case that his recall was owing to his unwil- 
lingness to engage in a fresh career of persecution, all that can 
be said is, that it was a worthy end to the government of such 
a man. Once more, when so many were blind to what was 
passing around them, and when even his own prejudices stood 
in his way, he saw the only path in which it was possible to 
walk with safety. This time he was forced to give way to 
lesser men. 

However this may have been, his government of Ireland 
needs no eulogium beyond the plain and simple narration of 

his actions. Of Chichester it can be said, as it can 
ment of be said of few, that, if he failed to accomplish more 

than he did, it was because he was seldom, if ever, 
allowed to carry out his own designs in his own way. If full 
powers had been granted to him to deal with Ireland according 
to the dictates of his own wisdom, the blackest pages in the 
history of that unfortunate country would never have been 

ends, rather than a prosecution founded upon solid judgment. These people 
must be otherwise dealt withal. They must not find us abandoning the 
ground we get, for they will sooner invade upon us. It behoves us to be 
doing somewhat, and to be doing always, and that legally, moderately, 
and constantly ; otherwise we shall but spin and unspin, and never produce 
any worthy or profitable effect. Particularly the actions of the towns, they 
grow daily in disobedience, refusing in divers of them to elect any chief 
magistrates, because they that should supply the places are all recusants. ' 
St. John to Winwood, Dec. 31, 1616, Irish Cal. v, 305. 




IT was not only in Ireland that the language of the recusants 
alarmed James. In England, John Owen, a Catholic of 
Owen's Godstow, used expressions to the effect that it was 
case - lawful to kill the King, being excommunicate. These 

words appear to have meant that it was lawful to kill the King, 
if he were excommunicated. Bacon held that the words were 
treasonable, as the very fact of putting such an hypothesis was 
evidence that the speaker assigned to the Crown a position of 
subordination to the Pope. 1 The judges of the King's Bench 
were consulted, 2 and were equally clear that the words used 
amounted to treason. But, much to Bacon's annoyance, 
though Coke came to the same conclusion with himself, he 
ariived at it by a different road. He argued that there was 
nothing hypothetical in the words at all ; but that, as the Pope 
was accustomed once a year to include, under a general ex- 
communication, all Calvinists, together with other heretics and 
schismatics, the King was undoubtedly an excommunicated 
person, and Owen's expression amounted to a direct assertion 
that it was lawful to kill him. Bacon, who had always an 
eye to the political consequences of a legal opinion, felt that it 

1 That Bacon retained his opinion on this subject is plain from his 
language in relating Sir William Stanley's case : ' History of Hemy VII., 
Works, vi. 151. 

2 The King suggested that they should be consulted separately, as in 
Peacham's case ; but Bacon told him that it was unnecessary, as the case 
was so clear. 

1614 OWEWS CASE. 305 

would never do to use such an argument publicly in court. If 
it should be generally understood that the King had been 
excommunicated by the Pope, the risk of assassination would 
be considerably increased. In spite of all that Bacon could do, 
however, Coke refused to give up his opinion, and in delivering 
his sentiments at the trial, he defended the legality of the pro- 
ceedings on the ground which alone appeared to him to render 
them justifiable. But, whatever may have been the difference 
between the views of the Attorney-General and those of the 
Chief Justice, the prisoner reaped- no benefit by it. The jury 
brought in a verdict of Guilty, without troubling themselves 
about the arguments by which their verdict could be sustained, 1 
and sentence of death was passed in due form. No steps, 
however, were taken to carry it out. Owen remained in close 
confinement for more than three years, when he was liberated 
at the request of the Spanish Ambassador, on condition of 
leaving the country. 2 

Undeterred by the mutterings of discontent to which the 

collection of the Benevolence had given rise, the Government, 

anxious to escape at any cost from its financial 

Commission A 

difficulties, had recourse to means which were not 
for fines on likely to increase its popularity in the City of London. 

The King's proclamation, by which he had hoped, 
in 1611, to restrain the increase of buildings in London and 
Westminster, had not been attended with any effect. He now 
determined to make one more effort to check what was con- 
sidered to be the over-population of the capital. In October, 
1614, an order was issued to the aldermen of London, and to 
the justices of the peace in the neighbouring counties, to report 
on the condition of the buildings. 3 In the following May a 
commission was issued to the whole of the Privy Council, to 
whom some of the judges and other persons of note were 
joined. 4 They were to summon before them all persons who 

1 Bacon to the King, Jan. 27, and Feb. n, Letters and Life, v. 100, 
1 1 8. State Trials, ii. 879. 

2 Pardon of Owen, July 24, 1618, S. P. Sign Manuals, ix. 4.5. 

3 Council Register, Oct. 1 6, 1614. 

4 May 15, 1615, Pat. 13 Jac. Part i. 


had built new houses, or who, in rebuilding old ones, had 
constructed the fronts of wood, and to fine them for their 
offences. The same fate was to overtake those who had let 
part of their houses to lodgers, if they had not done so pre- 
viously to Michaelmas, 1603. The obloquy which James 
brought upon himself by this attempt to help out his exchequer 
by such means was enough to induce him to issue a procla- 
mation, two months later, in which he declared that he had 
never thought of his own profit, and that, in order to prove the 
sincerity of his statement, he had consented, not, as might be 
supposed, to remit the fines, but to give a positive and final 
order that nobody should build any more houses ; in which 
case there would, of course, be no fines to levy. 1 The sum 
obtained by the Commission had been no more than 4,ooo/., 
an amount which can hardly be regarded as sufficient to 
counterbalance the irritation which was caused by the mode in 
which it was obtained. 

On the same day as that on which the aldermen and justices 
were required to report on the growth of London, a letter was 
1614. addressed by the Council to the Lord Mayor, re- 
xi^ Ct l6 quiring him to examine into the progress of an evil 
breweri. of an equally alarming description. It had reached 
the ears of the Government that the brewers of London were 
in the habit of brewing exceedingly strong beer, and thereby of 
breaking the laws which had been made for the purpose of 
preventing the unnecessary consumption of barley. 2 The Lord 
Mayor was to examine into the facts, and to make a report to 
the Council. This, however, was not the only point on which 
the Government was brought into collision with the brewers. 
The money owed for two thousand casks which had been taken 
for the King's household was still unpaid, and it was rumoured 
that there was an intention of laying an imposition of two- 
pence a barrel upon beer. In these straits, the brewers dis- 
covered in the charter of the city of London a clause by which 
they were, as they fancied, exempted from purveyance, and on 
the strength of this they demanded immediate payment of the 

1 July 16, Proclamation Book, S. P. Dom. clxxxvii. 44. 

2 Council Register, Oct. 16, 1614. 


debt owing to them. The Council sent Bacon to prove to them 
that the King was not bound to pay ready money for any article 
above the value of forty shillings, and at the same time declared 
explicitly that the rumour of the intended imposition was a 
mere fabrication. The money owed should be paid immedi- 
ately, and similar debts should in future be met at the close of 
every year. l With this the brewers were obliged to be content, 
and they were also forced to enter into bonds of ioo/. each, 
that they would in future brew beer sufficiently weak to please 
the Lords of the Council. 2 

The dissolution of Parliament, and the consequent failure 

to bring supplies into the Exchequer, were certain to diminish 

any weight which Tames might otherwise have had in 

The question , . . , , , i i i i 

of cieves his interference with the conflict which seemed to be 
on the point of breaking out on the Rhine. There 
can be little doubt that the Spaniards were emboldened by the 
attitude of the House of Commons. As soon as the news of 
the dissolution reached Brussels, the agent of the English 
Government found himself in the midst of politicians who 
confidently predicted the speedy outbreak of a rebellion in 
England, 3 and though the event proved that they had mis- 
calculated the extent of the national spirit of endurance, they 
would not be wrong in concluding that James would, at such a 
moment, find it impossible to send an army into the Duchies. 

Some weeks before Spinola entered the disputed territories, 
James had sent Wotton to the Hague, in the hope of being 
Wotton's a ^ e to sett l e ^e question by negotiation, and even 
negotiations. a f ter j-^g invasion had taken place, he continued to 
direct him to do what he could to bring the quarrel to an 
The Treaty amicable termination . Conferences were held at 
ofXanten. Xanten, at which the English and French ambassa- 
dors appeared as mediators. An arrangement was at length 

1 Council Register, Dec. 4, 1614. The story of the imposition is given 
by Chamberlain in a letter to Carleton of November 24. Perhaps it 
originated in a proposal for a composition for purveyance, such as had 
been by this time pretty generally adopted in the counties. 

2 Council Register, Feb. 16, March 26, 1615. 

3 Trumbull to Wimvood, June 30, 1614, S. P. Fland. 

x 2 


come to on November 2, 1614, by which the two rivals agreed 
to share the revenue and other advantages of the government 
between them, but to make a division of the territory, which 
should be valid till some final decision should be taken. 1 

It was not without difficulty that the claimants had been 
induced to submit to these stipulations. But a still greater 
Difficulties obstacle arose as soon as it was proposed that the 
Dutthfand 6 Dutch and Spanish troops should evacuate the 
Spaniards. Duchies. Spinola proposed that both parties should 
agree never to enter them again. Maurice, who was afraid 
that the Elector of Brandenburg might be attacked by the 
German Princes of the Catholic League, could only be brought 
to declare that he would never return so long as the Treaty 
of Xanten was maintained intact. To make matters worse, 
Spinola received an order from Spain to hold Wesel until the 
King had made up his mind whether he would give his consent 
to the observance of the treaty or not. The conferences broke 
up, and the two armies remained face to face, each occupying 
the ground upon which they stood. 

During the whole of the early part of the following year, 
James was labouring indefatigably to find some form of agree- 
ment which would satisfy both parties. At last he 
Renewed obtained the assent of the Archduke to a form which 
negotiations. perm i tte( j t h e Dutch to enter the territories in the 
event of war breaking out. 2 To this the States-General de- 
murred. They wished a clause to be inserted which would en- 
able them to pass through the Duchies, in case of an attack 
being made upon their other German allies. Here James re- 
fused to support them. To him it was a mere question of 
regulating an ordinary dispute relating to a definite portion of 

1 Dumont, Corps Diplom. v. part ii. 259. 

2 Bentivoglio, Relationi, 186. Wotton's correspondence, Aug. 1614- 
Aug. 1615, S. P. Hoi. The form proposed was, ' Et promettons en 
oultre que les diets gens de guerre ni aucuns dependants de nous ne 
rentreront a 1'advenir dans les diets pays pour y prendre aucune place 
soubs quelque nom ou pretexte que ce soit, sy non en cas qu'iceulx pays 
vinssent a tomber en nouvelle guerre ouverte ou invasion manifeste soit 
facte sur aucun de nos amis dedans les diets pays.' Add. MSS. 17, 677, 
I. fol. 51 a. 


territory. To them it was only a part of the great quarrel which 
must sooner or later be brought once more to the arbitration of 
war. Between the two Governments, therefore, there was no 
possibility of agreement. The Dutch retained their hold upon 
the fortresses which were garrisoned by their soldiers, and kept 
Recall of tne roa d to Germany open. James, after fruitless 
Wotton. attempts to persuade them that they were unreason- 
able and in the wrong, withdrew his ambassador, in order 
to bring these fruitless negotiations to a close. 

Unfortunately, the question of the evacuation of the 
Commercial fortresses on the Rhine was not the only subject 

rivalry * 

between upon which a disagreement existed between the two 

England and * ... . ,, , . 

Holland. Governments, at a time when it was above all things 
desirable that a good understanding should be maintained 
between the leading Protestant powers. 

The claim which had been put forward by the English to 
the exclusive right in the Northern whale fishery could not 
The whale possibly be acknowledged by the hardy Dutch sailors 
fishery. ^Q j^ S p en t their lives in battling with the Polar 
seas. It was evident that, unless concessions were made, a 
collision would, sooner or later, ensue. 

It was of still greater importance to settle as speedily as 
possible the disputes which had already begun to arise out of 
The East the lucrative commerce of the East Indian seas. 
India trade. That commerce had, for almost the whole of the 
sixteenth century, been a monopoly in the hands of the Por- 
tuguese. But with the absorption of Portugal in the Spanish 
empire, and with the growing weakness of Spain itself, the 
thought of disputing this monopoly occurred to the merchants 
of other nations. In 1595, Dutch ships made their way round 
the Cape, and by degrees the Portuguese found themselves 
supplanted in their most valuable commercial stations. In 
1602, the great Dutch East India Company was formed by the 
union of the smaller associations by which these original enter- 
prises had been undertaken. Their ships were fitted out for 
fighting as well as for conveying merchandise. The Portu- 
guese, emboldened by their long supremacy in those seas, had 
rendered themselves obnoxious to many of the native princes 


by their overbearing demeanour. The Dutch skilfully availed 
themselves of this feeiing, and constituted themselves the pro- 
tectors of the natives. In this way they easily obtained per- 
mission to erect their factories, and even induced the sovereigns 
whom they had defended to enter into contracts with them, by 
which they engaged to sell to them alone the most valuable 
produce of their territories. By these means the whole of the 
commerce of the finer spices which were produced in the 
islands of the Eastern Archipelago fell into their hands. What 
this trade was worth may be imagined from the fact that in 
1602 an English vessel brought a cargo of cloves from Amboyna, 
which sold for more than twelve hundred per cent, upon its 
cost price. 

In 1599, a handful of London merchants applied to Eliza- 
beth for permission to trade to the East Indies. At first she 

turned a deaf ear to their request, as the negotiations 
The at Boulogne were in progress, and she was unwilling 

Eaft'india to do anything which might bring her into additional 
Company, antagonism to the Spanish Government. But as 
soon as her hopes of peace were at an end, she expressed her 
readiness to listen to their proposals, and in the following year 

she granted them the charter which they desired. 

The English East India Company, thus founded, 
pushed on in the track of the Dutch sailors who had preceded 

it in those seas. Neglecting the great country with 
AcLeTand which its future history was to be indelibly associated, 
Bantam. j ts g rst f actor j es were erected at Acheen in Sumatra, 

and at Bantam in Java. In was not till 1608 that the agents 
of the Company reported that the cloths and calicoes of 
Hindustan were in request in Sumatra and Java, and suggested 
that if factories were established at Cambay and Surat, they 
might get into their hands the trade between the islands 

and that part of the continent. In 1612, some 
1612. r 

Tradewith English ships, which, in an attempt to act upon 
this suggestion, were engaged in opening the trade 
at Surat, were attacked by an overwhelming force of For- . 
tuguese, who were unwilling to tolerate the presence of 
intruders on a coast which they had so long looked upon as 


their own, and which they overawed by means of a succession 
of fortified posts dependent upon the chief station at Goa. In 
spite of the superiority of numbers, however, they were doomed 
to disappointment. The English vessels, after a hard struggle, 
succeeded in driving off the enemy. The natives here, as 
everywhere else, looked upon the Portuguese as oppressors, 
and, in consequence of their victory, the English had no 
difficulty in obtaining permission to establish a factory at 

In the following year one of the factors of Surat travelled 
to Ahmedabad. On his return, he reported that it would be 
The factory advantageous to open a direct trade with the markets 
at Sum. m j^g interior, and recommended that a resident 
should be sent from England, who might obtain the necessary 
facilities from the Mogul Emperor. 

The person selected for this novel enterprise was Sir 
Thomas Roe. Like Sir Henry Neville, he was one of those 
sir Thomas men wno > ^ James had been well advised, would 
have been the very first to be selected for high office. 
In 1609 he had made a voyage to Guiana, and had sailed the 
broad waters of the Amazon. In 1614 he had taken his place 
in the House of Commons, and had given a firm but loyal 
support to the principles of Sandys and Whitelocke. He was 
thus admirably qualified to act with that body of men who 
were prepared to stand as mediators between the past and the 
future, and to show that the loyalty and patriotism of the 
Elizabethan age were not incompatible with the growing spirit 
of independence with which the nation was pervaded. 

With the dissolution all hopes of usefulness for him at home 

were at an end, and we may well believe that he now looked 

without dissatisfaction upon the distant and perilous 

His embassy employment which was proposed to him. He left 

England in the spring of 1615, and upon his arrival 

in India made his way without delay to the court of the 

Emperor Jehanghir at Agra. During his stay there he forwarded 

several wise suggestions to the Company. He advised them 

not to attempt to become a political power, or to waste their 

money, like the Portuguese, in building forts and batteries. 


This advice was undoubtedly the best which could be given 
at the time. As long as the whole of Northern 
to 'the Com- India was in the hands of a powerful Sovereign, it 
pany ' was better that a body of traders should be able to 

show that they trusted implicitly to his protection. With that 
protection they were unable to dispense, as it would be hopeless 
for a handful of foreigners to attempt to maintain themselves 
in a corner of the empire by force of arms. The time when 
anarchy and weakness made a different course advisable had 
not yet arrived. 

In the same spirit, the Ambassador pointed out that his 
own mission was altogether a mistake. What was needed was 
a native resident who would represent their wishes in the 
same way as the wishes of any other body of traders might 
be brought before the Emperor. The authority with which a 
representative of the King of England was obliged to speak 
only made it more difficult to obtain privileges for those who, 
after all, were only merchants exercising their avocation on 
sufferance. ! 

This extension of their trade did not, however, compensate 
the Company for the loss of their commerce with the Spice 
i6ii Islands, of which they had been deprived by the en- 
The croachments of the Dutch. It was in 1611 that the 

dissatisfied English East India Company first laid its complaints 
fos?of h the before the Government. Their Dutch rivals had 
spice trade. tak en possession of all the posts which were most ad- 
vantageous for trade, and their armed vessels and the fortifica- 
tions which they had erected were sufficiently powerful to keep 
the English at a distance. Salisbury immediately forwarded to 
Winwood the complaint which had been laid before him, and 
directed him to lay it before the States-General. 2 The reply 
of the States was conciliatory, and promises were made that 
orders should be sent out to the Dutch merchants to desist 
from their proceedings. This was very well as far as it went ; 

1 Bruce's History of the East India Company; Mill's History of British 

Petition of the East India Merchants, Nov. 1611, S. P. East Indies, 
No. 591. Notes of negotiations, 1613, S. P. Hoi. 


but it was exceedingly problematical whether such orders would 
meet with obedience on the other side of the globe. 1 

In the meanwhile a proposal was made by the Dutch for 
an amalgamation of the two Companies. 2 This proposal 
proving distasteful to the English, commissioners, of whom the 
celebrated Grotius was one, were sent over to London in the 
spring of i6i3. 3 The negotiation came to nothing ; but towards 
the end of the following year James determined to 
take it up again, and accordingly directed Clement 
Edmondes, the Clerk of the Council, together with two other 
commissioners, to betake themselves to the Hague, to treat 
upon the disputed points, under Wotton's superintendence. 
At the same time they were ordered to try to come to some 
terms on the subject of the disputed fishing-grounds. 

The commissioners arrived at their destination on January 
20, 1615. The discussions were carried on till the beginning of 
l6l . April, when the negotiations were finally broken off. 
tions^the The English began by demanding that the principle 
Hague. o f freedom of trade should be at once accepted, as 
the starting-point of the deliberations. The Dutch replied 
that they had been at considerable expense in equipping fleets, 
by which the seats of the spice trade had been cleared of the 
Portuguese, and that the native princes who had been suc- 
coured by them were under contract to furnish the produce of 
their territories exclusively to them. It was not fair, therefore, 
that the English should share in the benefits which others 
had gained only after a considerable expenditure of men and 

Upon this the English professed their readiness to bear 
their fair share in the defence of the islands against the Spaniards 
and Portuguese. This, however, was not sufficient for the 
Dutch. They declared plainly that the only condition on 
which the English could be admitted to an equality with 
Holland in the spice trade was an engagement to join in an 
aggressive warfare upon Spain, at least beyond the Cape. 

1 Winwood to Salisbury, Jan. 31, 1612, S. P. Hoi. 

2 Winwood to Salisbury, March 10, 1612, S. P. Hoi. 

3 Negotiation, March 23-April 20, 1613, S. P. East Indies, No. 643. 


When the Eastern seas were swept of every remnant of Portu- 
guese commerce, then the English and the Dutch might jointly 
exercise as complete a monopoly in the East Indies as that 
which was claimed by Spain in the West. To this proposal 
the English Commissioners gave a decided negative. The 
negotiations on this important question having come to an end, 
no attempt was made to continue the discussion which had 
been already commenced on the subject of the fishery. 1 

This constant bickering between the English Government 
and the States-General could not fail to exercise a favourable 
influence upon that understanding with Spain which 
was growing up partly by reason of James's dissatis- 
faction with his last Parliament, but still more through his belief 
that the Spanish monarchy was the chief conservative power in 
Europe. Yet in spite of the overtures which he had authorised 
Sarmiento to make shortly after the dissolution, he had not 
decided to break with France. In July, 1614, he was delighted 
to hear that Suarez' book had been publicly burnt in Paris, and 
there were some who thought that the news had something to 
do with the tardy instructions given in the course of that month 
to Edmondes to return to his post as ambassador in France 2 
in order that he might lay before the Queen Regent the English 
counter-proposals on the marriage treaty, which he had brought 
over in February. 3 To these, however, James received no im- 
mediate answer, and as the autumn drew on he was told that it 
was impossible to consider the subject until after the conclusion 
of the expected assembly of the States- General. 

The fact was that the Queen Regent had no longer any 
heart for the English alliance. It would, perhaps, be unfair to say 
that she allowed the English proposals to be listened to simply 
in order to content the Princes of the Blood, and the other great 

1 Despatches and negotiations of Clement Edmondes, passim. Feb. 4- 
April 18, 1615. S. P Hoi. 

2 Sarmiento to Philip III., Oct. 17. Simanc as MSS. 2591, fol. 99. 

3 Instructions to Edmondes, July 1614, S. P. Fr. Amongst other 
things James said that the Princess should be allowed private worship, 
although he did not doubt that she would soon be induced to conform 10 
the Church of England. 


nobles who were dissatisfied with the Spanish marriages. She, no 
doubt, knew very well that it was advisable, for the interests of 
France, not to put herself unreservedly in the hands of Spain ; 
but, at all events, it is plain that her sympathies were not with 

It would be impossible to play this double game much 
longer. The States-General, which met in October, could 
hardly be dissolved without forcing her to declare her policy. 

It is a strange and instructive contrast which meets the eye 
of anyone who glances over the records of those two assemblies 
The states- which met on either side of the Channel in the course 
General. Q f tne same vear- j n Westminster, the Commons 
called upon the House of Lords to assist them against the 
King. In Paris, the Third Estate called upon the King to 
assist it against the other two. On both sides of the Channel 
justice was on the side of the representatives of the people. 
But whereas in England the House of Commons represented 
the force as well as the rights of the nation, in France the Third 
Estate was powerless unless the Sovereign would lend it the 
strength of .that organization which he alone could give. Be- 
tween it and the privileged orders there was a great gulf, which 
it was in vain to attempt to bridge over. One day an orator 
from amongst the Third Estate spoke of the other orders as the 
elder brethren of the family to which his own class belonged. 
The nobles and the clergy shrank back with horror at the 
profanation, and the boy-King was brought down in state to bid 
the Third Estate ask pardon for trie insult which it had offered. 

There was not one of the points upon which the Third 
Estate insisted to which James, if he had sat upon the throne 
of France, would not have given his hearty concurrence. These 
men would have made Louis XIII. a king indeed. They 
called on him to withdraw from the nobility the pensions which 
were wrung out of the people, to take his stand against the 
encroachments of the Papal power by imposing an oath of 
allegiance, and to withdraw from the clergy certain privileges 
which were oppressive to the people. It was all in vain. The 
Regent had taken her side. Her son should be King of the 
nobles and the priests ; he should not be the King of the 


people. The last States-General of monarchical France were 
dismissed abruptly, but not before the ominous words had been 
heard, ' We are the anvil now ; the time may come when we 
shall be the hammer.' 

The hesitation of the French Court could not fail to drive 
James in the direction of Spain. Spain was indeed quite 

Dec ready to welcome his overtures provided it was not 
Sanniento's required to bind itself too strictly. ' Supposing,' 
Spanish * wrote Sarmiento in December, 1614, 'that what 
marriage. o ff ers an( j capitulates in favour of Catholics 

is to be carried out immediately, and the Lady Infanta will not 
be given up for years, it is to be hoped that, during this time, the 
Catholic religion will have become so powerful in this country, 
and everything which at present is unsatisfactory will have im- 
proved so much that His Majesty will be able to act with all 
security, and that afterwards it might be that the Prince himself 
may wish to see Spain, and go to be married there, and hear 
mass and a sermon in the Church of Our Lady of Atocha.' ' 

Ignorant of these far-reaching plans Digby started for 
Madrid. He had not been there many days before he showed 
Digby at triat ^ e was by no means inclined to be the humble 
Madrid. servant of the King of Spain. When the articles 
were laid before him, there was scarcely one against which he 
had not some objection to raise, and it was not till some months 
had passed that he agreed to forward them to England. Even 
then the negotiations were not to be considered as formally 
opened. Until James had given his consent to the articles, 
the negotiation with France was not to be broken off, and all 
that passed between Lerma and Digby was to bear an unofficial 

Sarmiento knew that, if Digby proved adverse, he would be 
able to fall back upon Somerset. It was in the autumn of 1614 

1 Sarmiento to Lerma, Dec. Madrid Palace Library. I owe my 
knowledge of the documents quoted from this library, and from the Madrid 
National Library, entirely to the transcripts of Mr. Cosens. I have also 
been allowed to look over his transcripts of Simancas AISS. y some of which I 
had not met with in the course of my visits to the Spanish archives. 


that the influence of the Scottish favourite reached its highest 
Somerset's point. As Lord Chamberlain he was in constant 
whin-he 5 attendance upon the King, and though he had not 
Kin s- the official title of Secretary, he was treated as a 

confidential adviser far more than Winwood, through whom the 
correspondence with the ambassadors ostensibly passed. In 
spite of all his frivolity, there was something not altogether 
despicable in Somerset's character. Although he took care to 
fill his own pockets with the money which was offered to him 
by men who wished to obtain the King's consent to their wants, 
at least no public scandal is to be traced to him. We never 
hear of any attempt, on his part, to interfere with the due course 
of the law, or to obtain assignments of duties upon commerce. 
In his dealing with his dependents, he frequently displayed a 
generosity for which we are hardly prepared. But his connec- 
tion with the Howards ruined him. The most respectable 
members of the Privy Council Ellesmere, Pembroke, and 
Worcester began to look upon him not merely as an upstart, 
but as a man who was prepared to influence the King in favour 
of their rivals. 

All this time, the attention of all who hated Somerset was 
turned upon a young man who had lately made his appearance 
at Court. It was at Apthorpe, in the beginning of 
appearance August 1614, that George VilHers first presented him- 
self before the King. He was of singularly prepossess- 
ing appearance, and was endowed not only with personal vigour, 
but with that readiness of speech which James delighted in. 

He was a younger son, by a second marriage, of Sir George 
Villiers, a Leicestershire knight of good family. His mother, 
Mary Beaumont, was not inferior by birth to her husband, but 
in early life she had occupied a dependent position in the 
household of her relation, Lady Beaumont of Coleorton. 1 

1 Wilson calls her ' a young gentlewoman of that name allied, and yet 
a servant to the lady' (Kennet, ii. 698), which is more probable than that 
she was a kitchen maid at her future husband's own house, which is Roger 
Coke's story. Weldon calls her (Secret History of the Court of James /., 
i. 397) ' a waiting-gentlewoman ; ' if she had really served in a menial 
office, he would hardly have lost the opportunity of saying so. 


When she became a widow her means were once more straitened, 
and she was burdened with the charge of providing for a family 
which consisted of three sons and a daughter. George, her 
second son, was her favourite, and she determined to educate 
him for a courtier's life. As far as solid intellectual training 
was concerned, she did nothing for him ; but she used every 
means in her power to perfect him in all external accomplish- 

When James first saw him he was in his twenty-second year. 
It was an anxious moment both for his mother and himself. If 
he did not succeed in impressing the King in his favour, no 
other career was open to him. Almost the whole of his father's 
property having descended to the children of the first marriage, 
all his fortune amounted to a miserable 5o/. a year, and his 
education had unfitted him for any of the ordinary means of 
raising himself in the world. 

Fortunately, however, for him, at least as far as his more 
immediate prospects were concerned, James seems to have 
He comes liked him from the first, and, if he did not himself 
to Court. i nv ite him to Court, was by no means displeased to 
see him there. According to one account the early favour 
which James showed to Villiers was the result of a compact 
between himself and Somerset, who thought that if the King 
sometimes treated the young Englishman with civility, it would 
shut the mouths of those who alleged that he sacrificed 
himself to Scotchmen. 1 Those, however, who wished ill to 
Somerset, soon took him in hand, and instructed him how 
to gain the ear of the King. Sir John Graham, one of the 
Gentlemen of the Privy Chamber, gave him a piece of advice 
which he accepted without difficulty. He was attached to the 
daughter of Sir Roger Aston, and it is said that she would have 
been his wife if he had been able to scrape together the little 
sum which her parents required before they could prudently 
consent to the marriage. Graham advised him to think no 
more of entangling himself in such a manner at the very 
beginning of his career. This advice he determined to take. 

1 Somerset to Lerma, May ->. 1613, Madrid Palace Library. 


If he felt any compunction at the step, he managed to conceal 
it from the knowledge of the world. 

In November, the supporters of Villiers were in hopes of 
obtaining for him a post in the bedchamber. Somerset, how- 
ever, remonstrated, and the King, who appears to have formed 
no intention of deserting his old favourite, gave the place to 
one of Somerset's nephews. 1 Villiers was obliged to content 
himself with the inferior position of a cup-bearer. 

It was apparently a month or two after this that James 

began to take umbrage at Somerset's behaviour. Somerset's 

position had, no doubt, long been a trying one. It 

Somersets . , ' . . , . . __. 

behaviour to is plain from the manner in which the King is 
referred to in the letters which Overbury wrote 
from the Tower, that even at that time Somerset had no 
respect whatever for his patron. He had already accustomed 
himself to look upon the King's company as a necessary evil, 
which must be endured on account of the benefits which were 
to be obtained through the Royal favour. He now became 
aware that there was a powerful league formed against him. 
He heard men muttering that one man should not for ever 
rule them all. Villiers' presence provoked him, and he treated 
him with studied insolence. As if it were not enough that he 
had alienated the affections of all excepting the family of the 
Howards, he now proceeded to do his best to offend the King. 
He seems to have thought that James was a mere plaything in 
his hands. He disturbed him at unseasonable hours by com- 
plaints of the factious conduct of his enemies. He even had 
the audacity to accuse the King of being in league with those 
who had combined to ruin him, and used language towards his 
sovereign, ' in comparison ' of which, as James told him, ' all 
Peacham's book ' was ' but a gentle admonition.' 

Somerset had made a great mistake. If he had played his 

!6 IS . cards well he might have maintained his position, at 

J x he s ^"f.' s least till some unexpected event revealed the mysteries 

tory letter. o f the Tower. But James was not likely to submit 

to be bullied by one whom he looked upon as the work of 

1 Chamberlain to Carleton, Nov. 24, 1614, S. P. Dom. bcxviii. 6l. 
Printed with a wrong date in Court ant/ Times, i. 350. 


his hands. He wrote to his favourite an expostulatory letter, 
which is perhaps the strangest which was ever addressed to a 
subject by a sovereign. 1 As for the factions, he wrote, of 
which Somerset complained, he knew nothing of them, and he 
certainly should refuse to give heed to any accusations against 
him proceeding from such a quarter. He had done all that 
was in his power to prove that his confidence was undiminished. 
He had made Graham, who had incurred Somerset's ill-will, 
feel his displeasure. 2 He had admitted Somerset's nephew to 
the vacant place which he demanded for him, though even the 
Queen had begged him to give it to another. He now told 
him that his behaviour was unbearable. His affection for 
him was great, but he would not be forced any longer to listen 
to the abusive language with which he had been wholly over- 
whelmed. Let Somerset only deal with him as a friend, and 
there was nothing which he was not ready to grant him. But 
he was resolved not to put up with his present behaviour 
any longer. He concluded by reminding him that he and his 
father-in-law were in such positions that all suits of importance 
passed through their hands, so that they had no real reason to 
be discontented. 

What was the immediate result of this letter we do not 
know. On March 7, we find the King at Cambridge, which 
he visited to do honour to Suffolk, who had, upon 
visi C t to' ng the death of his uncle Northampton, been elected 
Cambridge. chancellor of the University. Even in the midst of 
these festivities, signs were not wanting of the mutual hostility 
of the factions by which the Court was distracted. Suffolk, 
who entertained the company, had not thought proper to 
invite the Queen to partake of his hospitality, and it was 
noticed that not a single lady accompanied the Court who was 

1 James to Somerset. Halliwell, Letters of the Kings of England, \\. 
126. The date of this letter is probably about January or February, 1615. 
The reference to Peacham's book makes it necessarily later than Dec. 9, 
1614, and it must have been written before April 23, 1615, when Villiers 
was made Gentleman of the Bedchamber, as, after that, his appointment 
would have been expressly referred to as a grievance. 

2 No doubt as being a friend of Villiers. 


not in some way or another connected with the Howard 
family. 1 

The combination thus formed against Somerset was too 
general to be explained by merely political considerations. 
The Savoy Somerset, however, knew that the enemies of Spain 
war - formed its main strength. For some little time James 

had been giving ear to those who urged him to oppose Spain 
on the Continent. For three years the Duke of Savoy had 
been engaged in a war in which he had stood up against the 
whole force of the Spanish monarchy. In spite of frequent 
defeats, Charles Emanuel was still unconquered. The English 
and French Governments agreed in advising him to make 
peace with his formidable enemy. When some of the French 
nobles prepared to raise a force to support him in case of the 
failure of the negotiations, the Regent took measures to prevent 
a single man from leaving France for such a purpose. James, 
on the other hand, sent the Duke i5,ooo/., a large sum for 
him to provide out of his impoverished treasury. 2 

Somerset knew that he must put forth all his influence to 
defeat the combination formed against him, and that in striking 
for Spain he was in reality striking for himself. He was sus- 
picious of Digby, whom he regarded as in compact with his 
opponents, and whose despatches may very possibly have 
contributed to make James look doubtfully on the prospects 
of the projected marriage. Somerset, therefore, pressed James 
to take the main course of the negotiation out of the hands of 
the ambassador, and to place it in his own, and James weakly 
conceded his request. 

In consequence of this resolution, Sarmiento was, about the 
middle of April, surprised by a visit from Sir Robert Cotton, 
the antiquary. Cotton told him that he was sent by the King 
and Somerset, who both wished to see the negotiation in other 
hands than those of Digby. The ambassador, he said, was in 
correspondence with Abbot and Pembroke ; and much mischief 

1 It was on this occasion that the play of Ignoramus was acted, which 
gave such offence to the lawyers. Chamberlain to Carleton, March 16, 
Nichols, Progresses, iii. 48. 

* Edmondes to Win wood, April 14, S. P. France. 



would ensue if he were to let them know that the King had 
decided to accede to the demands of Spain. James had there- 
fore resolved to authorise Somerset to treat secretly, if only 
assurances were given that Philip would not expect such con- 
cessions on religious matters as he could not grant without 
risk to his kingdom or his life. 1 

Though Somerset's enemies can have known nothing with 
certainty of his relations with Sarmiento, his leanings towards 
Spain can hardly have been kept secret They had 
long been on the watch for an opportunity of sup- 
planting him, and they instigated the Archbishop to 
do his best to procure the assistance of the Queen. Abbot 
had good cause to wish for Somerset's disgrace. Not only had 
the favourite's connection with the divorce case indelibly im- 
pressed itself upon his memory, but he justly regarded his 
friendship with the Howards as an act of treason to the great 
cause of Protestantism which he himself so heartily supported. 
In his eyes, and in the eyes of the malcontent Privy Council- 
lors who acted with him, the substitution of Villiers for 
Somerset was not a mere personal question. No doubt Villiers, 
to all appearance, was tractable enough, and his affability was 
in strong contrast to Somerset's arrogance. But the chief 
point of difference was this, that while Somerset acted as a man 
who had been selected by the King at a time when he was 
distrustful of his Council, Villiers, having achieved his position 
by the aid of the principal Councillors, would, as they fondly 
hoped, be content with maintaining a good correspondence 
between the Sovereign and his ministers. 

At first Abbot did not find the Queen so willing to forward 
his scheme as he had expected. She had indeed no love for 
Somerset, but neither was she likely to look with 
Abbot favour on a nominee of Abbot and the Protestants. 

Queen's' * She knew her husband's character well enough to 
assistance. assure Abbot that he was only preparing a scourge 
for himself. James would never allow a successor of Somerset 
to occupy any other position than one of complete dependence 

Sarmiento to Philip III., April ' Simancas MSS. 2593, fol. 67. 


on himself, and he was certain to teach him to ride rough-shod 
over those through whose countenance he had risen to power. 

In spite of these warnings, Abbot persisted in his entreaties. 
He knew that the Queen's intervention was indispensable, for 
it was one of James's peculiarities that he would never admit 
anyone to his intimacy who had not previously secured the 
Queen's good word, so that if she afterwards complained of the 
person whom he had advanced, he might be able to reply that 
he had owed his preferment to her recommendation. 

The Queen at length withdrew her opposition. On the 

evening of April 23, she pressed her husband to confer on 

Villiers the office of Gentleman of the Bedchamber. 

April 23. 

Villiers made Outside the door were Somerset on the one hand, and 
of e the e B<fd- Abbot and his friends on the other, all anxiously 

ber ' waiting for James's decision, Somerset, who felt 
that his high position was at stake, sent a message to the King, 
imploring him at least to be content with conferring on Villiers 
the inferior office of Groom of the Bedchamber. Abbot sent 
a counter-message to the Queen, pressing her to insist on the 
higher post. At last James gave way to his wife's entreaties, 
and Villiers received the appointment for which the Queen 
had originally asked. The new Gentleman of the Bedchamber 
was also knighted, and endowed with a pension of i,ooo/. a 
year. 1 

The favour shown to Villiers did not necessarily imply any 
cooling of James's affection to Somerset Somerset may have 
May . shown signs of ill-temper, and James may ha've seized 
James reads the opportunity of giving a warning which might have 
of the Span- more effect than the letter which he had addressed 
three months before. 2 Some little time after this scene 
Digby s despatch, giving an account of the articles, arrived in 
England. It was the first time that James had seen the Spanish 
demands formally set down on paper. He was asked to stipulate 
that any children that might be born of the marriage should be 
baptized after the Catholic ritual by a Catholic priest, that they 
should be educated by their mother, and that if, upon coming 
of age, they chose to adopt their mother's religion, they should 

1 Abbot's narrative in Rtishivorth, i. 456. 2 Page 320. 

Y 2 


be at liberty to do so, without being on that account excluded 
from the succession. The servants attached to the Infanta's 
household, and even the wet-nurses of the children, were to 
be exclusively Catholics. There was to be a public chapel or 
church open to all who chose to avail themselves of 
it. The ecclesiastics attached to it were to wear their 
clerical habits when they appeared in the streets ; and one of 
their number was to exercise jurisdiction over the Infanta's 
household. Finally, the execution of the penal laws was to be 

Anything more fatal to the domestic peace of the Prince, 
and to the popularity of the monarchy, it is impossible to con- 
ceive. Charles was required to admit into his home 

Mischief .... , , , , 

contained in a wife who would never cease to be ostentatiously a 
foreigner, and to parade her attachment to a foreign 
Church, and her devotion to a foreign sovereign, before the 
eyes of all men. A religion which England had shaken off 
was to be allowed to creep back upon English soil, not by its 
own increasing persuasiveness, or by the growth of a more 
tolerant spirit in the nation, but by the support of a monarch 
whom, of all others, Englishmen most cordially detested. We 
have ourselves seen two great nations engaged in an arduous 
war rather than suffer a third Power to establish a religious 
protectorate over an empire which was not their own. All that, 
in our own days, was refused by England and France to Russia 
in the East, James was required to concede to Spain in the very 
heart of England. 

The King's first impulse was to scribble down some notes 

on the side of the paper on which the articles were written, 

which, if they had been converted into a formal reply 

posedVre- would have been equivalent to a declaration that 

ent ' he meant to throw up the negotiation altogether. 1 

These notes were by no means deficient in that shrewdness 

1 A translation of these notes will be found in the paper in vol. xli. 
of the Archceologia already referred to. I have no direct evidence of the 
time when they were written ; but the internal probability is very great 
that they were the result of the shock occasioned by the first reading of the 


which was characteristic of the man. He was as fully convinced, 
he wrote, of the truth of his own religion, as the King of Spain 
could be of his ; and he intended to educate his grandchildren 
in the doctrines which he himself professed. He was, however, 
ready to promise not to use compulsion, and would engage 
that, if they became Catholics by their own choice, they should 
not be debarred from the succession. The laws of England 
enjoined obedience to the King, whatever his religion might be. 
It was only by the Jesuits that the contrary doctrine was main- 
tained. The servants who accompanied the Infanta might be 
of any religion they pleased ; and, as to the wet-nurses, it 
would be better to leave the selection of them to the physicians, 
who would be guided in their choice by the health and consti- 
tution of the candidates rather than by their religious opinions. 
The Infanta might have a large chapel for her household, but 
there was to be no public church. The permission to the 
clergy to wear their ecclesiastical habits in the streets would 
cause public scandal. As to the remission of the penal laws, it 
would be time enough to consider the point when everything 
else had been arranged. 

It does not need much seeking to discover the causes of 
James's hesitation to accept the Spanish proposals. But, as 
Cause of usual, personal interests combined with general ones 
hesitation. j n influencing his mind. During the first half of 
May, in which James had these articles before him, he was 
discussing with his lawyers the preparations for Owen's trial, 
which ultimately took place on May 17. These discussions 
had brought vividly before his mind the danger of assassination, 
and for the time he was completely unnerved, He slept in a 
bed round which three other beds were arranged to serve as a 
barricade, and when he moved from place to place, he drove 
at as rapid a pace as possible, surrounded by a troop of running 
footmen who were directed to hinder any attempt to approach 
him. 1 It is therefore no wonder that at such a moment James 
should have taken fright lest the strength to be gained by the 
alliance with Spain should prove to his son's advantage rather 

1 Sarmiento to Lerma, May - '- Madrid Palace Library, 


than to his own. Charles, he fancied, supported by the King 
of Spain, and by the English Catholics, might be persuaded to 
head a rebellion against his father. He saw his own dethrone- 
ment in the future, and he pictured himself an old and worn- 
out man, reduced to end his days in a dungeon, of which his 
son and the wife with whom he was about to provide him would 
keep the keys. It would be well if this were all. For, as he 
was heard to say, a deposed king might easily be murdered 
even by his own children. On another occasion he pointedly 
asked Sarmiento what possible motive Charles V. could have 
had for abdicating in favour of his son ; and the tone in which 
he asked the question convinced the Spaniard that he had not 
the slightest inclination to follow the Emperor's example. At 
other times James pointed more reasonably to the more 
probable danger of the increase of power which the English 
Catholics would obtain through the support of Spain. 1 

James did not always talk like this. There was a conflict 
in his mind between fear of his own subjects and a desire to 
obtain the support of the King of Spain. The prospect of 
obtaining a French princess was less hopeful than it had been, 
and before the end of May James learnt that the Regent's answer 
to his last proposals was such as, in his, was equivalent 
to a refusal. 2 At last, about the middle of June, his irresolution 
came to an end, and he sent to tell Sarmiento that, if some 
slight modifications were made in the articles, he would be 
ready to take them for the basis of the negotiation. 

The messenger who brought the news to Sarmiento was 

again Sir Robert Cotton. He was mad with delight, he said, 

at having been made the channel of such a commu- 

sir Robert nication. At last, he added, a prospect was opened 

of his being able to live and die a professed Catholic, 

as his ancestors had done before him. As soon as Sarmiento 

heard this, he rose from his seat, and caught the bearer of the 

1 Sarmiento to Lerma, May ~- Madrid Palace Library. Sarmiento 

to Philip III. ; Sarmiento to Lerma, May Simancas MSS. 2593, 
fol. 89, 91. Francisco de Jesus. App. 

2 Answer of Villeroi, May ^ S, P. France. 

1 24. 


welcome tidings in his arms. The time would come when 
Cotton would find in his parchments and precedents that his 
ancestors had been distinguished for other things besides their 
attachment to the Church of Rome. But for the present he 
was taking a part over which, in later life, he probably cast a 
discreet veil in his conversations with the parliamentary states- 
men. The man who was to be the friend of Eliot and Selden 
now assured the Spanish Ambassador that he was a Catholic at 
heart, and that he could not understand how a man of sense 
could be anything else. ' 

On July 3, Cotton re-appeared. The King, he said, had 

ordered the negotiations with France to be broken 

Somerset to off. If Sarmiento had a commission from the King 

^a^age' he of Spain to treat, he would give a similar one to 

Somerset. 2 

It is evident that Somerset was still high in James's favour, 
though he was unable to have everything his own way. He 
was a mark for the hostility of all who despised him as a 
Scotchman, and hated him as a favourite. This sense of in- 
security made him querulous and impatient, and he continued 
to vent his ill-humour upon the King. James marked his 
displeasure by refusing to gratify his wish to retain in his own 
hands the Wardenship of the Cinque Ports, which, after North- 
ampton's death, had been provisionally entrusted to 
his care, and on July 13 he conferred it upon Lord 
Zouch, who had not even asked for the appointment. 
To Somerset's urgent entreaties that the vacant office of Lord 

1 Quotation from Sarmiento's despatch of April in Arckaologia, 
xli. 157. Sarmiento to Philip III., y^ - Francisco de Jesus, App. 

In a pamphlet published in 1624, there is a passage which shows that there 
were many Catholics amongst Cotton's friends. In it Gondomar is made 
to say : " There were few Catholics in England of note from whom . . . 
I wrested not out a good sum of money. Sir R. Cotton, a great antiquary, 
I hear, much complaineth of me, that from his friends and acquaintances 
only I got into my purse the sum, at the least, of !O,ooo/." The second 
part of the Vox Populi 

2 Sarmiento to Philip III., July ^ 


Privy Seal might be given to Bishop Bilson, 1 James refused to 
give an immediate reply, and when the spoiled favourite took 
offence he answered in a manner which shows that, if there 
was a quarrel between the two men, it was not on the King's 
side that it arose. " I have been needlessly troubled this day," 
wrote James, "with your desperate letters ; you may take the 
right way, if you list, and neither grieve me nor yourself. No 
man's nor woman's credit is able to cross you at my hands if 
you pay me a part of that you owe me. But, how you can 
give over that inward affection, and yet be a dutiful servant, I 
cannot understand that distinction. Heaven and earth shall 
bear me witness that, if you do but the half your duty unto 
me, you may be with me in the old manner, only by expressing 
that love to my person and respect to your master that God 
and man crave of you, with a hearty and feeling penitence of 
your bypast errors. God move your heart to take the right 
course, for the fault shall be only in yourself ; and so farewell." 2 

James knew well enough that, in the position which Somerset 
held, he could not sink into the merely faithful subject. It 
went to his heart to have to bear the ingratitude of one for 
whom he had done so much. Yet, if he expostulated in 
private, he still hoped for the best, and openly maintained the 
arrogant upstart against his ill-willers. Somerset's temper was 
thoroughly roused. About this time, according to a story 
which has not come down from any good authority, James 
directed Villiers to wait upon Somerset, and to request him to 
take him under his protection. "I will none of your service,' 7 
was the short and hasty answer, " and you shall none of my 
favour. I will, if I can, break your neck, and of that be con- 
fident" 3 

In spite of all, James was still ready to maintain Somerset 
against his ill-willers in public, if he expostulated with him in 
private. Knowing, as he did, that he had done many things 

1 Chamberlain to Carleton, July 15, Court and Times, i, 364. 

2 The King to [Somerset], Halliwell's Letters of the Kings, 133. The 
date must be between July 13 and 19, during which time the King \vas at 

3 Weldon, Secret History, i. 407. 


for which he might be called in question, he directed Cotton to 
Somerset draw out a pardon which might cover the greatest 
pardon e fbr number of possible offences, and this pardon, by the 
himself. King's direction, was sealed with the Privy Seal. 
Yelverton, however, who as Solicitor-General was called on to 
examine it, refused to certify its fitness for passing the Great 
Seal, as including offences for which pardons were not usually 
granted, and his contention appears to have been supported 
by the Chancellor. 1 

Upon this, Cotton was directed by Somerset to draw up 
another pardon, still more extensive, which he framed after the 
model of that which had been granted to Wolsey, in the reign 
of Henry VIII. Stress was afterwards laid upon the fact that 
amongst the crimes which were mentioned occurs that of being 
accessory before the fact to murder. 2 The answer which he then 
gave was in all probability true that he had left these details 
to the lawyers. 3 It is hardly likely that, if he had been really 
guilty of murder, he would have allowed nearly two years to slip 
by without procuring a pardon, on some pretence or another. 

However this may have been, Ellesmere refused to pass the 
pardon under the Great Seal, telling Somerset that he would 
July 20. inform the King and the Council of his reasons for 
refuses'to' holding back. At a meeting of the Council, held in 
pass it. the King's presence on July 20, Somerset pleaded 
his own cause in words which, it is said, had been prearranged 
by James. He declared that it was only on account of the 
malice of his enemies that he had asked for a pardon at all. 
If the Lord Chancellor had any charge to bring against him, 
let him bring it at once. As soon as Somerset had ended, 
James ordered silence. Somerset, he said, had acted rightly 
in requesting a pardon. In his own lifetime Somerset would 
have no need of it, and he wished them all to undeceive them- 

1 It is to Yelverton that the refusal is ascribed in Cotton's examinations, 
Cott. MSS. Tit. B. vii. 489, and in the narrative of the trial printed by 
Amos, 156. Other accounts ascribe it to the Chancellor. 

2 To poisoning, according to the report of the trial (Amos, 151), but 
this is certainly an embellishment of the speaker or reporter. 

3 Amos, 1 08. 


selves if they thought otherwise, but he wished that the Prince, 
who was standing by, might never be able to undo 

James orders . ,.,,. . . ,imi r 

Eiiesmerc to that which his father had done. " Iherefore, my 
Lord Chancellor," he ended by saying, "seal it at 
once, for such is my pleasure." 

Ellesmere threw himself on his knees, asking if the King 
wished Somerset to be allowed to rob him of the jewels and 
furniture committed to his charge, as it was stated in the 
pardon that he was to give no account of anything. If the 
King ordered him to seal the pardon, he would do it, provided 
that he had first a pardon for himself for doing so. 

On this James angrily rose. " I have ordered you to pass 
the pardon," he said, as he left the Council Chamber, " and 
The pardon P ass ^ vou shall." Yet, in spite of his indignation, 
not sealed. j t was diffi cu it to fix James in any resolution. As 
soon as he left the Council, the Queen, together with Somerset's 
other enemies, urged all that could be said against the pardon. 
James could not make up his mind to resist them, at least for 
the present. He had fixed that day as the beginning of his 
progress, and he was in a hurry to be once more in the midst 
of the enjoyments of the country. He left Whitehall without 
coming to a decided resolution. 1 It was perhaps in 'order to 
make amends to Somerset for his failure to support him to the 
end that, ten days afterwards, Bishop Bilson, though he did 
not obtain the Privy Seal, was, avowedly at the favourite's re- 
commendation, admitted to a seat in the Privy Council. 2 

1 Sarmiento to Lerma, \ y 2 ^' Madrid Palace Library. Oct. ' Si- 

Aug. 8, ' 30, 

mancas MSS. 2594, fol. 40. 

2 Council Register, Aug. 30 ; Carew Letters, 15. 




IT seems hardly possible that in the ordinary course of events, 
with so many chances against him, Somerset would have suc- 
ceeded long in retaining the King's favour. It was, however, 
to no mere courtiers' intrigue that he finally succumbed. 

A few days before the conclusion of the progress, when 

James was at Lord Southampton's house at Beaulieu, Winwood 

informed him that he had received intelligence to 


of Over- the effect that Sir Thomas Overbury had met his 
der\roght death by other than natural means. 1 What the 
precise information was which he had received we 
do not know, but the most probable account is that the 
apothecary's boy by whom the murder was actually committed, 
falling ill at Flushing, contrived to convey the information to 
Winwood. 2 As no immediate steps were taken in consequence, 

1 Carew Letters, 16. 

2 This is the story given by Wilson (Kennet, ii. 698). Trumbull's 
name was mixed up with it by Weldon, probably because it was known 
that he came over to London about this time, but his letters in the Record 
Office show that he came on another matter. Winwood himself says : 
" Not long since there was some notice brought unto me that Sir Thomas 
Overbury . . . was poisoned in the Tower, whilst he was there a prisoner ; > 
with this I acquainted His Majesty, who, though he could not out of the 
clearness of his judgment but perceive that it might closely touch some 
that were in nearest place about him, yet such is his love to justice that he 
gave open way to the searching of this business." Winwood to Wake, 
Nov. 15, i6i5> S. P. Savoy. The idea that Winwood knew of the murder 
some time before, and only brought it out when Somerset was out of 


it is probable that the confession did not enter into details, 
and, indeed, it is not likely that the criminal was aware of 
anything inculpating the higher personages by whom he had 
been employed. 

It must have been within a few days after the return of the 
Court from the progress, that is to say early in September, that 
a circumstance occurred which gave Winwood an 
Confession opportunity of obtaining further information. The 
Earl of Shrewsbury, who had long been a patron of 
Helwys, spoke to Winwood in his favour, as a gentleman whose 
acquaintance was worth having. Winwood answered that he 
should be glad to befriend him, but that at present there was a 
heavy imputation upon him, as Overbury was thought to have 
come to a violent and untimely death whilst he was under his 
charge. Helwys, as soon as he heard what Winwood had said, 
having now no doubt that the whole matter was discovered, 
acknowledged that he was privy to an attempt which had been 
made to poison Overbury through Weston, but that he had pre- 
vented its being carried into execution. Winwood laid this 
confession before the King, who directed that Helwys should 
set down in writing all he knew about the matter. 1 On Septem- 
ber 10, accordingly, Helwys wrote to the King, acknowledging 
that he had met Weston carrying the poison, and had prevented 
him from attempting to give it to Overbury. He stated that re- 
newed attempts had frequently been made to convey poison to 
Overbury in his food, but that he had succeeded in frustrating 
them, till the apothecary's boy at last eluded his vigilance. 
Who sent the poison he did not know. The only person whose 
name he had heard mentioned in connection with it was Mrs. 
Turner. 2 

As soon as James saw the letter, he charged Coke to ex- 
favour, is totally inadmissible. Somerset had been in less favour in the 
spring than he was now. As early as July, however, there had been 
whisperings about the murder, which had frightened Mrs. Turner. 

1 Bacon's charge against the Countess of Somerset {Letters and Life, 
v. 297). His story presupposes that Winwood was already in possession 
of some information. 

* Helwys to the King, Sept. 10 ; Amos, 186. 


amine into the affair. 1 He knew that, in some previous con- 
versation with Winwood, Helwys had hinted at being able to 
implicate the Earl and Countess of Somerset in the conspiracy, 
and he was never willing to hush up a charge against anyone 
whatever. He let it be known that he was determined to 
search into the crime without fear or favour. 

Coke was of all men then living the one who would take 
most delight in conducting an inquiry of this nature, and he 
Coke a was P erna P s also the most unfit for the purpose. 
pointed to His natural acuteness and sagacity were overbalanced 

examine the . 

suspected by his readiness to look only to that side of the 
evidence by which his foregone conclusions were 
supported, whilst his violent temper made it impossible for him 
to scrutinise doubtful points with any degree of calmness, and 
his ignorance of human nature prevented him from seeing a 
whole class of facts by which the judgment of a wiser man 
would have been influenced. 

It was not till eighteen days after Helwys wrote his letter to 
the King that Weston could be brought to confess that he 
Weston's knew anything about Overbury's murder at all. As 
confession. j ate as September 21, he declared that the prisoner's 
death was caused by a cold caught through sitting too long at 
an open window. The next day, however, he acknowledged the 
truth of the Lieutenant's story of the scene in which he threw 
away the poison in consequence of Helwys's rebuke. This con- 
fession, coupled with the long delay, is no slight corroboration 
of the general accuracy of Helwys's account of what had 
happened. 2 On the following day he was, at his own request, 
Lord and re-examined, and having for the first time implicated 
Somerset Lady Somerset in the affair, 3 on October i he stated 
implicated. t h at Lady Somerset had herself, in Mrs. Turner's 
presence, directed him to administer to Overbury the poison 

1 The story in Roger Coke's Detection is too full of palpable blunders 
to be worthy of notice. It is, perhaps, a distorted recollection of a message 
sent to Coke by the King to examine Helwys. 

2 Examinations of Weston, Sept. 27 and 28, 1615, Ames, 177. 

* Examination of Weston, Sept. 29, 1615, S. P. Dom. Ixxxi. 118. 


which would be sent to him. 1 A day or two afterwards, 
Rawlins, a servant of Somerset, gave information that he had 
been the means of conveying a powder from his master to 
Overbury. 2 Mrs. Turner steadily denied that she knew any- 
thing about the matter, and Sir Thomas Morrson, who was 
suspected, as having recommended Weston to his place, was 
equally steadfast in maintaining his own innocence. 

It must have been shortly after Weston's confession of 
September 29 that Coke petitioned the King to allow some 
who were of higher rank than himself to be joined with him 
in conducting examinations which threatened to inculpate per- 
sons of such standing as the Earl and Countess of Somerset. 
The King at once consented, and, probably on October 13, 
nominated the Chancellor, the Duke of Lennox, and Lord 
Zouch. 3 

As soon as Somerset heard that he was suspected, he left 
the King at Royston, and came up to London to justify him- 
self. He must have felt ill at ease. 4 Even if, as was probably 
the case, he was innocent of Overbury's murder, he must have 

1 Examination of Weston, Oct. i, 1615, Amos, 178. 

2 Relation of Giles Rawlins, Oct. 1615, 5". P. Dom. Ixxxii. 24. 

3 Bacon's charge against the Countess of Somerset. Letters and Life, 
v. 297. 

4 There is a difficulty in making out the chronology here. Weldon 
(Secret History, i. 410) makes Somerset to have accompanied James to 
Royston, to have returned immediately to London, and there to have been 
arrested at once. Of course this cannot be the case, as James was at all 
events at Royston before October 9, and probably at least a week earlier, 
and Somerset was arrested on the 1 7th. According to Weldon the day of 
Somerset's departure from Royston was a Friday, i.e. the 6th or I3th of 
October ; I feel little doubt that it was on the I3th, as the first meeting of 
the Commissioners was on the 1 5th. This would give some explanation 
of his story of James's behaviour. The King, he says, parted from 
Somerset with extraordinary demonstrations of affection, telling him that 
he would neither eat nor sleep till he saw him again, but after he was gone 
he said, ' I shall never see him more. ' Three or four days before the 6th, 
news would have reached Royston that there had been suspicions against 
the Earl, who finding them acquiring strength may have determined to go 
back to London, 'to still the murmurs vented against him ' (Wilson, in 
Kennel, ii. 698). He would, of course, as he left, declare boldly that it 


known that the difficulty of proving his innocence was so great 
Somerset's as to render it almost a certainty that he would not 
dismay. escape if the King determined to bring him to trial. As 
he reviewed the circumstances of the case, he must have remem- 
bered how many of his actions, which at the time seemed to be 
trivial enough, would hardly escape the very worst interpreta- 
tions. His share in Overbury's imprisonment, the double part 
which he had played, towards him, the food and medicines 
with which he had supplied him, the intrigue into which he had 
entered with Helwys and Northampton to keep him in ignorance 
of his real feelings towards him, all formed a network of evidence 
from which it would be difficult to escape, even if the judges 
before whom his cause was to be tried had been more impartial 
than they were likely to be. 

There -was but one course for him to take. He ought to 
have sat down at once, and after calling up before his memory 
every circumstance which had taken place during those months 
of Overbury's imprisonment, and collecting every scrap of 
evidence which it was in his power to procure, to have laid 
before the King a true and full statement of his case. 

Unfortunately for himself he did not take this step. No 
doubt it would have cost him something. He would have had 
to confess much that was to his discredit, and would, in all pro- 
bability, have lost all chance of regaining the King's favour ; but 
he might possibly have been able to convince the world that 
he was not a murderer. 

was all false, and that he would soon come back with his character cleared. 
The King's conduct admits of various interpretations. The ordinary 
explanation is that he pretended hypocritically to part with him as a friend, 
whilst he knew he was running into destruction. On the other hand, 
Wilson's account is probably correct, which assumes that Somerset knew 
perfectly well that he was going to meet an accusation. It is possible that 
his bold assertions overpowered the King for a time, and that he really 
dismissed him with the hope of seeing him return in a few days triumphant 
over his accusers, but that as soon as he was gone the force of the accu- 
sations recurred to him, and he may well enough have added, ' I shall 
never see his face more.' All depends upon the gesture and look with 
which the words were uttered. Wilson says it ' was with a smile,' but 
Weldon, who was at Royston at the time, omits this. 


Instead of this, he took the most damaging course which it 
was possible for him to have selected. Again and again he 
wrote to James, assuring him that the whole accusation was a 
mere factious attempt to ruin him. The King, he said, had 
allowed himself to give way too much to Coke's wilfulness. 
Ellesmere was not a fit man to investigate the charge, as he 
had always been his enemy. He reminded the King of the 
share which the Chancellor had taken, as Solicitor-General, in 
the proceedings against the Queen of Scots, and begged that 
the examination might be conducted by the twelve judges, and 
that no Privy Councillor might be allowed to take part in the 
proceedings. If he had been contented to urge in a moderate 
manner that it was unfair that his conduct should be investigated 
by his personal enemies, what he said would have been deserv- 
ing of attention ; but he threw away all chance of making an 
impression .when he actually threatened the King that his be- 
haviour on this occasion would lose him the support of the 
whole family of the Howards. l 

To these applications, which were supported by Suffolk, 

James returned a positive refusal. He told Somerset that his 

conduct, and that of his father-in-law, was that of 

James re- ' 

fuses to alter men who shrunk from investigation. As to himself, 

the course of . , . . . 

investiga- he was determined that the examination should be 
conducted in the strictest possible manner. " If," he 
said, " the delation prove false, God so deal with my soul as no 
man among you shall so much rejoice as I ; nor shall I ever 
spare, I vow to God, one grain of rigour that can be stretched 

1 The substance of Somerset's letters may be inferred with tolerable 
accuracy from James's reply (Halliwell, Letters of the Kings of England > 
134). That reply must have been written about October 15 or 1 6. It 
was certainly after the Chancellor and others had been directed to examine 
into the murder. It could not have been immediately after their appoint- 
ment, for James speaks of a message sent by Lennox 'long ago' to Somer- 
set on the subject. On the other hand, the desire expressed by the King 
that Somerset should show his letter to Suffolk, seems to prove that he was 
still at large, and this view is confirmed by the absence of any reference 
to Somerset's arrest, and by the possibility suggested that Ellesmere might 
be directed to take a certain course in the examinations, which appears to ' 
imply that they had not yet commenced. 


against the conspirators. If otherways, as God forbid, none 
of you shall more heartily sorrow for it, and never king used 
that clemency as I will do in such a case. But that I should 
suffer a murder, if it be so, to be suppressed and plaistered 
over, to the destruction of both my soul and reputation, I am 
no Christian. I never mean willingly to bear any man's sins 
but my own ; and if for serving my conscience in setting down 
a fair course of trial I shall lose the hands of that family, I 
will never care to lose the hearts of any for justice' sake." l 

On October 17 the Commissioners, who by this time had 
accumulated sufficient evidence to satisfy themselves of the 
guilt of the Earl and Countess of Somerset, wrote to both to 
direct them to remain in their respective apartments, without 
seeing anyone except their servants. 2 It was on that evening 
that Somerset burnt a number of his own letters to Northampton, 
having previously delivered those which he had received from 
Northampton and from Overbury to Sir Robert Cotton. His 
first idea seems to have been to affix false dates to them, in 
order to make them serve as the basis of a fictitious account of 
his dealings with Overbury. This was actually done by Cotton, 
but Somerset changed his mind, and preferred to send them 
away to a safe place of concealment. This treatment of the 
letters was afterwards, when it was discovered, very damaging 
to his case ; but from the fragments which have come down to 
us, we can quite understand how he might have feared that, by 
a very easy process, they might be used to support the charge 
against him, though they did not in reality prove his guilt. 3 

The next day the Commissioners, hearing that, two days 
before, Somerset had abused his authority as a Councillor, to 
send a pursuivant to get possession of some papers relating to 
Mrs. Turner, and that he had sent a message to Mrs. Turner 
herself that very morning, committed him to the custody of Sir 
Oliver St. John, at the Dean of Westminster's house. 4 

1 The King's letter is printed in Mr. Spedding's ' Review of the Evi- 
dence,' in the Arch&ologia, xli. 90. 
z Amos, 40, 41. 

* Amos, 83, 95 ; Cotton's examination, Cott. MSS. Tit. B. vii. 489. 
4 Somerset to Poulter, Oct. 16. Declaration by Poulter, Oct. 18, 

338 THE FALL OF SOMERSET. cu. xx. 

On October 19, the day after Somerset was thus committed 
to St John's custody, Weston was brought to trial at the Guild- 
Trial of hall. Those who take an interest in observing the 
Weston. progress which has been made in our judicial insti- 
tutions since the reign of James I., can hardly find a more 
characteristic specimen of the injustice which once prevailed 
universally in criminal courts than is to be found in this trial 
of Weston. Strange to say, Coke, who had prepared the evi- 
dence against the prisoner, held the first place amongst the 
Commissioners on the Bench. But this, revolting as it is to our 
feelings, is a very small matter when compared with the method 
in which the indictment was drawn up. The principal facts, 
as we know, were these that Weston received certain poisons 
to give to Overbury ; that Overbury had lived on in a way 
which is perfectly inexplicable on the supposition that the 
poisons had really been administered ; and that, finally, a 
poison was given by an apothecary's boy, by which the object 
desired by the plotters was accomplished. It is plain that 
there was no evidence whatever that Weston had murdered 
Overbury, unless, indeed, the fact that he afterwards accepted 
a reward from Lady Essex is to considered as evidence that 
he had really earned the money. If Coke had lived in our 
own day he would have directed the jury to find a verdict of 
Not Guilty. But that he should take this course was not 
to be expected. Every temptation which could offer itself 
to him urged him on. His professional reputation was at 
stake. Such an opportunity of tracking out a great crime 
through a maze of contradictory evidence does not occur twice 
in a man's life. Nor is it to be forgotten that a failure to pro- 
cure Weston's conviction would at once set every one of the 
criminals at large. Overbury's blood would still be unavenged ; 
Mrs. Turner and the Countess of Somerset would once more be 
beyond the reach of punishment. It was a maxim of English 
law that the accessory could not be convicted until the prin- 
cipal had been found guilty, and Weston was the only man 
in the hands of the Government who could on any pretence 

S.P. Ixxxii. 49, 65, 66. Commissioners to the King, Oct. 18, 1615, 
Amos, 38. 


be called a principal in the murder. The true murderer, 
indeed, according to all probability, was the apothecary's boy ; 
but it would be enough to constitute Weston a principal if it 
could be shown that he was present at the time that the boy was 
administering the poison, and that he aided him in doing so. 
The indictment against Weston not only asserted dis- 

Character -i i i i i i i i i 

of the tmctly that he had given his aid on that occasion, but 

also stated that the other poisons were actually given 
by Weston to Overbury in his food. Of the truth of these two 
statements not a shadow of evidence was produced at the trial, 
nor, as far as we know, was there any such evidence in existence. 

At the present day, a lawyer who should have a hand in 
drawing up such an indictment as this, or in allowing it to be 
pressed against a prisoner, would undoubtedly be guilty of the 
most deliberate act of wickedness which it is possible for a man 
to commit. And yet, strange as it seems, there is no reason to 
suppose that any one of those who took part in the trial sus- 
pected for a moment that there was anything wrong. So inured 
were the lawyers of that day to the habit of disregarding the 
simplest principles of evidence, and of seeing the case in hand 
through their wishes rather than their judgment, that there 
would be little difficulty in coming to the conclusion that 
Weston was the real murderer. He was certainly a liar, by his 
own confession ; why therefore should he be believed in any- 
thing that he had said ? and, if he really had a hand in the 
murder, were he and all the rest of his confederates to escape 
because of a mere formality ? After all it was by no means 
material that indictments should be correct in their assertions. 1 
If a few things were inserted which could not be proved, no 
harm would be done. The main point was that Weston was a 
villain, and deserved to be hanged ; and hanged he should be, 
in spite of the rules of the law. 

An unexpected obstacle was presented to carrying out im- 
mediately this foregone conclusion, by the refusal of Weston to 
put himself on his country. This refusal, which would now be 
equivalent to a conviction, was at that time a bar to all further 

1 This was laid down by Coke himself at Somerset's trial. See Amos, 

Z 2 


proceedings. The only resource was the horrible torture known 
as the peine forte et dure. The prisoner refusing 
refu S s s n to to plead was laid under weights, which were from 
time to time increased till he could bear them no 
longer, at the same time that he was exposed to the utmost 
severity of cold and hunger. Coke, however, was unable to wait 
till the torment took effect. He could no longer contain the 
secrets with which, in the course of the last few days, he had 
become acquainted, and he accordingly directed Sir Lawrence 
Hyde (who had once been a leading member of the popular 
party in the House of Commons, but had now become the 
Queen'j Attorney) to read the accusations which Weston and 
others had brought against Mrs. Turner and the Earl and 
Countess of Somerset. In this way Coke practically threw the 
weight of his authority against prisoners who were not present, 
and who had no opportunity of being heard in their own 
defence. After this the proceedings were adjourned to the 
23rd, in order to give Weston time to consider the course 
which he would take. 

There can be little doubt of the truth of the supposition 
which was generally entertained at the time, that Weston had 
He gives been tampered with by those who hoped, by his 
way. refusal to plead, to escape the punishment of their 

misdeeds. Ever}' attempt was made to induce him to reconsider 
his determination, but for some time without effect. Two 
Bishops, Andrewes and King, exhausted to no purpose the 
arguments which could be supplied by the different schools of 
theology to which they respectively belonged. What the Bishops 
were unable to do, however, was at last effected by the sheriff's 
servant, on the morning of the day on which Weston was 
brought again before the Court. The change which he effected 
was attributed by Coke to ' the instance of the Holy Ghost ; ' 
but the result was probably obtained by a vivid description of 
the tortures which Weston, if he continued obstinate, would 
have to undergo, and by the conviction that he was only 
serving, at his own expense, those who had led him to destruc- 
tion. When he saw the sheriff, he told him that he was now 
ready to put himself on his trial ; and added that he hoped 


that there was no intention of making a net to catch the little 
fishes, whilst the great ones were allowed to escape. 

He was accordingly brought up for trial. The examinations 

were read, and Hyde again told his story. As on the former 

occasion, Lord and Lady Somerset were put forward 

Oct. 23. 

Western's as the authors of the murder, and it was boldly stated 
that the poison had actually been administered by 
Weston. A lawyer would have made short work with the 
evidence, but in those days the criminal was not allowed the 
help of counsel. Weston stammered out some words in his 
own defence, but he was quite incompetent to sift the story 
which had been brought against him. To make it still more 
easy for the jury to bring in what he considered to be a proper 
verdict, Coke declared it to be good law that it was utterly 
immaterial whether or no Overbury had really been murdered 
by means of the poisons mentioned in the indictment. It was 
enough that they could come to the conclusion that he had 
been poisoned by Weston, without expecting any exact proof 
of the way in which it had been done. Under such guidance 
as this, it is no wonder that the jury, without difficulty, brought 
in a verdict of guilty against the prisoner. 1 

No trial exhibits more clearly than that of Weston, the 
difference between ancient and modern practice. Defec- 
tive proof was, in his case, eked out by a ready imagination, 
until the collectors of the evidence actually allowed themselves 
to take for granted the only two points which had any direct 
bearing upon the guilt of the prisoner. Proof that Weston 
administered the poison, or was present when anyone else was 
administering it, existed only in the vivid imagination of Coke 
and of those who worked with him, though it was made evident 
that he had at one time intended to poison Overbury, and that 
he had at least connived at proceedings which enabled others 
actually to do so. It has been said that this system was admir- 
ably adapted for the discovery of the truth, if those who con- 
ducted the examinations could be credited with acting fairly 
on every occasion. To suppose, however, that they could act 
fairly, is to ascribe to them superhuman virtue. Even if a 
1 State Trials, ii. 911. Ames, 371. 


trial were not a strictly political one, those who prepared the 
evidence were, by the very nature of their employment, in- 
terested in making out a case ; and, to all intents and pur- 
poses, the previous examination was the real trial. Excepting, 
indeed, where political passions were aroused against the 
Government, it was not to be expected that twelve men, utterly 
inexperienced in the difficult task of sifting evidence, could 
come to a fair conclusion, when all the legal talent of the Bench 
and the Bar was arrayed on one side, and on the other was a 
poor helpless prisoner, charged with the basest crimes, and 
utterly unprepared, from the circumstances in which he was 
placed, to stand up, alone and unprotected, against the storm 
which was sweeping down upon him from every side. 

Naturally enough, the Government was exceedingly jealous 

of any imputations which might be thrown upon the justice of 

its proceedings. At Weston's execution a number 

in r he e staf s of persons present asked him whether he were really 

}xx ' guilty or not. He refused to give any explicit answer, 
acknowledging that he died worthily, and saying that he had 
left his mind behind with the Chief Justice. Two of the 
questioners, Sir John Holies and Sir John Wentworth, were 
summoned before the Star Chamber on a charge of having 
virtually impugned the decision of the Court, and were con- 
demned to fine and imprisonment. Two other persons were 
imprisoned by order of the Council for the same reasons. 
At the same time Lumsden, a dependent of Somerset's, was 
fined and imprisoned for presenting a petition to the King, 
in which he stated that Weston had declared that the statement 
which he had made during his examination had been untrue. 1 

On November 7, Mrs. Turner was brought up for trial. 
The story of the apothecary's boy was put as much into the 
Trial of background as possible, and the prosecution rested 
Mrs. Turner fa Q { r case U p On the conviction of Weston as a 
principal in the murder. Assuming, as they did, that the 

1 The King to the Commissioners, Oct. 21, 1615, S. P. Dom. Ixxxii. 
80. State Trials, ii. 1021 ; Carew Letters, 17. All excepting Holies and 
Lumsden were released within little more than two months after the 
sentence, and Holies was certainly at liberty in the following July. 


verdict against him had been true, they had little difficulty in 
showing that Mrs. Turner had been accessory to his pro- 
ceedings. In the course of the trial a curious scene took place. 
After some of Lady Somerset's letters, of the most indecent 
character, had been read, some magic scrolls and images were 
produced in court, which had been used by Dr. Forman and 
Mrs. Turner. Whilst they were being examined, a crack was 
heard in one of the scaffolds, probably caused by the crowding 
of the spectators to see the exhibition. The impression pro- 
duced by the noise was, that the devil himself had come into 
the court, and had chosen this method of testifying his dis- 
pleasure at the disclosure of his secrets. So great was the con- 
fusion in consequence, that a quarter of an hour passed before 
order was restored. 

As a matter of course, the prisoner was found guilty. 
Though attempts were made, after the trial, to extract additional 
information from her, no evidence of importance was obtained, 
and she died with expressions of sorrow on her lips for the 
crime in which she, at least, had taken a principal part. 1 

Helwys was the next who was called upon for his defence. 
As far as the evidence went which was brought against him, 
and of there was nothing inconsistent with his own account 
of the part which he had taken. It was shown that 
he had entered into an intrigue of some kind or another with 
Northampton ; but that he had been directly guilty of giving 
culpable aid to Weston was not proved. He might, as far as 
anything was shown in court, have contented himself with 
hindering Weston from administering the poison, although, 
from fear of losing his place, he did not give information of 
what was going on. Under these circumstances he made a 
not unsuccessful defence, and it was generally expected by the 
spectators that he would be acquitted, when Coke produced a 
confession which had been made that very morning by Franklin, 
the person from whom the poison had been procured. In 
this Franklin declared that he had once been present when 
Lady Somerset put into his hands a letter which she had 

1 State Trials, ii. 929 ; Amos, 219. Castle to Miller, Nov. 28, 1615 ; 
Court and Times, i. 376. 


received from Helwys, in which he wrote of Overbury that, 
' the more he was cursed the better he fared.' It is true that 
Franklin's character was very bad, and that he showed a 
tendency to fling his accusations broadcast, in hopes of pro- 
curing his own safety ; yet, as Helwys never denied the words, 
it may be taken for granted that he really wrote the letter. 
This sudden production of new evidence struck him dumb at 
once, and the jury, seeing the impression made upon him, took 
it as an evidence of his complicity in the crime, and brought 
in a verdict of Guilty. There can be no doubt that he had 
connived at that which took place under his authority, though 
he may have kept out of the way when the actual murder was 
committed, but of his knowledge of the actual administration 
of the poison there was no evidence at all. 1 

On the day after Helwys's trial, Franklin was placed at the 
bar. He could not deny that he had procured the poisons 
Trial of f r Mrs. Turner. After a short deliberation the 
Frankim. j ur y brought in a verdict of Guilty against him too. 
Before he was executed he threw out wild hints of the existence 
of a plot far exceeding in villainy that which was in the course 
of investigation. He tried to induce all who would listen to 
him to believe that he knew of a conspiracy in which many 
great lords were concerned ; and that not only the late Prince 
had been removed by unfair means, but that a plan had been 
made to get rid of the Electress Palatine and her husband. 
As, however, all this was evidently only dictated by a hope of 
escaping the gallows, he was allowed to share with the others 
the fate which he richly deserved. 

Of the four who had now been executed, Franklin and 
Mrs. Turner were undoubtedly guilty ; of the direct participa- 
tion of the other two, doubts may reasonably be entertained. 
There was still one more of the inferior criminals to be 

1 State Trials, ii. 935. If Northampton's letter, as printed in the 
second report of Somerset's trial (Amos, 141), is correct, there can be no 
further doubt of Helwys's fullest complicity. But the documentary evidence 
in this report is not, by any means, to be trusted. Before his execution 
Helwys admitted that, upon Weston's saying, " Why, they will have me 
give it him, first or last," he said, "Let it be done, so I know not of it." 
Amos, 215. 


brought to the bar at Guildhall, and against him not a particle 
of reasonable evidence was in existence. Sir Thomas Monson 
had, indeed, assisted in recommending \Veston to Helwys, 
and had had something to do with the correspondence which 
passed between Overbury and Somerset ; but that seems to 
have been the extent of his connection with the affair. On 
December 4 he was arraigned, but he was informed by Coke 
Sir T. that he was suspected of worse crimes than that for 
triafpost 5 - which he was now called in question, and that the 
poned. t r i a i would be postponed, in order that the investi- 
gation might be completed. Coke had already dropped hints 
that he had come upon the traces of a plot of no ordinary 
magnitude. " Knowing," he said publicly, " as much as I 
know, if this plot had not been found out, neither court, city, 
nor many particular houses had escaped the malice of that 
wicked crew." He had even let it be understood that he had 
discovered evidence that Prince Henry had met his death by 
violent means. 1 Coke's imagination had been greatly excited 
by his disclosures. He had imparted to the King his sup- 
posed discovery without doing more than darkly indicating 
its nature. 2 James, however, had looked over the evidence 
against Monson, and had come to the conclusion that no 
sufficient proof existed against him. 3 This feeling on the part 
of the King, coupled with a desire to know more about Coke's 
mystery, would be quite enough to account for his giving 
directions for the postponement of the trial. 4 

Coke did his best to follow up the scent, but he did not find 
that it led to much. All that he was able to discover was that, 
on a certain occasion, more than six months before his death, 
Prince Henry had eaten some dried fruits which had been pre- 
pared by a Roman Catholic confectioner, and that the cook 

1 State Trials, ii. 949. 

2 Coke's letter, printed in Amos, 392, presupposes a former letter to 
the King to this effect. 

8 Examination of John Lepton, Feb. 2, 1616, S. P. Dom. Ixxxvi. 31. 

4 Weldon's story of the King's discovering, the night before the trial, 
that Monson meant to say something disagreeable, and of his sending, in 
consequence, to Coke to let him see the evidence, and then returning a 
message that it was insufficient, refutes itself. The King was at New- 


who prepared the tarts which were sent to Overbury had once 
been in the Prince's service. 1 

There was, however, another quarter in which Coke was 
more successful. On October 26, the King had written to 
information some of the Privy Councillors, informing them that 
fro'mCof- he had been told that sir Robert Cotton had corn- 
ton, municated information of importance to the Spanish 
ambassador, and requiring them to examine him, and, if it 
were found to be the case, to sequester his papers, and to take 
proceedings against him. 2 What was the immediate result 
does not appear, but Digby was written to, in order that he 
might give any additional information in his power on the 
subject of the pensions, and especially as to Somerset's con- 
nection with Spain. He answered, 3 that Sir William Monson 
could give more information on the subject of the pensions 
than any other man ; and that, as to Somerset, he believed that 
he had been careless, and had shown important State papers 
to persons who had allowed them to get abroad, but that he 
had no reason to suppose that he had ever accepted either a 
pension or a reward of any kind from the Spanish Government. 
He thought, however, that Somerset had been carrying on an 
intrigue with the ambassador by means of Cotton. If Cotton 
were arrested, he would tell what had happened. Accordingly, 
Cotton was placed in confinement, 4 and probably confessed 
to taking papers from Somerset to the Ambassador. Not long 
afterwards, Sir William Monson was committed, and Digby was 
summoned to England, in order to give further explanations. 

When Digby arrived, he found that Coke had, in the course 
of his investigations, discovered that one of the despatches 
Coke on a which he had written with an account of the pen- 
wrong scent. s j ons had fallen into Somerset's hands, and that 
he had come to the conclusion, which was perhaps not un- 

market, and there was not time for all this in the course of a single night. 
Besides, Coke's letter, just quoted, contains no reference to messages 
passing in such desperate haste. ' Amos, 482. 

2 Court and Times, i. 371. For the date, see S. P. Dom. Ixxxii. in. 

8 Digby to the King, Dec. 16, S. P. Spain. 

4 On Dec. 29. Carew Letters, 21. 


natural, that Somerset had kept back the paper from the King, 
in order to conceal his own supposed participation in the 
Spanish bribes. Digby accordingly remonstrated with the 
King at these proceedings on Coke's part, which could only 
lead to disagreeable consequences by spreading abroad infor- 
mation respecting the pensions, with which Somerset had no- 
thing whatever to do. A few days afterwards Digby was called 
upon to confer with the Chancellor and with Bacon on the 
questions which were to be put to Cotton. Much to Bacon's 
dissatisfaction, when the subject of the pensions was again 
brought up, Digby positively refused to say a word, alleging 
that he had the King's warrant to be silent. 

What followed upon this is not very clear. We have an 
undated examination of Cotton, in which he acknowledges 
having taken to the Spanish ambassador Lerma's paper of 
demands with respect to the proposed marriage. Digby was 
commanded to acquaint Bacon and the Chancellor with the 
secret of the pensions, and both Cotton and Somerset were 
again examined. 1 Coke was apparently compelled to with- 
draw from his unprofitable investigations, 2 and Cotton was 
some little time afterwards set at liberty. 

It was not till the beginning of April that Digby assured 
the examiners that Somerset was innocent of any connection 
with the pensions. Three months before this, the Earl and 

1 Cott. MSS. Tit. B. vii. 489. Digby to the King, April 3, S. P. 
Spain, Bacon's Letters and Life, v. 262. This examination, most pro- 
bably, was taken about this time. 

2 If it is true that Coke's proceedings with reference to these trials 
brought him into disfavour with the King, there is quite enough to explain 
it without adopting the gratuitous hypothesis that James had a hand in 
the murder. Coke let it be known that he believed that Prince Henry 
had been murdered, on the exceedingly slender grounds which have been 
already mentioned. Indeed, it would seem, from the length of time which, 
according to Coke's theory in this a-nd the Overbury case, poisons might 
remain in the system without affecting life, anyone might be accused of 
poisoning who had ever supplied food to any person who died long after- 
wards under suspicious circumstances. Coke's blunder about the pensions 
too, though far more excusable, must have been still more provoking to 


Countess had been indicted before the grand jury at Westmin- 
ster, and a true bill had then been found against 
them. 1 The trial itself, however, was postponed, no 
doubt in order to wait for Digby's evidence. Lady Somerset 
had, in her hour of misfortune, been delivered of her only 
child, a daughter, who lived to be the mother of the Lord 
Russell whose execution is one of the darkest blots upon the 
memory of James's grandson. The Countess was allowed to 
remain with her child till March 27, when she was sent to the 
Tower, where her husband had been imprisoned for some 
weeks previously. The only sign of emotion which she showed 
was in her urgent entreaty that she might not be sent to the 
lodgings which had once been occupied by Overbury : a request 
which was at once acceded to. 2 

In the proceedings at the Guildhall, Bacon had taken no 

part whatever. Either from disinclination to appear upon a 

stage which Coke had made so peculiarly his own, 

Part taken .. ... 

by Bacon or from a natural dislike to scenes of this kind, he 
of the ^ ' had allowed the prosecutions to be conducted by 
prisoners. otn ers. But the same reasons did not apply to the 
trials of the Earl and Countess. As peers of the realm, they 
would be brought, not before the ordinary judges, but before 
the High Steward's Court, which consisted of a certain number 
of peers summoned by the Lord High Steward, who was always 
a peer specially appointed by the King for the occasion. Con- 
sequently, though Coke would be present with the other judges, 
who would be in court as advisers on points of law, he would 
not sit in any place of authority. 

The case now fell into the hands of Bacon. As far as 
Lady Somerset was concerned he would have no dif- 

Bacon s J 

opinion on ficulty at all. The evidence against Somerset was 

of Somerset's far less clear. There were arguments of very great 

weight which might be brought on either side. To 

us, who look calmly or. the whole affair, and who are in posses- 

1 Carew Letters, 23. 

2 Chamberlain to Carleton, April 6, 1616. Court and Times, i. 395 
She was at first lodged in the Lieutenant's own room, and then in Raleigh's 
apartments, which had just been vacated by him. 


sior. of some evidence which perhaps Bacon had not seen, it 
may seem probable that Somerset was an innocent man ; but 
there is no reason to doubt that Bacon might have come to 
a very different conclusion in perfect good faith. His opinion 
seems to have been that, although it was exceedingly likely that 
Somerset was guilty, yet, that the evidence being incomplete, 
there was no absolute certainty to be attained. 1 

The inference which an Attorney- General in our own time 
would draw from this would be, that it was unfair as well as 
His efforts inexpedient to prosecute a man of whose guilt he 
to procure was not himself thoroughly convinced. The in- 
ference drawn by Bacon was, that it was proper to 
bring the prisoner before the Court, to produce the evidence, 
and to do all that was in his power to procure a conviction, 
because he was aware the King had made up his mind that 
the conviction would not be followed by the death of the 
supposed criminal. 

In fact, the point of view from which State trials were re- 
garded at the beginning of the seventeenth century was one 
which it is now impossible to bring before the mind without 
considerable effort. That the part taken by the officials in con- 
ducting the examination was of far more importance than that 
taken by the judge and the jury in open court, was a belief 
which could hardly fail to root itself in the minds of those who 
went through the toil of conducting those examinations. It 
was hardly in the course of nature that they should resist the 
liability to regard the trial itself as a hard necessity which had 
to be endured, as a form which must be gone through in order 
to satisfy the people, but which could scarcely be expected to 
be of any value as a means of eliciting truth. If, therefore, 
those who had previously investigated the case came to the 
conclusion that the prisoner was probably guilty, but that the 
evidence was not perfectly satisfactory, they would without 
difficulty fall into the miserable error of thinking that it was 
necessary, for the credit of the Government, that a verdict 
should be obtained, but that everything would be well done 

1 In his letter to the King of April 28, Bacon acknowledges that the 
evidence ' rests chiefly upon presumptions.' 


if a pardon were afterwards granted. In order to come to 
such a conclusion, however, it was necessary to adopt an- 
other theory, which has since been wisely rejected by all 
English lawyers. That theory was, that it was the duty of 
the Court to find the prisoner guilty, unless there was some 
positive reason to suppose that he was innocent. It is this 
theory which comes out unexpectedly in one of Bacon's letters, 
which, utterly unintelligible as it is to the present generation, 
may enable us to understand how he reconciled it with his con- 
science to act the part which he took in these trials. If Somer- 
set was in all probability guilty, and if it was the duty of the 
Court to convict a man against whom no more decisive evidence 
could be brought, Bacon may have fancied that he was doing 
no wrong in helping the court to do its duty, whilst at the 
same time he was helping the King to do his. 1 

Even if it be admitted that Bacon may very well have pursued 

the course which he took from other than consciously base 

motives, the way in which he viewed the question of 

His views on ' J 

the question the pardon which James was prepared to give to 
?ng P the n both the prisoners, cannot be viewed otherwise than 
as a symptom of a want of delicate moral perception. 
He ought to have perceived at a glance the truth which lay at 
the bottom of Weston's hope that the great fishes would not be 
allowed to escape at the expense of the lesser ones, and to have 
used all the eloquence of which he was possessed to persuade 
the King that justice could not be satisfied unless those who 
were in high places shared the lot of their meaner accomplices. 
Unfortunately, he did nothing of the sort. His habit of look- 
ing upon reasons of State as something sufficient to justify 
exceptional proceedings ; his custom of thinking of the pre- 
rogative as a power lifted above the ordinary laws which 
regulated the proceedings of subjects ; and his undue deference 

1 " For certainly there may be an evidence so balanced as it may 
have sufficient matter for the conscience of the peers to convict him, and 
yet leave sufficient matter in the conscience of a king upon the same 
evidence to pardon his life ; because the peers are astringed by necessity 
either to acquit or condemn ; but grace is free ; and, for my part, I think 
the evidence in this present case will be of such a nature." Bacon to the 
King, April 28, Letters and Life, v. 275. 


for the wishes of the King (who was, by his office, the very 
foundation-stone upon which the whole political edifice rested), 
made him blind to the true bearings of the case. He cast 
about for one reason and another to justify the course which 
James was determined to take. He allowed himself to adopt 
such sophisms as that the blood of Overbury had been already 
sufficiently avenged ; that the downfall from their places of 
dignity would be sufficient punishment for such great persons ; 
and that, if they could be brought to confess their fault, their 
penitence would be sufficient to call for mercy. 

The reasons which moved James to desire to pardon the 

prisoners were of a very mixed nature. If he did not still 

retain any great regard for Somerset, it would un- 

Reasonswhy * * . . 

the King doubtedly have been very much against his wishes 

desired to , . -iiii-ii-i 

pardon the to send to execution a man with whom he had lived 
for so many years upon terms of such intimate 
familiarity. In the case of Lady Somerset, he had less per- 
sonal reason for standing in the way of justice ; but he could 
not but feel that it would be hard for him to meet the Lord 
Treasurer, day after day, if he had consigned his daughter to 
a murderess's grave. Nor is it impossible that he may have 
remembered that he had himself been to blame for that too 
early marriage, which was the root from which all these evils 
had sprung. No doubt he ought to have set such feelings 
aside, but it would have been most discreditable to him if he 
had not entertained them. In addition to these reasons, he 
must have felt that, as regarded the Earl at least, the evidence 
was not completely satisfactory. His doubts on this point 
manifested themselves in an extreme anxiety to induce the 
accused man to confess that he was guilty. The tricks to 
which he condescended, in order to attain the desired end, 
were innumerable. But it was all in vain. Somerset main- 
tained that he was an innocent man, and that he had no con- 
fession to make. 

A few days before the trial, Somerset threatened to bring 
some charge or other against the King himself. James at 
once wrote to Sir George More, the new Lieutenant of the 
Tower, telling him that this was merely 'some trick of his 


prisoner's ' idle brain ; ' that it was easy to see that he intended 
Somerset to threaten him by laying an aspersion upon him 
threatens i Q f Dem2 r m some sort accessory to his crime.' All 

to accuse o 

the King. he could say was that, if Somerset had any message 
to send about the poisoning, there was no necessity to send it in 
private ; if he wished to communicate with him on any other 
subject, he must wait till after the trial, as he could not listen 
to him then without incurring the suspicion of having in 
reality been accessory to the crime. 

A day or two later Somerset's resistance took another turn. 
He declared that he would not go to the trial, on the plea, it 
would seem of sickness, being perhaps still hopeful that it 
would be possible to work on the compassion of the King. 1 

Bacon had been for some time engaged in arranging with 
the King the manner in which it was intended that the trial 
should be conducted. He was resolved to do all 
mentsforthe that he could to keep out of sight the wild stories 
which Coke had adopted from Franklin, and to re- 
strict the evidence to that which had a direct bearing on the 
case. 2 He had also made arrangements for withdrawing the 
Countess from the court as soon as possible, lest she should 
make in public that declaration of her husband's innocence 
which she had already made in private to two messengers sent 

1 The King to Sir George More (Amos, 273, 276). Mr. Amos's supposi- 
tion that James had anything to do with the Overbury murder is quite in- 
admissible. It not only contradicts all that we know of his character, but 
it is rendered improbable by these letters themselves. If it had been 
true, would James have refused to receive any private message from Somer- 
set ? would he have sent Lord Hay and Sir Robert Carr to see him? Mur- 
derers, if they choose anybody to be a confidant of their secrets, would take 
care not to double the danger of disclosure by employing two persons where 
one would be sufficient. But, in fact, the theory above referred to stands 
on no basis sufficiently solid to admit of argument. It is impossible to 
prove a negative in such a case. 

2 This seems to be the meaning of the letter of January 22 (Bacon's 
Works, ed. Montagu, vi. 219). In asking for the choice of a 'Steward of 
judgment that may be able to moderate the evidence and cut off digres- 
sions,' Bacon, probably, was thinking of the way in which Essex's trial 
had been allowed to lapse into a scene of mutual recrimination. 


to her by the King at her own request, 1 and he had proposed 
that a similar course should be pursued towards Somerset him- 
self, if he allowed himself to use language derogatory of the 
King's honour. 

On May 24, the Countess of Somerset took her place in 
Westminster Hall, as a prisoner, at the bar of the High 
Trial of the Steward's Court. It was to this that the passions and 
Countess. frivolities of her young life had led her. The Hall 
was crowded with the faces of men who had come to look upon 
her misery as upon a spectacle. No wonder that, whilst the 
indictment was being read, she turned pale and trembled, and 
that when she heard the name of Weston first mentioned, she 
hid her face behind her fan. When the indictment had been 
read, she was asked, according to the usual form, whether she 
was guilty. The evidence was too plain, and there was nothing 
for it but to plead guilty. After Bacon had made a statement 
of her connection with the poisoning, she was asked whether 
she had anything to say in arrest of judgment. In a voice so 
low as to be almost inaudible, she replied that she could not 
extenuate her fault. She desired mercy and begged that the 
Lords would intercede for her with the King. Ellesmere upon 
this pronounced sentence, and the prisoner was taken back to 
the Tower, to await the King's decision. 2 

The next day was appointed for the trial of the Earl. He 
had made one last effort to avoid the necessity of standing at 
The Earl tne Dar - He pretended to be mad or ill, and unable 
esc^pe'a to ^ eave ^e Tower. If he still hoped to work on the 
trial. King's feelings to save him from the degradation of a 

public trial, he had calculated wrongly, and at the appointed 
time Sir George More, the new Lieutenant of the Tower, was 
able to produce him at the bar. 

1 Bacon to Villiers, May ro. Letters and Life, v. 290 ; see p. 186, note I. 

2 State Trials, ii. 951. Chamberlain says, "She won pity by her 
sober demeanour, which, in my opinion, was more curious and confident 
than was fit for a lady in such distress, yet she shed or made show of some 
tears divers times." Chamberlain to Carleton, May 25, Court and Times, 
i, 406. It is easy to see that there was a difference of feeling on the part of 
the observers. Chamberlain was evidently in a critical mood. 



It does not follow that these repeated efforts to avoid a trial 
were equivalent to an acknowledgment of guilt. The Court 
was composed of English Peers, and there was scarcely an 
English Peer who was not his mortal enemy, whilst Ellesmere, 
who acted as Lord High Steward, had been one of the leaders 
of the party which had long striven to pull him down. 

Whether he were innocent or guilty, at least Somerset bore 

himself proudly in the face of danger. All the efforts which 

had been made to wring a confession from him had 

May 25. . 

Trial of the been in vain. In spite of threats and promises, he 
pleaded Not guilty. After a few words from Montague, 
Bacon opened the case. He spoke of the horrible nature of 
Bacon's tne crime which had been committed, a crime from 
speech. which no man could secure himself, and which, when 
it was once committed, it was almost impossible to detect. 
He then proceeded to lay down the doctrine which, however 
iniquitous it might be, was generally accepted at the time, that 
the Peers were bound to consider the verdict in Weston's case 
as fully proved, so that they might not allow themselves to raise 
any questions as to the fact of the poison having been adminis- 
tered, as that verdict declared it to have been. All that he 
had to prove was that Somerset was accessory to the murder, 
the facts of which must be taken for granted. He then gave 
his account of the connection which had existed between the 
prisoner and the murdered man. Somerset, he told the Court, 
had been on terms of the closest intimacy with Overbury, 
till he found that his dependent was doing his best to deter him 
from the marriage upon which he had set his heart. Upon this 
Somerset grew alarmed, as he had entrusted Overbury with 
important state secrets, which might be easily used to his ruin. 
At the same time, Lady Somerset and Northampton agreed in 
hating the man who was opposing the marriage out of dislike 
both to the lady herself and to the whole family of the Howards. 
It was agreed amongst them that Overbury should be invited 
to go abroad, whilst Somerset was to induce him to refuse the 
employment offered to him. An excuse would in this way be 
found for his committal to the Tower, where it would be easy 
to get rid of him by poison. Whilst Weston, by Mrs. Turner's 
direction, was giving him one poison after another, Somerset 


was doing what he could to prevent his obtaining his enlarge- 
ment from the King. Bacon then stated that there was evi- 
dence in possession of the Government sufficient to prove four 
points : namely, that Somerset bore malice to Overbury before 
his imprisonment ; that he contrived the scheme by which that 
imprisonment was effected ; that he actually sent poisons to the 
Tower ; and that he did his best to suppress the proofs of his 
guilt. The first two of these he proposed to deal with himself, 
the others would be left to Montague and Crew, who were his 
assistants in conducting the prosecution. 

There could be little difficulty in proving the two points 
which Bacon had selected for himself, as they referred to facts 

of which there could be no reasonable doubt. The 
produced letters which Overbury had written, together with 

Somerset's answers to Northampton, were now avail- 
able as evidence, having been brought to Coke by the person to 
whom they had been delivered for the purpose of concealing 
them. By means of these and of some other evidence which 
was produced, it was shown beyond a doubt that Somerset had 
entrusted Overbury with state secrets, and that Overbury con- 
sidered that he had been ill-treated by his patron. But when 
Bacon proceeded to argue that it was the fear of the disclosure 
of these state secrets which made Somerset desirous of putting 
Overbury to death, he was simply begging the question at issue. l 
With the second point there was as little difficulty. Somer- 
set had himself acknowledged that he had had a hand in pro- 
curing Overbury's imprisonment, and it was easy to establish 
the fact that he had taken part in the appointment of Helwys 
and Weston. Passages were also produced from Northampton's 
letters to Somerset, which proved that there had been some 
plot in which they had both been concerned, and that Helwys 
had expressed his opinion that Overbury's death would be a 

1 "That," he says, "might rather cause him to fear him than the 
hindrance of his marriage ; if that had been it alone, his going beyond sea 
would have served the turn." Not at all, if he was afraid that Overbury 
might give information to the Court then sitting, which would lead it to 
reject the suit for the dissolution of marriage. He might do this by letter ; 
which was the very thing he was prevented from doing in the Tower. 

A A 2 


satisfactory termination to his imprisonment. 1 As soon as 
Bacon had concluded the part which had been assigned to him, 
Ellesmere pressed Somerset to acknowledge his guilt. " My 
lord," was Somerset's reply, " I came hither with a resolution to 
defend myself." 

The evidence by which it was intended to prove that the 
poison had actually been administered with Somerset's know- 
Montague's le dge, was then produced by Montague. He first 
argument, showed that Somerset had been in the habit of 
sending powders to Overbury. Being, however, destitute of 
even a shadow of evidence to prove that the powders were 
poisonous, he was obliged to fall back upon the irrelevant 
assertion that four several juries had declared by their ver- 
dicts that they were so. He then produced a letter of the 
Countess of Somerset's, written to Helwys, to prove that the 
tarts and jellies sent had contained poison, and attempted to 
show, by the interpretation of an expression which had been 
disavowed by Lady Somerset herself, that Somerset had been 
the person who had sent them. That there had been any 
poison in the tarts at all, was supported by a declaration of Lady 
Somerset ; but we have no means of knowing whether this de- 
claration might not have been made after she had discovered 
that it was impossible to make any satisfactory defence for 
herself, and when she was ready to confess anything that her 
examiners wished. Even if there had been poison in the tarts, 
it would be necessary to show something more than that they had 
been originally sent from his kitchen. Accordingly, a deposi- 
tion of Franklin's was produced, in which he declared that 
Lady Somerset had shown him a letter written by the Earl whilst 
Overbury was in prison, in which he said that ' he wondered 

1 In the printed trial it is said that the Lieutenant concludes that 
Overbury ' will recover and do good offices betwixt my Lord of Suffolk and 
you, which, if he do not, you shall have reason to count him a knave ; or 
else, that he shall not recover at all, which he thinks the most sure and 
happy change of all.' In the other report, the last sentence stands, 'but 
the best is not to suffer him to recover.' If Northampton really had 
written this, it is inconceivable that no more use should have been made of 
it by the prosecution. 


these things were not yet despatched ; ' and added, that ' Over- 
bury was like to come out within a few days, if Weston did not 
ply himself.' Montague took care not to breathe a syllable of 
the worthless trash which Franklin had also sought to palm 
off upon the examiners in hopes of obtaining a pardon, which 
would have been sufficient to prove that no credit whatever 
ought to be given to the most solemn declarations of so un- 
blushing a liar. 

The effort to show that Somerset had had any connection 
whatever with the administration of poisons to Overbury having 
Crew - s thus, according to our notions, thoroughly broken 
argument, down, and not even an attempt having been made to 
prove that he had so much as heard of the bribe which had 
been given to the apothecary's boy, by whom the murder, as 
far as we can judge, was actually effected, Serjeant Crew rose, 
and took up the comparatively easy task of drawing inferences 
from the subsequent proceedings of Somerset. His suppres- 
sion of the letters which had been written at the time, his 
authorising Cotton to misdate them so as to mislead the judges, 
and his attempt to procure a pardon from the King, were un- 
doubtedly indications that Somerset had done something of 
which he was ashamed. But that they proved that he had 
poisoned Overbury was another matter altogether, which Crew 
himself could only take for granted. 

Upon this the case for the prosecution was closed. In our 
own day the counsel who would appear on behalf of the prisoner 
would have little trouble in overthrowing the evidence which 
had been produced. He would probably content himself with 
pointing out, in a few short words, that no sufficient 
ca^fbrthe proof had been alleged that Overbury had ever 
been poisoned at all, and that, if he had been, it had 
certainly not been shown that Somerset had had anything what- 
ever to do with the crime. 

How different was the case when Somerset stood at the bar 
to reply to the charges which had been brought against him ! 
Difficulties He knew that there were some amongst his judges 
of Somerset. w ^ o ^ad long been prejudiced against him, and 
that even if they came with the most honest intentions, 


they had never been trained to the difficult task of sifting 
evidence so as to arrive at the truth, and that they were liable 
to be led away, both by their own feelings, and by the skill and 
eloquence of the lawyers. He was allowed no counsel to under- 
take his defence, and, unpractised as he was, he was called on 
to point out the defects in a long train of evidence, much of 
which he had, on that day, heard for the first time, without 
the power of summoning any witnesses, or of producing any 
evidence which it had not suited the purposes of the Crown 
lawyers to bring forward of their own accord. 

All these difficulties Somerset laboured under, in common 
with every man who, in those days, stood in the position which 
he was occupying. But there was one obstacle in his way 
which was peculiar to himself. It was necessary for him not 
only to show that the evidence against him was insufficient to 
justify his condemnation, but to make out a story in which the 
facts were sufficient to account for the suspicious circumstances 
connected with the imprisonment of Overbury, and with the 
subsequent destruction of the letters which he had written 
and received at that time. This story, though it was probably 
true, would not bear telling. He could not well tell the Court 
of all that had passed between himself and Lady Essex before 
the dissolution of the marriage, and that he had plotted and 
intrigued to detain Overbury in prison, through fear lest he 
should give evidence which might prevent the passing of the 
sentence of divorce, which the lady was then desirous of obtain- 
ing by means of false representations. Arid if he had told this 
tale of shame in the face of the world, what hope was there that 
the Peers, hostile to him as they were, would believe him, or,. if 
they did believe him, that they would abstain from pronouncing 
a verdict against him, which they might easily justify to them- 
selves by the loose views which prevailed in that age ? 

Whatever may have been his faults, and even his crimes, it 
is impossible not to look with some respect upon the man who 
stood up, exhausted by the long course of the trial, to make 
his defence in what he must have known to be a hopeless 
cause, rather than purchase the pardon which was held out 
to him by confessing himself to be guilty of murder. It was 


late in the evening when he began to plead in defence of his 
honour rather than of his life. The daylight had died away 
before the Crown lawyers had done their part, and the torches 
threw their glaring light over the faces which were all turned in 
one direction, to hear what defence could possibly be made by 
the man of whom such a tale could be told as that to which 
they had just been listening. 

He began by acknowledging that he had consented to 

Overbury's imprisonment, in order to put it out of his power to 

hinder his marriage with Lady Essex. If any means 

His oefence. ,,, - , . /~k u 1-1 . i 

had been used to poison Overbury whilst he was in 
prison, he had known nothing of it. As to Northampton's 
letters, they proved nothing against him. He then referred to 
the better which, according to Franklin, had been written by 
him, and which formed one of the strongest parts of the evidence 
against him. " If this letter," he said, " be to be produced, if 
Frances ever confessed that I did ever send such a letter unto 
her, I am then guilty and convicted without excuse ; but I call 
Heaven now to witness I never wrote any such letter, neither 
can such be produced. Let not you, then, my noble Peers, 
rely upon the memorative relation of such a villain as Franklin, 
neither think it a hard request when I humbly desire you to 
weigh my protestations, my oath upon my honour and con- 
science, against the lewd information of so bad a miscreant." 
He then proceeded to answer the charge of having been con- 
cernsd in sending poisons to the Tower. The tarts, he said, 
which he had sent were good ; if his wife had sent any in 
which poison had been mixed, this was nothing to him. As tor 
the powders, he had received them from Sir Robert Killigrew, 
and sent them on ; and Overbury had himself acknowledged, 
in a letter which was before the Court, that he had not suffered 
from them. Here he was interrupted by Crew, who told him 
that the three powders which he had received from Killigrew 
had been otherwise accounted for. The powder in question 
was one not sent by Killigrew, and must have been poison. 
The discrepancy was not material, as it was not likely that 
Somerset would remember the exact history of the powders 
which he had sent to Overbury two years before, and it was a 


mere assertion of the lawyers that this fourth powder, however 
acquired, was poison. But with the general feeling of the Court 
against him, Somerset's inability to explain the origin of this 
powder was undoubtedly damaging to his case. Nor were his 
explanations as to his reasons for destroying the papers and 
obtaining the pardon altogether satisfactory. 

When he had concluded his defence, the Lords retired to 
consider their verdict. On the one hand they had heard an 
argument which had no inherent improbability in 
itself, and which was supported by a chain of evidence 
of which they, at least, were unable to see the deficiencies. 
On the other hand, the prisoner's defence had been rrade 
with courage and ability, but it was not without some reticence 
on points which it was necessary to clear up. He had failed to 
prove his innocence to be beyond question, and the Peers unani- 
mously agreed to pronounce him guilty. 1 Somerset, after ex- 
pressing a hope that the Court would intercede with the King 
for mercy, was removed from the bar. 2 

1 Mr. Spedding's argument on the side of Somerset's guilt should be 
compared with what I have said, especially in Letters and Life, v. 328. 
Still, closely reasoned as the greater part of the argument is, I cannot con- 
vince myself that the destruction and falsification of evidence is so fatal to 
the theory of Somerset's innocence as Mr. Spedding thought. Knoving, 
as Somerset did, that he had been at the bottom of the original scheme of 
administering emetics, he must have seen that all the evidence of that 
which he had done would tell against him on the graver charge. Nor 
does Mr. Spedding take account of Somerset's knowledge of the violent 
hostility of the lords and gentlemen about the Court, which must have 
made him feel that everything against him would be interpreted ia its 
worst sense. This comes out strongly in incidental allusions to his position 
in Sarmiento's despatches, which I have recently been able to read over 
again in Mr. Cosens's transcripts. 

2 Amos, 65-111 ; 122-156. It is difficult to say what is the principle 
upon which the differences between the reports printed by Mr. Amos rest. 
The two reports of Lady Somerset's letter show that neither reporter had 
access to the documents read in Court, as do also the mistakes in the nick- 
names applied to persons in the Overbury correspondence. If this is the 
case it would not be right to attribute the alterations in the first report to 
an official hand. Yet some of the discrepancies noticed by Mr. Amos 
(i 13-120) are suspicious. It is curious that he does not mention the most 
important of all, that in the letters from Northampton. 


It was now left to the King to decide what he would do. 
James was greatly relieved when he heard that the trial had 
passed off without anything disagreeable to himself. 
ofThe" He had shown great anxiety for news, fearing, no 
Countess. <joubt, that Somerset would betray the secret of 
those negotiations with Spain which he was so desirous of 
concealing. 1 Whatever might be thought of the other actors 
in the tragedy, if there had been one thing which had been 
more plainly proved than another, it was that Lady Somerset 
had been the main instigator and author of the murder. It 
was unjust to take away the lives of her tools, whilst she her- 
self was allowed to escape. Yet James never seems to have 
entertained the thought of allowing the sentence to pass upon 
her, and it would indeed have been very hard for him to de- 
cide otherwise than he did. Her youth and beauty, her powerful 
friends, her very womanhood, with its impulsive, passionate 
nature, all concurred to plead hard for her. On July 13 her 
pardon was sealed, 2 though the imprisonment in the Tower 
was not remitted. Before it was completed it had been sent 
back to Bacon, 3 with directions that he should insert in it the 
excuse that she had been drawn into crime ' by the procure- 
ment and wicked instigation of certain base persons.' 

We are left to depend upon conjecture for the motives 
which James allowed to influence him in sparing Somerset's 
Somerset's n ^ e - We know that he refused to allow his arms to 
life is spared. De taken down from amongst those of the other 
Knights of the Garter at St. George's Chapel at Windsor. We 
also gain glimpses of a negotiation which was going on, by 
which Somerset might have obtained a pardon if he had 
chosen to submit to the conditions offered. 4 A letter 8 has 

1 Sherburn to Carleton, May 31, S. P. Ixxxvii. 40. 

2 State Trials, ii. 1005. Sherburn to Carleton, July 13, S. P. 
Ixxxviii. 15. 

* This is implied in Bacon's letter to Villiers, July n, Letters and 
Life, v. 375. . 

4 Nethersole to Carleton, Sept. 2, 1624, S. P. clxxii. 2. 

5 The letter is printed in Cabala, i. I. It has been used to prove that 
Somerset was aware of some secret with which he was able to threaten the 
King, a use which can be made of it only by those who come to the reading 


also been preserved, written by Somerset to the King, ap- 
parently after it had been agreed that his life should be spared, 

of it with a foregone conclusion. The intention of the writer is evidently 
to ask for the restitution of his property from the King himself, without 
being obliged to obtain the intercession of anyone. The passage, "I will 
say no further, neither in that which your Majesty doubted my aptness to 
fall into ; for my cause, nor my confidence is not in that distress as for to 
use that means of intercession, nor of anything besides, but to remember 
your Majesty that I am the workmanship of your hand, &c.," plainly bears 
the meaning which I have assigned to it, as does the earlier sentence, ' ' I 
am in hope that my condition is not capable of so much more misery as 
that I need to make myself a passage to you by such way of intercession. " 
The whole letter, I think, presupposses that Somerset's life had already 
been granted him. He is now petitioning for the restoration of the whole 
of his property. He distinctly declares his innocence. " I fell," he say?, 
' ' rather for want of well-defending than by the violence or force of any 
proofs : for I so far forsook myself and my cause, as that it may be a 
question whether I was more condemned for that, or for the matter itself 
which was the subject of this day's controversy. " Another passage is very- 
curious : " Aspersions are taken away by your Majesty's letting me become 
subject to the utmost power of the law, with the lives of so many of the 
offenders. . . . Neither ever was there such aspersion (God knows), in 
any possibility towards your Majesty, but amongst those who would create 
those pretences to mislead your Majesty, and thereby make me miserable." 
Does not this refute the idea that Somerset threatened James that he 
would accuse him of having part in the murder of Overbury 1 The idea 
had first proceeded from the King himself, who wrote to More that he 
could not hear a private message from the prisoner without making him- 
self accessory to his crime. The aspersions just spoken of evidently refer 
to James's fear lest he should be supposed to have had part in the crime. 
Would Somerset have written thus, if he had ever threatened James with 
accusing him of taking such a part 1 Still, however, the difficulty remains 
unsolved as to the real purport of Somerset's messages, which threw James 
into such consternation. There is a slight hint in the letter which may, 
perhaps, help us a little. " Nay, to some concerned in this business, 
wherein I suffer, you have pardoned more unto than I desire, who (as it 
is reported), if they had come to the test, had proved copper, and should 
have drunk of the bitter cup as well as others." Does not this refer to the 
Monsons? And if we put this together with whatever fact is at the 
bottom of Weldon's distorted story about the trial of Sir T. Monson, 
it makes it not altogether improbable that it was something connected 
with the Spanish pensions wnich Somerset threatened to blurt out at the 


in which he states that he had renounced all claim to pension, 
place, or office, and, as far as can be made out from the obscure 
allusions to circumstances which are unknown to us, refuses to 
accept of the intercession of some person whose name is not 
given, which he was, as it would seem, to purchase by the 
sacrifice of some portion of his property. Knowing as we do 
that there was a proposal to grant to Villiers the manor of 
Sherborne, which had been repurchased by Somerset from the 
Crown in the preceding summer, it is by no means unlikely 
that a pardon was offered to Somerset, with full restitution of 
his property, if he would agree to make use of the intercession 
of Villiers, and to give up to him the manor of Sherborne. 
This, however, was what Somerset steadily refused to do. He 
declared that he was an innocent man, and as such he would 
accept favours from no hand but from that of the King himself. 
He is kept It was m a ^ probability in consequence of this firm- 
for r man r ness ^^ ^ was ^P 1 m P r i son > with the judgment 
years. which had been pronounced against him hanging 

over his head, till January 1622, when he and the Countess 
were permitted to leave the Tower, though they were still 
confined to certain places of residence which were allotted to 

them. At last, a few months before the King's 
a pardon' at* death, Somerset received a formal pardon for the 

offence of which he had been convicted. 
The Monsons did not remain long m prison. In July, Sir 
William was set at liberty. 1 Sir Thomas was allowed to leave 

the Tower, on bail, in October, and his case was 
of' the* lc referred to Bacon and Yelverton, who reported that 
ons ' there was not sufficient evidence to proceed against 
him. Accordingly, a pardon was granted to him, which he 
pleaded at the bar of the King's Bench, declaring, at the same 
time, that he was perfectly innocent of the crime which had 

been imputed to him. 2 


1 Carat/ Letters, 39. 

* Ibid. 47. Bacon and Yelverton to the King, Dec. 7, 1616. State- 
ment of the case of Sir Thomas Monson, Feb. 12, 1617, Bacon's Letters 
and Life, vi. 120. 




THERE is one subject which presents itself again and again with 

unvarying monotony to all who study the history of the Stuart 

Kings. Whilst everything else was changing around 

Sept. 24. them, the emptiness of the Exchequer continued to 

excesses a pe r pl ex the brains of a whole succession of Treasurers. 

wish to pay Qn September 24, just after the Government had 

his debts and 

to reduce his come upon the traces of the poisoners, James as- 
sembled the Council at Greenwich, and informed 
them that he was anxious to pay his debts, and to reduce his 
expenditure, and that he looked to them to tell him how it was 
possible to effect the object which he had in view. 

The next day the Council met again, and, after full delibera- 
tion, decided that the debt, which was now above "j 00,000!., 

t 2 was far too great to be met in any way excepting by 
The Council a Parliamentary grant. Three days later, a dis- 

recommend j ,1 i i , 

a Pariia- cussion was opened as to the measures which it was 

necessary to take in order to induce the House of 

Commons to treat the King with liberality. 

The first who spoke was Lake. He had no difficulty in 

putting his finger upon the real points at issue. There was a 

Sept. 28. general impression, he said, that the King was too 

the e me^ures bountiful, and that he was acting illegally against the 

to be taken liberties and privileges of his subjects. With a view 

before it is r ... 

summoned, to meeting the first complaint, His Majesty must be 
moved to stay his hand from gifts until his estate was in a more 
flourishing condition, and to reduce his expenses in whatever 
way might appear to be most practicable. As to the other 


matter, let the grievances of 1610 be submitted to the King's 
Council, and if any of them were selected as being fit to be re- 
dressed, let them be dealt with without any further delay. Of 
all the grievances, that which roused the greatest opposition 
was the levy of the Impositions, and it would be necessary to 
deal with them in some way or another. Although, however, 
Lake saw where the difficulties lay, he did not propose that the 
King should relinquish his right to the Impositions altogether ; 
but he proceeded to suggest the enactment of certain laws for 
the benefit of trade. The two following speakers, Sir Julius 
Cajsar and Sir Thomas Parry, contented themselves with ex- 
pressing a general assent to these views. 

Coke, who spoke after Parry, advocated still stronger 
measures. It would be necessary, he said, that, in addition to 
the contemplated reduction of the expenditure, a stop should 
be put to the payment of pensions till the King's debts had 
been liquidated. It would also be well that a statement should 
be drawn up of the expenses which had been incurred at the 
commencement of the King's reign, and that it should be pre- 
sented to Parliament, in order that it might be seen that the 
difficulties of the Treasury did not arise from prodigality. He 
then proceeded to advise that no attempt should be made to 
influence the elections. He had seen in the last Parliament 
that all efforts of this kind had only recoiled upon their authors. 
He then recommended (and it is difficult to believe that he was 
not influenced by a desire to put a check upon the influence of 
his great rival) that none of the King's learned counsel should 
have seats in the Lower House, partly because they were needed 
in the House of Lords, and partly because their presence was 
disliked by the Commons. He concluded by moving that 
committees might be formed of members of the Council to 
consider of the particular concessions which were to be made. 
On the point of the Impositions he did not utter a word. 

Sir Fulk Greville, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, seemed 
unwilling to give up the revenue which he derived from that 
source, but he finally consented to make over the whole subject 
to the new Parliament, to deal with it at its pleasure. 

Winwood was the next speaker. He agreed with Coke, 


as far as he had gone, but he expressed a wish that a special 
committee might examine the Impositions, to see in what way 
relief could best be given. He added a suggestion of his own, 
that assurance should be given to the Parliament that whatever 
supplies it might grant should be employed upon the public 
service, and in no other way. The principal speakers who 
followed were Bishop Bilson, who recommended that the people 
should be taught ' that relief to their Sovereign in necessity 
was due jure divino^ and no less due than their allegiance and 
service ;' Pembroke, who laid special stress on the settlement of 
the Impositions ; Suffolk, who declared his belief that 'the taking 
away of impositions de facto would not satisfy the Parliament, 
but that the point of right would be insisted upon ; ' and 
Ellesmere, who assured the Board that ' he would not speak 
of His Majesty's right of imposing, nor even give consent it 
should be spoken of in Parliament or elsewhere,' and who pro- 
posed a thorough investigation into various proposals for im- 
proving the financial position, or for rendering the King more 

As soon as the King had been informed of the discussion, 
he approved of most of Ellesmere's recommendations, and on 
the following day the Council divided itself into committees, 
for the purpose of taking them separately into consideration. 1 

The Councillors, it would appear, were all of them anxious 
., .. that Parliament should, be called, and were all of 


of the them aware of the importance of the question of the 

Councillors. . . A 

Impositions. Not one of them, however, really 
suggested a way out of the difficulty. 

It is by no means unlikely that James felt that it would be 
well to consult another and a better adviser than was to be 
found in the Privy Council. At all events Bacon, about this 
time, wrote him a long letter, encouraging him to summon a 
Parliament. 2 In many respects his view coincided with that of 

1 'Consultation . . . fora Parliament,' Bacon's Letters and Life, v. 
194. As Mr. Spedding has suggested in his errata, the Bishop of Winches- 
ter should be Bilson, not Andrewes. 

2 Bacon to the King, Letters and Life, v. 176. Mr. Spedding thinks 
it must have been written a little before the meeting of the Council, because 


the Councillors ; but he had a definite plan for dealing with the 
Impositions, and he saw, what none of the Councillors had seen, 
the connection between the domestic and the foreign policy of 
the King. The double marriages between France and Spain 
were almost immediately to take place, and the French Pro- 
testants were at a grave disadvantage. There was still a danger 
of war breaking out in Cleves and Juliers. "These things," 
he wrote, " will give fire to our nation, and make them aspire 
to be again umpires of those wars, or at least to retrench the 
greatness of Spain for their own preservation. And this is a 
subject worthy for counsellors of state and others of quality to 
work upon to move a Parliament, which is ever best persuaded 
by somewhat that is above their capacity ; and not to stand as 
in a shop to set out the King's bills of graces, whereof every 
man will take upon him to discern, and to value his own 
judgment by disvaluing the pieces." 

Such a policy implied no war of aggression upon Spain. It 
was one of defence against a Government bent upon imposing 
its religious and political system by force and intrigue upon the 
rest of Europe. 

It was necessary, however, for Bacon to say more than this. 
Writing of the good effect which might ensue if the King could 
show that he was not entirely dependent on Parliament, he 
referred to that negotiation which Digby was then carrying on 
at Madrid, and of which, if he knew little, he certainly suspected 
more than he knew. He therefore recommended James to 
make use of ' the opinion of some great offer for a marriage- of 
the Prince with Spain.' " Not," he went on to say, "that I shall 
easily advise that that should be really effected ; but I say the 
opinion of it may have singular use, both because it will easily 
be believed that the offer may be so great from that hand, as 
may at once free the King's estate ; and chiefly because it will 
be a notable attractive to Parliament, that hates the Spaniard, 
so to do for the King as his state may not force him to fall 
upon that condition." 

the discussion is not mentioned. But it would be disrespectful in him to 
mention what was understood to be secret. The beginning would hardly 
have been so abrupt unless his opinion had been asked. 


Perhaps, if Bacon had been writing simply to express his 
own thoughts, he would not have couched them in quite so 
unsatisfactory a form ; but at all events the meaning is clear. 
He wished James to take his place against Spain in the coming 
struggle. In fact the question whether there was to be a 
successful Parliament or not depended quite as much on the 
line which James might take in this matter as it did on his 
resolution about the Impositions. 

Unfortunately, James was the last man in the world to take 
up the position to which Bacon pointed. Opposition to Spain 
was, for him, too closely connected with the war of plunder and 
aggression which was favoured by Abbot and Winwood, to have 
any charms in his eyes. 

On December 7, whilst the Council was still labouring 

over projects of economy, he sent Lord Fenton the trusty 

Dec. 7. Scotchman who, as Sir James Erskine, had suc- 

wfrMtT ceeded Raleigh as Captain of the Guard to assure 

proceed with Sarniiento that in spite of the interruption caused by 

the Spanish , . . . ' 

marriage. Somerset s disgrace, he was ready to go on with the 
negotiations for the marriage, and that he wished to be on the 
most friendly terms with the King of Spain. l 

That there was anything incompatible between this reso- 
lution and his wish to call a Parliament, James did not 
understand. Abbot and Winwood continued to represent to 
James n ^ m tne advantages which he would gain by sum- 
summon 10 m o nin g Parliament. Shortly before Christmas the 
Parliament. Council reported in favour of various economies, 
and James promised to diminish his personal expenditure as 
far as he could. He expressed himself as being eager that 
Parliament should meet, 2 and on December 22 he gave a 
public intimation of his wishes by appointing Pembroke, 
who was hostile to the Spanish alliance, to the office of Lord 
Chamberlain, which had become vacant upon Somerset's arrest. 3 

1 Sarmiento to Philip III., Dec. Simancas MSS. 2594, fol. 77. 

2 Sarmiento to Philip III., Dec. -g' ibid. 2594, fol. 93. 
1 Carew Letters, 21. 


In less than a fortnight the wind had changed. On Janu- 
ary 2, 1616, the Catholic Earl of Worcester became Lord Privy 
1616. Seal, and on January 3, not only was the Mastership 
ofs e um- sign f tne Horse, which had been vacated by Worcester, 
paHiament g' ven to Villicrs, an appointment which had no 
abandoned, political significance, but Lake the confidant of the 
Howards, the friend and now the pensioner of Spain, was 
made Secretary of State, to counterbalance Win wood. 1 On the 
same day James had a long interview with Sarmiento, and on 
January 20, the Spanish ambassador was able to inform his 
master that the thought of summoning Parliament was for the 
present laid aside. The King had in fact taken alarm at the 
turmoil around him. The impression made by the Spanish 
marriages in France had resulted in a war-cry in England, and 
the hesitation of the Dutch to carry out their part of the treaty 
of Xanten until they could be certain that the Spaniards would 
carry out theirs, irritated James in the extreme. 2 

James could not, however, be consistent in any one line 
of policy. He saw too many sides to every question to be a 
mere partisan, whilst he was incapable of rising into a states- 
man, because he never saw more than one side at a time. The 
abandonment of the idea of calling a Parliament brought with 
it the necessity of finding a large sum of money; and however 
large might be the portion which the Infanta might be ex- 
pected to bring with her, some time must necessarily elapse 
before that source of revenue would be available to meet the 
wants of the English Exchequer. The time was therefore 
propitious to those who could hold out hopes of gain to James, 
and the opponents of Spain were at this time fertile 

Plans of the ._ ., . i i t c JM i i 

opponents of in financial projects which, as they fondly hoped, 
might lead him into a quarrel with that country. 
With this object in view, Ellesmere and Abbot, Pembroke 
and Winwood, had turned their eyes upon the man who still 
survived as the foremost relic of the Elizabethan age. 

1 Carew Litters, 22. 

2 Sarmiento to Philip III. Jan. 20 ' ** "' 22) Simancas MSS. 259^ 

J 30, Feb. i, 

fol. 23, 33. 



That age, indeed, had not been altogether of pure gold. 
Side by side with its hardy daring, and its chivalrous devotion, 
were to be found its low intrigue, and its disregard of moral 
restraint. The social and religious system of the fifteenth 
century had fallen to the ground. The social and religious 
system of the seventeenth century was not yet in being. The 
men who had served Elizabeth had, indeed, for the most part, 
the root of the matter in them. Their imaginations were fixed 
on high and noble objects. But it was reserved for another 
generation to define, more strictly than they had been able to 
do, the boundary between right and wrong ; and to form those 
habits of duty which stand like a wall of rock against tempta- 
tion, when the unaided heroism of the individual man would 
resist in vain. 

Of this age, of its faults and vices, as well as of its heroism, 
Sir Walter Raleigh was the most complete representative. 

There had been a time when men had looked to 

SirW. him for counsel, and they had seldom looked in 
vain. He had been the Ulysses of a time prolific in 
heroes. His exploits had been achieved in many climes and 
under every possible variety of circumstances. Amongst the 
bogs of Ireland, and under the walls of Cadiz ; where the surf 
of the Atlantic dashes against the rocks of the Western Isles ; 
and where the mighty flood of the Orinoco freshens the salt 
waves of the ocean, he had made his name known as that of a 
man fertile in expedients and undaunted in valour. 

Unfortunately Raleigh's heroism was the result rather of 
high instinct than of high principle. It was certain that he 
would never betray to the enemy, like Sir William Stanley, a 
post committed to his charge, or accept a pension from Spain, 
like Salisbury and Northampton. But he never could learn 
the lesson that there are times when inaction, or even failure, 
is better than the most glorious success. He loved to bask in 
the sunshine of a court, and he tempted men to forget the 
blows which he had dealt upon the Spaniard, in the ever-present 
spectacle of the monopolies with which his purse was filled, 
and of the broad lands which he had torn from the feeble 
grasp of the Church. Nor could he ever understand that it 


was better to lose sight of the object which he had in view, 
than to secure it by falsehood and deceit. In his later years 
he was most especially exposed to his besetting temptation. 
For it was then that he was called upon to bear injustice with 
equanimity, and to submit patiently to suffering, rather than 
to put forth his hand to work which he was unable honestly to 

Long before Raleigh ever saw the face of James, he had 
been attracted to those countries which were to witness the 
His thoughts l ast exploits of his life. In 1594, he was living at 
w1th P the Sherborne in forced retirement, and was undergoing 
indies. the penalty which had been inflicted upon him by 
Elizabeth for the wrong which he had done to her whom he 
had at last made his wife. He there found leisure to ponder 
once more over the narratives of the Spanish discoveries in 
America, in which he had taken so deep an interest. As he 
read, the fire of ambition lighted up within him. He, too, 
longed to place his name on the roll of the conquerors of the 
New World. But the fame for which he was eager was very 
different from that with which Cortes and Pizarro had been 
contented. His mind had been stirred to the depths by the 
tales of demoniac cruelty which were wafted across the Atlantic 
with every ship which returned in safety from the perils of the 
western seas. Over these tales he brooded till he conceived 
the idea of another conquest of a conquest to be undertaken 
for the preservation, not for the destruction, of the natives of 
the land. Might there not be other empires upon the American 
continent as rich and as powerful as those which had suc- 
cumbed to a handful of Spanish adventurers? To them he 
would present himself in the name of the Great Queen, whose 
servant he was, in order that he might save them from the 
oppressors of their race. He would train them to the use of 
arms, and to habits of military discipline. Spain had degraded 
the Indians to the lot of bondsmen. England should raise 
them to the dignity of civilised and intelligent freemen. For 
such services, he doubted not, the grateful Indians would 
willingly pay tribute to their benefactors out of the superfluity 
of their wealth. England would no longer be over-matched 


in the battle which she was waging for her very existence. 
The golden stream which was ceaselessly flowing into the 
Tagus and the Guadalquiver would, at least in part, be diverted 
to the Thames. No longer would complaints be heard of the 
difficulty of meeting the expenses of the war with the miserable 
revenue which was all that Elizabeth could call her own. The 
gold which had been used by Philip to corrupt and enslave 
would, in English hands, be all-powerful to free the nations of 
Europe from his detested yoke. 

The tract of country in which Raleigh hoped to try the 
grand experiment was situated somewhere above the head of 
the delta of the Orinoco, at an unknown distance 
from the southern bank of the river. Here, if credit 
was to be given to the reports generally current, was to be 
found a kingdom whose treasures were at least equal to those 
which, at the cost of so much blood and misery, had been 
wrested from the Incas of Peru. It was said that the sovereign 
of this mighty empire had his abode in the city of Manoa, upon 
the shores of the lake of Parima, a vast inland sea to which the 
Caspian alone, amongst eastern waters, was to be compared. 
The name of El Dorado, the Golden, was in these narratives 
sometimes applied to the king himself, who was said to appear 
on festive occasions with his bare limbs sprinkled with gold 
dust ; but more generally to the city in which he was supposed 
to hold his court. According to a legend, which was probably 
of Spanish origin, he was a descendant of a younger brother 
of the Inca Atahualpa, who had himself been treacherously 
slaughtered by Pizarro. The remainder of this story was 
perhaps of native growth, though the seeds from which it 
sprang had in all probability been quickened into life by the 
eager inquisitiveness of Europeans. 

The lake of Parima has long since resolved itself into the 
inundations which, at certain seasons of the year, spread over 
Probable the level plains, to the enormous extent of fourteen 
the g fabe. thousand square miles. 1 For the fable of the Golden 
City no similar foundation has been discovered. Gold is 

1 Raleigh's Discffi'ery of Guiana. Ed. Schomburgk, Introcl. 54. I 
shall always quote from this edition. 


indeed found amongst the rocks and in the river-beds of 
Guiana, but it does not exist in sufficient quantities to repay 
the expenses of working. It must not, however, be forgotten, 
that to give rise to such a tale, it was enough that the wealth 
described should have been of importance in the eyes of the 
first narrators, however little its value may have been when 
judged by the European standard. Whatever gold was in 
existence would soon find its way into the hands of the most 
powerful and warlike of the neighbouring tribes, and it is certain 
that the value of the riches thus acquired would speedily be 
exaggerated by all who had suffered from the violence of its 
possessors. When once the idea of great wealth had been 
accepted, the tale would quickly spread from tribe to tribe, 
and would be repeated with peculiar emphasis whenever a 
white man happened to be present. It was too well known 
that these strange beings from beyond the sea had come to 
search for gold, and the lesson was soon learned that the surest 
way to purchase their aid was to impress them with a belief in 
the unbounded wealth of the enemy. 

It is easy for us to laugh at such a tale as this. In 
Raleigh's day it would have been difficult to show any satis- 
1595. factory reason for rejecting it. Raleigh, at all events, 
fiKt e voyage believed it ', and the spring of 1595 saw him once 
to Guiana, more upon the seas, bound for that new world which 
had filled so large a place in his thoughts, but which he had 
never yet seen with his bodily eyes. 

From Berreo, the Spanish governor of Trinidad, whom he 
had contrived to capture, Raleigh learned something of the 
Golden Land of which he was in search. The Spaniard, too, 
had joined in the quest, and had even formed a settlement, 
named San Thome, not far from the spot where the Caroni 
discharges its waters into the Orinoco, which he had hoped to 
make the basis of his future operations. But it was not long 
before the presence of Spaniards produced its usual conse- 
quences. The Indians were goaded into resistance by the 
cruelty of thier oppressors, and Berreo's little band found the 
post no longer tenable. Berreo had accordingly been com. 
pelled to retire to Trinidad, where he was awaiting reinforce- 


ments from Spain at the time when Raleigh appeared upon 
the coast. The only Spanish force left on the Orinoco was a 
small garrison occupying a village belonging to a chief named 
Carapana ; but, as this place was situated below the head of 
the delta, on the eastern branch of the river, Raleigh would 
find no difficulty in making his way unobserved up the western 

Hostile attacks, however, were not the only danger to be 
encountered. For two hundred and fifty miles a distance 
The ascent which was magnified into four hundred by the 
of the river, imagination of the weary rowers Raleigh and his 
companions struggled in open boats against the mighty stream 
which was sweeping past them to the sea. The unwholesome 
food which they carried with them was barely sufficient in 
quantity to support their exhausted frames. Day after day 
they were parched by the scorching sunbeams, and by night 
they were exposed to the heavy dew. At last they arrived at 
Aromaia, a district not far from Berreo's deserted settlement of 
San Thome. The chief of the tribe by which that part of the 
country was occupied had been put to death by Berreo's 
orders, and his uncle and successor, Topiawari, was glad 
enough to welcome in the English stranger an enemy of Spain. 
The Indian told him all he knew, or thought he knew, about 
the golden empire, and gave him guides to accompany him 
amongst the neighbouring tribes. Raleigh, as soon as he had 
left the friendly chief, ascended the stream as far as the mouth 
of the Caroni, where he picked up some stones in which frag- 
ments of gold were imbedded. On his return, he held a long 
consultation with Topiawari. The Indian promised him the 
assistance of the neighbouring tribes in his attack upon El 
Dorado, but recommended him, on account of the lateness of 
the season, to defer his enterprise till the following year. 1 

Raleigh, therefore, took leave of Topiawari, with a promise 
that he would soon be back again. A little lower down the 
A gold mine stream he was persuaded by his Indian guide to 
pointed out. i eave the boats, and to strike off into a track which 
ran along the foot of the hills at no great distance from the 
1 Discovery of Guiana, 42-98. 


southern bank of the river, and which led, as the Indian 
assured him, to a mountain where stones of the colour of gold 
were to be found. Raleigh accompanied him to the place, and 
saw the stones, but does not seem to have thought them of any 
great value. After some further explorations, he returned to 
the boats, leaving Keymis, his faithful follower, who was a 
better walker than himself, to accompany the Indian in a 
direction parallel with the stream, so as to rejoin his comrades 
lower down. In due course of time Keymis was taken on 
board at the appointed place. At first he did not speak of 
having seen anything remarkable. Afterwards he remembered 
that, as he passed a certain spot, the guide had made signs to 
him to follow him ; but that, supposing that he merely wished 
to show him a waterfall, he had refused to turn aside from the 
track. For the time, he remembered the circumstance merely 
as an ordinary incident of travel, little knowing what an in- 
fluence that lonely spot amongst the hills was to exercise upon 
the destinies of his master and of himself. ' 

Raleigh's reception in England was not what he had a 
right to expect. Elizabeth still looked coldly upon him, and 
Raleigh's g ave no sl S n f readiness to forward the enterprise 
return. upon which he had set his heart. Sober men, who 
would have given him an enthusiastic welcome if he had sailed 
into Plymouth Sound followed by a long train of Spanish prizes, 
shook their heads dubiously when they saw that he had re- 
turned empty-handed, and came to the conclusion that the 
story of the golden empire was a mere fabrication, as baseless 
as the wonderful tales about the armies composed of female 
warriors, or about the men with heads beneath their shoulders 
which Raleigh had found floating amongst the Indian tribes. 
Far more galling were the charges which were circulated in 
secret by his enemies. Some said that he had been hiding in 
Cornwall, and had never crossed the Atlantic at all. Others 
declared that he had gone as far as the coast of Africa, and 
had there bought the pieces of gold which he exhibited. After 
this, it was easy to say that his specimens were not gold at all, 
but only pieces of some glittering mineral of no use to anyone. 
1 Discovery of Guiana, 98. 


Raleigh's reply to these calumnies was the publication of 
the whole history of the voyage from which he had just returned. 
Publication ^ n other works he may have displayed higher genius, 
cove 6 d of an( ^ m otner achievements he may have approached 
Guiana. more nearly to success ; but whenever his character 
is called in question, it is to this little book that a hearing should 
first be given. To Raleigh, the man of action, the discovery 
and conquest of Guiana was what the New Atlantis was to 
Bacon, the man of thought. It shows not so much what he 
was as what he would have been. 1 A great idea had taken 
possession of him, and, in order to carry it out, he had spurned 
every ordinary means of enriching himself. It was an idea 
which was to haunt him through good fortune and through evil 
fortune, till it brought him to his grave. He was now looking 
forward to returning to Guiana under the Queen's authority, 
that he might establish amongst those simple tribes the empire 
of which he hoped to be the founder. 

If Raleigh could have contented himself with merely literary 
success, the reception which was accorded to his book would 
have been sufficient to gladden his heart. In two or three years 
it went through at least two editions in England, at a time when 
second editions were far rarer than they are at present. It was 
not long before it was translated into almost every language of 
cultivated Europe. From the banks of the Clyde to the banks 
of the Danube, men were able to amuse themselves in the 
winter evenings with the stories about the strange peoples who 
lived on the shores of the Orinoco ; and opened their eyes in 
wonder as they read of the Amazonian warriors, of the men 
who scarcely bore a human shape, and, above all, of the golden 
monarch of the golden city beside the lake of Parima. But, as 
as far as any practical result was concerned, the book fell flat 
upon the world. Amongst the thousands who amused them- 
selves over its pages, it was difficult to find one who would 
make any sacrifice, however slight, to help on the realisation of 
Raleigh's dream. 2 

1 "A man's ideal," says Mr. Spedding, "though not necessarily a 
description of what he is, is almost always a description of what he would 
be." Preface to the New Atlantis, Bacon's Philosophical Works^ iii. 122. 

2 Discovery of Gtu'a/ta, Introd. 55. 

1596 KEYMIS' S VOYAGE. 377 

Still, though the nation and the Queen looked coldly on, 
there were a few who were ready to trust him once more. 
i 59 6. The aged Burghley gave him 5o/. towards the ex- 
eex P edi- p ense s of another voyage, and Sir Robert Cecil 
Cadiz. risked a new ship, the mere hull of which cost 8oo/. 
But Raleigh could not leave England. The Queen needed 
his services nearer home. He had tried in vain to interest her 
in Guiana. Whilst Raleigh was thinking of El Dorado, Eliza- 
beth was thinking of the great Spanish fleet lying in Cadiz 
harbour. In obedience to her, he turned aside to Cadiz, from 
whence he returned after having achieved, in co-operation with 
the sailors of the Dutch Republic, the most glorious victory 
which had for centuries been won by English arms upon the 

But if Raleigh could not go to Guiana, at least he could 
send Keymis. His faithful follower sailed in the February after 
his return. In the Essequibo he heard fresh rumours 
of Manoa, and was told of a new route by which it 

might be approached ; but the news from the Orinoco 
was disheartening. The rivalry which always existed between 
the Spanish governors of the various towns along the coast had 
broken out into a flame. Berreo had been assaulted by the 
combined forces of his countrymen from Cumana and Mar- 
garita. He had been overmatched, and had fled up the river 
towards his old settlement on the Caroni. Even there he had 
been in danger, but had been relieved by the news of the arrival 
of the long-expected reinforcements from Spain. As, however, 
there was ' likely to be some little delay before the Spanish 
vessels made their way up the Orinoco, Keymis determined to 
profit by the opportunity, and to revisit the spot at the mouth 
of the Caroni, where the specimens of ore had been picked up 
the year before. On his arrival he found that Topiawari was 
dead, and that the friendly Indians had been won over by the 
Spaniards, or had been terrified into submission. All attempts 
to reach the Caroni were in vain, as Berreo had posted his 
handful of men in a position which could not be attacked with 
any prospect of success. 

Keymis, therefore, dropped down the river io search of the 


Indian guide who had accompanied him in the preceding year, 
and who had pointed out, as he supposed, a spot 
helr^of'the from which a. view of a waterfall was to be obtained. 
The man was not to be found, and inquiry soon con- 
vinced Keymis that the natives were completely cowed, and 
could not be expected to join in an attack upon their con- 
querors. But before he left the district his Indian pilot directed 
his attention to the very spot on the mountain's side where he 
imagined the waterfall to be. On inquiry, he learned to his 
astonishment that he had misunderstood the signs of his last 
year's companion, and that he had missed the opportunity of 
visiting what all the natives present concurred in describing as 
a gold mine of exceeding richness. He did not consider him- 
self justified in making the attempt with the small force at his 
disposal ; but he marked the spot, and he kept the information 
which he had acquired for Raleigh's use. 1 

In the midst of the employments which were now coming 
thickly upon him, Raleigh did not forget his darling scheme. 
Berry - s He had not been many weeks in England, after his 
voyage. return from Cadiz, before he commenced fitting out 
another vessel which he despatched to Guiana under the com- 
mand of Berry. Berry struck the coast at a point farther to 
the east than Keymis had done. He seems to have been 
deterred, by the representations of the natives, from proceeding 
farther than the mouth of the Oyapok, and he returned without 
making any attempt to penetrate to El Dorado. 2 

Here, for a time, Raleigh's active participation in the 

Guiana voyages ceased. Leigh and Harcourt, who' attempted 

1603. colonisation early in the reign of James, confined 

E / T pI(?r l tion J their attention to the more easterly part of the coast, 

of Leigh and ' * 

Harcourt. where there were no Spaniards to interfere with 
them ; and, in the charter by which James gave his authority 
to their proceedings, the western boundary of their intended 
settlement was fixed at the Essequibo. 3 But if Raleigh sent 
no more vessels to the Orinoco, he did not forget the Indians 

1 Keymis, A Relation of the Second Voyage to Guiana. 

2 Hakluyt, iii. 692. 

3 Grant, Aug. 28, 1603. 5. P. Grant Book, 126. 


who had received him with so hearty a welcome, and whenever 
he heard of a ship bound for Guiana he took care to charge the 
commander with kindly messages for his old friends. 

Nor was the great white chief forgotten in the West. Leigh's 
companions had to tell how an Indian had come all the way 
from the Orinoco to inquire after Raleigh, and to know when 
his promise to return was likely to be fulfilled. Harcourt 
reported that Leonard, who had been with Raleigh in Eng- 
land, bore him great affection, and that he loved the English 
nation with all his heart. 1 

Evil days came upon Raleigh. 2 As he lay in the Tower he 

1 Purchas, iv. 1264, 1270. 

2 I have seen many of Aremberg's despatches at Simancas, but the 
following passages are the only ones in which the names of Raleigh and 
Cobham occur : 

" Ayer a la tarde, despues de aver despachado mis cartas de 25 desto, 
me vino a buscar un amigo, el qual me dixo que se murmurava de alguna 
conspiracion contra la persona del Rey por algunos Senores Yngleses, pero 
aun no me supo dezir la verdadera rayz, bien que havian ellos depositado 
algunos aqui (que quiere dezir puesto en manos de algunos Senores en 
guarda) algunos Senores, cuyos nombres son Milort Drak," i.e. Brooke, 
" Ser Water Rale, hermano menor de Milor Cobham, que le fueron a 
sacar de su casa, cosa que tira a mayor. Despues otro me ha confirmado 
lo mismo, y que son hasta diez personas, quiriendo dezir que havian deter- 
minado de tomar al Rey, y prendelle yendo a caza, llevalle preso a un 
Castillo para hazelle trocar la manera de governar, y quitar algunos del 
consejo, y entre otros Cecil que a esta ora es tan enemigo de Ser Water 
Rale, y hombre de grande opinion aqui, como havia sido otra vez amigo 
en tiempo de la Reyna. . . . Todas estas cosas espero que no serviran 
poco a V. Alteza, porque [el Rey] conoscera por ello lo que son rebeldes, 
y quanto le conviene tener amigos fundados, y de no creer los que le 
aconsejan de fomentar tal gente y abandonar los verdaderos amigos." 
Aremberg to the Archduke Albert, July 5-" 

" Por nuevas me ha dicho que anteayer fue presto uno llamado Griffin 
Marques, que era el principal de una conspiracion hecha contra el Rey 
moderno de Inglaterra, de la qual eran dos clerigos. . . . Pareceme que 
son dos conspiraciones differentes, esta y la de Cobham, pero que comuni- 
cavan juntos, segun el dicho Idonoit (?) me ha dicho ? y que todos dos 
proceden de discontento que ellos dizen tener del Rey, por no havellos 
guardado lo que les habe prometido." Aremberg to the Archduke Albert, 

{" ly 2B| 1603. These extracts seem to leave no reasonable doubt that 
Aug. 7, J 


turned again, with almost desperate hope, to the Western con- 
tinent. The report which Keymis had brought of 

imprison- the mine pointed out to him by the Indian took up 
an abiding place in his imagination. No doubt he 

had not forgotten his loftier schemes, but he knew well that, 

to James, gold was a topic which never came amiss, and he 

saw in the secret of which he believed himself to be possessed, 

the sure means of recovering his lost position. 

Raleigh accordingly appealed vehemently for help to all 

whom he could induce to listen to his scheme. Haddington 
was the first whom he called to his assistance ; l but 

His wish to _ T , .. , , .... , . . 

return to Haddington was unable or unwilling to do anything 
for him. Salisbury, 2 to whom he next betook him- 
self, had perhaps no wish to help in setting such a rival at 
liberty, and had himself lost too much money in Guiana 
voyages to be very sanguine of the result. It was not till after 
the death of the Lord Treasurer 3 that Raleigh again attempted 
to seize the opportunity afforded by James's resentment at the 
rejection of his proposal for the hand of the Infanta 
Raleigh Anne. Writing to the Lords of the Council, he offered 
tosencT to fit out two vessels at his own expense. He would 
Keymis. himself remain as a hostage in the Tower. The ex- 
pedition should be entrusted to Keymis. If Keymis brought 
back less than half a ton of gold, he would be content to remain 
a prisoner for life : if, on the other hand, he brought more, he 
was immediately to be set at liberty. The Spaniards were not 
to be attacked, 'except themselves shall begin the war.' 

Aremberg was not cognizant of any plot against James, though he might 
have had conversations with Cobham on the subject of money to be given 
for procuring the peace. The only strong evidence, on the other hand, is 
Beaumont's account (King's MSS. 124, tol. 577 b) of Cobham's deposi- 
tion, and his direct statement that he knew that the King had two com- 
promising letters of Aremberg's in his hands. Unfortunately I was not able 
to discover any despatch of Aremberg's written after the Winchester trial. 

1 Raleigh to Haddington, 1610; Edwards's Life of Ralegh^ ii. 392. 

2 Raleigh toWinwood, 1615 ; ibid. ii. 339. 

3 Raleigh to the Lords of the Council, 1612 ; ibid. ii. 337. I accept 
Mr. Edwards's argument in favour of this date, to which the circumstances 
noticed above give additional force. 


The proposal thus made was rejected. It may be that 
James was too cautious to consent to an undertaking which 
His offer would have involved a risk of war with Spain. It 
rejected. ma y fog t h a j- th e influence of Somerset was thrown 
into the balance against Raleigh. But at last a gleam of hope 
appeared : rumours were abroad that Somerset's influence was 
on the wane. An appeal to Winwood was sure to go straight 
to the heart of that unbending hater of Spain, and 
Villiers, now in the hands of the enemies of Somerset 
and the Spanish faction, willingly gave ear to the pleadings of 
the captive. 1 

The voices of Winwood and Villiers were not raised in 
vain, The Queen, too, who in her jealousy of Somerset's in- 
fluence, had shifted round to the side of those who 

1616. ' 

Raleigh's viewed a Spanish policy with suspicion, threw her 

weight into the scale of the new favourite. On 

March ig, 2 1616, a warrant was issued to the Lieutenant of the 

1 In the Observations on Sanderson's History, we are told that ' Sir 
William St. John and Sir Edward Villiers procured Sir W. Raleigh's 
liberty, and had I5oo/. for their labour, and for yoo/. more offered him his 
full pardon and liberty not to go his voyage, if he pleased.' This story 
has been generally adopted by subsequent writers, some of whom speak of 
Sir W. St. John as nearly connected in some way with Villiers' family, 
probably by confusing him with Sir Oliver St. John. From Howel's 
letter to C. Raleigh it appears that the original story was ' that Sir W. 
St. John made an overture to him of procuring his pardon for 15007.,' 
which is a very different thing ; 'but whether he could have effected it,' 
the writer proceeds, ' I doubt a little, when he had come to negotiate 
really. ' Howel, at least, did not think the money had been paid, and I 
suspect the story originated from some loose talk. In the political situa- 
tion, no bribery was necessary to gain the ear of Villiers. Sir W. St 
John appears to have been acting cordially in Raleigh's interest. Sherburn 
to Carleton, March 23 ; Chamberlain to Carleton, March 27, 1616 ; 
S. P. Dom. Ixxvi. 100, III. 

2 The letter of the Privy Council of March 19, is printed by Mr. 
Edwards {Life of Ralegh, i. 563), who has obligingly communicated to me 
the warrant of the same date from the Losely MSS. He has also placed 
in my hands the warrant upon which he had founded his statement that 
Raleigh's release had taken place two months previously. It appears, 
however, that the true date of this is Jan. 30, 1617, and it will be referred 
to in the proper place. 


Tower, authorising him to permit Raleigh to go abroad in the 
company of a keeper to make preparations for his voyage. At 
last, therefore, after a confinement of little less than thirteen 
years, he stepped forth from his prison, with the sentence of 
death still hanging over his head. 

Against his liberation it is impossible to say a word ; but 
that James should have thought of sending him. across the 
ocean to Guiana at a time when he was secretly assuring Sar- 
miento of his intention to abide by Somerset's policy of the 
Spanish alliance is truly marvellous. To choose with Bacon or 
with Digby a broad ground of policy which would have raised 
him above the contending factions was beyond his capacity. 
If to intrigue with Sarmiento for the ducats of the Spanish 
princess was a blunder of which he did not himself recognise 
the full import, neither did he recognise the full import of his 
assent to Raleigh's expedition. He was assured by those who 
favoured it that Raleigh had no intention of attacking Spain, 
and it can hardly be doubted that the prospect of sharing in 
the profits of the gold mine blinded him to the risk to himself, 
as well as to Raleigh, by which the search would be ac- 

The want of money, which was the probable cause of the 
facility with which James gave ear to Raleigh's supporters, 
led him at the same time to come to an understanding with the 
Dutch on a subject in which the Republic was deeply interested. 
Brill, Flushing, and Rammekens, the cautionary towns as they 
were called, which had been pledged by the Dutch to Elizabeth 
as security for the money which she had lent them at the height 
of their struggle against Spain, were still occupied by English 
garrisons, and the States-General were naturally anxious to 
recover them, especially as it was always possible that, in a 
moment of disgust, James might give up these precious posses- 
sions to the King of Spain. Caron, the Ambassador of the 
States, had therefore long been pressing James to 

Treaty for b J 

the surren- make some arrangement by which the towns might 

cautionary be surrendered to their rightful owners ; but it was 

not till the end of 1615 that James in any way 

listened to the proposal. At that time Caron found that his 


request was supported by some members of the Privy Council. 
James listened to what they had to say, but refused to give a 
decision on his, own responsibility. At his request the whole 
subject was thoroughly discussed in the Council, and Commis- 
sioners were appointed to treat with Caron on the amount to be 
received. At last, on April 23, 1616, it was agreed that the towns 
should be surrendered on condition of the payment of 215,0007., 
of which sum i5,ooo/. was to be made over to the officers of 
the garrisons, and the rest was to be paid into the Exchequer, l 
and that upon the receipt of this money the debt of the Pro- 
vinces to England was to be cancelled. 

Perhaps no treaty which has ever been concluded has re- 
ceived a greater amount of obloquy than this agreement. Few 
Objections amongst the contemporaries of the men who signed 
beeamZde ^ s Pke of it with any degree of favour, and fewer 
to the treaty. s ^\\ } amongst the writers who have referred to it in 
later times, have described it otherwise than as a hard bargain, 
to which James was compelled by his necessities to submit. 
Curiously enough, however, although these two classes of critics 
have been unanimous in the opinions which they have adopted, 
they have given very different reasons for coming to the same 
conclusion. It is not difficult to account for this discrepancy. 
Those who wrote in the seventeenth century shut their eyes to 
the principles upon which independent nations ought to deal 
with one another ; those who have written in the nineteenth 
century shut their eyes to the facts of the case which they were 

The objections which were made in the Privy Council are 

probably well represented by a paper which was drawn up for 

the use of Sir Fulk Greville. 2 The writer was afraid 

Those made 

bycontem- lest the King should sacrifice his honour, lest Eng- 
land should be excluded from the Continent, lest 
there should be no longer any place where Englishmen could 

1 Reasons by Winwood for giving up the Towns. Undated, 1616. 
Winwood to Carleton, May 23, S. P. Hoi. 

2 Reasons against the surrender, written by Sir John Coke for Sir Fulk 
Greville, April 24, S. P. Hoi. Danvers to Carleton, April 22, 1616, 
S. P. Dom. Ixxxvi. 147. 


be trained for a military life, lest France should become too 
powerful, and, above all, lest the Dutch, when they were relieved 
from the fear of the English garrisons, should bring scandal 
upon Protestantism by the encouragement which they gave 
to heresy and schism. We have learned to estimate such 
objections as these at their real worth. In the whole paper 
there is only one point in any way worthy of consideration. 
The writer doubted the propriety of abandoning the towns, 
because Flushing and Brill were the keys of the navigation 
of the Rhine and the Meuse, and without their possession 
the English merchants might be debarred from trading in 
the regions watered by those rivers. It must, however, be 
remembered that neither Flushing nor Brill guarded, as 
Gibraltar does, the communications with an open sea. They 
Were only valuable so far as they afforded means of retaliation 
upon the Dutch in case they were inclined to make use of 
their position on the banks of these rivers at a greater distance 
from the sea, to hinder English merchandise from passing 
into the interior. Under such circumstances, it would 
certainly be better to retain the friendship of the Dutch by 
an honourable course of policy, than to exasperate them by 
retaining garrisons in places which they justly regarded as their 

In modern times it has usually been said, 1 that though 

James was quite right in surrendering the towns, yet, if he had 

not been in extreme distress he would have bargained 

Those made . , . 

by later for more money than he actually got. It is no 
doubt true that he would have made rather a better 
bargain if he had been able to wait, but it is not true that he was 
in any way cheated out of what he ought to have received, or that 
he did not benefit by listening to the overtures of the Dutch. 
At the time when he agreed to the surrender, the amount 
owing to him was indeed no less than 6oo,ooo/., which was to be 
paid, as long as the truce lasted, in half-yearly instalments of 
2o,ooo/. each. If, then, the truce were renewed at its expira- 
tion in 1621, he might expect to receive the whole sum by the 

1 Hume has stated the matter with perfect correctness, excepting that 
he supposed that the King received 250,0007. 


end of 1630. On the other hand, as the expenses of the 
garrisons amounted to 26,ooo/. annually, his real gain would be 
reduced to 2io,ooo/., coming in slowly in the course of fifteen 
years. It will be seen therefore, that the result of James's bar- 
gain was to give him at once rather more than he could 
ever hope to obtain by slow degrees in the course of a long 
period. Nor was it at all certain that the advantages which 
accrued to him by the surrender would not be greater still. 
It was always possible that the truce might not be renewed, 
and that, as eventually proved to be the case, the war might 
break out again. He would then find that, after having re- 
jected 215, ooo/., he had succeeded before 1621, the year in 
which the truce was to expire, in obtaining a bare 70, ooo/., 
and that there was before him an indefinite prospect of an 
annual expenditure of 26,ooo/. for the support of the garrisons 
without any equivalent whatever. 1 Nor was this all. The 
fortifications of the towns were sadly out of repair, and if 
James had refused the offers of the Dutch, an immediate outlay 
would have been necessary, which would have swallowed up 
some considerable portion of the future payments. 

Whilst James was thus carrying out an engagement equally 
advantageous to himself and to the Dutch Republic, he was 
brought by his desire to advance the manufactures of England 
into a dispute which, coming, as it did, so soon after the dis- 
agreement with regard to the East India trade and the whale 
fishery, bid fair, for a moment, permanently to disturb those 
amicable relations which had hitherto subsisted between the two 

So long ago as in 1613, if not at an earlier time, the atten- 
tion of the King had been called to the condition of the English 

1613. cloth trade. The manufacture of cloth was in the 
manufac^ seventeenth century as much the leading trade of 
tory. England as the manufacture of cotton goods has 

become in our own days. From time to time statutes had been 
passed for the encouragement of the trade, the object of which 
had been to secure that the cloth should be dyed and dressed, as 

1 Winwood to Carleton, and Winwood's Reasons, as before quoted. 


well as woven, before it left the country. With the greater 
part of the cloth exported this legislation had been successful. 
There was, however, one part of the Continent which refused to 
take any cloths excepting those which were undressed. Whether 
it was that our mode of preparing the cloth was in reality inferior 
to that which prevailed in the countries bordering on the Rhine, 
or that from economical causes the later stages of the manufac- 
ture could be more profitably carried on abroad, it was certain 
that, in the whole domain of the great company of the Mer- 
chant Adventurers, which extended from Calais to Hamburg, 
it was impossible to command a market for cloths which had 
been dressed and dyed in England. So far had this feeling or 
prejudice reached, that whenever, in obedience to the inter- 
ference of the Government or of the Legislature, the merchants 
consented to carry any such cloths abroad, they found that they 
were actually unable to sell them for a price even equal to that 
which was commanded by those upon which no labour had 
been expended after the first rough process of the manufac- 
ture. 1 

In spite of these reasons for leaving the trade to take its 
natural course, there were some persons who, with Alderman 
Cockaine at their head, pressed the King to make 
Cockaine's another effort to bring the whole process into the 
accepted by hands of English workmen. 2 Whatever their 
' e Kmg ' arguments may have been worth, they succeeded, 
in 1614, after a hearing before the Privy Council, in inducing 
James to issue a proclamation in which he declared his wish 
to throw work into the hands of Englishmen, and expressed his 
dissatisfaction at the injury which was done to the cloth by the 
unscrupulous treatment which it met with in the hands of the 
foreign dyers, who were, as he alleged, accustomed to stretch 
it, in order to make it cover the greatest possible number of 

1 Merchant Adventurers to the Council, April (?), 1606. A Merchant 

of the Eastland Company to , March (?), 1613, S. P. Dom. xx. 10 ; 

Ixxii. 70. The King to Coke and others, Dec. 3, 1613, Add. MSS. 
14,027, fol. 254. 

2 Reasons of the Merchant Adventurers, with Answers by Cockaine 
and others, Lansd. MSS. 152, fol. 282. 

1614 THE CLOTH TRADE. 387 

yards. The consequence was that the cloth which had been 
thus maltreated wore badly, and the blame was thrown upon 
the English manufacturers. In order to protect the foreign 
consumer, as well as the English workman, he had determined 
upon withdrawing all licenses for the exportation of undyed 
and undressed cloth. The Merchant Adventurers who refused 
to carry on trade under these disadvantageous restrictions, were 
ready to abandon their charter, and a new company was to be 
formed, with Alderman Cockaine at its head. The new asso- 
ciation was to be open to all who would give in their names, 
together with a statement of the amount of money which they 
intended to embark in the trade during the following three 
years. 1 In taking this step, James was but acting in accordance 
with the universal opinion of the day, that it was worth while to 
sacrifice much in order to keep native industry employed. He 
was certainly disinterested in the matter, as the old company 
had offered him an increase of payment if he would allow them 
to continue the trade on the old footing. As, however, he 
would not give way, the old company delivered up its charter 

on February 21, 1615, and Cockaine and his fol- 
The new lowers had the whole trade, as far as the English 

Government could help them, in their hands. They 
soon discovered that it was impossible to fulfil the magni- 
ficent promises which they had made, and they were obliged 
to ask for leave to export undyed cloths as their predecessors 
had done, on condition of making some beginning in carrying 
out the trade upon the new principle. 2 After considerable 
haggling they consented to export six thousand dyed cloths 
within the year, and twelve and eighteen thousand in the 
second and third years respectively of their corporative ex- 
istence. 3 Whatever they sent out of the country beyond this 
was to be undyed. 

They had not been many months at work before the 
Government expressed its dissatisfaction at the manner in which 

1 Proclamation, July 23, 1614. See also the proclamation of Dec. 2, 
S. P. Dom. clxxxvii. 29, 35. 

2 Chamberlain to Carleton, Feb. 23, 1615, S. P. Dom. Ixxx. 38. 
* Council Register, June 7 and 19, 1615. 

C c 2 


they were carrying out their contract, and even had it in 
contemplation to put an end to the agreement which had 
been made with them. Accordingly the members of the old 
company received permission to make proposals for a more 
effectual method of executing the King's designs. 1 As, how- 
ever, the meeting persisted in declaring that there was no 
reason to suppose that trade could be carried on on the terms 
proposed to them, and refused to do more than to offer to export 
one thousand cloths by way of an experiment, 2 the negotiation 
was broken off, and the new company was allowed to proceed 
with the undertaking. 3 

It was not long before James met with an unexpected check. 
The intelligence that the English were endeavouring to get into 
their own hands the dressing and dyeing of the cloth roused 
the Dutch to resist the change by every means in their power. 
They declared that if the English would send them nothing but 
dressed cloths they would refuse to buy them, as they would 
be able, without difficulty, to establish a manufacture of their 
own. It was soon seen that these were not mere 


Resistance of words. A bounty was offered for every fresh loom 
which was set up, and, after a few weeks, Carleton 
reported that, as he went about the country to examine the 
progress which had been made, his ears were saluted by the 
busy sound of the shuttle in all directions. It was in vain 
that James stormed against the ungrateful Dutchmen who 
were thwarting him in his beneficent intentions, and that he 
protested that he would not be the first to give way. The 
Dutch continued to weave their cloth in spite of his pretensions. 
Before the English Government had time to take 

Distress in - 

the clothing any violent measures against the Dutch, it found 
itself involved at home in difficulties of its own crea- 
tion. It was impossible that the disturbance of the course of 

1 Warrant, Feb, 7, 1616, S. P. Dom, Ixxxvi. 48. Bacon to the King, 
Aug. 12, 1615, Feb. 25, 1616, Letters and Life, v. 178, 256. 

2 Old Company to the Council, May 1616, S. P. Dom. Ixxx. no. 
Endorsed May, 1615, and so calendared b Mrs. Green; but the warrant 
just quoted shows this to have been a mistake. 

3 Chamberlain <.o Carleton, March 27, 1616, Court and Times, i. 392. 


trade should fail to produce injurious effects in the English 
clothing districts. Even before the Dutch had time to carry 
out their plan of opposing prohibition by prohibition, a 
petition came up from Gloucestershire, complaining of the 
number of hands which had been thrown out of employ- 
ment by the new regulations. The measures taken by the 
Government in consequence of this petition were characteristic 
of the ideas prevalent at the time on such subjects. They sent 
for the governor of the new company, and asked him why the 
Gloucestershire clothworkers were out of work. He excused 
himself by saying that they made bad cloth, for which it 
was impossible to obtain a sale. The excuse was at once 
rejected, and he was ordered to summon a meeting of the 
company, and to tell the members that they were expected 
to buy any amount of Gloucestershire cloth which might be 
exposed for sale. If, in spite of this, any clothier should 
discharge his workmen, he would be duly punished by the 
Council. Either stimulated by the example of the Gloucester- 
shire clothiers, or urged by the increasing distress resulting 
from diminished exportation, Worcestershire and Wiltshire soon 
joined in the cry. Bacon, who had taken a great interest in 
Bacon's pro- ^ e King's scheme, now advised that a proclamation 
posais. should be issued, forbidding any Englishman, during 
the next six months, to wear any silken stuff which did not 
contain a mixture of wool. This would give employment to 
the manufacturers, at the same time that it would show the 
foreigners that the King had no intention of receding from 
his purpose. 1 

Either this last proposal carried interference too far for 
the cooler heads in the Council, or, as is more probable, the 
members of the new company themselves were frightened 
at the difficulties which were before them. They seem to 
have made demands which the Government refused to con- 
cede, and after some months of fruitless negotiation, they sur- 

1 Council to the Justices of the Peace in Gloucestershire, Aug. 2 ; 
Council with the King to the Council in London, Aug. 6 ; Council in 
London to the Council with the King, Aug. 13 (S. P. Dom. Ixxxviii. 41, 
45> 5 1 ) > Bacon to the King, Sept. 13, Letters and Lift ; v. 74. 


rendered their charter to the Crown. 1 A few months later the 

1617. old company was restored to its original privileges. 2 

R -. es ' ora . t ' on Tames did not, indeed, resign his intention of at- 

of the old J 

company. tempting to change the course of trade, though he 
found that it was impossible, at the moment, to carry out 
his designs. Unhappily, his pretensions, which had been so 
injurious to the individual interests of his subjects, though 
so thoroughly in accordance with their theoretical principles, 
had also served to diminish the good understanding which 
ought always to have prevailed between England and the 

During these alternations of friendliness and jealousy towards 
the Dutch, the arrangements for an alliance with Spain had 
been steadily progressing. When Digby returned to 
Digby's England in March 1616, after giving James full in- 
formation on the relations between Somerset and the 
Spanish Court, he reminded him that as the King of Spain 
could do nothing without the approval of the Pope, he was 
not himself able to dispose of his daughter's hand. For this 
reason, he said, it would be better to seek a German wife for 
the Prince, as a German husband had been sought for his sister. 
James was so pleased with the openness and sagacity of the 
young ambassador that he admitted him to the Privy Council, 
and conferred upon him the office of Vice- Chamberlain, which 
would give him constant access to his person. 3 

In spite of his hesitations, however, James carried out the 

engagement which he had made with Sarmiento in January, 4 

that he would put an end to the negotiation for a 

The Fit' French marriage. In April he made a statement 

beTroken 10 to tfte Council of the inconveniences of the French 

alliance. In fact, it was not difficult to make out 

a case against it. The Princes of the Blood, headed by the 

Prince of Conde, had taken advantage of the unpopularity 

1 Council Register, Jan. 9, 1617. 

2 Proclamation, Aug. 12, 1617, S. P. Dom. clxxxvii. 50*. 

3 Sarmiento to Philip III., April Simancas MSS. 2595, fol. 55. 

4 Sarmiento to Philip III., j^' "' Simancas MSS. 2595, fol. 33. 


of the Spanish marriages, and of the well-founded distrust of 
the Huguenots, to enter upon a rebellion. Either on account 
of the weakness of the French Government, or because the 
King had evidently made up his mind, the English Council 
were unanimous in holding that the French terms were 
insufficient. Lennox alone appeared to hesitate. It might 
be, he said, that the French Government had not offered 
more because it knew that the King was looking in another 

James resolved to put the Regent to the test. He would 
ask her to yield on three points : that, in the case of the de- 
cease of the Princess Christina without children, he 


L9rd Hay's should not be required to reimburse her portion : 
that the marriage, though solemnised in France after 
the forms of the Roman Catholic Church, should be again 
solemnised in England according to the Protestant ritual ; and 
that the Princess should not be forced to renounce the claims 
to Navarre and Beam, which she would have in the improbable 
case of the decease, without heirs, of her two brothers and her 
elder sister. 

For the purpose of this mission James selected Lord Hay, 
who, as a Scotchman, would be welcome in France, and who 
was sure to perform his part with ostentation, and to attract 
notice wherever he went. Though he was possessed of the 
equivocal distinction of knowing how to spend money more 
rapidly than anyone else in England, he was not without a 
strong fund of common sense, for which the world has hardly 
been inclined to give him credit. 

For some weeks after Digby's arrival in England, the Courts 
of London and Madrid were fencing with one another on a 
James's point of considerable importance. Before James 
hesitation. wou ld consent to discuss the terms of the marriage 
contract, he wished to have some assurance that the Pope 
would grant the dispensation, if reasonable concessions were 
made. Philip, who knew that it was perfectly hopeless to ex- 
pect the Pope to promise anything of the kind, answered that 
it would be an insult to His Holiness to ask him to consent 
to articles which he had never seen. At last James, finding 


that on this point the Spaniards were immovable, relinquished 
his demands. 1 

It is true that before Digbyleft Spain he had obtained from 
Lerma some modification of the original articles. The stipula- 
tion that the children should be baptized as Catho- 
ofthe"* " lies was withdrawn. The condition that the servants 
should be exclusively Catholics was exchanged for 
an engagement that they should be nominated by the King of 
Spain. The question of the education of the children, and the 
question of the boon to be granted to the English Catholics, 
were allowed to drop out of sight for the present. 2 The changes 
were, however, greater in appearance than in reality, as James 
was well aware that though he was not called upon to express 
an immediate opinion on these last subjects, the whole of the 
religious difficulty would come up again for solution before the 
final arrangements were made. Even now, therefore, he was 
Continued not without occasional hesitation. One day he told 
^nt"f ss Sarmiento that there were 'terrible things in the 
James. articles,' and suggested that it would be well if they 
could be reconsidered in England before a special ambassador 
was sent to discuss them at Madrid. This was not what Sar- 
miento wanted. He had no wish to be brought into personal 
collision with James on questions of detail, and with a few well- 
chosen sentences about the impropriety of asking the lady's 
representative to argue the conditions of the marriage treaty, he 
quietly set the whole scheme aside. In giving an account to 
his master of this conversation, he expressed his opinion that 
James was desirous of reaping the political advantages of the 
alliance, but that he would prove to be unwilling to make the 
required concessions to the Catholics. 3 Yet, whatever his future 
prospects might be, Sarmiento knew that, for the present at 

1 Francisco de Jesus , 13; Sarmiento to Philip III., May I0 - May 3'. 

20, June ics 
Simattcas MSS. 2595, fol. 81, 99. 

2 The articles are amongst the P. Spain, and are, with a few verbal 
differences, the same as the twenty articles in Prynne's Hidden Works, 4. 

3 Francisco de Jesus, 15 ; Minutes of Sarmiento's despatches, ' ug ' '^, a, 

Sept. 2 ' Simancas MSS. Est. 2850, 2518, fol. 20. 


least, James was in his net. It would not be long before the 
negotiations were formally opened at Madrid. 

At the outset of his mission, Hay met with an obstacle of 
which many an ambassador had complained before. If he 
Hay's want was to enter Paris with the magnificence which he 
of money. thought fitting for the occasion, he must have money ; 
and, as usual, the Exchequer had none to spare. The device 
resorted to was in the highest degree disgraceful. An idea had 
already been canvassed from time to time, that it might be 
Sale of possible to raise money by the sale of peerages. The 
peerages. precedent of the baronetages was sure, sooner or later, 
to turn the thoughts of the needy King in that direction ; but 
as yet he had held back from such a desecration of the pre- 
rogative. It would be impossible to disguise the transaction 
under the pretence that the honour was granted for services 
rendered. It would mal^e the grant of the highest dignity 
which it was in the power of the Crown to bestow a mere 
matter of bargain and sale. Yet to this it was necessary to 
come. There were many gentlemen who were ready to pay 
the required sum. One of those selected was Sir John Roper ; 
the other was Sir John Holies. They paid io,oco/. apiece, and 
were, as a recompense, decorated with the titles of Lord Teyn- 
ham and Lord Houghton. The sum paid by the first of the 
new barons was handed over to Hay. Half of Lord Houghton's 
money was taken possession of by the King ; the other half 
went to Winwood, who was promised 5,ooo/. more when the 
next baron was made. No doubt Winwood had worked hard 
for many years with little reward ; but it speaks volumes for the 
corrupt atmosphere of James's Court that a man of Winwood's 
integrity should have condescended to accept payment from 
such a source. 1 

As soon as he had thus acquired the money which was 
Hay's entry necessary to enable him to leave England, Hay started 
into Paris. on ^jg j ourn ey. His entry into Paris was long 
talked of by the French as a magnificent exhibition. His train 

1 Chamberlain to Carleton, July 20, 1616 (Court and Times, i. 408). 
Sir J. Holies had been condemned to fine and imprisonment only a few 
months before, for his proceedings at Weston's execution. 


was unusually large, and all his followers were attired in a 
sumptuous costume, which surpassed all that had ever been 
seen on such occasions. That his horse was shod with silver 
shoes, which were intentionally attached so loosely that he 
dropped them as he passed along the streets, is probably a tale 
which grew up in the popular imagination ; but all accounts 
agree in speaking of the Ambassador's entry into Paris as 
astonishing the spectators by the gorgeous spectacle which it 
presented. It is more important, however, to note the re- 
ception which he met with from high and low. The whole 
populace of Paris cheered him as he passed, and from all 
ranks of the people he received a greeting which assured him 
that the English alliance would be welcomed by thousands 
who were heartily weary of the subservience of the Queen to 

It is proof of Hay's good sense that he was not intoxicated 
by his reception. He talked over with Edmondes the instruc- 
His diffi- tions which he had received, and sat down to repeat 
cuiues. m wr iti n g to Winwood the misgivings which he had 
expressed, before he went away, upon the success of his mission. 
He felt, he said, that the course which he was directed to take 
could end in nothing but failure. The negotiations would be 
broken off, and the fault would be laid upon James. 1 If 
Winwood had been left to himself he would doubtless have 
agreed with Hay. But he was obliged to write a despatch 
ordering him to persevere in the course which had been marked 
out for him. 

Before that despatch arrived in Paris, an event had occurred 

1 " And we must confess we find ourselves extremely troubled how to 
disguise His Majesty's intentions, so as they may not here plainly discover 
he hath a desire quite to break off this match, and take advantage thereby 
to drive that envy upon us which, if they had not yielded to His Majesty's 
desires, would have lighted heavily upon them from this people, whom we 
find generally much to desire this alliance might take effect. " (Hay and 
Edmondes to Winwood, July 31, S. P. France.) Hay and Edmondes 
evidently understood that James had determined to break off the match at all 
hazards. Winwood's reply of the I9th, which still directs them to agree to 
the match if they can get better terms, was a mere conventional rejoinder, 
and James was not likely to impart his intentions to Winwood. 


which made it still more unlikely that the French Government 
would give ear to the proposals with which Hay had been 
imprison- charged. Conde, though he had made his submis- 
condl f s i n to tne R g ent on favourable terms, felt that, for 
Aug. 21. some time, the position which he had attained gave 
him little more than a nominal dignity, and formed designs 
against Concini, the Queen's favourite, whose influence was su- 
preme at Court. 1 In the place of the Queen and her dependents, 
he would have organized a Council, in which the principal parts 
would have been played by the Princes of the Blood. The 
Queen saw the danger, and anticipated the blow. Instigated 
perhaps by the young Richelieu, then first rising into note, she 
attempted to surprise the heads of the opposite party. As far 
as Condd was concerned, she was successful in her attempts. 
The first Prince of the Blood was thrown into prison. His 
confederates succeeded in making their escape. No popu- 
lar commotion ensued upon this sudden blow. In spite of 
the popular language of Conde", it was difficult to persuade 
the nation that it would be happier by substituting for the 
Government which had been carried on in the name of the 
King, a Council principally composed of the Princes of the 

Five days after the seizure of Conde had taken place, the 
English ambassadors had an interview with Villeroi and the 
interview of other principal ministers. Hay, being asked what 
Edmondes proposals he had brought from England, gave in a 
French" 5 P a P er which related simply to the grievances of which 
ministers. his master's subjects complained. The Frenchmen 
were not to be put off the scent in this manner. They asked, 
at once, what he had to say about the marriage. Hay, accord- 
ing to his instructions, could only answer, that the King of 
England was dissatisfied with the last reply of the French 
Government, that he would have broken off the negotiations at 
once, if he had not been unwilling to do so at a time when 
France was suffering the miseries of a civil war, and that he 
was now waiting for new propositions which might be more 

1 Such at least is the explanation derived by Ranke from the despatches 
of the Venetian Ambassador, Franzbsische Geschichte> i. 201. 


acceptable. The French ministers said that it was necessary 
to discuss the old proposals before bringing forward any new 
ones. James's three demands were then laid before them, and 
it soon appeared that, on the questions of the repetition of 
the marriage ceremony, and of the renunciation of the right of 
succession, neither party would give way to the other. 1 Hay 
therefore brought the negotiations to a close, and returned to 
England, whither he was soon followed by Edmondes, who, in 
reward for his long diplomatic services, was raised to the dig- 
nity of a Privy Councillor. James was now free to listen, if 
he pleased, to the advances of the Spanish ambassador. 

While James was thus putting an end to the projected 

French alliance, he was still making unsuccessful attempts to 

carry into effect the treaty of Xanten. Sir Henry 

Gu-ietonln Wotton, who had returned from the Hague weary of 

ind ' his twelvemonth's sojourn amongst the imperturbable 
Dutchmen, had been once more despatched to an elegant re- 
tirement in the more congenial atmosphere of Venice. He was 
replaced at the Hague by Sir Dudley Carleton, who had long 
been to the full as eager to escape from Italy as Wotton had 
been to return there. 

Asa diplomatist, Carleton takes rank as one of the most 
prominent members of the school of which Winwood was the 
acknowledged chief. He had, at one time, acted as secretary 
to the Earl of Northumberland, and had been involved in his 
patron's disgrace, being for some time causelessly suspected of 
some connection with the Gunpowder Plot. As soon as his 
character was cleared, he succeeded in obtaining the good- 
will of the all-powerful Salisbury, and was by his influence 
appointed, in 1610, to the embassy at Venice. A post of this 
nature could hardly have satisfied him under any circumstances. 
He not only longed for the free air of a Protestant country, and 
was anxious to be less completely cut off from his friends in 
England, but he took a warm interest in the opposition to 
Spain, which made him anxious to find another sphere for the 
exercise of his talents. It was therefore with no small pleasure 

1 Hay and Edmondes to Winwood, Aug. 26, 1616, S. P. France. 


that he received the news of his appointment to the post which 
had just been vacated by Wotton. 

It was to no purpose that he did his best to obtain the 
consent of the Dutch to the execution of the treaty of Xanten. 
Rightly or wrongly, they believed that there was a 
decline settled disposition on the part of the Spaniards to 
the C treaty make themselves masters of the disputed territories, 
of Xanten. ^ that eyen if the g pan i sn troops i e f t t h e country 

after the withdrawal of their own forces, they would either 
return under some pretext or another, or the Emperor and the 
German Catholic League would carry out that which Spinola 
had been unable to do. Towards the end of the year, Carleton 
was directed to inform the States l that a declaration had been 
made by the Spanish ambassador in London, that, if the treaty 
of Xanten were not executed before the end of the ensuing 
February, his master would consider himself justified in retain- 
ing as his own the places occupied by his troops. Even this 
threat was without effect upon the Dutch, who persisted in 
looking with distrust upon every proposition emanating from 

Although, however, James was on less cordial terms with 
Holland and France than had formerly been the case, and 
James has although he was on the point of opening negotiations 
Sdesenh?g w * tn Spain, it would be a mistake to suppose that he 
the Dutch. h a( j an y intention of turning against his old allies. 
He was guilty of no such base treachery to the Protestant cause, 
of which, in word at least, he had constituted himself the 
Protector. During the very year in which these differences 
had sprung up, he had been anxiously urging the Duke of 
Savoy to join the union of the Protestant Princes of Germany 
in a defensive league which would support him in his resistance 
to the encroachments of the King of Spain. 2 He wished 
simply to keep the peace. He saw that the Continental Pro- 
testants were alarmed, and that alarm led to irritation. He 
was constantly afraid of some outbreak of temper or ambition 

1 Winwood to Carleton, Nov. 13, 1616, Carleton Letters, 70. 

2 Wotton to the King, May 22, S. P. Venice. 


which would set Europe in a blaze. The calm dignity of 
Spain, and of the Spanish ambassador, imposed upon him. 
He did not see that the Spanish monarchy was compelled by 
its interests and traditions to interfere in the affairs of every 
European state, and that subservience to Spain might easily 
bring on that very danger which he sought to avoid. 






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Rationalism in Europe. 2 vols. crown 8vo. 16*. 
Lewes's History of Philosophy. 2 vols. 8vo. 32*. 

Longman's Lectures on the History of England. 8vo. 15*. 
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History of England : 

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Maoaulay'g Critical and Historical Essays. Cheap Edition. Crown 8vo, 2*. M. 

Student's Edition. 1 vol. cr. 8vo. 6*. 
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Cabinet Edition. 4 vols. post 8vo. 24*. 
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Maxwell's (Sir W. S.) Don John of Austria. Library Edition, with numerous 

Illustrations. 2 vols. Eoyal 8vo. 42*. 
Hay's Constitutional History of England, 1760-1870. 3 vols. crown 8vo. 18*. 

Democracy in Europe. 2 vols. 8vo. 32*. 
Merivale's Pall of the Roman Republic. 12mo. 7*. 6d. 

_ General History of Rome, B.C. 753 A.D. 476. Crown 8vo. 7*. 60. 

History of the Romans under the Empire. 8 vols. post 8 vo. 48*. 
Rawlinson's Seventh Great Oriental Monarchy The Sassanians. 8vo. 28*. 
Baebohm's Oxford Reformers Colet, Erasmus, & More. 8vo. 14*. 
Short* s History of the Church of England. Crown 8vo. 7*. 6d. 
Smith's Carthage and the Carthaginians. Crown 8vo. 10*. 6rf. 
Taylor's Man""-! of the History of India. Crown 8vo. 7*. 6d. 
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Sagchot's Biographical Studies. 1 vol. 8vo. 12.. 

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Criticism and Recollections of J. S. Mill. Crown 8vo. 2*. 6d. 
Oarlyle's Reminiscences, edited by J. A. Fronde. 2 vols. crown 8vo. 18*. 

(Mrs.) Letters and Memorials. 3 vols. 8vo. 36*. 
Oates's Dictionary of General Biography. Medium 8vo. 28*. 
Proude's Luther, a short Biography. Crown 8vo. 1*. 

Thomas Carlyle. Vols. 1 & 2, 1795-1835. 8vo. with Portraits and 

Plates, 32*. 

Gleig*s Life of the Duke of "Wellington. Crown 8vo. 6*. 
Halliwell-Phillipps's Outlines of Shakespeare's Life. 8vo. 7*. 6d. 
Lecky'a Leaders of Public Opinion in Ireland. Crown 8vo. 7*. 6d. 
Life (The) and Letters of Lord Macaulay. By his Nephew, G. Otto Trevelyan, 

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8vo. 12*. Library Edition, 2 vols. 8vo. 36*. 
Marahman's Memoirs of Havelock. Crown 8vo. 3*. 6<f. 
Mendelssohn's Letters. Translated by Lady Wallace. 2 vols. cr. 8vo. 5j. each. 
Mill's (John Stuart) Autobiography. 8vo. 7*. 6d. 
Mozley's Reminiscences of Oriel College. 2 vols. crown 8vo. 18*. 
Newman's Apologia pro Vita Suft . Crown 8vo. 6*. 
Skobeleff & the Slavonic Cause. By 0. K. 8vo. Portrait, 14*. 
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Spedding's Letters and Life of Francis Bacon. 7 vols. 8vo. 4. 4*. 
Stephen's Essays in Ecclesiastical Biography. Crown 8vo. 7*. 6d, 


Ajnos's View of the Science of Jurisprudence. 8vo. 18*. 

Fifty Years of the English Constitution, 1830-1880. Crown 8vo. 10*. 64. 

Primer of the English Constitution. Crown 8vo. 6*. 
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Promus, edited by Mrs. H. Pott. 8vo. 16s. 

Works, edited by Spedding. 7 vols. 8vo. 73*. 6d. 
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Bain's Logic, Deductive and Inductive. Crown 8vo. 10*. 6d.' 

PAST I. Deduction, 4*. | PART II. Induction, 6*. M. 
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Kalisch's Path and Goal. 8vo. 12*. 6d. 

Leslie's Essays in Political and Moral Philosophy. 8vo. 10*. fid. 
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Macleod's Economical Philosophy. Vol. I. 8vo. 15*. Vol. II. Part 1. 12*. 
Mill's (James) Anatysis of the Phenomena of the Human Mind. 2 vols. 8vo. 28s. 
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Principles of Political Economy. 2 vols. 8vo. 30*. 1 vol. 

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Subjection of Women. Crown 8vo. 61. 

Utilitarianism. 8vo. 6*. 

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Sully's OutUues of Psychology. 8vo. 12*. 6d. 

Swinburne's Picture Logic. Post 8vo. 5t. 

Thomson's Outline of Necessary Laws of Thought. Crown 8vo. 6*. 

Tocqneville'B Democracy in America, translated by Reeve. 2 vols. crown 8w>. 18*. 

Twte'B Law of Nations in Time of War. 8vo. 21*. 

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Rhetoric. 8vo. 10*. 6d. Crown 8vo. 4*. M. 

English Synonymes. Fcp. 8vo. 3*. 

Williams's Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle translated. Crown 8vo. 7*. M. 
Zeller's History of Eclecticism in Greek Philosophy. Crown 8vo. 10*. 6<f. 

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Blackley's German and English Dictionary. Post 8vo. 7*. Gd. 
Contanseau's Practipal French & English Dictionary. Post 8vo. 3i. Gd. 

Pocket French and English Dictionary. Square 18mo. 1*. td. 
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French's Kineteen Centuries of Drink in England. Crown 8vo. lOs. 6d. 
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Hobart's Medical Language of St. Luke. 8vo. 16*. 
Hume's Essays, edited by Green & Grose. 2 vols. 8 vo. 28*. 

Treatise on Human Nature, edited by Green & Grose. 2 vols. 8vo. 28*. 
Latham's Handbook of the English Language. Crown 8vo. 6*. 

Liddell & Scott's Greek-English Lexicon. 4to. 36*. 

Abridged Greek-English Lexicon. Square 12mo. 7*. Gd. 

Longman's Pocket German and English Dictionary. 18mo. 5*. 
Maoaulay's Miscellaneous Writings. 2 vols. 8vo. 21*. 1 vol. crown 8vo. 4*. 64. 

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Vol. II. the Prose Writers, 7s. 6d. 
Millard's Grammar of Elocution. Fcp. Svo. 3*. 6d. 
Milner's Country Pleasures. Crown Svo. 6*. 
Mailer's (Max) Lectures on the Science of Language. 2 vols. crown Svo. 16*. 

Lectures on India. Svo. 12s. Gd. 

Rich's Dictionary of Roman and Greek Antiquities. Crown Svo. It. 6d. 
Bogers'B Eclipse of Faith. Fcp. Svo. 6*. 

Defence of the Eclipse of Faith Fcp. Svo. 3s. 6d. 

Roget'a Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases. Crown Svo. 10*. fid. 
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Simoox's Latin Literature. 2 vols. Svo. 32*. 
Tyndall's Faraday as a Discoverer. Crown Svo. 3*. 6d. 

Floating Matter of the Air. Crown Svo. 7*. 6A 

Fragments of Science. 2 vols. post Svo. 16*. 

Heat a Mode of Motion. Crown Svo. 12*. 

Lectures on Light delivered in America. Crown Svo. 7*. 6d. 

Lessons in Electricity. Crown Svo. 2*. 6<f. 

Notes on Electrical Phenomena. Crown Svo. 1*. sewed, 1*. 6d. cloth. 

Notes of Lectures on Light. Crown Svo. 1*. sewed, 1*. 6d. cloth. 

Bound, with Frontispiece & 203 Woodcuts. Crown Svo. 10*. 6d. 
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White Si Riddle's Large Latin-English Dictionary. 4 to. 21*. 
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Junior Student's Lat.-Eng. and Eng.-Lat. Dictionary. Sq. 12mo. 5*. 

Senaratplv I The English-Latin Dictionary, 3s. 
weiy J The Latin-English Dictionary, 3s. 

Wit and Wisdom of the Rev. Sydney Smith, Crown Svo. 3*. 6<f. 
Witt's Myths of Hellas, translated by F. M. Younghusband. Crown 8vo.;3*. 6d. 

The Trojan War. Fcp. Svo. 2s. 
Wood's Bible Animals. With 112 Vignette^. Svo. 10*. 6d. 

Common British Insects. Cwwn Svo. 3s. 6d. 

Homes Without Hands. Svo. 10*. G,l. Insects Abroad. Svo. 10*. 6d. 

Insecte at Home. With 700 Illustrations. Svo. 10*. 6<i. 

Out of Doors. Crown Svo. 5*. 

Petland Revisited. Crown Svo. Is. 6d. 

Strange Dwellings. Crown Svo. 5*. Popular Edition, 4to. fid. 
Yonge'B English-Greek Lexicon. Square 12mo. 8*. 6d. 4to. 21*. 
The Essays and Contributions of A. E. H. B. Crown Svo. 

Autumn Holidays of a Country Parson. 3*. 6d. 

Changed Aspects of Unchanged Truths. 3*. 6d. 

Common-place Philosopher in Town and Country. 8*. 64. 

Counsel and Comfort spoken from a City Pulpit. 3*. fid. 

Critical Essays of a Country Parson. 8*. 6d. 

Graver Thoughts of a Country Parson. Three Series, 3*. 6d. each. 

Landscapes, Churcnes, and Moralities. 3*. 6d. 

Leisure Hours in Town. 3*. 6d. Lessons of Middle Age. 3*. M. 

Our Little Life. Essays Consolatory and Domestic. 3*. 6d. 

Present-day Thoughts. 3*. 6d. 

Recreations of a Country Parson. Three Series, 3*. fid. each. 

Seaside Musings on Sundays and Week-Days. 3*. fid. 

Sunday Afternoons in the Parish Church of a University City. 3*. 6d. 

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Freeman's Historical Geography of Europe. 2 vols. 8vo. Sit. 6d. 

Herschel's Outlines of Astronomy. Square crown 8vo. 12*. 

Keith Johnston's Dictionary of Geography, or General Gazetteer. 8vo. 42*. 

Merrifield's Treatise on Navigation. Crown 8vo. 5*. 

NeiBon'e Work on the Moon. Medium 8vo. 31*. 6d. 

Proctor's Essays on Astronomy. 8vo. 12*. Proctor's Moon. Crown 8\ro. lOi. 6d. 

Larger Star Atlas. Folio, 15*. or Maps only. 12*. 6d. 

Myths and Marvels of Astronomy. Crown 8vo. 6*. 

New Star Atlas. Crown 8vo. 6*. Orbs Around Us. Crown 8vo. It. d. 

Other Worlds than Ours. Crown 8vo. 10*. 6d. 

Sun. Crown 8vo. 14*. Universe of Stars. 8vo. 10*. 6d. 

Transits of Venus, 8vo. 8*. 6d. Studies of Venus-Transits, 8vo. 61. 
Smith's Air and Rain. 8vo. 24*. 

The Public Schools Atlas of Ancient Geography. Imperial 8vo. 7*. 6d. 

Modern Geography. Imperial 8vo. 5*. 
Webb's Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes. Crown 8vo. 9*. 


Allen's Flowers and their Pedigrees. Crown 8vo. Woodcuts, 7s. Gd. 
Ar.iott'8 Elements of Physics or Natural Philosophy. Crown 8vo. 12*. Gd. 
Brande's Dictionary of Science, Literature, and Art. 3 vols. medium 8vo. 684, 
Decaisne and Le Maont's General System of Botany. Imperial 8vo. 81*. Gd. 
Dixon's Rural Bird Life. Crown 8vo. Illustrations, 5*. 
Edmonds's Elementary Botany. Fcp. 8vo. 2*. 
Evans's Bronze Implements of Great Britain. 8vo. 26*. 
Ganot's Elementary Treatise on Physics, by Atkinson. Large crown 8vo. 15*. 

Natural Philosophy, by Atkinson. Crown 8vo. 7*. Gd. 
Goodeve's Elements of Mechanism. Crown 8vo. 6*. 

Principles of Mechanics. Crown 8vo. 6*. 
Grove's Correlation of Physical Forces. 8vo. 16*. 

Hartwig's Aerial World. 8vo. 10*. Gd. Polar World. 8vo. 10*. Gd. 

Sea and its Living Wonders. 8vo. 10*. 6(1. 

Subterranean World. 8vo. 10*. Gd. Tropical World. 8vo. 10*. M. 
Hanghton's Six Lectures on Physical Geography. 8vo. 16*. 

Boer's Primaeval World of Switzerland. 2 vols. 8vo. 12*. 
Helmholtz's Lectures on Scientific Subjects. 2 vols. cr. 8vo. 7*. Gd. each. 
Hullah's Lectures on the History of Modern Music, 8vo. 8*. Gd. 

Transition Period of Musical Historj. 8vo. 10*. Gd. 
Jones's The Health of the Senses. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d. 

Keller's Lake Dwellings of Switzerland, by Lee. 2 vols. royal 8vo. 42*. 

Lloyd's Treatise on Magnetism. 8vo. 10*. Gd. 

London's Encyclopaedia of Plants. 8vo. 42*. 

Lnbbock on the Origin of Civilisation & Primitive Condition of Man. 8vo. 18*. 

Macalister*s Zoology and Morphology of Vertebrate Animals. 8vo. 10*. M. 

Niools" Puzzle of Life. Crown 8vo. 3*. 6rf. 

Owen's Comparative Anatomy and Physiology of the Vertebrate Animals 8 volt 

8vo. 73*. Gd. 

Experimental Physiology. Crown 8vo. 5*. 

Proctor's Light Science for Leisure Hours. 3 Series, crown 8vo. 7*. 6d. each. 
Rivera's Orchard House. Sixteenth Edition. Crown 8vo. 6*. 

Rose Amateur's Guide. Fcp. 8vo. 4*. 6d. 
Stanley's Familiar History of British Birds. Crown 8vo. 6*. 

Bwinton's Electric Lighting : Its Principles and Practice. Crown 8vo. 5*. 

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The Borderland of Science. By E. A. Pioctor. Crown 8vo. 6*. 

Sciencj Bjways. By E. A. Proctor. Crown 8vo. 6s. 

The Poetry of Astronomy. By E. A. Proctor. Crown 8vo. 6s. 

Nature Studies. Eepriated frjm Knowledge. By Grant Allen, Andrew Wilson, 

&c. Crown 8ro. 6*. 
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Wilson, &c. Crown 8vo. 6*. 
The Stars in their Seasons. By E. A. Proctor. Imperial 8vo. St. 


Buckton's Health in the House, Lectures on Elementary Physiology. Or. 8vo. 1*. 
Jago's Inorganic Chemistry, Theoretical and Practical. Fcp. 8vo. 2*. 
Kolbe's Short Text-Book of Inorganic Chemistry. Crown 8vo. 7*. 6d. 
Miller's Elements of Chemistry, Theoretical and Practical. 8 vols. 8vo. Part I. 

Chemical Physics, 16*. Part II. Inorganic Chemistry, 24*. Part III. Organic 

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Reynolds'* Experimental Chemistry. Pep. 8vo. Pt. I. 1*. 6d. Pt. II. 2*. 6d. 

Pt. III. Ss. 6d. 

Tildeu's Practical Chemistry. Fcp. 8vo. Is. 6d. 
Watte's Dictionary of Chemistry. 9 vols. medium 8vo. 15. 2*. 6d. 


Dresser's Arts and Art Manufactures of Japan. Square crown 8vo. 31*. 6d. 
Bastlake's (Lady) Five Great Painters. 2 vols. crown 8vo. 16*. 

Notes on the Brera Gallery, Milan. Crown 8vo. 5s. 

Notes on the Louvre Gallery, Paris. Crown 8vo. 7*. 6d. 
Hulme's Art-Instruction in England. Fcp. 8vo. 3*. Sd. 
Jameson's Sacred and Legendary Art. 6 vols. square crown 8vo. 
Legends of the Madonna. 1 vol. 21*. 

Monastic Orders. 1 vol. 21*. 

Saints and Martyrs. 2 vols. 31*. 6d. 

Saviour. Completed by Lady Eastlake. 2 vols. 42*. 
Macaulay's Lays of Ancient Eome, illustrated by Schart . Fcp. 4to. 10*. Gil. 
The same, with Ivi y and the Armada, illustrated by Weguelin. Crown 8vo. 3,$. 6d, 
Macfarren's Lectures on Harmony. 8vo. 12*. 

Moore's Irish Melodies. With 161 Plates by D. Maclise, K.A. Super-royal 8vo. 1. 

Lalla Eookh, illustrated by Tenniel. Square crown 8vo. 10*. 6d. 
New Testament (The) illustrated with Woodcuts after Paintings by the Early 

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Perry on Greek and Eoman Sculpture. With 280 Illustrations engraved on 
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Bourne's Catechism of the Steam Engine. Fcp. Svo. 61. 

Examples of Steam, Air, and Gas Engines. 4to. 70*. 

Handbook of the Steam Engine. Fcp. Svo. 9*. 

Recent Improvements in the Steam Engine. Fcp. Svo. Si. 

Treatise on the Steam Engine. 4to. 424. 
Oresy's Encyclopaedia of Civil Engineering. Svo. 25i. 
Galley's Handbook of Practical Telegraphy. Svo. 16j. 

Eastlake's Household Taste in Furniture, &c. Square crown Svo. 14*. 
Fairbairn'B Useful Information for Engineers. 3 vols. crown Svo. 31 j. 64. 

Mills and Millwork. 1 vol. Svo. 25*. 

G wilt's Encyclopaedia of Architecture. Svo. 52*. 6d. 

Karl's Metallurgy, adapted by Orookes and Rbhrig. 3 vols. Svo. 4. 19i. 

London's Encyclopaedia of Agriculture. Svo. 21*. 

Gardening. Svo. 21*. 
MltchelTs Manual of Practical Assaying. Svo. 31*. 64. 
Northcott's Lathes and Turning. Svo. 18*. 

Payen's Industrial Chemistry Edited by B. H. Paul, Ph.D. Svo. 42*. 
Plesse's Art of Perfumery. Fourth Edition. Square crown Svo. 21*. 
Bennett's Treatise on the Marine Steam Engine. Svo. 21*. 
lire's Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures, It', Mines. 4 vols. medium Svo. 7. 7*. 
Ville on Artificial Manures. By Crookes. Svo. 21*. 


Abbey & Overton's English Church in the Eighteenth Century. 2 vols. Svo. 36*. 

Arnold's (Bev. Dr. Thomas) Sermons. 6 vols. crown Svo. 6*. each. 

Bishop Jeremy Taylor's Entire Works. With Life by Bishop Heber. Edited by 

the Rev. C. P. Eden. 10 vols. 8vo. 5. 6*. 
Bonltbee'a Commentary on the 39 Articles. Crown Svo. 6*. 

History of the Church of England, Pre-Reformation Period. STO. 15*. 
Bray's Elements of Morality. Fcp. Svo. 2s. 6d. 

Browne's (Bishop) Exposition of the 39 Articles. Svo. 16*. 

Calvert's Wife's Manual. Crown Svo. 6$. 

Christ our Ideal. Svo. 8*. 6d. 

Oolenso's Lectures on the Pentateuch and the Moabite Stone. Svo. 1 J*. 

Colenso on the Pentateuch and Book of Joshua. Crown Svo. 6*. 

Condor's Handbook of the Bible. Post Svo. 7*. 6d. 

Conybeare & Howson's Life and Letters of St. Paul : 

Library Edition, with all the Original Illustrations, Maps, Landscapes on 

Steel, Woodcuts, Jtc. 2 vols. 4 to. 42*. 
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2 vols. square crown Svo. 21*. 
Student's Edition, revised and condensed, with 46 Illustrations and Maps. 

1 vol. crown Svo. 7*. 6d. 

Crelghton's History of the Papacy during the Reformation. 2 vols. Svo. 32*. 
Davidson's'Introduction to the Study of the New Testament. 2 vols. Svo. 30*. 
Edersheim's Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. 2 vols. Svo. 42*. 

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Bllicott's (Bishop) Commentary on St. Paul's Epistles. 8vo. Gala tip ns, 8s. GJ. 

Ephesians, 8*. Gd. Pastoral Epistles, 10*. Gd. Philippians, Coloeesians and 

Philemon, 10*. Gd. Thessalonians, It. 6d. 
Ellicoct's Lectures on the Life of our Lord. 8vo. 12*. 
Bwald's Antiquities of Israel, translated by Solly. 8vo. 12*. Gd. 

History of Israel, translated by Carpenter & Smith. 6 vols. 8vo. 79*. 
Gospel (The) for the Nineteenth Century. 4th Edition. 8vo. 10i. 6d. 
Hopkins's Christ the Consoler. Fcp. 8vo. 2*. Gd. 

Jukes's New Man and the Eternal life. Crown 8vo. 8*. 

Second Death and the Restitution of all Things. Crown 8vo. 3*. td. 

Types of Genesis. Crown 8vo. 7*. 6d. 

Kalisch's Bible Studies. PART I. the Prophecies of Balaam. 8vo. 10*. GJ. 
PART II. the Book of Jonah. 8vo. 10*. 6<Z. 

Historical and Critical Commentary on the Old Testament; with a 
New Translation. Vol. I. Oenetit, 8vo. 18*. or adapted for the General 
Reader, 12*. Vol. II. Exodtu, 16*. or adapted for the General Reader, 12*. 
Vol. III. Lfviticw, Part I. 16*. or adapted for the General Reader, 8*. 
Vol. IV. Leviiinu, Part n. 15*. or adapted for the General Reader, 8*. 

Keary's Outlines of Primitive Belief. 8vo. 18*. 

Lyra Germanica : Hymns translated by Miss Winkworth. Fcp. 8vo. 6*. 
Manning's Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost. Crown Svo. 8*. 6d. 
Martineau's Endeavours after the Christian Life. Crown 8vo. 7*. Gd. 

Hymns of Praise and Prayer. Crown 8vo. 4*. Gd. 82mo. 1*. Gd, 

Sermons, Hours of Thought on Sacred Things, 2 vols. 7*. Gd. each. 
Mill's Three Essays on Religion. 8 vo. 10*. Gd. 

Monsell's Spiritual Songs for Sundays and Holidays. Fcp. 8 vo. 6*. 18mo. 9$, 
Mtiller's (Max) Origin & Growth of Religion. Crown 8vo. 7*. 6d. 

Science of Religion. Crown 8vo. 7*. 6d. 
Newman's Apologia pro Vita Sua. Crown 8vo. 6*. 

Se well's (Miss) Passing Thoughts on Religion. Fcp. 8vo. 3*. Gd. 

Preparation for the Holy Communion. 32mo. 3*. 
Seymour's Hebrew Psalter. Crown 8vo. 2*. 6d. 

Smith's Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul. Crown 8vo. 7*. 6d. 

Supernatural Religion. Complete Edition. 3 vols. Svo. 86*. 

Wha tely's Lessons on the Christian Evidences. 18mo. Gd. 

White's Four Gospels in Greek, with Greek-English Lexicon. 32mo. 6*. 


Aldridge's Ranch Notes in Kansas, Colorada, &c. Crown Svo. 5*. 
Baker's Eight Years in Ceylon. Crown Svo. 5s. 

Rifle and Hound in Ceylon. Crown Svo. 5s. 

Ball's Alpine Guide. 8 vols. post Svo. with Maps and Illustrations : I. Western 

Alps, 6*. 6d. II. Central Alps, 7*. 6d. III. Eastern Alps, 10*. 64. 
Ball on Alpine Travelling, and on the Geology of the Alps, 1*. 
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Voyage in the Yacht ' Sunbeam.' Crown 8vo. 7*. 6d. School Edition, 
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Crawford's Across the Pampas and the Ancles. Crown Svo. 7s. 6d. 

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10 General Lists of Works. 

Freeman's Impressions of the United States of America. Crown 8vo. 6*. 
Hawaii's San Remo Climatically considered. Crown 8vo. 5.?. 
Miller's Wintering In the Riviera. Post 8vo. Illustration?. 7*. 6d. 
The Alpine Club Map of Switzerland. In Pour Sheets. 42*. 
Three In Norway. By Two of Them. Crown 8vo. Illustrations, 6*. 


Brabourne's (Lord) Higgledy-Piggledy. Crown 8vo. 3*. 6<L 

Whispers from Fairy Land. Crown 8vo. 3*. 6& 
Cabinet Edition of Novels and Tales by the Earl of Beaconsfleld, E.G. 11 vols. 

crown 8vo. price 8*. each. 
Cabinet Edition of Stories and Tales by Miss Sewell. Crown 8vo. cloth extra, 

gilt edges, price Zs. 6d. each : 

Amy Herbert. Cleve Hall. 
The Earl's Daughter. 
Experience of Life. 
Gertrude. Ivors. 

A Glimpse of the World. 
Katharine Ashton. 
Laneton Parsonage. 
Margaret Percival. Ursula. 

Dissolving View?. A Novel. By Mrs. Andrew Lang. 2 vols. crown 8vo. 14*. 
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Lothair. Coningsby. 
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Contarini Fleming. 
Alroy, Ixion, &c. 
The Young Dnke, &o. 
Vivian Grey. Endymion. 

By Bret Harte. 

In the Carquinez Woods. 

By Mrs. Oliphant. 

In Trust, the Story of a Lady 
and her Lover. 

By Anthony Trollope. 
Barchester Towers. 
The Warden. 

By Major Whyte-Melville. 
Digby Grand. 
General Bounce. 
Kate Coventry. 
The Gladiators. 
Good for Nothing. 
Holmby House. 
The Interpreter. 
The Queen's Maries. 

By Various Writers. 
The Atelier du Lys. 
Atherstone Priory. 
The Burgomaster's Family. 
Elsa and her Vulture. 
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