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1640.] DISSOLUTION OF SHORT PARLIAMENT. 229

The court, impatient for the money, prevailed on the peers to urge the commons to proceed immediately with the supply. This interference was voted to be a high breach of privilege. The king then sent to say, that if they would grant him twelve subsidies, to be paid in twelve years, he would renounce all title or pretence to ship-money in future. This matter had been discussed for two days, when, on a proposal of Mr. Hyde, that the question of supply simply should be first put, Sir Henry Vane, the treasurer, declared he had authority to state that the king would only ac. cept of it in the manner and proportion proposed in his message. He was followed by the solicitor-general, and, it being near five o'clock, the house adjourned. The next day, May 5th, the king dissolved the parliament. Three members were then committed, and a declaration was published, giving the reasons for the dissolution, charging the disaffected members “with attempting to direct the government, and to examine and censure its acts, as if kings were bound to give an account of their regal actions, and of their manner of government, to their subjects assembled in parliament." Thus abruptly terminated the Short Parliament, as it was named: but, contrary to the usual custom, the convocation continued to sit till the end of the month. It passed canons ordering the clergy to teach the people the divine right of kings, and the damnable sin of resistance to their authority; imposing on them the et cætera oath,* as it was called, and finally granting the king a benevolence of four shillings in the pound for six years.

The dissolution was a matter of exultation to Pym and his friends, for they knew that the king must soon call another parliament. Oliver St. John said to Hyde “that all was well, and that it would be worse before it could be better; and that this parliament could never have done what was necessary to be done." Their communications with the Scottish agents now became more frequent, and the future tactics were definitively arranged.

* This oath was to maintain the church as it was. One of the clauses was, Nor give consent to alter the government of this church by archbishops, bishops, deans, and archdeacons, fc.”

Vol. III.-U

Preparations for the invasion of Scotland were now made; the voluntary loan produced £300,000; each one of the counties was required to furnish a certain number of men, provide them with coat and conductmoney, and furnish horses. It was proposed to enter Scotland with 20,000 men from England, and 10,000 from Ireland; while Hamilton should pour down with 10,000 more from the Highlands. The want of funds, and the activity of the covenanters, frustrated this plan. Charles gave the chief command of his army to the Earl of Northumberland : but that nobleman falling sick, he assumed it himself. Strafford was his lieutenant-general, and Lord Conway commanded the cavalry.

Conway marched with the first troops that were levied into Northumberland. The Scottish army of 26,000 men was encamped at Dunse, and on the 12th of August, at the desire, as they believed, of their English friends,* they crossed the Tweed and entered England. Conway prepared to dispute the passage of the Tyne at Newburn, but it was nevertheless forced by the Scots, who speedily became masters of the two northern counties; and, these being the coal counties, they were enabled to distress the city of London with want of fuel whenever they pleased. At the same time, they forced the inhabitants to pay them £5600 a week, and seized the property of the clergy and the Catholics.

The king was now at York with a disaffected army. He had summoned a great council of the peers to meet him there on the 24th of September, and he proposed to lay before it the petition which the Scots had now sent him. He had also received a supplication signed by twelve peers, and another signed by ten 1640.]

* Lord Savile had written them a letter, to which he forged the signatures of some of the leading opposition peers, inviting them to enter England.

DESPOTISM OF CHARLES.

231

thousand citizens of London, praying that he would call a parliament: a measure which his council likewise advised. Accordingly, when the great council met, he announced his intention of summoning a parliament for the 3d of November, and sixteen peers then proceeded to Ripon to treat with the Scots. The negotiation was soon transferred to London, and it was arranged that, while it was pending, the northern counties should pay the Scots £5600 a week, to be repaid out of the first supply granted by parliament.

The despotism of Charles was now drawing to its close. We have exposed it freely, and fully shown that its effect and design were to deprive the nation of all that is most valuable to civilized man. The lives, the liberties, and the property of the people were to be all at the absolute disposal of the monarch, who held himself accountable to God alone for the exercise of the powers which he claimed. A galling ecclesiastical tyranny pressed also on the people, fettering conscience, and controlling the free expression of thought. Is there any one so base and unworthy of the name of freeman, as to regret that this condition of things was not made permanent, and handed down to our own times? And what assurance have we that such would not have been the case, had not Charles been checked in his lawless career? We are now to witness the conduct of the men who crushed this despotism, and it shall be our endeavour to treat them with the same impartiality that we have sought to exercise in the case of the imperious sovereign.

CHAPTER V.

CHARLES I. (CONTINUED).

1640-1641.

The Long Parliament.-Impeachment and Trial of Strafford.—

Army-plot.-Execution of Strafford. -- Arts of the Popular Lead.

ers.

On the 3d of November, 1640, that parliament met whose deeds for good or for evil have rendered it, with one exception, the most memorable assembly in the annals of the world. The greatest exertions had been made by both parties to procure returns favourable to their political views; but the efforts of Pym, Hampden, and the other leaders of the popular party, joined with the feelings of the electors themselves, who saw the necessity of reform in the state, had obtained for them, in most places, a triumph over their opponents. The members of the Long Parliament, as this was subsequently styled, were in general men of high moral character, of cultivated minds, and of independent fortunes, the landed property of the commons having been, it was said, treble that of the peers.

Still we must not be blinded by partiality, nor give the reins to fancy, and imagine in the Pyms, the Hampdens, and the St. Johns of those days men without blemish, raised above the common lot of humanity, and incapable of artifice or error. We shall find them employing the arts so universally practised by political parties, acting at times in violation of the principles of justice, and treading in the footsteps of the despotism which they sought to restrain. We have not palliated or concealed the faults of the king : we will not pass over in silence those of the parliament.

It may here be of advantage to mention the individuals in this parliament who took the lead in opposing the excesses of the prerogative. In the house of 1640.] MEMBERS OF THE LONG PARLIAMENT. 233

peers, the principal were Percy, earl of Northumberland ; Wriothesley of Southampton ; Devereux of Essex;

Rich of Warwick, and his brother of Holland; Russell of Bedford ; Hollis of Clare; Herbert of Pembroke; Cecil of Salisbury ; Fiennes, viscount Say; Greville, lord Brooke; and Montague, lord Mandeville, son to the Earl of Manchester, who sat as Baron Kimbolton. Most of these were men of honour and principle, desirous of reforming, but, at the same time, of preserving the constitution unimpaired in church and state. Say and Brooke alone wished to overturn the church, but both from conscientious motives. Holland and Pembroke were men of no principle. The former had been a creature of Buckingham, who procured for him a marriage with the heiress of Cope, lord of the manor of Kensington, by which title he was created a baron; and afterward had him placed about the Prince of Wales, made Earl of Holland, knight of the garter, &c. After the death of his patron he attached himself to the queen, and no man enjoyed a greater share of the court favour. It was hatred of Strafford, and not regard to the interests of his country, that placed him in the ranks of the patriots. Pembroke was a man thoroughly contemptible. He was indebted for his rank to his handsome person, and his skill in horses and dogs, which won him the favour of King James, combined with the merit, perhaps, of having tamely submitted to corporeal chastisement from one of the insolent Scottish favourites.* ACcording to Clarendon, it was fear of impeachment that made him a patriot. The character of Salisbury was little more estimable than that of Pembroke.

In the commons the leading men were Pym and Hampden, of whom we shall have abundant occasion to speak; Denzil Hollis, brother to Lord Clare; Pierrepoint, son of the Earl of Kingston; Nathaniel Fiennes, son of Lord Say; Oliver St. John, a natural son of the house of Bolingbroke; Sir Henry Vane, son of the secretary; Lord Digby, son of the Earl of Bristol ;

* See Osborne.

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