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we an Bruins, and
devastations, which have happened in these kingdoms in this last age, it may seem necessary, by way of introduction, to give a relation of several previous transactions before these woeful calamities befel us.
Upon the 27th day of March, in the year 1625, King James departed this life at Theobalds, in the fifty-ninth year of his age, when he had reigned twenty-two years compleat: and in the afternoon of the same day Charles Prince of Wales, his only son then living, was p. oclaimed King of Great Britain, France and Ireland..
The first thing he did, was performing the ceremonies of his father's. funeral, in which the King himself in person followed as chief mourner immediately after the hearse; having bis train of black velvet born up by the twelve peers of the realm; at his right hand the Earl of Arundel, and at his left the Earl of Pembroke. He then proceeded to his coronation, and after that he consummated the marriage with Henrietta Maria, younger daughter of the Great Henry the Fourth, King of France, whom he had formerly seen in his journey through that country into Spain; his first compliment to her, when he went to meet her at Dover, was, " That he desired to be no longer master of himself, then he was servant to her;' which indeed he made good : for on the day before his deplorable death, he desired bis daughter, the Lady Elizabeth, to assure her mother, if ever she saw her again, . That his thoughts had never strayed from her, and that his affections should be the same to the last.
The King then called a parliament, which assembled the 18th of June following, to whom he represented in a short speech, The urgent necessity of raising a subsidy, since it would not agree with
his kingly honour to shrink from the war with Spain, which his • father upon solid considerations had by consent of both houses
undertaken; although prevented by death from putting it in execu• tion: that money, the sinews of war, must be levied, without which
neither army nor fleet could move; former contributions being already disbursed to a penny: That he should seem ridiculous to
all Europe, if he did not now at length proceed to action : That it ' was his first enterprize, the success whereof would have great in• fluence upon his following reign: That it concerned their own reputa
tions herein to assist him effectually, least the world should judge them « to have betrayed their king: That celerity was necessary because
of winter then approaching, a season prejudicial to martial attempts :
the pestilence at that time reigning in the city, which in all pro(bability might cause a sudden dissolution of their meeting all o which arguments, if duly considered, did evidently demonstrate,
that it was most honorable, opportune and safe, to use expedition ( in the business. As for religion and manner of government, he was
resolved to tread in his father's steps, hoping that his former life had ministered no just grounds for them to suspect the contrary,'
The Parliament acknowledged these arguments for a subsidy to be very rational, but yet would not suddenly resolve upon it, till they had first presented their two petitions, concerning reasons of religion and complaint of their sufferings, which points had been offered to: his father king James, in the close of his last parliament; and by his death were left hitherto unanswered.
In both which they received competent satisfaction, likewise an account of the arrears which were due to the forces both by sea and land, together with an estimate of the future charge and expence of the Spanish war; upon which the King obtained of the Laity freely and absolutely, two subsidies to be paid by protestants, and four from papists; and three subsidies from the clergy. In this parliament Dr. Montague the King's chaplain was questioned for certain tenets in his answer to a book called the Romish Gagger, and his defence thereof; intituled Appello ad Cæsarem: and he being brought before the Bar of the House, the Speaker declared their pleasure; That they would refer his censure till the next meeting; and in the mean time he should stand committed to the Sergeants ward, till two thousand pound bail could be procured for his appearance next sessions ; and though the King
took him into protection as his servant, yet his bail-bond remained uncancelled.
Divers laws were enacted in this Parliament, as one about observation of the Lord's Day; another for restraint of tippling in inns, alehouses, &c. There passed likewise in the House of Commons, a bill for tonnage and poundage ; but this miscarried in the House of Lords because the Cominons had limited it to a year, whereas it was formerly granted to the King's predecessors during their lives; it being intended to reduce the customs to the rate, at which they were settled in the reign of Queen Mary.
During the sitting of the Parliament, the Lord Mordant a papist, and his wife a protestant, being both desirous of each others conversion, they put their cause upon a dispute between James Usher L. Archbishop of Armargh, and one Rookwood, a Jesuit, who called himself Beaumont; this was acted at Drayton in Northamptonshire, the points disputed on were, Transubstantiation, praying to Saints, Images, and the visibility of the Church; wherein the learned Primate so foiled his adversary, that the Lord Mordant was convinced and converted to the Protestant religion, and his lady further confirmed therein.
On the eleventh of July, 1626, the Parliament by reason of the sickness, adjourned till August 1st. and then met again at Oxford, where the King first by himself, and next by his two secretaries, the Lord Conway and Sir John Cook, declared to them the necessity of setting forth a fleet, for the recovery of the Palatinate, which was the country of the Prince Palatine of the Rhyne, who married the King's sister, and was then unjustly detained from bim by the Emperor of Germany, and the King of Spain ; the Lord Treasurer likewise instanced several sums of money, which King James died indebted to the City of London.
This occasioned very warın debates in the lrouse of Commons, who alledged, that evil councels guided the king's designs; that the treasury was misemployed, that our necessities arose through improvidence : that it would be necessary to petition the king for a stricter hand and better councel to manage his affairs : that though a former parliament engaged the king in a war, yet if things were managed with contrary designs; and the treasure misemployed, this parliament was not bound to be carried blindfold in designs, not guided by sound council : it was not usual to grant subsidies upon subsidies in one parliament, and no grievances redressed. With several other passages, of the like nature.
They likewise very much reflected upon the miscarriage of the duke of Buckingham, who was then a person of very considerable trust : but however they promised to consider of the king's desires, and presented him a petition against Popish recusants giving an account of their damage, ascribing certain causes of their growth, and offering divers remedies thereunto; unto which a satisfactory answer (if any thing would have satisfied) was returned : and hereupon there followed a debate about supplies ; some were for contributing presently, others demurr'd, as disliking the design in hand; and in conclusion the major part agreed not to give: and being incensed against the duke of Buckingham, they began to think of divesting him of his offices, and to require an account of the publick monies wherewith he had been intrusted, all which they intended to include in an humble remonstrance: to prevent which, the king resolved to dissolve the parliament; and accordingly the Usher of the Black Rod was sent from The house of Lords to the Commons, who were then resolved into a grand committee ; and understanding the king's pleasure, they caused the Speaker to keep his seat, while they agreed upon a message of thanks to his Majesty for his gracious answer to their petition for religion, and for his care of their health, in giving them leave to depart this dangerous time of sickness; with a dutiful declaration of their affec. tion and loyalty, and of their purposing to supply him in a parliamentary way, in fit and convenient time: after which they were accordingly dissolved.
Now the war with Spain being intended both for the recovery of the Palatinate, and to prevent disturbance in our civil estate, the councel hereupon resolve with all speed to set forth a fleet, and to preserve strict unity and peace with France, Denmark and the united Provinces; and with the Hollanders the king had already entered into a league offensive and defensive against the house of Austria, and likewise had promised to assist them in soliciting other princes to enter into the same Confederation, upon condition that they should bear a fourth part of the charge of the fleet; and in pursuance hereof, the duke of Buckingham and the Earl of Holland were sent to the Hague, and there meeting with the ambassadors of France and Denmark, they concluded a league for restoring the liberties of Germany; the two last ambassadors having no further power from their supreams.
Awhile after the dissolution of the Parliament, the king published a Proclamation, commanding the return of all children of Noblemen, which had been sent to be educated in seminaries and Popish
schools beyond sea; that none who had received orders from Rome, should presume to confer orders, or exercise ecclesiastical functions in any of his dominions; and likewise that the statute be put in exécution for the departure of priests and jesuits, out of his Majesty's dominions.
By reason of the dissolving the Parliament, the Act of subsidies was prevented, and the King was necessitated to take up money upon loan of such persons as were of ability to lend ; and to that end he directed his letters to the Lord Lieutenants of the several Counties, to return the names of those men whom they thought most sufficient, the places of their habitations, and what sums each may be judged able to lend ; and to the persons returned, letters were issued forth in the King's name to this purpose,
That his Majesty having observed in the presidents and customs of former times, That all the Kings and Queens of this Realm, upon extraordinary occasions have used either to resort to those contributions which arise from the generality of subjects or to the private helps of some well affected in particular, by way of Loan ; in the former of which, as his Majesty has no doubt of the love and affection of his people, when they shall again assemble in Parliament; so for the present' he was inforced to proceed to the latter course for supply of some portions of treasure for divers publick services, which with. out manifold inconveniences to his Majesty, and his kingdoms, cannot be deferred; and therefore this being the first time that his Majesty hath required any thing of this kind, he doubts not but he shall receive such a testimony of good affection from among them other of his subjects, and that with such alacrity and readiness as may make the same so much the more acceptable; especially since his Majesty required but the sum which few men would deny a friend, and has a mind resolved to expose
all his earthly fortune for preservation of the general : The sum which his Majesty requires by these presents is
which his Majesty promiseth in the name of himself, his heirs, and successors, to repay to them or their assigns, within eighteen months after the payment thereof to the collector : The person whom his Majesty hath appointed is- to whose hands his Majesty doth require them to send it within twelve days after they have received this Privy Seal; which together with the collector's acquittance, shall be sufficient warrant to the Officers of Receipt for their payment thereof at the time limited : and the collectors of the loan were ordered to pay the sums received into the Exchequer, and to return the names of such as went about to delay or excuse the payment of the sums required.