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ABBOT, true Kirk of God, and religion presently professed within this Abp. Cant.
realm ; and ordains the same to stand in their full force and
effect as if they were specially mentioned and set down herein." Id. cap. 4. This act, upon the score of its confirming the privileges of
episcopacy, being the present establishment, was a grievance
to the Kirk party. The next act makes a provision for secur756. ing legacies given to pious uses. The statute sets forth, “ that
lands and sums of money lately bequeathed to colleges, schools, hospitals, &c., had been mismanaged by the executors and
administrators, and applied to uses foreign to the will of the Id. cap. 6. testator."
To proceed: in the act of general revocation or resumption, there is a clause which revokes and rescinds "all grants and infeoffments of erection of abbeycies, or other prelacies, granted by his majesty at any time: and likewise all grants of abbeycies, priories, and nunneries, granted by his majesty's father,
any of his predecessors, provided these abbeycies, &c., were not erected into a temporal barony or lordship, are declared void and of no effect.” By another act, a branch of the statute, made in the year 1587, concerning the annexation of the temporalty of benefices to the crown, is confirmed: and here it is further enacted, “ that all grants made by his majesty, his father, or his grandmother, queen Mary, of the right and privilege of regality pertaining to whatsoever abbot, prior or prioress, preceptor, or other beneficed person whatsoever, are
Id. cap. 8.
cassed, annulled, and rescinded.” Then follow two provisos : Id. cap. 13. by the first, 6. all heritable infeoffments of baileries and stew
artries of the said regalities, granted by the said beneficed persons, at any time prior to the date of erections of the said abbeycies and priories into temporal lordships, are secured to the heirs of the first grantees. Secondly, it is further declared, “ that these presents shall no ways be extended to the right of regality of whatsoever lands and superiorities pertaining to the archbishops and bishops of this kingdom, by virtue of their gifts and provisions, granted to them or their prede
cessors thereupon, which shall remain with them unhurt or Id. cap. 14. prejudged by this present act.
The next statute mentions a general commission, dated at Whitehall, January the 17th, 1627, which instrument contains a general surrender “of the superiorities of all lands, baronies, fortalices, manor places, &c., belonging to all abbeycies, prior
ies, prioresses, preceptories, and all other benefices erected CHARLES into temporal lordships, baronies, or livings." The instrument, I say, contains a surrender of all these superiorities, and other incidents, emoluments, and profits to the crown, upon some conditions, and with some limitations too long to mention. The statute concludes with this saving proviso, “that no clause therein contained shall be extended to the superiorities of whatsoever lands, baronies, and others, pertaining to whatsoever archbishop, bishop, and their chapters : but that the same shall remain with them and their successors unhurt or unprejudged by this present act.”
Id. cap. 14. Lastly, to mention but one statute more; the act of “Commission of Surrenders and Teinds,” dated at Holyrood-house, Teinds or the 26th day of June, in the year 1627, is ratified and con- id. cap. 8. firmed.
By this “Commission of Surrenders," &c., the maintenance of the parochial clergy was somewhat improved, and the heritors or freeholders had the liberty of buying their own tithes : and thus the bulk of the people were made more easy and independent, and rescued from being oppressed by the great men. However, some of the nobility were unpleased with losing their Some of the new homage, and parting with their jurisdiction, though ex- gusted at the ceptionably acquired ; and from this time they grew malcon- commission tent, and waited an opportunity of revenge upon the crown : ders, fc. though, after all, the king had only consulted the general good of the subject, done nothing but what was equitable in the matter, and legal in the manner: for the surrenders, as has been observed, were confirmed by act of parliament.
Before this was done, the king takes notice that many of his subjects of Scotland, particularly the gentry and their tenants, who paid their tithes to the nobility, and other lords of the erection or impropriators, complained loudly that these lords and lay patrons strained the utmost rigour of the law upon them; that they refused to set out their tithes when the owners of the corn desired them; and by their acting perfectly at pleasure in this matter, the owners of the corn not being suffered to take the opportunities of fair weather, oftentimes lost the greatest part of their harvest. Neither was there any remedy in the case ; for by the laws of Scotland the landlord can carry off none of the nine parts till the proprietary of the tithes has set out his tenth. This privilege, together with the
ABBOT, superiorities of the abbey lands, was a terrible tie upon a great Abp. Cant.
part of the subjects; and by laying their fortunes thus at the
mercy of their patrons, their persons were so too in a great · King's Large measure. Declaration.
Besides, as his majesty observes, the condition of the ministers was lamentably slender and servile ; for instead of receiving the tithes of the parish, originally settled upon the cure, they had only some poor stipend paid by the lords of the erections ; and this was sometimes left at discretion, and more than they could command: and the clergy by being thus meanly subsisted, fell under the utmost contempt, and lived tied in a scandalous dependence. To disengage the subject from this servitude, the king passed the “Commission of Surrenders of Superiorities and Tithes,” and got them confirmed in parliament. With this provision the nobility, and other lay patrons concerned, seemed fully satisfied ; in regard the compensation they received came up to the utmost value of what they relinquished. And as for the heritors and ministers, they were so sensibly obliged with these surrenders, that the first made a public acknowledgment to the king that he had delivered them from an intolerable bondage which themselves and their ancestors had lain under ever since the Reformation. The latter were no less transported with joy, and magnified the king as the founder and protector of their Churches. But notwithstanding the clergy, many of the gentry and heritors had been thus signally relieved; yet no small number of these men rebelled afterwards upon their sovereign that rescued them, abetted their arbitrary patrons, and seemed to court an ignoble vassalage. And thus, besides making themselves remarkable for their ingratitude, they proved false to their interest, and discovered their treason and their folly at the same time.
To proceed : the king, not unacquainted with the temper of the faction, and perceiving things not disposed for bringing in the liturgy, dropped that business. However, as far as his prerogative would reach, he went on in making provision for
the benefit of the Church: for this purpose he erected an Edinburgh episcopal see at Edinburgh. This town lying in the diocese of bishop's see.
St. Andrew's, Spotswood, archbishop of that see, was willing to resign part of his profit and jurisdiction to the public interest. And thus the whole county of Lothian, reaching from
Edinburgh Firth to Berwick, was severed from St. Andrew's, CHARLES and laid to the diocese of Edinburgh. And to subsist the bishop with something towards a competency, part of the lands belonging to the priory of St. Andrew's was purchased of the duke of Lennox by the king, and settled upon this see. Forbes, an exemplary and learned divine, was the first bishop; 757. and the church of St. Giles' assigned for his cathedral. And to complete the establishment, and bring it up to the common regulation, a dean and prebendaries were settled. Laud, Cyprian. bishop of London, attending his majesty to Scotland, being
Anglic. sworn privy-councillor for that kingdom, used his interest, as may easily be imagined, for the founding this bishopric. The parliament being dissolved, the king, after having taken a view of some of the principal towns, returned to England, and came The king to the queen at Greenwich on the 20th of July'.
returns to London.
1 The remarks of Hume, on the character and policy of Charles I., in the early part of his reign, are too noticeable to be omitted.
“ When we consider," says he,“ Charles as presiding in his court, and associating with his family, it is difficult to imagine a character at once more respectable and more amiable. A kind husband, an indulgent father, a gentle master, a steadfast friend; to all these eulogies his conduct in private life fully entitled him. As a monarch too, in the exterior qualities, he excelled ; in the essential, he was not defective. His address and manner, though perhaps inclining a little towards stateliness and formality, in the main corresponded to his high rank, and gave grace to that reserve and gravity which were natural to him. The moderation and equity which shone forth in his temper, 'seemed' to secure him against rash and dangerous enterprises : the good sense which he displayed in his discourse and conversation, seemed' to warrant his success in every reasonable undertaking. Other endowments likewise he had attained, which in a private gentleman would have been highly ornamental, and which in a great monarch might have proved extremely useful to his people. He was possessed of an excellent taste in all the fine arts, and the love of painting was in some degree his favourite passion. Learned beyond what is common in princes, he was a good judge of writing in others, and enjoyed, himself, no mean talent in composition. In any other age or nation, this monarch had been secure of a prosperous and a happy reign. But the high idea of his own authority which he had imbibed, made him incapable of giving way to the spirit of liberty, which began to prevail among his subjects. His politics were not supported by such vigour and foresight as might enable him to subdue their pretensions, and maintain his prerogative at the high pitch to which it had been raised by his predecessors. And, above all, the spirit of enthusiasm being universally diffused, disappointed all the views of human prudence, and disturbed the operation of every motive which usually influences society.
But the misfortunes arising from these causes were yet remote. Charles now enjoyed himself in the full exercise of his authority, in a social intercourse with his friends and courtiers, and in a moderate use of those pleasures which he most affected.
“ After the death of Buckingham, who had somewhat alienated Charles from the queen, she is to be considered as his chief friend and favourite. That rustic contempt of the fair sex, which James affected, and which, banishing them from his court, made it resemble more a fair or an exchange, than the seat of a great prince, was very wide of the disposition of this monarch. But though full of complaisance to the whole sex, Charles reserved all his passion for his consort, to whom he attached himself with un
АВВОТ, On the 4th of August following, Abbot, archbishop of CanAbp. Cant.
terbury, departed this life. To say something of him : he was The death and character of shaken fidelity and confidence. By her sense and spirit, as well as by her beauty, she archbishop justified the fondness of her husband; though it is allowed, that, being somewhat of a Abbot.
passionate temper, she precipitated him into hasty and imprudent measures. Her religion, likewise, to which she was much addicted, must be regarded as a great misfortune, since it augmented the jealousy which prevailed against the court, and engaged her to procure for the Catholics some indulgences which were generally distasteful to the nation.
“ In the former situation of the English government, when the sovereign was in a great measure independent of his subjects, the king chose his ministers either from personal favour, or from an opinion of their abilities, without any regard to their parliamentary interest or talents. It has since been the maxim of princes, wherever popular leaders encroach too much on royal authority, to confer offices on them; in expectation that they will afterwards become more careful not to diminish that power which has become their own. These politics were now enibraced by Charles ; a sure proof that a secret revolution had happened in the constitution, and had necessitated the prince to adopt new maxims of government. But the views of the king were at this time so repugnant to those of the Puritans, that the leaders, whom he gained, lost from that moment all interest with their party, and were even pursued as traitors with implacable hatred and resentment. This was the case with sir Thomas Wentworth, whom the king created first a baron, then a viscount, and afterwards earl of Strafford; made him president of the council of York, and deputy of Ireland ; and regarded him as his chief minister and counsellor. By his eminent talents and abilities, Strafford merited all the confidence which his master reposed in him : his character was stately and austere; more fitted to procure esteem than love: his fidelity to the king was unshaken; but as he now employed all his counsels to support the prerogative, which he had formerly bent all his endeavours to diminish, his virtue seems not to have been entirely pure, bu to have been susceptible of strong impressions from private interest and ambition. Sir Dudley Digges was about the same time created master of the rolls : Noy, attorney-general : Littleton, solicitor-general. All these had likewise been parliamentary leaders; and were men eminent in their profession.
“ In all ecclesiastical affairs, and even in many civil, Laud, bishop of London, had great influence over the king. This man was virtuous, if severity of manners alone, and abstinence from pleasure, could deserve that name. He was learned, if polemical knowledge could entitle him to that praise. He was disinterested, but with unceasing industry he studied to exalt the priestly and prelatical character which was his own. His zeal was unrelenting in the cause of religion; that is, in imposing, by rigorous measures, his own tenets and pious ceremonies on the obstinate Puritans, who had profanely dared to oppose him. In prosecution of his holy purposes, he overlooked every human consideration; or, in other words, the heat and indiscretion of his temper made him neglect the views of prudence and rules of good manners. He was in this respect happy, that all his enemies were also imagined by him the declared enemies to loyalty and true piety, and that every exercise of his anger, by that means, became in his eyes a merit and a virtue. This was the man who acquired so great an ascendant over Charles, and who led him, by the facility of his temper, into a conduct which proved so fatal to himself and to his kingdoms.
“ The humour of the nation ran at that time into the extreme opposite to superstition; and it was with difficulty that the ancient ceremonies to which men had been accustomed, and which had been sanctified by the practice of the first reformers, could be retained in divine service : yet was this the time which Laud chose for the introduction of new ceremonies and observances. Besides that these were sure to displease as innovations, there lay, in the opinion of the public, another very forcible objection against them. Laud, and the other prelates who embraced his measures, were generally well instructed in sacred antiquity, and had adopted many of those religious sentiments which