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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

He added some Scottish members to the Privy Council


filled his soul with pride and the consciousness of a high calling, was the thought that he would now carry into effect what the Romans, and in later times the Anglo-Saxon and Plantagenet kings, and last of all the Tudors, had sought to achieve by force of arms or by policy, but ever in vain--the union of the whole island under one rule, like that which native legendary lore ascribed to the mythical Arthur. When he came to Berwick, around which town the two nations had engaged in so many bloody frays, he gave utterance, so it is said, to his intention of being King not of the one or of the other country but of both united, and of assuming the name of King of Great Britain.[315]

At York he met his predecessor's Secretary of State, Robert Cecil. As no one knew the relations into which he had already entered with Cecil, every one was astonished at the kind reception which he accorded to him. That did not prevent him however from being just to the other side as well. He greeted the youthful Essex as the son of the most renowned cavalier whom the realm of England had possessed; he appointed him to be the companion of the Prince of Wales, and made him carry the bared sword before him at his entrance into some of the towns. Southampton and Neville were received into favour; the Earl of Westmoreland was placed in the Privy Council. He gave it to be understood that he would again raise to their former station the great men of the kingdom, who up to this

time, as he said, had not been treated according to their merits.

In order to begin the work of union at once in the highest place, he added some Scottish members to the Privy Council, and placed Scots side by side with the Secretary of State and Treasurer of England. The Keeper of the Privy Seal was raised to the Lord Chancellorship, but obliged to resign the post of Master of the Rolls, which fell to the share of a Scot, who however contented himself with drawing the income without discharging the duties of the office. The main feature of the condition of affairs which now grew up was the understanding between Cecil and those Scots who were most influential with the King. These were the leaders of the two parties, one of which hitherto had rather inclined to Spain and the other to France, Lennox and Mar, and especially the most active, perhaps the cleverest man of all, George Hume. These were consulted on affairs of importance. The Scots had the advantage, to which custom almost gave them a right, of seeing the King as often as they wished: but Cecil and his English friends, in consequence of their knowledge and practice in business, had the chief management of affairs in their hands.

The times were gloomy owing to the prevalence of an infectious disease; still extraordinary numbers of the English nobility thronged to London, in order to see the King, who took up his residence at Greenwich. It is computed that there were 10,000 people at court. James felt infinitely happy amidst the homage which clergy and laity vied with one another in rendering him.

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