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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

' 409 Chamberlain to Carleton


If

we had to specify the moment in which the quarrel between the Parliament and the Crown once more found its full expression, we should choose this.[416] The Parliament, which had dissolution in immediate prospect, employed its last moments in making a protest, in which it again affirmed that its liberties and privileges were a birthright and heirloom of the subjects of the English crown, that it certainly was within its power to bring under debate public matters affecting the King, the State, the Church, and the defence of the country; and that full liberty of speech without any subsequent molestation on that account must be secured to every member in the exercise of these rights.

The King would not forego the satisfaction of punishing by arrest a number of members who were peculiarly hateful to him; he declared the protestation null and void, and struck it out of the clerks' book with his own hand. In a detailed exposition of his view of these transactions, in which he gives the assurance that he will still henceforth continue to summon Parliament, he emphatically repudiates this protestation, which he affirms to be drawn up in such terms that the inalienable rights of the crown are called in question by it, rights in the possession of which the crown had found itself in the times of Queen Elizabeth of glorious memory. He affirms that as King he cannot tolerate any such pretensions.

Parliament demanded the policy

of Queen Elizabeth; King James demanded her rights. The privileges accorded to the crown and the opposition to Spain had formerly gone together: the surrender of the latter under King James served to supply Parliament on its part with a motive for making an attack upon the former.

The cause of Parliament was of great importance, even when it stood alone: deeper impulses and fresh life and vigour were first imparted to it by its combination with foreign policy and with religion.

NOTES:

[407] From a letter of Bacon to Buckingham.

[408] Lando, Relatione: 'Se bene procuro S. M. di ristringere e captivare fino l'autorita, che hanno li communi d'eleggere li deputati, benche in qualche citta e provincia gli e riuscito, nell'universale non ha potuto, rifiutati i privati del favorito e dei consiglieri li lei.' Lando describes the Parliament as 'republica altretanto mal pratica, quanto molto pretendente.'

[409] Chamberlain to Carleton, March 24: 'They find it more than Hercules' labour purgare hoc stabulum Augiae of monopolies, patents and the like.' (St. P. O.)

[410] Chamberlain to Carleton: 'All men approve E. Coke, who upon discovery of those matters exclaimed that a corrupt judge is the grievance of grievances.' Chamberlain relates that an officer of the Court of Chancery, when accused on account of various irregularities, exclaimed 'that he would not sink alone, but draw others after him.'

[411] Buckingham on one occasion very aptly characterises his policy and its danger: 'So long as you waver between the Spaniards and your subjects, to make your advantage of both, you are sure to do with neither.' Hardwicke Papers i. 466.

[412] 'The princes denied their appearance.' (Digby, Recital of his Speech, Parl. Hist. v. 483.) So that the notice by Struv, rejected by Senkenberg (Fortsetzung Haeberlins xxv. Sec. 80) is nevertheless correct.

[413] A gap in Williams' speech at this part, occurring in the Journals and in both Parliamentary Histories, is to a certain extent filled up by a letter of Chamberlain to Carleton of Nov. 24; 'intimating that they should forbear needless and impertinent discourses, long and extravagant orations which the king would not indure.'


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