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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

' 416 Chamberlain to Carleton on December 22


[414]

Lando, Relatione: 'Non potendosi accordare con spiriti discordanti dei proprii impressi di non lasciarsi levare un punto dell'autorita.'

[415] John Locke to Carleton, Nov. 29: 'They have put up a petition, that this may be a session and laws enacted, that the laws made against recusants may be executed, so that the promise of the subsidy seemeth yet to be conditional.'

[416] Chamberlain to Carleton on December 22. The Parliament, on receiving a message enjoining the speedy continuance of their business, answered the King two hours after it had been brought before them: 'but with all for fear of surprise gave order to the speaker and the whole house to meet at four o'clock: where they conceived sat down and entered this proposition enclosed which is nothing pleasing above and for preventing where of there came a commission next morning to adjourn the Parliament.' Cf. the Commons' protestation: Parl. Hist. v. 513.

CHAPTER IV.

NEGOTIATIONS FOR THE MARRIAGE OF THE PRINCE OF WALES WITH A SPANISH INFANTA.

It is a general consequence of the dynastic constitution of the states of Europe that marriages between the reigning families are at the same time political transactions, and as a rule not only affect public interests, but also stir up the rivalry of parties: this effect however

has hardly ever come more prominently into notice than when it was proposed to marry the heir to the throne of England with an Infanta of Spain.

We have remarked that the scheme originated in Spain, had already been once rejected, and then had been mooted a second time by the leading minister of Philip III, the Duke of Lerma. It formed part of Lerma's characteristic idea of fortifying the greatness of the Spanish monarchy by a dynastic alliance with the two royal families which were able to threaten it with the greatest danger, those of France and England. This design brought him into contact with a current of policy and personal feeling in England which was favourable to him: but at the same time the great difficulty which the difference of religion presented, came at once into prominence. Not that it would have been difficult for King James to make the concessions requisite for obtaining the Papal dispensation; on the contrary he was personally inclined to do so: but he feared unpleasant embarrassments with his allies and with his subjects. Count Gondomar, the ambassador, assured the King that he should never be pressed to do anything which violated his conscience or his honour, or by which he might run a risk of losing the love of his people.[417]

[Sidenote: A.D. 1622.]

On this, negotiations which had already been opened for the marriage of the Prince with a French princess were broken off. Besides, the intermarriage with the house of Spain appeared to be far more deserving of preference, as being likely to pacify the feelings of English Catholics, who were accustomed to side principally with Spain, and even to promote the calm of the world, as Spain was a more prominent representative of the Catholic principle than France. It was thought advisable to leave the conditions of the dispensation to be arranged in the sense indicated by negotiation between the Papal see and the Spanish crown.


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