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The Earl of Strafford impeached of High Treason. (BOOK II. declared, “ that they should find the little finger of Mr. Pym was made choice of for the messenger to
the king's prerogative heavier upon them than perform that office. And this being determined, “ the loins of the law;” which expression, though the doors were opened, and most of the house upon after-examination it was found to have a quite accompanied him on the errand. contrary sense, marvellously increased the passion It was about three of the clock in the afternoon, and prejudice towards him.
when the earl of Strafford, (being infirm, and not In conclusion, after many hours of bitter inveigh- well disposed in his health, and so not having stirred ing, and ripping up the course of his life before his out of his house that morning,) hearing that both coming to court, and his actions after, it was moved, houses still sat, thought fit to go thither. It was according to the secret resolution taken before, believed by some (upon what ground was never “ that he might be forthwith impeached of high clear enough) that he made that baste then to “ treason ;' which was no sooner mentioned, than accuse the lord Say, and some others, of having it found an universal approbation and consent from induced the Scots to invade the kingdom : but he the whole [house): nor was there, in the whole was scarce entered into the house of peers, when debate, one person who offered to stop the torrent the message from the house of commons was called by any favourable testimony concerning the earl's in, and when Mr. Pym at the bar, and in the name carriage, save only that the lord Falkland, (who of all the commons England, impeached Thomas was very well known to be far from having any earl of Strafford (with the addition of all his other kindness for him,) when the proposition was made titles) of high treason, and several other heinous for the present accusing him of high treason, mo- crimes and misdemeanours, of which he said the destly desired the house to consider, “ Whether it commons would in due time make proof in form ; “ would not suit better with the gravity of their and in the mean time desired in their name, that
proceedings, first to digest many of those par- he might be sequestered from all councils, and be “ ticulars, which had been mentioned, hy a com- put into safe custody; and so withdrawing, the earl “ mittee? declaring himself to be abundantly satis- was, with more clamour than was suitable to the “ fied that there was enough to charge him before gravity of that supreme court, called upon to with“they sent up to accuse him :” which was very draw, hardly obtaining leave to be first heard in his ingenuously and frankly answered by Mr. Pym, place, which could not be denied him. “ That such a delay might probably blast all their And he then lamented “ his great misfortune to
hopes, and put it out of their power to proceed “ lie under so heavy a charge; professed his inno“ farther than they had done already; that the cence and integrity, which he made no doubt he “ earl's power and credit with the king, and with “ should make appear to them; desired that he “ all those who had most credit with king or queen, “ might have his liberty, until some guilt should
was so great, that when he should come to know “ be made appear; and desired them to consider, “ that so much of his wickedness was discovered, “ what mischief they should bring upon them“ his own conscience would tell him what he was selves, if
upon such a general charge, without “ to expect; and therefore he would undoubtedly “the mention of any one crime, a peer of the
procure the parliament to be dissolved, rather “ realm should be committed to prison, and so “ than undergo the justice of it, or take some other deprived of his place in that house, where he
desperate course to preserve himself, though with was summoned by the king's writ to assist in “ the hazard of the kingdom's ruin : whereas, if “ their counsel ; and of what consequence such
they presently sent up to impeach him of high a precedent might be to their own privilege “ treason before the house of peers, in the name “ and birthright :” and then withdrew. And " and on the behalf of all the commons of England, with very little debate the peers resolved “ that “who were represented by them, the lords would “ he should be committed to the custody of “be obliged in justice to commit him into safe “the gentleman usher of the black-rod, there
custody, and so sequester him from resorting to to remain until the house of commons should “ council
, or having access to his majesty: and “ bring in a particular charge against him:” which “ then they should proceed against him in the usual determination of the house was pronounced “ form with all necessary expedition.”
to him at the bar upon his knees, by the lord To those who were known to have no kindness keeper of the great seal, upon the woolsack: and for him, and seemed to doubt whether all the par- so being taken away by Maxwell, gentleman ticulars alleged, being proved, would amount to usher, Mr. Pym was called in, and informed what high treason, it was alleged, “ That the house of the house had done ; after which (it being then
commons were not judges, but only accusers, and about four of the clock) both houses adjourned till “ that the lords were the proper judges whether the next day. “such a complication of enormous crimes in one When this work was so prosperously over, they
person did not amount to the highest offence the began to consider, that notwithstanding all the in“ law took notice of, and therefore that it was fit dustry that had been used to procure such mem
to present it to them.” These reasons of the bers to be chosen, or returned though not chosen, haste they made, so clearly delivered, gave that who had been most refractory to the government universal satisfaction, that, without farther consi- of the church and state ; yet that the house was so dering the injustice and unreasonableness of it, they constituted, that when the first heat (which almost voted unanimously, (for aught appeared to the con- all men brought with them) should be a little altrary by any avowed contradiction,). “ That they layed, violent counsels would not be long heark“ would forthwith send up to the lords, and accuse ened to: and therefore, as they took great care by
the earl of Strafford of high treason, and several their committee of elections to remove as many * other crimes and misdemeanours, and desire that of those members as they suspected not to be inhe might be presently sequestered from [the] clinable to their passions upon pretence that they council, and committed to safe custody ;" and were not regularly chosen,” that so they might
1640.] The Archbishop of Canterbury accused of High Treason.
71 bring in others more compliable in their places ; ( faulty in it; and it was observable, when, notin which no rules of justice was so much as pre- withstanding all their diversions, that business tended to be observed by them; insomuch as it was brought into debate, and upon that (which was often said by leading men amongst them, could not be avoided) the lord Finch named as an “ That they ought in those cases of elections to be avowed factor and procurer of that odious judg
guided by the fitness and worthiness of the per- ment; who, if their rule were true, " that an en“ son, whatever the desire of those was, in whom “ deavour to alter the government by law, and to “the right of election remained ;” and therefore “ introduce an arbitrary power, were treason,” one man hath been admitted upon the same rule was the most notoriously and inexcusably guilty by which another hath been rejected: so they of that crime of any man that could be named; declared, “That no person, how lawfully and before they would endure the mention of an regularly
. soever chosen and returned, should be accusation of high treason, they appointed a com“and sit as a member with them, who had been mittee, with great deliberation and solemnity, to
a party or a favourer of any project, or who bring in a charge formally prepared, (which had “ had been employed in any illegal commission.” not been done in the case of the lord archbishop,
And by this means (contrary to the custom or the earl of Strafford,) and then gave him a day and rights of parliament) many gentlemen of good to be heard for himself at the house of commons quality were removed, in whose places commonly bar, and so, against all order, to take notice of others were chosen of more agreeable dispositions: what was handled in the house concerning him; but in this likewise there was no rule observed ; and then finding that, by their own rules, he for no person was hereby removed, of whom there would be likewise accused of high treason, they was any hope that he might be applied to the continued the debate so long, that the lords’ violent courses which were intended. Upon house was risen, so that the accusation was not which occasion the king charged them in one of carried up till the next morning; and before that his declarations, “that when, under that notion of time, the lord keeper (being well inforned of “ projectors, they expelled many, they yet never all that had passed) had withdrawn himself; and “ questioned sir Henry Mildmay, or Mr. Lau- shortly after went into Holland: the lord Little
rence Whitaker ;" who had been most scandal-ton, then chief justice the court of common ously engaged in those pressures, though since pleas, being made keeper of the great seal of Engmore scandalously in all enterprises against his land in his place. majesty; to which never any answer or reply was About the same time, sir Francis Windebank, made.
one of the principal secretaries of state, and then The next art was to make the severity and a member of the house of commons, was accused rigour of the house as formidable as was possible, of many transactions on the behalf of the papists, and to make as many men apprehend themselves of several natures, (whose extraordinary patron obnoxious to the house, as had been in any trust indeed he was,) and he being then present in the or employment in the kingdom. Thus they passed house, several warrants under his own hand were many general votes concerning ship-money, in produced for the discharge of prosecutions against which all who had been high-sheriffs, and so col- priests, and for the release of priests out of prison: lected it, were highly concerned. The like sharp whereupon, whilst the matter should be debated, conclusions (were made upon all lords lieutenants according to custom he was ordered to withdraw, and their deputies, which were the prime gentle and so went into the usual place, the committeemen of quality in all the counties of England. chamber; immediately whereupon, the house of Then upon some disquisition of the proceedings in commons tent to a conference with the lords the star-chamber, and at the council-table, all upon some other occasion, and returning from who concurred in such a sentence, and consented that conference, no more resumed the debate of to such an order, were declared criminous, and to the secretary; but having considered some other be proceeded against. So that, in a moment, all business, rose at their usual hour; and so the the lords of the council, all who had been deputy secretary had liberty to go to his own house ; lieutenants, or high sheriffs, during the late years, from whence, observing the disposition of the found themselves within the mercy of these grand house, and well knowing what they were able to inquisitors : and hearing new terms of art, that a say against him, he had no more mind to trust complication of several misdemeanours might himself in that company, but the same night grow up to treason, and the like, it was no wonder withdrew himself from any place where inif men desired by all means to get their favour quiry might be made for him, and was no more and protection.
heard of till the news came of his being landed in When they had sufficiently startled men by France. these proceedings, and upon half an hour's debate So that within less than six weeks, for no more sent up an accusation against the lord archbishop time was yet elapsed, these terrible reformers had of Canterbury of high treason, and so removed caused the two greatest counsellors of the kinghim likewise from the king's council
, they rested dom, and whom they most feared, and so hated, satisfied with their general rules, votes, and orders, to be removed from the king, and imprisoned, without making haste to proceed either against under an accusation of high treason; and frighted things or persons; being willing rather to keep away the lord keeper of the great seal of England, men in suspense, and to have the advantage of and one of the principal secretaries of state, into their fears, than, by letting them see the worst foreign kingdoms, for fear of the like; besides that could befall them, lose the benefit of their the preparing all the lords of the council, and application. For this reason they used their ut- very many of the principal gentlemen throughmost skill to keep off any debate of ship-money, out England, who (as was said before) had been that that whole business might hang like a meteor high sheriffs, and deputy lieutenants, to expect over the heads of those that were in any degree such measure of punishment from their general
Further proceedings against the Earl of Strafford. BOOK III. votes and resolutions, as their future demeanour (tody, and immediately carried him to the secreshould draw upon them, for their past offences; tary; and within few days after, the priest was by which means, they were like to find no very discharged, and at liberty. The jailor, in whose vigorous resistance or opposition in their farther custody he had been put for debt, was arrested designs.
by the parties grieved, and he again sued the I could never yet learn the reason, why they messenger, who appealed for justice to the house suffered secretary Windebank to escape their of commons against the secretary. justice, (for the lord Finch, it was visible he was And this case had been presented to the comin their favour, and they would gladly have pre- mittee, and was ready to be reported, with all served him in the place,) against whom they had those warrants under his own hand before menmore pregnant testimony of offences within the tioned, at the time when secretary Windebank verge of the law, than against any person they was in the house. Besides that, he was charged have accused since this parliament, and of some by the lords, by message or at a conference, for that, it may be, might have proved capital, and so the breach of privilege at the dissolution of the their appetite of blood might have been satisfied : last parliament, and signing warrants for the for, besides his frequent letters of intercession in searching the studies and papers of some memhis own name, and signification of his majesty's bers; for which, according to the doctrine then pleasure, on the behalf of papists and priests, to received, he might have been put into the custody the judges, and to other ministers of justice ; of the sergeant of the house. But as the last ocand protections granted by himself to priests, that casion was not laid hold of, because it would nobody should molest them ; he harboured some have inevitably involved his brother secretary, sir priests in his own house, knowing them to be Harry Vane, who was under the same charge such ; which, by the statute made in the twenty- and against whom indeed that charge was aimed ninth year of queen Elizabeth, is made felony: so, it seems, they were contented he should make and there were some warrants under his own
trial for the rest; either, be hand for the release of priests out of Newgate, cause they thought his place would be soone who were actually attainted of treason, and con- void by his flight than by his trial, which would demned to be hanged, drawn, and quartered; have taken up some time, and required some form which, by the strict letter of the statute, the ality, they [having] designed that place to My lawyers said, would have been very penal to him. Hollis ; or, that they thought he would, upo
I remember one story brought into the house any examination, draw in somewhat to the preju concerning him, that administered some mirth : dice of sir Henry Vane, whom they were to pro A messenger, (I think his name was Newton,) tect: and so they were well content with hi who principally intended the service of appre- escape;
so the house deferred the farther de hending priests, came one day to him in his bate till the next morning, before which tim garden, and told him, “ that he had brought he chose to retire, and transported himself int “ with him a priest, a stirring and active per- France.
son, whom he had apprehended that morn Having made their first entrance upon busine ing;
and desired to know to what prison he with this vigour, they proceeded every day wi “ should carry him.” The secretary sharply the same fervour; and he who expressed mo asked him, “ Whether he would never give over warmth against the court and the government, w “this blood-thirsty humour ?” and in great anger heard with the more favour; every day producir calling him knave, and taking the warrant from many formed elaborate orations against all the ad him by which he had apprehended him, departed of state which had been done for many years pr without giving any other direction. The mes- ceding. That they might hasten the prosecuti senger, appalled, thought the priest was some of the earl of Strafford, which was their first gre person in favour, and therefore took no more design, they made a close committee of su care of him, but suffered him to depart. The members as they knew to be most for their pu priest, freed from this fright, went securely to his pose, who should, under an obligation of secre lodgings, and within two or three days was ar prepare the heads of a charge against him ; whi rested for debt, and carried in execution to prison. had been never heard of before in parliament: a Shortly after, secretary Windebank sent for the that they might be sure to do their business effe messenger, and asked him, “ What was become ually, they sent a message to the house of pee “ of the priest he had at such a time brought to desire them “to nominate a select commit “ before him ?” He told him, “ that he con “ likewise of a few, to examine upou oath su “ ceived his honour had been offended with the “ witnesses, as the committee of the house
apprehension of him, and therefore he had looked commons for preparing the charge against
no farther after him.” The secretary in much earl of Strafford should produce before the passion told him, the discharging a priest was "and in their presence, and upon such interro
no light matter; and that if he speedily found “tories as they should offer;" which, thoug! him not, he should answer the default with his was without precedent or example, the lords
life; that the priest was a dangerous fellow, sently consented to, and named such men as ki “ and must not escape in that fashion.” The well what they had to do. Then they caused messenger, besides his natural inclination to that tions to be every day presented, by some who exercise, terrified with those threats, left no means been grieved by any severe sentences, in the s untried for the discovery, and at last heard chamber, or committed by the lords of the cour where the man was in execution in prison : against lords lieutenants of counties, and t thither he went, and demanded the priest (who deputy lieutenants, for having levied money y was not there known to be such) as his prisoner the country, for conducting and clothing of sold formerly, and escaped from him; and by virtue and other actions of a martial nature, (which of his first warrant took him again into his cus- been always done by those officers sơ quali
1640.] Temper and constitution of both houses of parliament, and of the court. 73 from the time of queen Elizabeth, and was prac- | ambition would not be satisfied with offices and tised throughout her reign,) and against sheriffs, preferment, without some condescensions and alfor having levied ship-money. Upon all which terations in ecclesiastical matters. He had for petitions (the matter being pressed and aggravated many years been the oracle of those who were still upon every particular by some member of note called puritans in the worst sense, and steered all and authority, upon which) all the acts how formal their counsels and designs. He was a notorious and judicial soever, and without so much as hear-enemy to the church, and to most of the eminent ing the sentences or judgments read, were voted churchmen, with some of whom he had particular “ to be illegal, and against the liberty and property contests. He had always opposed and contradicted “ of the subject; and that all who were guilty of all acts of state, and all taxes and impositions, “such proceedings should be proceeded against which were not exactly legal, and so had as emi“ for their presumption, and should likewise pay nently and as obstinately refused the payment of damages to the persons injured.”
ship-money as Mr. Hambden had done; though By which general votes (all passed within three the latter, by the choice of the king's council, had or four days after the sitting of the parliament) brought his cause to be first heard and argued, they had made themselves so terrible, that all with which judgment that was intended to conclude privy-counsellors, as well for what they had done the whole right in that matter, and to overrule all at the board, as in the star-chamber ; (where in other cases. The lord Say would not acquiesce, deed
many notable sentences had passed, with some but pressed to have his own case argued, and was excess in the punishment;) all lords lieutenants, so solicitous in person with all the judges, both who for the most part were likewise counsellors, privately at their chainbers, and publicly in the whereof all were of the house of peers; and then court at Westminster, that he was very grievous to all who were deputy lieutenants, or had been them. His commitment at York the year before, sheriffs since the first issuing out of writs for the because he refused to take an oath, or rather subcollection of ship-money, whereof very many were scribe a protestation, against holding intelligence then of the house of commons; found themselves with the Scots, when the king first marched against involved under some of those votes, and liable to them, had given him much credit. In a word, he be proceeded against upon the first provocation; had very great authority with all the discontented whereby they were kept in such awe, both in the party throughout the kingdom, and a good reputaone house and the other, as if they were upon tion with many who were not [discontented,] who their good behaviour, that they durst not appear believed him to be a wise man and of a very useful to dislike, much less to oppose, whatsoever they temper, in an age of license, and one who would proposed.
still adhere to the law. All persons imprisoned for sedition by the star The lord Mandevile, eldest son to the lord privychamber upon the most solemn examination and seal, was a person of great civility, and very well the most grave deliberation, were set at liberty, bred, and had been early in the court under the that they might prosecute their appeals in parlia- favour of the duke of Buckingham, a lady of whose ment. In the mean time, though there were two family he had married : he had attended
the armies in the bowels of the kingdom, at the monthly prince when he was in Spain, and had been called expense of no less than one hundred and fifty thou- to the house of peers in the lifetime of his father, sand pounds, care was taken only to provide money [by the name of the lord Kimbolton,] which was a to pay them, without the least mention that the very extraordinary favour. Upon the death of the one should return into Scotland, and the other be duke of Buckingham, his wife being likewise dead, disbanded, that so that vast expense might be he married the daughter of the earl of Warwick; a determined : but, on the contrary, frequent in- man in no grace at court, and looked upon as the sinuations were given, that many great things greatest patron of the puritans, because of much
were first to be done before the armies dis- the greatest estate of all who favoured them, and " band;” only they desired the king, “ that all so was esteemed by them with great application
papists might be forthwith cashiered out of his and veneration : though he was of a life very licen
army,” which his majesty could not deny; and tious, and unconformable to their professed rigour, so some officers of good account were immediately which they rather dispensed with, than to withdraw dismissed.
from a house where they received so eminent a It will not be impertinent nor unnatural to this protection, and such notable bounty. From this present discourse, to set down in this place the latter marriage the lord Mandevile totally estranged present temper and constitution of both houses of himself from the court, and upon all occasions apparliament, and of the court itself, that it may be ) peared enough to dislike what was done there, and the less wondered at, that so prodigious an altera- engaged himself wholly in the conversation of those tion should be made in so short å time, and the who were most notoriously of that party, whereof crown fallen so low, that it could neither support there was a kind of fraternity of many persons of itself and its own majesty, nor them who would good condition, who chose to live together in one appear faithful to it.
family, at a gentleman's house of a fair fortune, near Of the house of peers, the great contrivers and the place where the lord Mandevile lived; whither designers were —The earl of Bedford, a wise man, others of that classis likewise resorted, and mainand of too great and plentiful a fortune to wish tained a joint and mutual correspondence and cona subversion of the government; and it quickly versation together with much familiarity and friendappeared, that he only intended to make himself ship: that lord, to support and the better to imand his friends great at court, not at all to lessen prove that popularity, living at a much higher rate the court itself.
than the narrow exhibition allowed to him by his The lord viscount Say, a man of a close and re wary father could justify, making up the rest by served nature, of a mean and a narrow fortune, of contracting a great debt, which long lay heavy great parts, and of the highest ambition, but whose upon him; by which generous way of living, and
The temper of both houses of parliament, and the [BOOK 111. by his natural civility, good manners, and good “testant religion;" and then, by infusing terrible nature, which flowed towards all men, he was uni- apprehensions into some, and so working upor versally acceptable and beloved; and no man more their fears “ of being called in question for some in the confidence of the discontented and factious “ what they had done,” by which they would stanı party than he, and (none) to whom the whole mass in need of their protection; and raising the hope of their designs, as well what remained in chaos as of others, “that, by concurring with them, the what was formed, was more entirely communicated,
sure to obtain offices, and honours, an and more consulted with. And therefore these “ any kind of preferment.” Though there wer three lords are nominated as the principal agents too many corrupted and misled by these severa in the house of peers, (though there were many temptations, and others who needed no other temp there of quality and interest much superior to either tations than from the fierceness and barbarity of them, because they were principally and abso- their own natures, and the malice they had cor lutely trusted by those who were to manage all in tracted against the church and against the court the house of commons, and to raise that spirit which yet the number was not great of those in who was upon all occasions to inflame the lords. Yet the government of the rest was vested, nor wer [it] being enough known and understood, that, there many who had the absolute authority to lea how indisposed and angry soever many of them at though there were a multitude that was dispose present appeared to be, there would be still a major to follow. part there, who would, if they were not overreached, Mr. Pym was looked upon as the man of greate adhere to the king and the established government, experience in parliament, where he had served ve and therefore these three persons were trusted with long, and was always a man of business, being out reserve, and relied upon so to steer, as might officer in the exchequer, and of a good reputati increase their party by all the arts imaginable; and generally, though known to be inclined to the pu they had dexterity enough to appear to depend tan party; yet not of those furious resolutio upon those lords, who were looked upon as greater, against the church as the other leading men we and as popular men; and to be subservient to their and wholly devoted to the earl of Bedford, w purposes, whom in truth they governed and dis- had nothing of that spirit. posed of.
Mr. Hambden was a man of much greater cr And by these artifices, and applications to his ning, and it may be of the most discerning spi vanity, and magnifying the general reputation and and of the greatest address and insinuation to br credit he had with the people, and sharpening the any thing to pass which he desired, of any man sense he had of his late ill treatment at court, that time, and who laid the design deepest. Hey they fully prevailed [upon), and possessed them- a gentleman of a good extraction, and a fair
. Í selves of, the earl of Essex ; who, though he was tune, who, from a life of great pleasure and licer no good speaker in public, yet, having sat long in had on a sudden retired to extraordinary sobr parliament, and so well acquainted with the order and strictness, and yet retained his usual cheer of it in very active times, he was a better speaker ness and affability; which, together with the opin there than any where else, and being always heard of his wisdom and justice, and the courage he with attention and respect, had much authority in shewed in opposing the ship-money, raised his re the debates. Nor did he need any incitement tation to a very great height, not only in Buck (which made all approaches to him the more easy) hamshire, where he lived, but generally throug] to do any thing against the persons of the lord the kingdom. He was not a man of many wo archbishop of Canterbury and the lord lieutenant and rarely begun the discourse, or made the of Ireland, towards whom he professed a full dis- entrance upon any business that was assumed; like; who were the only persons against whom a very weighty speaker, and after he had hea there was any declared design, and the Scots having full debate, and observed how the house was lil in their manifesto demanded justice against those be inclined, took up the argument, and shortly, two great men, as the cause of the war between clearly, and craftily, so stated it, that he comm the nations. And in this prosecution there was conducted it to the conclusion he desired; a too great a concurrence : Warwick, Brook, Whar- he found he could not do that, he never was ton, Paget, Howard, and some others, implicitly out the dexterity to divert the debate to an followed and observed the dictates of the lords time, and to prevent the determining any thir mentioned before, and started or seconded what the negative, which might prove inconvenie they were directed.
the future. He made so great a show of ci In the house of commons were many persons of and modesty, and humility, and always of mist wisdom and gravity, who being possessed of great ing his own judgment, and of esteeming his and plentiful fortunes, though they were undevoted whom he conferred for the present, that he se enough to the court, had all imaginable duty for to have no opinions or resolutions, but such the king, and affection to the government establish- contracted from the information and instructi ed by law or ancient custom; and without doubt, received upon the discourses of others, who the major part of that body consisted of men who had a wonderful art of governing, and leadin had no mind to break the peace of the kingdom, or his principles and inclinations, whilst they be to make any considerable alteration in the govern- that he wholly depended upon their counse ment of church or state: and therefore all inven- advice. No man had ever a greater powe tions were set on foot from the beginning to work himself, or was less the man that he seemed on them, and corrupt them, by suggestions “ of the which shortly after appeared to every body,
dangers which threatened all that was precious he cared less to keep on the mask. “ to the subject in their liberty and their property, Mr. Saint-John, who was in a firm and “ by overthrowing or overmastering the law, and conjunction with the other two, was a law
subjecting it to an arbitrary power, and by coun- Lincoln's Inn, known to be of parts and in tenancing popery to the subversion of the pro- but not taken notice of for practice in Westm