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Earl of Strafford, and Laud, bishop of London, who on the death of Abbott became archbishop of Canterbury. The third parliament was soon dissolved, after a scene of great violence, in which the speaker was forcibly held in his chair, when he would have left the house in compliance with the king's desire, who even threatened to force the doors and take away the mace.
For nearly twelve years from this period Charles summoned no parliament. He made peace with Spain and France, and raised by his own authority such taxes as he wanted, especially certain duties on the import of wine and other merchandise, called tonnage and poundage. With these he maintained a brilliant court, and encouraged the fine arts, for which he had a very correct taste. The kingdom at this time enjoyed much prosperity.
Under the influence of Laud, the king took measures for the more decent celebration of Divine worship according to the English ritual, and punished with severity such persons as opposed his restorations; especially Prynne, a barrister, and Bastwick, a physician, who wrote against episcopacy. Abbott had been very remiss in enforcing either the doctrine of the Church, or its discipline. Even the edifices of the Church had been suffered to go out of repair. The burden of the expense occasioned by the attempt to enforce the necessary reparations, concurred with the loose way of thinking and acting generally prevalent, to exasperate people against the archbishop, and by inference against the king. Perhaps also things were carried by the authorities with too high a hand in Church as well as in State.
In civil matters, the arbitrary manner in which the king governed excited a growing discontent; and at length the payment of a tax called ship-money, which the king revived, was resisted by John Hampden, a gentleman of Bucks. The cause was tried, and decided in Charles's favour; but the example of resistance which was thus set was not forgotten. Having lost his cause, and despairing of the liberty of England, Hampden was preparing to leave the kingdom with Oliver Cromwell and others of the same opinion, when they were stopped by a proclamation forbidding all ship-masters to take out passengers to New England without a licence. How little did Charles foresee the part which those persons were to play, when he thus stopped their departure from his kingdom!
The king had appointed Strafford his deputy in Ireland, and that nobleman's measures were very successful in quieting and improving the condition of the country. In Scotland, however, the attempts of Charles and Archbishop Laud to strengthen the cause of episcopacy produced a violent reaction. The occasion was, their endeavour to introduce there the Liturgy of the Church of England. Such a measure had been contemplated by James, who, as we have seen already, had procured the consecration of bishops for Scotland in the year 1610. An act had been passed in Scotland, authorizing certain of the bishops of that country to prepare a Book of Common Prayer. The project was dropped for a time, but it was revived in the reign of Charles. It was, however, then determined not to introduce exactly the same Prayer Book, lest it should be supposed that the Scotch Church was intended thereby to be made dependent upon that of England. At the same time, the two Liturgies were not to be allowed to differ in any material points, lest the Romanists should exult in any fancied retrograde movement on the part of those who had thrown off their superstitious observances. Accordingly a book was framed by the Scottish bishops, and approved by *Archbishop Laud, rather on the model of the first book of King Edward VI., than of that then in use. It was first introduced in Edinburgh on the 23rd of July, 1637. The result was a serious outbreak in favour of the Presbyterian system-a confusion, it is to be feared, in the case of many, a wilful one, of the claims of Popery and Episcopacy—and a solemn league and covenant against either. Scotland had to be invaded by an English army. In order to provide funds for the war that broke forth on these grounds, a parliament was summoned, which met April 13, 1640; but was dissolved in about three weeks, in consequence of the resistance which it threatened to the measures of the king. Finding, however, that the war in Scotland became serious, he was forced to summon another parliament, which met Nov. 3, in the same year, and is known in history as the Long Parliament. From its meeting we may date the rise of a tyranny far more insupportable than the despotic rule of Charles, and a rebellion that overthrew both the altar and the throne.
CHARLES I. CONTINUED.
(PERIOD OF THE GREAT REBELLION.)
THE House of Commons, having chosen for its speaker a lawyer named Lenthall, proceeded to impeach both Strafford and Laud on charges of high treason. The trial of Strafford was managed by Pym and other members of the house; and the earl defended himself with so much power and clearness, that the tide seemed likely to turn in his favour. It was then resolved to proceed against him by bill of attainder, which was carried through both houses, together with another, that the parliament should not be prorogued nor adjourned till all grievances should be redressed. This bill was an entire change of the English constitution; and far better would it have been for Charles, had he submitted to any alternative rather than consent to these bills, by which he sacrificed an innocent minister, and also the ancient government of his kingdom. It is plain that Pym thirsted for the blood of Strafford. Many years before, when Strafford ceased to act with the popular party, Pym said to him, "You are going to leave us, but I will never leave you while your head is on your shoulders." He now alarmed the king by telling the house that Charles was about to bring up the army to overawe the Commons. After much hesitation, in the course of which Strafford wrote to desire that his royal master would consider only his own interest, Charles signed a commission to pass both the bills, The earl was executed the following day on Tower-hill. When led to execution, he stopped before the windows of the chamber in which Laud was imprisoned, while the aged prelate raised his hands in token of that blessing which he was unable to pronounce. The earl met
his end with great firmness and piety.
Charles now gave way to the demands of the parliament, but was suspected of watching an opportunity to regain his power, and his enemies charged him with encouraging a rebellion that broke forth in Ireland, and led to the most shocking massacre of the English. The feeling against the
king was confirmed by many imprudent acts on his part, and. especially by his going down to the house to seize .Pym and Hampden with three other members. His attempt was ineffectual; and it now became plain that the dispute could be settled only by an appeal to the sword. The Commons demanded the expulsion of the bishops from the House of Lords; and this the king was induced to agree to. They claimed also the command of the militia throughout the kingdom: and when Charles was pressed to yield this point for a time, he exclaimed with much heat, "Not for an hour." The concession would have left him but the shadow of his royal power.
Troops were now raised on both sides, and the royal standard was set up at Nottingham, Aug. 25, 1642. The balance of power seemed much in favour of the parliament; but the progress of the war was at first favourable to the royal cause. The first battle in which Englishmen had opposed each other since the wars of the Roses, took place at Edge-hill, on the borders of Warwickshire and Oxfordshire. The parliamentary forces were commanded by the Earl of Essex, while the king's nephews, Prince Rupert and Prince Maurice, were entrusted with high commands in the royal army, which gained the advantage in this battle. The king marched to Oxford, which had ever been loyal to him, and where he chiefly resided (when not engaged in the field) during this lamentable contest.
The war, which lasted about three years, was on the whole conducted with less violence and cruelty than are usual in civil strife; and instances of the greatest heroism and loyalty were shown by many noble ladies, as well as by the gentry who rallied round their king. The two parties were distinguished by the names of the Cavaliers and Roundheads. To the former belonged, for the most part, the gentry of the land; to the latter, the middle classes, among whom the leaven of puritanical and republican principles had most widely spread. Negotiations for peace were from time to time attempted; but came to nothing, from the encroaching spirit of the parliament, which could be satisfied only by the surrender of the English Church as well as of the royal power. At one time the king summoned a parliament at Oxford; but its proceedings had little effect.
In the first year of the war, Hampden received his deathwound in an engagement near Wycomb; but his loss was balanced by that of Lord Falkland at Newbury, who seems, of all who took part in these troubles, to have had the purest patriotism. The commanders of most note on the royal side (besides Prince Rupert) were the Marquesses of Worcester, Hertford, and Newcastle, and the Lord Goring. On the other side, Sir Thomas Fairfax and the Generals Waller, Massey, and Skippon, were chiefly distinguished, until the energy of Oliver Cromwell enabled him to obtain ascendancy over all the others. His military skill appeared conspicuously at the battle of Marston Moor (July 2, 1644), where he overthrew the royal forces under Prince Rupert. From this time the cause of Charles declined. An army from Scotland under the Earl of Leven had been summoned by the parliament to their aid; and though Charles was cheered by the brilliant success of the Marquess of Montrose in the Highlands of Scotland, he received so complete an overthrow from Fairfax at Naseby, near Daventry (June 13, 1645), that he resolved to deliver himself up to the Scottish army. He was treated by the Scots with outward respect: but they at length basely delivered their sovereign to the parliamentary forces, on the payment of the arrears which were due to them.
Before this time the trial of Laud had been brought to a close by a most iniquitous bill, in which only six peers could be brought to concur. He suffered on the 10th of January, 1645, with the constancy of a martyr; and with him fell for a season, so far as man could cause it to fall, the Church for which he died. Thus fell Laud,” says Heylin, and the Church fell with him: the Liturgy whereof was voted down about the same time that the Ordinance was passed for his condemnation; the Presbyterian Directory authorized for the press by ordinance March 13; Episcopacy, root and branch, suppressed by ordinance in like manner, October 9, 1646; the lands of the cathedrals sold; the bishops dispossessed of their lands and rents, without the charity of a small annual pension towards their
5 A sort of substitute for a Prayer Book, according to the Presby. terian system, sanctioned by parliament during the great rebellion. It did not contain forms of Prayer, but directions for praying, preaching, and the performance of ministerial offices generally.