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and would have been a gratification to him. No doubt it must have been a satisfaction to a man of Lord Falkland's character to have served under one whose loyalty, courage, and independence of spirit remained unimpeached; but the cause of quarrel with the Scotch, the counsels of Laud, the conduct of Charles, viewed either as King of Scotland or as King of England, the arbitrary spirit displayed on some occasions during the expedition, and the want of courtesy due to his own commander, might well account for the unfavourable opinion he entertained of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the little love he bore to episcopal power, the mistrust he conceived of the King's views of constitutional rights, and that indisposition to the King personally of which Lord Clarendon makes mention more than once, and which, if originally conceived at an earlier period of life, was not likely to be softened by an affront now offered to the commander under whom he had served as volunteer.
Clarendon's "Hist. of the Rebellion,' vol. i. p. 220.
Lord Falkland is elected Member for Newport — Proceedings in the
House of Commons in reference to the question of Ship-money Message from the King upon a Supply - Dissolution of the Parliament - Council of the Peers at York — Treaty with the Scots — Meeting of the Long Parliament - First Speech of Lord Falkland, on the proposed Impeachment of Lord Strafford — Speech of Lord Falkland on Ship-money — Impeachment of Lord Finch, and Speech of Lord Falkland to the House of Lords in support of it.
In 1640 Lord Falkland was chosen member of Parliament for Newport in the Isle of Wight. He was now about thirty years old, and this was the first opportunity he had had of sitting in Parliament, or even of judging of the power and effect of a representative assembly, none having been summoned for the space of twelve years.
The last Parliament of King James's reign had been courted and influenced by the all-powerful George Villiers Duke of Buckingham, more particularly on two subjects, which were at variance with the policy and opinions of the King, but in which he was fully countenanced by the Prince of Wales, viz. the desire to make war upon Spain, and the impeachment of Lionel Cranfield Earl of Middlesex, Lord Treasurer. The King remonstrated with his favourite and his son in words which proved little short of prophetic :-“By G-, “ Steeney, you are a fool and will repent this, and will “ find that in this fit of popularity you are making a “ rod with which you will be scourged yourself;" and then, addressing the Prince, he continued, saying, “ that he would live to have his bellyful of parliament “impeachments; and when I shall be dead you will “ have too much cause to remember how much you “ have contributed to the weakening of the Crown by “ the two precedents you are so fond of.”
i Clarendon’s ‘Hist, of the Rebellion,' vol. i. p. 41.
His warning was in vain; the Duke was triumphant on both subjects. The King died shortly afterwards, and a new Parliament was summoned on the accession of Charles; but the tide of parliamentary favour had now changed, and Buckingham found himself the object of strong reprobation ; votes passed against him as an enemy to the public, and supplies were refused on the
sibly his alarm, was roused by this turn of popular opinion, and he caused the Parliament to be dissolved. The second Parliament was dismissed for much the same reasons, and by the same pernicious counsels; members were imprisoned or disgraced who had given offence, and a commission to levy a general loan was appointed, armed with powers that were in direct violation of existing statutes. A third Parliament was called ; and although, like its two predecessors, it was of short duration, yet it framed and carried the memorable “ Petition of Right.”
From that time it was in vain to urge former precedents for levying any loan or tax but by consent of
Parliament, imprisoning any one but by legal process, or infringing other provisions made for the security of person and property. The speedy dissolution of this Parliament was partly attributed to the Lord High Treasurer, Lord Weston, who, like the Duke of Buckingham, had reason to expect some charges to be preferred against him, and a ground of displeasure was easily found in the refusal of the Commons to vote Tonnage and Poundage for more than a year. The Petition of Right was immediately afterwards infringed, members were again imprisoned, and a declaration was heard from the Attorney-General Heath that the Petition of Right was “no law."
The King, driven to extremities for want of supplies, had recourse to those various projects for raising money that have since become as watchwords in the history of overstrained prerogative. “Acts of State were made “ to supply the defect of laws; obsolete laws were “ revived and rigorously executed, wherein the subject “ might be taught how unthrifty a thing it was, by too “ strict a detaining of what was his, to put the King as “ strictly to inquire what was his own." The composition for knighthood, the granting monopolies, revival of the Forest Laws, the arbitrary imposition of Tonnage and Poundage and of Ship-money, and enlargement of the powers of the Council and the Star Chamber, were the illegal and irregular means adopted by the sovereign, in defiance of the well-defined rights of the subject, to make the prerogative of the Crown obtain by force those supplies which it was the privilege of Par
Clarendon's “ Hist. of the Rebellion,' vol, i, p. 119.
liament to grant or to withhold. It was necessity, not choice, that induced Charles once more to summon a Parliament. Hostilities were to be renewed against Scotland. The Treasury was bankrupt-only 2001. was left in the Exchequer. The revenue of the Crown had been anticipated, an army was to be raised, but means were absolutely wanting for the purpose. Charles opened the Parliament on the 13th of April, 1640, and Serjeant Glanvil was chosen Speaker. Mr. Pym led the way in the discussion of grievances that had been occasioned by the long intermission of Parliament; of the King he spoke with the utmost respect, but animadverted strongly on the conduct and justice of the Government. Mr. Grimston and others followed in the same strain, and all joined in praising Mr. Hampden for the resistance he had made to the payment of the Ship-money ; even the King's solicitor, Mr. Herbert, took occasion to add bis praise to Mr. Hampden for his great temper and modesty in the prosecution of that suit. Mr. Herbert, of course, defended the exaction of Ship-money, and grounded his defence of its legality upon the opinion of the Judges, to whose authority he said the King had willingly deferred when the right was disputed. The case, he declared, had been argued before all the Judges of England in the Exchequer Chamber, and the major part had given their opinion in favour of the King's right to impose the offensive tax. How little reason the nation at large or its representatives had to be satis
Clarendon's · Hist. of the Rebellion,' vol. i. p. 233.