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Westminster, now under the guidance of Williams, as an infringement of its rights. The House was accordingly told that it had exceeded its powers. If the members would come to the Abbey one of the canons should preach to them, and no attempt would be made to force upon them the wafer-bread which was ordinarily used there. But Williams, in his hot-headed jealousy for his new dignity, had miscalculated the temper of those with whom he had to deal. His offer was contemptuously rejected by the Commons. If they could not hear Usher preach in St. Margaret's, they would hear him in the Temple church. Williams, however, was not allowed to push matters to these extremities. James himself interfered, and the Chapter at once withdrew their opposition to the original plan.1

If the Commons could have listened to the King's conversation with Usher, they would hardly have thanked him for his mediation. "You have got," he said, "an unruly flock to look to next Sunday." He then asked him how it was possible for the members to be in charity with one another, and ended by begging him to urge his audience to pass a vote of supply as soon as possible.2

In the meanwhile the Commons were busily considering the case of the obnoxious recusants, and in against the drawing up a petition for the enforcement of the penal laws, in which the Lords expressed their willing



ness to join.3

On February 15, the Committee brought up its report upon liberty of speech. It recommended an appeal to the King, and the introduction of a Bill by which the imprisonment of members for words uttered in their places might be rendered impossible for the future. At this suggestion Calvert rose. The King, he said, had directed him

Feb. 15.

'Proceedings and Debates, i. 14, 19. Commons' Journals, i. 517. Chamberlain to Carleton, Feb. 10, S. P. Dom. cxix. 90.

2 Elrington's Life of Usher.

Lords' Journals, iii. 18,

S. P. Dom. cxix. 102.

• Commons' Journals, i. 522.

Works, i. 53.


Woodford to Nethersole, Feb. 17,




to tell the House that he marvelled that they troubled themselves so much about the matter. Had he not already assented to their Speaker's petition for such freedom of speech as had been anciently granted? His Majesty therefore hoped that no one would 'so far transgress the bounds of duty as to give any cause to be questioned for speaking that which becomes him not.' If any such offence should be given, he was sure that the House would be more ready to censure him than his Majesty to require it.1

So eager were the Commons to avoid any semblance of altercation with the King, that even this vague message was accepted not only without remonstrance but even with gratitude. Ten months later they had reason to regret that the reply had not been more explicit.

For the moment James's course was an easy one. The Commons formally returned him thanks for his gracious assurance, and on that very afternoon the question of supply was for the first time seriously taken up in

Supply. committee.2

The report

of the

Council of
War laid

On the 13th the Council of War had delivered its report. The members of the Council were too experienced soldiers not to know that to appear in the field at once with an army which could bear down all opposition was in the end the surest way to avoid expense. To levy a force worthy of England a sum of 250,000l. would be needed immediately, and the pay and expenses of the army would call for an annual vote of 900,000l. a-year. By this means 30,000 men could be maintained for the defence of the Palatinate.3

before the House.

Such a sum was undoubtedly enormous. No larger grant than 140,000l. had ever yet been made in any one year by Parliament. It was therefore incumbent upon James to reconsider his position, and, after frankly laying before the House the information which he had received, to prepare the nation for the sacrifices which would be needed if its wishes were to be carried

1 Calvert's Speech, Feb. 15, S. P. Dom. cxix. 97.

2 Proceedings and Debates, i. 47.

* Report of the Council of War, Feb. 12, S. P. Dom. cxix. 93.

out. A very different course commended itself to James. It was at all events a good opportunity for getting a vote of money, and the adequacy of the supplies was a matter of very little moment. Calvert was accordingly directed to state that 30,000 men would be needed, and that at least 500,000l. would be required for their support.

Effect of

The expense of the troops was absurdly under-estimated. But this was not the only, or even the worst, fault of the speech in which Calvert brought the question forward. Of the policy which the King intended to pursue he had speech. not a word to say. The Commons were informed what the cost of an army would be. They were not told how it would be used. Over the state of the negotiations, and the chances of peace and war, an impenetrable veil was thrown. Such treatment was enough to chill the temper of the most loyal It would be time enough, it was felt, to vote a supply on the large scale demanded when the King should condescend to tell them what he meant to do with it. Yet they shrank from leaving the appeal of their Sovereign altogether without response. In spite of the dearth of the precious metals caused by the debasement of the coinage on the Continent; in spite too of the constitutional scruples which forbade the grant of money at so early a period in the session, the Commons unanimously Grant of two agreed to a resolution for the levying of two subsidies subsidies. a sum equivalent to about 160,000l. The money however, was not to be regarded as a contribution towards the expenses of the war, for which it would have been utterly inadequate, but simply as a testimony of their devotion to a king who, as they still hoped almost against hope, was at last

1 Proceedings and Debates, i. 48. It is important to understand the circumstances under which the grant was made, as unfounded inferences have often been drawn from a partial appreciation of the facts. Even Mr. Forster (Life of Pym, 9), who was not usually given to under-estimate the virtues of the House of Commons, said that the grant was 'so small a sum, in fact, that it only left the King more completely at their feet. In his report from the Committee on the 16th, Coke, on the other hand, said distinctly that the money was voted 'freely, not on any consideration or condition for or concerning the Palatinate.' Proceedings and Debates,




preparing to stand forward as the leader of the nation over which he ruled.

For these explanations James cared little. With the prospect of a grant of money he was beyond measure delighted. He ordered one of the Privy Councillors to inform the Commons that their conduct had made a great impression upon him. They had given reputation to his affairs at home and abroad. For his part, he was ready to meet them half-way in giving satisfaction to their just demands.1

The readiness with which the Commons granted these subsidies is the more noticeable, as they had lately met with a

Gondomar's licence to export ordnance.

rebuff upon a point which they considered to be of no slight importance. At that time ordnance of English manufacture was highly esteemed upon the Continent. Its exportation was strictly forbidden, and the prohibition was only occasionally suspended as a special favour to the representatives of foreign nations. When, therefore, it was known that leave had been given to Gondomar to send a hundred guns out of the kingdom, the Commons were roused to an indignant remonstrance against the impolicy of furnishing arms to the enemies of the German Protestants. They listened with sullen displeasure to Calvert's explanation. James himself was obliged to come to the support of his secretary. The licence, he said, had been granted two years before, and could not now be revoked. No harm would be done, as Gondomar had engaged that the guns should be sent to Portugal for use against pirates. The House received the information in silence, but it is hardly probable that a single member allowed his convictions to be changed.2

There were other subjects on which the Commons felt even more strongly than on the exportation of ordnance.

Proposed legislation

on the

On the

15th there was a debate on a bill for the stricter observance of the Sabbath. A young barrister Sabbath. named Shepherd stood up to oppose the measure. Everybody knew, he said, that Saturday, and not Sunday, was

1 Speech of a Privy Councillor, Feb, 16, S. P. Dom. cxix. 98.
2 Proceedings and Debates, i. 36.

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the true Sabbath. The bill was conceived in a spirit of defiance against the King's Declaration of Sports, for it forbade dancing on Sunday. Did not David praise God in a dance? What right had they to fly in the teeth of both King David and King James? Whoever brought in the bill was a Puritan and a disturber of the peace. Such language was intolerable to his hearers, who, in their antagonism to Spain, were clinging to the stricter Protestantism which their fathers had learned in the midst of the struggle with the Armada. An indignant Expulsion of shout warned him to desist. He was ordered to Shepherd. leave the House. The next day his case was taken into consideration, and, without a dissentient voice, he was declared to have forfeited his seat by his profanity. Yet even here, excited as they were, the Commons evinced their determination to give way at the slightest remonstrance from the King. They replied to a message from James by ordering that whatever clauses might be in contradiction with the Declaration of Sports should at once be expunged from the Bill.2

Feb. 17.

reply to the petition on



In fact, during the first fortnight of the session, it seemed as if James could do anything he pleased with the Commons. On the 17th he gave his promised reply to the The King's petition for increased severities against the recusants, which had been presented to him jointly by the two Houses. There were, he said, laws enough already. It was against his nature to be too rigorous in matters of conscience. He was continually called upon to intercede with other princes on behalf of oppressed Protestants, and he could hardly hope to succeed if he were himself to treat the English Catholics with undue rigour.3 He was, however, ready to comply with the requests made to him, and to see that the laws were executed. It was reported that with this reply the House was highly discontented, and that there were those who believed that if the resolution for the grant of the subsidies had not been already passed, it would now be in danger of re2 Ibid. i. 60. Chamberlain to Carleton, Feb. 17. Murray to Carleton, Feb. 17,

Proceedings and Debates, i. 45, 51.

S. P. Dom. cxix. 101, 103.

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