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LIX.

1625.

I.

He con

Keeper.

Williams

ham.

CHAPTER LIX.

CONTINUATION OF LIFE OF LORD KEEPER WILLIAMS TILL HIS
APPOINTMENT AS ARCHBISHOP OF YORK.

CHARLES having returned from Theobald's the evening of his father's death, next morning sent for the Lord Keeper March 27. to St. James's, continued him in his office of Lord Keeper, Accession employed him to swear in the Privy Councillors, and deof Charles sired him to prepare two sermons, one for the funeral of the late King, and another for his own coronation.* But Wiltinues Williams soon saw that his downfall was at hand, and before the liams Lord coronation of Charles it was accomplished. The power of Buckingham was now, if possible, greater than it had been under dis- in the late reign, and he was resolved to have a new Lord pleasure of Bucking- Keeper. He therefore took every opportunity of slighting and trying to disgust the present holder of the Seal, with a view to induce him to resign it; for it was then a very unusual thing forcibly to turn a man out of an office which he held, even during pleasure, without a charge of misconduct being judicially substantiated against him. The courtiers were quick-sighted enough to anticipate Williams's disgrace. "Laud, as soon as he saw that his advancer was shunned by under the anger of the Duke, would never acknowledge him other cour- more, but shunned him as the old Romans in their superstition walked aloof from that soil which was blasted with thunder." However, as cold looks and rebuffs were preferred to voluntary resignation, it was necessary to wait till some decent pretext could be found for the change, — particularly after the éclat which the funeral sermon on the late King had conferred upon the preacher. It was thought that

He is

Laud and

tiers.

On this occasion the Seal was surrendered to Charles and delivered back by him to Williams as Lord Keeper, and a formal letter was written to him in the name of the new King, desiring him to use the old Seal till the new Seal was engraved. Rot. Pat. 1 Car. n. 13.

Hacket, part ii. 23.

he would have objected to a proclamation for suspending the penal laws against Papists, but he put the Great Seal to it without remonstrance.

So impatient was Charles to have a supply, and so unconscious of what he was to suffer from popular assemblies, that he wished to continue the sitting of the last parliament, but he was told by the Lord Keeper that it was ipso facto dissolved by his father's death.

CHAP.

LIX.

A new par

A new parliament summoned by him met on the 18th of A. D. 1625. June. Prayers were said in the presence of both Houses, liament. while the King, uncovered, knelt at the throne. He then delivered a short speech, which has the appearance of being his own extempore composition. But a laboured oration followed from the Lord Keeper, urging a supply from the state of affairs in the Palatinate, in the Low Countries, and in Ireland, and inculcating loyalty, on the maxim "amor civium regis munimentum."

-

adjourned to Oxford

against ad

vice of

There was a much greater inclination in the Commons to Parliament inquire into grievances than to grant liberal supplies; and the plague breaking out in London, at a council called to consider what ought to be done, a prorogation was proposed Lord to Oxford, where it was thought the malcontents might be Keeper. more manageable. This was strongly opposed by the Lord Keeper, who urged that when they came together there, they would vote out of discontent and displeasure, and that his Majesty was ill-counselled to give offence in the bud of his reign, "quæ nulli magis evitandæ sunt quam juveni et principi, cujus gratia cum ætate debet adolescere." Buckingham grinned at him while he spoke.

-

At Oxford the Commons were more refractory, and the Parliament attempt ended in an abrupt dissolution. † The Lord Keeper dissolved. was now most unjustly accused by Buckingham of having intrigued with Sir Edward Coke and the popular leaders, and stirred them up to oppose the Court; and, to justify

He begins by thanking God that the business to be treated required no eloquence to set it forth; "for," says he, "I am neither able to do it, nor doth it stand with my nature to spend much time in words."

CHAP.
LIX.

March 27. 1625.

I.

He con

Keeper.

Williams

CHAPTER LIX.

CONTINUATION OF LIFE OF LORD KEEPER WILLIAMS TILL HIS
APPOINTMENT AS ARCHBISHOP OF YORK.

CHARLES having returned from Theobald's the evening of his father's death, next morning sent for the Lord Keeper to St. James's, continued him in his office of Lord Keeper, Accession employed him to swear in the Privy Councillors, and deof Charles sired him to prepare two sermons, one for the funeral of the late King, and another for his own coronation.* But Wiltinues Williams soon saw that his downfall was at hand, and before the liams Lord coronation of Charles it was accomplished. The power of Buckingham was now, if possible, greater than it had been under dis- in the late reign, and he was resolved to have a new Lord pleasure of Bucking- Keeper. He therefore took every opportunity of slighting and trying to disgust the present holder of the Seal, with a view to induce him to resign it; for it was then a very unusual thing forcibly to turn a man out of an office which he held, even during pleasure, without a charge of misconduct being judicially substantiated against him. The courtiers were quick-sighted enough to anticipate Williams's disgrace. "Laud, as soon as he saw that his advancer was shunned by under the anger of the Duke, would never acknowledge him other cour- more, but shunned him as the old Romans in their super

ham.

He is

Laud and

tiers.

stition walked aloof from that soil which was blasted with thunder."† However, as cold looks and rebuffs were preferred to voluntary resignation, it was necessary to wait till some decent pretext could be found for the change, — particularly after the éclat which the funeral sermon on the late King had conferred upon the preacher. It was thought that

* On this occasion the Seal was surrendered to Charles and delivered back by him to Williams as Lord Keeper, and a formal letter was written to him in the name of the new King, desiring him to use the old Seal till the new Seal was engraved. Rot. Pat. 1 Car. n. 13.

Hacket, part ii. 23.

he would have objected to a proclamation for suspending the penal laws against Papists, but he put the Great Seal to it without remonstrance.

So impatient was Charles to have a supply, and so unconscious of what he was to suffer from popular assemblies, that he wished to continue the sitting of the last parliament, but he was told by the Lord Keeper that it was ipso facto dissolved by his father's death.

A new parliament summoned by him met on the 18th of June. Prayers were said in the presence of both Houses, while the King, uncovered, knelt at the throne. He then delivered a short speech, which has the appearance of being his own extempore composition. But a laboured oration followed from the Lord Keeper, urging a supply from the state of affairs in the Palatinate, in the Low Countries, and in Ireland, and inculcating loyalty, on the maxim "amor civium regis munimentum."

CHAP.

LIX.

A. D. 1625.

A new par

liament.

adjourned to Oxford

against ad

vice of

There was a much greater inclination in the Commons to Parliament inquire into grievances than to grant liberal supplies; and the plague breaking out in London, at a council called to consider what ought to be done, a prorogation was proposed Lord to Oxford, where it was thought the malcontents might be Keeper. more manageable. This was strongly opposed by the Lord Keeper, who urged that when they came together there, they would vote out of discontent and displeasure, and that his Majesty was ill-counselled to give offence in the bud of his reign, — “quæ nulli magis evitandæ sunt quam juveni et principi, cujus gratia cum ætate debet adolescere." Buckingham grinned at him while he spoke.

66

At Oxford the Commons were more refractory, and the Parliament attempt ended in an abrupt dissolution. † The Lord Keeper dissolved. was now most unjustly accused by Buckingham of having intrigued with Sir Edward Coke and the popular leaders, and stirred them up to oppose the Court; and, to justify

• He begins by thanking God that the business to be treated required no eloquence to set it forth; "for," says he, "I am neither able to do it, nor doth it stand with my nature to spend much time in words."

LIX.

Lord

CHAP. himself, he drew up and privately put into the King's hand a paper entitled-"Reasons to satisfy your most excellent Majesty concerning my carriage all this last parliament.” This made a favourable impression on the King, and the young Queen Henrietta was disposed to protect him,—pleased by his forbearance to the Roman Catholics, and by a speech he had addressed to her in French, when he presented the Bishops to her on her arrival in England.

Keeper charged with intriguing against the Court.

Bucking

ham resolved to turn out Lord Keeper.

Lord Con

demand

liams.

But Buckingham was not to be diverted from his purpose. He revived the charge of intriguing with the discontented parliamentary leaders at Oxford, and he reminded the King that when Williams was first made Lord Keeper, he himself had proposed the rule that "the Great Seal ought never to be held by the same person more than three years.”

Charles yielded; and Lord Conway, deputed by him, came way sent to to the Lord Keeper's lodgings at Salisbury, and said—“ that Great Seal his Majesty understanding that his father, who is with God, from Wil- had taken a resolution that the Keepers of the Great Seal of England should continue but from three years to three years, and approving very well thereof, and resolved to observe the order during his own reign, he expects that you should surrender up the Seal by all Hallowtide next,alleging no other cause thereof,—and withal, that having so done, you should retire yourself to your bishopric of Lincoln." Williams respectfully professed his submission to the royal mandate, thanking God that the Seal was not demanded on any other ground. ground. He said the late King had continued it to him after the expiration of the three years, and the present King had restored it to him without condition or limitation of time," yet it is his Majesty's, and I will be ready to deliver it up to any man that his Majesty shall send with his warrant to require it." He strongly remonstrated against the order that he should be restrained to his diocese, or any place else. Lord Conway tried to soothe him by saying, "he understood this was merely meant, that he should not, after parting with the Seal, be obliged to attend the council table, but that he should be free to go to his bishopric."

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