Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

pope, neither of himselfe, nor by any authority of honest or good Catholickes, but apparant of the church or see of Rome, or by any traytors to the king and state, in saying one other meanes, with any other, hath any thing, and dooing the contrary; in making an power or authority to depose the king, or to outward shew of duty and obedience under dispose of any of his maiesties kingdomes hand-writing, and reseruing a trayterous intenor dominions: or to authorize any forraigne tion in their close bosome; wherein the grosse prince to inuade, or anoy him, or bis countries; deceiuing and abusing of too many ouer-creduor to discharge any of his subiectes of their lous soules, being falsely perswaded of such men, allegiance and obedience to his maiesty: or to otheru ise then they are indeede, is very much giue licence, or leaue, to any of them to beare to be pitied and lamented : for they do but armes, raise tumult, or to offer violence or judge by the exteriour habit of smooth sanctitie hurte to his maiesties royall person, state, or and holines, and not by the close seducing of gouernment, or to any of his maiesties subiectes them and their soules. Religion is the cloake cast within his maiesties dominions.-Also I do ouer intended treason, and holy protestations sweare from iny hart, that, notwithstanding any hide hollow-harted practises, more deuillish then declaration, or sentence of excommunication, in plaine meaning) ean easily be doubted, and or depriuation, made or graunted, or to be tar inore daungerous, then weake capacities are made or graunted, by the pope or his successors, able to discouer, as, very excellently and eleor by any authority deriued, or pretended to gantly, was there plainely approued. bee deriued, from himn or bis see, againste the Another allegation also (as impertinent) did said king, his heires or successors; or any ab-Drewrie make, in saying: That a French priest, solution of the saide subiectes from their obedi or Spanish priest, comming into this land to ence. I will beare faith and true allegiance to exercise their function at either of their lord his maiestie, bis heires, and successors; and ambassadors, or otherwise, they inight, in like him and them will defende, to the vtterniost of manner, be tearmed traytors : whereas all the my power, against al conspiracies and attempts by-standers were euen ready to lisse liim, whatsoeuer, which shal be made against his or knowing very well, and, as it was with goud their persons, their crown and dignity, by rea- discretion, answered him, that such priestes son or colour of anie such sentence or declara- | neither were or colde be reckoned subiects to tion, or otherwise; and will doe my best in this state, nor were they enabled to deal in such devour to disclose and make knowne vnto his daungerous manner with our people, wanting maiesty, bis heires and successors, all treasons our language, and credit, in such a case to and traiterous conspiracies, which I shall know, countenance them, as (by their slye insinuating) or bear of, to be against him, or any of them. they being borne subiects, and credited more And I doe further sweare, that I doe from my than beseemed, did too much preuaile by. hart abhorre, detest, and abiure, as impious | And as freely might such ambassadours haue and heretical, this damnable doctrine and posi- men of spiritual office about them, being of tion, that prince, which be excommunicated or their owne countrey, as ours are allowed the depriued by the pope, may be deposed or mur- like, within their maisters dominions. So that dered by their subiects, or anie other whatso- still he wolde baue maintained that priesthoode, euer.–And I do belieue, and in conscience am and not the treacherous complotting and pracresolued, that neither the pope, nor any person

tises of priestes, in bis understanding, was to whatsoeuer, hath power io absolue me of this bee held for treason, The same grace and oath, or any parte thereof, which I acknowledge fauour, which had been before extended to by good and faithfull authority to be lawfully Drewrie, in as ample mansure was offered to ministred to me, and do renounce all pardons Dauies, the other priest, and he was demaundand dispensations to the contrary,

And al led whether he would take the path or po. Hee these things I do plainly and sincerely acknow- replied, that he was a poor simple ignorant ledge and sweare, according to these expresse man, and could bardly censure what thereto wordes by me spoken, and according to the belonged. For there were many learned priestes, plaine and common sence, and understanding whose judgements, in this case, he would first to the same words, without equivocation, or know, and then, perhaps, he might be othermental euasion, or secret reseruation whatso wise altered. Wherein appeareth, that oue euer. And I do make this recognition and only Romish rule and obseruation is a lesson acknowledgment heartily, willingly and truly, or direction to them all, and the buls or breues vpon the true faith of a Christian. So help of the pope are more regarded and respected nie God."

by them, than the natiue loyalty and obedience, This Oath, which no good subiect will refuse they owe to their king and countrey. But to take, hauing beene very audibly read, well mercy hath been ouer-wild too long, and won neare in the perfect bearing of euery one there no such grace from, as justly was expected, present, he was required to alleadge or inferre but rather bath armed them with more boldagainst any part thereof what he colde. But nesse and insolence, than either is fit in them he insisting vainely, as he had done before, that to offer, or standes with the wisdome of so he had but giuen his opinion thereof for others, great a state to endure: For, Nunquid colliand refusing vtierly to take it himself, gaue eoi gunt de spinis uvas, aut de tribulis ficus?" dent and manifest iestimony, that such priestes, Doo men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of as hiinselfe was, were not included in the ranké thistles?

When no further good, either by testimonie , and there to be laid vpon an hurddle, and so of their owne shame, or even father-like and drawne to the place of execution, where they most kinde perswasions, could be wrought upon shoulde hang till they were halt deade; then.co either of them: first a most graue, learned, and baue their secrets cut off, and with their inie iudicious admonition was made unto them, trailes throwne into the fire before their faces, containing brectely the many and extraordinarie their heads to be seuered from their bodies, great graces of the kings inaiestie towarde which seuerally should be deuided into four menne of their condition, and howe, after quarters, and afterward disposed at his maiesgraunting them first his free and generall par- ties pleasure, in mean while, the Lorde to take don, hee neuer left off, but pursued then still mercie upon their soules: and so they were with all fauours that could be deuised, as not sent backe to prison againe. desiring the death of any one, but rather to live quictly, like a godly, peacefull, and religious 4 breefe. Report of the Erecution of Robert king: not enacting any new or severe lawes

Drewrie, druu ne on a hurddle in his Fryer. against such daungerous persons, but ratifieng

Benedictine habbet to Tyborne, on Thursday and confirming them that he found at his coni

the twenty-fifth of Februarie. ming, which queen Elizabeth, of euer happy On the next morning, being Thursday, an memory, compulsiuely was compelled and en hurddle being broght to Newgate, Robert forced to make against them. And yet the Drewrie, hoping yet for life, and not thinking justice of those lawes, which had been of seauen to die, as by tlie sequell it plainely appeared, and twenty years continuance before, his ma- hauing put on, after the maner of the Benejestie did forbeare to execute; and finding dictine Fryers beyond the seas, a newe suit of manye, whose liues lay vnder the forfeit of the aparrell, being made of black stuffe, new law, not onely did he reinitte them in grace, but shooes, stockings, and garters, and a black new likewise gave his free pardon to all; sending so stuffe priests gown, or cassock, being buttoned manie as were in durance away at bis own downe before by loops and buttons, two and cost and charge, and publishing the like offer two together, to the verye foote, a new corto all other that wolde except of so kind a nered cáp on his heade, and vnder it a fair benefit: as loath to ineddle with their blood, wrought night-cap; was, in this manner, that were enemies to his life, and desirous to drawne along to Tyhorne, where being by the win them hy mercy, if they were not tco mon executioner prepared for death, he was brought strous. Nor hath he sentenced any priest with vp into the cart, and vsing such ydle speeches, death since his comming to the cronne, but as he had don ofien before, that he dyed not such as were men of most daungerous qualitie, for treason, but for his priesthoode, hee was, and bad their bands over deep in most barbar willed to deal inore iustly, and not to abuse ons and inhumaine treasons. But when neither the world ngwe at his death, in vtiering that perswasions, sufferances, nor proclamations will which was a manifest lie and untruth. He serue, to keep such daungerous men out of the made answere, that, in all his life-time, he had tand, but euen, in spight of the king and his not told a lie, and then, after a short pause addlawes, they will needs come over, and put in ed, not willingly. There were certain papers practice their treacherous deuyses: mercy, of shewn at Tyborne, which had bin found about necessity, must give way to justice, and pitty him, of very daungerous and traitorous nature, preuaile no longer, when grace is dispised. And amonge them also was his Benedictine

The many and excelent parts, contained in faculty vnder seale, expressing what power and Maister Recorders learned and elegant speech, authority he had from the pope, to make men, I am not able to set downe, and, therefore, do women, and children heere, of his order; what humbly craue fauour, for but glauncing at indulgences and pardons he colde graunt them, these few: which thogh they come farre short both in this life, and for multitude of yeares afof their iust merite, yèt let my good will ex- ter their death, preseruing them both from purgacuse al imperfections. Being come to the ve- tory,and warranting theirentrance, by the popes ry iunpe of giuing judgement, Drewrie de-keyes, into Heaven. He confessed himselte to manded, if, as yet, he might have favour to be a Romaine Catholick, and a priest, and despeak, and, most honorably, it was answered sired all Romaine Catholickes 10 praye with that he might, for the king's mercy was never him, and for him. And ofien looking about too late; therefore he was willed, not to trifle him, as liopinge there was some mercie for him, the time in friuolous speeches, but, if he wolde for fenre appeared very plainely in him, when he fet take the oath, do it and afterwards speak felt the cart go away under him, and his elwbat further he wolde ; which made all the pectation to be deceived, he caught fast holde standers by euen confounded with amaze with his left hande on the halter about hys head, ment, that grace should be so aboundantly of and very bardly was inforced to let it goe, but fered vnto such froward and wilfull refusers. held so for a pretty while. If this were not an Drewrie wolde not yeeld to take the oath, apparant hope of life, I refer it to better judgewhereupon the sentence of death was pro- ments then mine own. lie hung till he was nounced against them botlı. To bee conueyed quite dead, and alterwari's big budy was quarthence to the place froin whence they came, tered.

[merged small][ocr errors]

83. The Case of IMPOSITIOys, on an Information in the Exche

quer by the Attorney-General against Mr. Jon DATES, Mer

chant. Michaelmas, 4 JAMES I. A. D. 1606-1610. [" This famous Case involved in it a constitu bled; though the judges had before then

tional Question * of the first magnitude; Mr. the strong testimony of lord chancellor ForBites, the Delendant, having been prosecuted tescue in bis famous book · De Laudibus for refusing to pay a Duty on foreign cur Leum Angliæ,' that even in the reigns of rants imposed by a mere act of the crown. Henry the sixth and Eduard the fourth the The attempt to entorce a submission to this English monarchy stood distinguished as liduty by legal process, was certainly a prin mited from the French monarchy as absolute, cipal and early part of that rash and unwar notwithstanding their original resemblance to rantable scheine to establish in the crown a each other; though this noble-minded lord riglit of taxing the subject, which disturbed chanceilor had instructed the heir apparent to the reigns of the two first princes of the the crown, that one of the most essential difStuart line. James the first claimed the ferences between the two monarchies arose right of imposing duties on imported and from the prevalence of the king's despotism exported merchandize by prerogative. His of taxation in France, and from parliament's son and immediate successor, the unfortu having that power in England; though they nate Charles, not only persisted in the claim, could not but know, that from the moment but added to it the equally form dable pre the king should succeed in attracting from tension of ship-money. Realized, these parliament the commanding power of taxaclaims, with loans, benevolences, monopo tion, parliament must have perished; though lies, and the other subsidiary branches of the the statute-book was full of legislative desame extravagant design, would have com clarations against taxes without consent in prized nearly a compleat system of extra parliament, though not so much as one reparliamentary taxation; for imposition at cognition of the claim could be found in the the ports was calculated to serve the purpose records of justice, the court of exchequer externally, ship-money to operate internally. in Bates's case unanimously gave judgment Had they been acquiesced in, parliaments for impositions by prerogative on imports would soon have become unnecessary assem and exports; and in Mr. Hampden's Case, blies; the mildness of a limited monarchy though some very recent admonitions and would gradually have degenerated into the warnings of duty had intervened, all the barshness of an absolute onc; a legal govern judges of Westminster-hall, iwo only exceptment would bave been corrupted into a tv ed, joined to give the sanction of a judicial ranny. To the great disgrace of the profes opinion to ship-money. Nor were monopofession of the law, some who in other re lies, loans, and benevolences, wholly unspects were its brightest ornaments, gre countenanced by the courts of justice. But, their aid to these attempts against the rights during this crisis, the houses of parliament of parliament. We make the acknowledg did not forget their duty. They pursued the ment with concern; but it is a truth, which several devices for illegal taxation, till all neither can nor ought to be concealed. The were bunted down, and had yielded to the great luminary of science, lord Bacon, exer tide of law and constitution. In 1610, the cised his floquence to reconcile parliament house of commons, alarmned by the judgment to impositions by prerogative. Sir John in Bates's case, formally debated * the right Davis, so justly admired for his writings of the crown to impose on merchandize at about Ireland, composed a treatise to prove the ports; and at length by a petition to the the right of the crown. Both displayed the king complained of such impositions as a greatness of their talents on the occasion, grievance, which in the subsequent parliaThough they managed the argument in dif ments was followed with frequent renonferent ways; the former speciously profess strances of the like kind. In 1629, monoing to clain the prerogative in question from polies were curbed and regulated by statute. and to limit it by law; the latter boldly ad In 1627, † gifts, lo:10s, and benevolences, venturing to exalt the sanie prerogative above were pointedly declared contrary to law by law, and describing it to be like another the Petition of Right, with general words to Sampson, too strong to be bound. 2. Bac. comprehend all sorts of taxes and charges 4to ed. 1778. p. 223. Dav. on Iinposit. 131. out of parliament. In 1610, I the legislaEven the judges deigned to be instruments ture crushed ship-money almost in its birtli, for subjugating their country to an illegal taxation. Though it was incontrovertible, * For more learning relative to this question, that, by the fundamental policy of our con see the third part of lord Hale's most elaborate stitution, the legislature consisted of king, Treatise “ concerning the Customs," in the first lords, and commons in parliament assem vol. or Mr. Hargrave's Collection of Tracis.

+ See ? Cobb. Parl. Hist. 230, et seq. * See 1 Cobb. Parl. Ilist. 1132.

See ? Cobb. Parl. Ilist. 672.

by declaring the judgment for it contrary 10 | might be, either they were not in a condition law and vacating the record. In the same to risk being thus explicit, or bad not the year the final blow was given to taxation by courage to try their force : and this being s., prerogative ; an act for tonnage and pound the dificulty of accomplishing their design age being passed, with a declaration against against the constitution became great inthe king's claim to impose such duties. deed; for the great lines of argument both Thus the victory over all the several in on the principle and fact of the constitution ventions to tax the subject by preroga were in the teech of prerogative taxation; tive became complete; before the civil whether the attempt had been made in the wars broke out, before the contest with the large and short way, by at once insisting, crown degenerated from resistance of its that the power was inherent in the crown usurped powers into an invasion of its just and exerciseable without the two bouses of claims. Fortunately too, when the country parliament; or, as the experiment was emerged from the anarchy and misery of the tried, in the detail, by taking advantages of scene wbich followed, the extravagance of all the irregular practices of former times, joy did not extinguish a due remerobrance and by straining certain allowed rights and of the constitution. One of the first acts, prerogatives into abuse, and so giving to after the restoration, was a grant of tonnage them the colour and pretext ota right of a far and poundage, with words which renewed a higher class. It could not be denied, that part of the former declarations against tax the legislative power was by our constitution ing by prerogative; for it anxiously recited, in the kiny, lord, and commons. To argue that. no rates can be imposed on merchan then the next inoment, that, notwithstanding • dize imported or exported by subjects of this, there was latent in the crown a power Saliens, bui by common consent in parlia of taxiny, was an inconsistency in principle; "menti' 12 Cha. 2. c. 4. §. 6.-It was for it was saying in the same breath, that once our int ntion to have traced more fully the king wiis and was not the legislature ; the history of the long contest about taxes taxing the subject being undeniably one of out of parliament, from the accession of the the highest Qercises of legislative authority.. house of Stuart, till it was tinally decided Nor was the argument on the matter of fact against the crown in 1611 ; our plan being much better for the crown.

As far back as to have minutely and distinctly stated the the reigns of Edward the first and Edward proceedings on each species of device to the third, that is, almost as far back as the elude the constitution, and to have given a records of parliament, those most authentic general view of the arguments by which each sources of our constitutional listory; can be was sustained or repelled. But though we traced, the king has joined with the two had already inade many researches, and col houses of parliament in most explicitly delected several materiais on the subject, it claring, tht to tax in any other manner was found impossible to do justice io it, than in parliament is contrary 10 the law of without more me, than was consistent with the land, and that all other founs of taxation present convenience to allow. We there are strains of regal power incapable of being jore reserve the detail of the subject for justified. It also happened, that exclusiely some future occasion. As to the attempts of such general legislative declarations at extra-parliamentary taxation in the pre against taxing out of parliament, there was vious period, they are fully investigated in scarce any particular innde of illegal and irsome of the pieces which we now present to regular taxation, but what at one time or the reader.

another had been specifically condemned. “ So far as respected the general point of taxing It was no wonder therefore, that lord Coke,

by prerogative, it seems to have been the when he framed the Petition of Right in the strongest of all cases against the crown. reign of our first Charles, laid his foundation There were such apparent bars to the claim against the prerogat ve of taxing, as weil as on prerogative in this respect, that it seems against the other excesses of that ill-advised surprizing, how lawyers of eininence could prince, on the code of our antient statute submit to the dructuery of being advocates in law; for it is observable, that, throughout such a cause.

If king Jaines bad found hiin that famous declaritory law, every propusi. self strong enough by military force to change tion is derived from that highest of all the form of our government, and to substi sources for constitutional knowledge. llcre tute for it a despotic sovereignty in the one inight easily imagine lord Coke, then crown, however moustrous such an abuse of nearly of the age of eighty years, to address his public trust would have been, its mean himself exultingly to the speaker of the comie ing could not have been doubted; for it mons to this itect.

“ I propose to the would have amounied to saying, “I conicas house, not a thiery of the best kind of yothe present constitution is otherwise, but I vernment; not a change of our constitution chuse io inake a new one; “sic voleo, sic ju in the way of improvement : but the solemna • beo, stet pro ratione voluntas.' However declaration of an actual and subsisting conunjustifiable it may be, I will have it so." stitution ; one honorably derived to us from Bie whatsoever the inclinations of James our hardy ancestors, one capable of being the first and his son the unfortunate Charles

proved by testmony froin the criestie

cords of parliament; one, which has sub-1 cedents of irregular and condemned pracsisted for centuries, and survived both the tices; nay even the vain arguments from the calamity of vari sus and long civil wars, and uncertain origin of the representatise part the tyranny of successive ill administrations of our Engli li parliaments, with the boasted of our government, even the sanguinary arrument from the arbitrary adıninistration reigns of the two first prioces of the Tudor of the executive magistrate whilst our throne line; nay, one, which even they found it was filled with the proud Tudor line. "Al. convenient to add new sanctions to, by re low to ine the benefit of the Magna Charta sorting to its forms to give currency to their of our third llenry as confirmed by our first despotism and cruelty. Thus strongly fenc Edward, with the long series of subsequent ed with the highest possible testimonies for a statutes and parliamentary records ; especimixed and linnited monarchy, I wave all in ally the 3.111 of our hrst Edward againsi talferior proofs. I might perhaps evince from liages and aids without conscut of parlizour antient story, that in all periodis of time ment, the 25th of Edward the third against there was a freedom in our constitution ; forced loans, and the statutes of the last that it was free to our British, to our Dan mentioned king with those of ihe second and ishi, to our Saxon, nay to our Norman an third Richards against benevolences and cestors; and that it was beyond the power such like charges. Those on the other side of trad.tionary fable to name the period, shull have the full and sole benefit of all when our monarchs were unshackled by other records and testimonies whatever ; parliaments. I miglit perhaps trace the an with the additional weight of the king and tiquity of our present legislative constitu his whole court; without excepting his action, as composed of king, lords and com. complished but too pliant judges, or those inmons, or at least tie substance of it, as far detitigable hunters of precedents for violaback as the time when the Roman govern. tions of constitutional government, the great ment ceased amongst us. But I will not law officers of the crown. Should the pontravel unnecessarily into such remote periods: derous weight of royal charters and parliaI will not unnecessarily waste the precious mentary records fail me against such an ag. time of this bouse, or even my own time, in gregate of intluences in the opposite scale, I such traditionary and dubious investigations. will agree, that the constitutin of parliament I will leave all these topicks to the curious must perish; and that our kings inust in fuantiquarian as his proper employment; or ture be absolute and despotic sovereigos.reserve them for the pastime of private cu Though too my scale, in consequence of the riosity. Confident in the strength of parlia wisdom, integrity, justice, and tirinness of mentary records, I will appealio them only. this

present house of cominons, should at If they are not decisive in my favour, or as present preponderate; yet from the increasI should rather say in favour of the constitu ing degeneracy of those out of this honouration and against monarchical despotism, I ble house, I proplesy, that the high talents yield the victory to the devotees of the with the low ambition of future lawyers will crown : I

agree, that the king shall singly soon aynin counteract our present solemn exercise that bighest power of le_islation, the proceedings against the excesses of royal power of taxing : Ingri e, that from bence- 1 prerogative; and that future judges will forth the king of England shall be a tyrant ; soon arise to countenance those excesses by and thit the reality of parliament shall er new corruptions of judicial authority. B'it pire here, as it has expired in almost every should the conflict be once more revived, I other country in Europe. I will not even trust, that the freedom of our constitution ask for aid from the testimony of that bones i will again triumph: and should dat contesto and generous lawyer, that high example of ever again come, and another victory be judicial chastity, ihat undefiled servant of a gained over the pretended prerogatires of court royal, the great lord chancellor lor the crown, which events from the course of tescue. Even his adınired printed book n:uure can schile happen in my rinse, be it * De Laudibus Legum Angliæ,' and the still recorded in the journals of this parliament, more valuable remains of him in the manti for the instruction of our latest posterity, script treatise on the diffrence between al that snch a time, whenever it shall come, solute and limited monarchy, shall be up

will not be the era of a free gevernment pressed. I ask only to put into my scale of newly established in resistance of the abuses a free constitution, and of a limited monar of royal power; but will be the æra of mere chy, the statute rolls and olier records of salvation of a frame of government so anparliament. Sasing these only, I consent to tient, that authentic memorials are wanting put into the scale of regal prerogative, all to trace its origin with any thing like accuthe fables of British antiquity, all the tradi racy."- In the speech thus imagined for lord tions of our Gothic ancestors, all the imper Coke, when be presented the Petition of feci histories of monkish annalisis, all the Righis to the house of commons in the year vague arguments from the vague titles of 1627, there is a succession of thouylits, Saxon and Anglo-Vornan lass, all the de which are the result of all the now editor's ceptie verbal criticism from words no longer study of the antient contests between the clearly understood, all the volumes of pre crown and ille subject, on the claims of pre

« VorigeDoorgaan »