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consumed a fortnight: and every day in | The longer the impeachment lasted, the Westminster Hall revealed more clearly more this popularity increased : the odithe disposition of the Lords to protract ousness of ransacking a man's life to the proceedings. On the fourth sitting find cause to put him to death, was enof the impeachmant, D'Ewes was “as- hanced by Strafford's heroic power both tonished at the many delays of this day," of endurance and resistance. To use and urged that Strafford should be com- Denham's words, the trial was a scene pelled to "avoid impertinences" ; indig- where nation, also, was expressed at the readiness the Lords showed to discuss every
Private pity strove with public hate, point of order he raised, adjourning for
Reason with rage, and eloquence with fate; that purpose, from the hall to their own and to all appearance pity, reason, and chamber.*
eloquence were victorious. It was also And as the trial began, so it went on: thought, at that moment, that confidence an article expected to take half an hour, might be placed in the King, and even in occupied the whole day; another sitting the Queen. On two occasions, thanks was cut short by one of those unseason- from the House of Commons were proable adjournments ; another appeal for posed to her for “furthering the call of delay, though negatived, consumed an the Parliament, and the passing the Trihour and a half ; and Strafford came late,tennial Bill ;"* proposals that signify and then, evidently a pre-arranged step, much to those acquainted with the Eng. he did not come at all, sending only his lish mind of 1641. “foot-boy” to give notice that his master And this altered state of public opinion was sick in bed.f
affected the position of parties in ParliaThe day of this occurrence, Friday, ment to a degree that must have troubled April 9, is a turning point in the story of Pym and his associates. The continuStrafford's death. The “inflexible party" ance of the Treaty with Scotland was that afternoon reviewed their position ; their mainstay — that abruptly closed, and it looked most hopeless. All the evi- and the trial would be closed also - yet dence they dared to use was exhausted ; on that very day, Friday, April 9, defeat they had prosecuted or abandoned all on that vital question was but narrowly their charges : every possible method had avoided. Appeals to national and pecubeen sought to exhibit Strafford as an niary interests must have influenced the oppressor, and as the man who worked debate : the “cessation of arms” was the ruin of his fellow-countrymen by the held up as both dishonourable to the dissolution of Parliaments, by inciting Commons, and costly to the Nation, and the King to war, and by his evil advice. the prolongation of the truce, so naturally But all in vain. Strafford's insolent non- disliked and opposed by many," was appearance in Westminster Hall proved only carried by a majority of thirty-nine. his strong reliance on friendship from The inflexibility of Strafford's oppothe House of Lords and on public favour: nents was now tested. Ill-will and odium reliance justly placed. The majority of fell, not on him, but on them : they were the Peers, his judges, were on his side :8 held responsible for the cost of the trial, so was the outside world : the general 600,oool.- according to the popular estiopinion of the criminal by “art and time "mate - for the precious time it had was converted from hostility to pity, even wasted, and for the discontent aroused to admiration. Curses attended Strafford against Parliament; and, after all, they through Palace Yard in February ; in i had not brought high treason home to March he received respectful salutations ; | the criminal ; they had not proved "the and the “ Black Tom Tyrant” of Ireland, hinge upon which that charge was printhe “grand apostate," was “cried up as cipally to hang :' namely Strafford's an accomplished instrument of State." || suggestion to the King in Council that
| England might be brought to obedience * March 25, 1641. D’Ewes, Harleian MSS. (162), by the Irish army. 359
T One proof, however, of that passionate F D'Ewes, Harleian MSS. (162), 362, 368; Hus-. band's Diurnal, April 8, p. 74; Baillie, i. 319, 328.
I April 9, 1641. D'Ewes, Harleian MSS. (162), 416.
§ “Sir B. Rudyard : that he thinketh the Lords, by the notes they have taken, will not judge it treason in * February 17, March 15, 1641; D'Ewes, Harleian my Lord of Strafford.” April 12, 1641; Gaudy's notes, MSS. (162), 230; (164), 939. Add. MSS. 14,827, Brit. Mus. ; Clarendon, ed. 1839, † N. Tompkins to Sir J. Lambe, April 12, 1641, Rolls 96; Heylin's Land, 449.
Office; Com. Fourn. ii. 118. | Strafford Characterized; Somers' Tracts, iv. 231; 1 # Fairfar Correspon.lence, ii. 105. May's History, 62; Clarendon, ed. 1839, 96.
Ś Clarendon, ed. 1839, 95.
session, the transcript of the notes which open the impeachment rendered public Vane took down of the deliberations of use of that document impossible. So the Council meeting, when that sugges- | Pym turned “Vane's notes ” to the best tion was made. That “fatal scrip of account he could : on the afternoon of paper" proved Strafford's very words, that Saturday he read them aloud to the that “loose and absolved from all rules Commons, then they were sent to the of Government,” the King might "em- Lords "for their consideration.” * ploy here” that army in Ireland to “re- ' Such evidence naturally produced a duce this Kingdom.” It also proved the strong impression ; but the result was time, place, and manner of these “ wicked not a unanimity of feeling about Strafcounsels," that they had provoked discus- ford's guilt, but the division of the “insion, and that the politic forgetfulness of flexible party" and an aggravation of the Vane's fellow-councillors must be near quarrel between the two Houses by the akin to perjury.*
introduction of the Attainder Bill. For Such a disclosure, affecting both king the chief object of that measure apparand council, obviously was a last resource, ently was to retort upon the Lords for not to be used save upon “a case of ne- their adoption of Strafford's cause, and cessity.” That case now they “con- to assert that though he was a Peer the ceived was clear":f “ Vane's notes ”Commons might be his judges. Even to must be exhibited in Westminster Hall. make it clear that Parliament was “sevAccordingly the managers of the trial, ered” upon the question whether or no a when the next day (Saturday, April 10) Peer was guilty of high treason, it was inbrought the tribunal again together, tended, if the Bill was rejected, to make claimed liberty to examine one or two public protestation against the House of witnesses respecting “the main article of Lords for their denial of justice. It was their charge touching the Earl of Straf- for this very reason that Pym so earnestford's advices to his Majesty after the ly resisted the step.t And the wording dissolution of the last Parliament.” He, of the Bill reveals that this was its obof course, resisted the proposal, and ject; it is not based on the inherent urged, if it were granted, “that the Lords right of Parliament to pass an Act of Atwould also show so much favour to him, tainder, but is framed as a statutory conbeing a Peer of the realm," as to allowclusion to the impeachment. It begins him to adduce evidence on some articles with a recital of the proceedings at the which he had omitted.f And a claim, trial, then follows a declaration that Strafurged on grounds so offensive to the ford's crimes were proved by the eviLower House, in itself most objectionable, dence, and an enactment that he is therewas granted. Naturally enough “ this fore guilty of High Treason. The Bill the Commons stormed at;" the proceed- thus, from its very form, was an intrusion ings closed in tumult ; “the King laugh-into the province solely reserved to the ed," and Strafford was “so well pleased Peers, of sitting in judgment on an imthat he could not hide his joy.”
p eachment, and especially on the trial of Good cause he had for joy. If the trial one of their own order. The measure proceeded, though that seemed most un- also amounted to a declaration, that as likely, delay almost to any extent was by they had, whilst they sat as judges, indithat decision placed in his power : the rectly protected Strafford, the Commons growing ill-will between the two Houses took upon themselves to give their verwas now at a head ; and every expres-dict. sion of that ill-will drove the Lords more This course had its strong points : but and more to adopt Strafford's cause as if on the 27th of February, when it was their cause. This “feeding storm” of open to the Commons to select their discord spread over the Commons; his method of procedure, “ we all declined a friends there could trust to assured sup-bill," I it was far more imperative on them port from the other House; his oppo- to do the like in April, when they had so nents also became divided : anyhow the fully committed themselves to an impublication of that “fatal scrip of paper” peachment. And as might be expected, was prevented. The Peers remained firm : the progress of the measure and the conthe power they had given Strafford to re
* Com. Fourn., ii. 118, 119. . This document is among the Archives of the House | Earlof Strafford Characterised; Somers' Tracts, of Lords, Hist. MSS. Commission, 3rd Report.
iv. 232 ; Baillie, i. 346 ; Sanford's Great Rebellion, 337. † Baillie, i. 345.
Though this is the only reference to this work, a warm I D'Ewes, Harleian MSS. (163), 420-422.
acknowledgment must be made of its great value. Š Mr. Tomkins' Letter, April 12, 1641. Rolls Office. D'Ewes, Harl. MSS. (162), 268.
clusion of the trial came into constants are often demanded, “because morning collision. The Bill itself also involved thoughts are best,” or that “we might the House in ceaseless complication. have time to study these points.” The debate on Monday, April 12, was | D'Ewes, acting the part of indignant ominous to all who desired Strafford's chorus, is amazed that " on the debate of speedy execution : twelve hours passed so few lines we had lost so many hours," by before the Bill was read a second at the trifling objections raised, and the time ; the main question having been art with which “divers lawyers of the kept from solution, by suggestions that House” re-thrashed out every question, now the impeachment was superseded, from a legal point of view.* by proposals to lay the Bill aside and to | The Attainder Bill was not then rereturn to the trial, and by formal doubts ceived by the House of Commons with whether or no the clauses should be con- | “wonderful alacrity," + and indeed it sidered either by a select committee, or a seems surprising that it passed at all. A committee of the whole House. So irri- majority of 39 on the last critical vote tated did the Commons become, that showed that the popular party had no when a member desired “to know, Mr. surplus strength ; and the long continSpeaker, whether I have spoken to-day, uance of a Parliamentary contest unor not,” “the House taketh that for a marked by a division, is a sure sign that jeer, and cry to the bar.” *
opposing parties are very even. This The Attainder Bill at last committed, was the case with the Attainder Bill; fresh difficulty sprang up; it waş the first though in length only about a couple of contested piece of legislation ever re- pages, ten sitting days elapsed between ferred to a committee of the whole House; the first and the third readings. And and so novel was this mode of procedure, then, at last, the Speaker's decision was that questions arose, whether during this challenged, and the Bill passed, on April stage, “a man might speak against the 21, by a majority of 143 votes. But this body of the Bill, or no ?” or whether the was no triumphant majority ; only 263 committee could add to, take from, or were mustered to the division, out of a “destroy" the Bill; † and such was their House composed nominally of 510 memuncertainty, that it was deemed expedient bers. The success of Strafford's eneto re-vote in the House, before the final mies resulted from the defection of his report, one of the leading clauses of the friends. The probable cause of that deBill. How zealously a member now-a- fection will be hereafter explained. days, anxious to effect delay, would have The delay and difficulty caused by the improved so fair an occasion : nor were Attainder Bill have been exhibited ; even his predecessors in the Long Parliment as a question of policy it was open to seriby any means remiss.
ous objection. Thé Bill of necessity. A“talk out," however, cannot be es- assumed the aspect of a retrospective teemed a “ witty.invention ;” and though law, an aspect naturally revolting; and the debates between the 12th and the 21st as it had been the ill-luck of the “inflexof April, 1641, are curious as the first ex-lible party" to offend the instincts of huample of the kind, they reveal traces of man nature by their attempt to ensnare a the same dull absurdity too often exhib-man by the review of his whole life, so now ited in the present parliament. Then, as an odious character was again stamped now, from pretended zealots for rapid upon their efforts. And if regarded from progress, came the suggestion of impossi- a technical point of view, supposing, as bilities, such as the report of the Attain-1 was urged during the progress of the der Bill piece-meal to the House ; the in-measure, the Lords gave immediate judggenuous seeker after truth meets a pro- ment on the impeachment, which was posal to vote that Strafford sought the quite in their power, what then would be overthrow of our “ancient and funda- the position of the Bill? Or if they chose mental laws,” by the question, “what is the safer course of amending, not rejecta fundamental law ?"$- a truly con- ling it altogether; Strafford's punishment, scientious soul cannot rest till the depo- short of death, would have been acceptsitions used at the trial are read aloud to the House; and, of course, adjournments - April 12-21, 1641. D'Ewes. Harl. MSS. (163), 439
446; (164), 966-975.
† Clarendon, ed. 1839, 06. * Gaudy's Notes, April 12, 1641. Add. MSS. 14,827. This was the smallest house collected since the be † More's Journal, April 14, 1641. Harl. MSS. 476. ginning of the Parliament to vote on an important occa 1 April 16, 1641. D'Ewes, Harl. MSS. (163), 446. sion; the largest took place on March 1, Dr. Chaffin's $ The poet Waller, April 1641. More's MSS. your case, when 379 were collected together.
See p. 15
able to many. What, then, would be the cause united with the existence of the effect of that threatened appeal to the nobility, and his opponents weakened by country against the Upper House ? The a“ great defection of their party," * disBishops also might vote upon the Bill ; united, and committed to a line of action here was another risk.
beset with danger, not only from the very Above all, it was dangerous to widen nature of the Attainder Bill, but from the the breach between Lords and Commons, delay it caused. And this delay added and to convert the question of Strafford's “fear upon fear;" the world outside Parguilt into a class question between rival liament was perplexed, the Commons were branches of the Legislature. And this " misrepresented,' mistrusted even by took place. A Bill offered by the Com- the Londoners. This soon was proved ; mons as the conclusion of an impeach- a formidable deputation came to their ment, instead of a demand for judgment, House door, crowds of citizens bearing a enabled the Lords to challenge their petition signed “by many thousands," right to pass sentence on a Peer. They demanding instant justice upon Strafcould also argue that as the verdict of the ford.f Even “that worthy man Mr. Pym" Lower House was “guilty of high trea- fell into disgrace. Heated by fierce anxson," the Lords being precluded from iety, provoked by the state of the unpaid considering what lesser crime had been armies, he threatened in most Straffordian committed, must reject the Bill, on the language, that “ Parliament might compel technical point that Strafford, though per- the Londoners to lend money," much to haps an offender, was not a traitor against the offence and “marveil ” of his hearthe State ; and to the end the Peers were ers. Even his honesty of purpose be“resolute, because they find that they came open to suspicion, and Lord Digby have no authority to declare a treason in could venture to hint, that the transmisa fact already past." * The presumption, sion of documents affecting Strafford also, of the Lower House deeply moved into the hands of his partisans, was the the whole House of Lords. Strafford act of “some unworthy man who had his knew well when he addressed them for eye upon place and preferments, wherein the last time, the force of these words, he was supposed to allude to Mr. Pym "You, and you only, are my judges ; himself." || under favour, none of the Commons are And these were days when offences my Peers, nor can they be my judges.” † needs must come ; the men who formed
The Lords, thus tempted to link the the main support of the “inflexible party" life of Strafford with the life of their became discredited; the months they order, “some went so high in ther heat spent in London gave the Scottish Comas to tell the Commons, that it was an missioners an opportunity of giving unnatural motion for the head to be gov- offence, and they offended everybody. erned by the tail ;” and they declared on First they were suspected “to be so far another occasion, “ that they themselves, broken by the King, that they were wilas competent judges, would by themselves ling to pass from pursuit” of Strafonly give sentence” upon Strafford. I ford and Episcopacy; then they irritated During moments the most tranquil, open the whole nation by an attack on the collision between the estates of the realm English Church — then they fell into “a is a disquieting event: how deeply so new pickle” by a supposed recantation when all were distracted by every spe- of that attack. And no diversion could cies of anxiety. And the alarm this civil be more happy to enemies of Pym and war in Parliament then provoked, is best his fellow workers, than a shake given to illustrated by words then used. It is stated in a news-letter, that at a confer | Narrative, 1647, 67 ence Mr. Hollis addressed to the Lords † April 16, 1641. "D’Ewes, Harl. MSS. (163), 446.
1 April 21, 1641. D'Ewes, Harl. MSS. (164), 995. "a terrible speech, wishing the curse of
It suited the chronicler's purpose to pass over examples God might light upon all those which of popular pressure put on the Lower as well as the
Upper House. This turn for omission has kept out of sought to divide the Houses.” S
sight the fact that public anger was excited, not only
against the “Straffordians," who voted for him, but garded with a favour that spread even to that a “catalogue" was placarded on the walls of Lon
don containing the names of “divers" who voted the army, that formerly detested him,|| his against Strafford, under the title of “ The Jews, Ana
baptists, and Brownists of the House of Commons."
Mr. Tomkins' Letter, April 26, 1641. Rolls Office. * Narrative, 1647, p. 77.
$ February 20, 1641. D'Ewes, Harl. MSS. (162), † 1b., 1647, p. 59
245. 1 Narrative, 1641, 69.
Mr. Tomkins to Sir J. Lamb, April 26, 1641. § May 4, 1641. Add. MSS. Brit. Mus. 1467.
Rolls Office. i Fairfax Corresp., ii. 65.
| Baillie, i. 305.
our social fabric, such as the threatened successful rival, and among the Scots demolition of Episcopacy by the hands of “our good friend," * was given chief comthe Scottish Covenanters. Even the mind over the Royal army; and this apLondon citizens were “troubled” by pointment, made at a time when it was estheir anti-prelatic pamphlet.*
sential for Strafford's sake that King and Time also revealed the Scotchmen in people should be on good accord, created the light of sturdy beggars. To the nev- alarm and distrust both among the Scotch er-ending demands for paying their sol- and English.f. diers, to restitution money claimed for Whatever was Strafford's suspicion, ships taken by our cruisers, they added when power was thus bestowed upon his
the pretty sum” of 300,000l. — as a enemies, that suspicion was soon con“ brotherly gift” from England to her verted into certainty. On the 23rd of conquerors. The “discord” the King April he received by letter an explanahoped that “ vast proposition” would ex- tion from the King himself. With fercite, did not arise. Although the Com- vent expressions of regret, he forewarned mons were reminded “what a dishonour his minister, that owing to the “strange it was to our ancient and renowned na- mistaking and conjuncture of the times .. tion,” and although Speaker Lenthall, the I must lay by the thought of imploring House being in Committee, “spake as you hereafter in my affairs." | That letany other member" in opposition to the ter seemed an act of tender care: but the grant,t the grant was made. But when true meaning was, that Charles was not the vote had passed, speedy national tran- able to act with the House of Lords ; they quillity was expected : that now seemed were resolute to acquit Strafford: the further off than ever ; in April “Gra- King was about to condemn him, though mercy" could hardly be felt towards the i not to death. And he did so. Acting on “good Scot,” who during that season of the advice of Lord Savile and the Earl of “horrible confusion” urged constant de- Bristol, s he went on Saturday, the ist of mands for a “brotherly gift” of 300,000l. May, to the throne in the Upper House,
Amidst this clash of interests, one summoned before him the House of Comcause alone seemed to prosper, and that mons, and assuming throughout his was Strafford's. The confidence of his speech that the Lords were prepared to friends, strong in March, was in April pass the Attainder Bill, he pleaded guilty still stronger. The news from Yorkshire in behalf of Strafford, not indeed of high ran, that there “they were all hopeful;” treason, but of a misdemeanor. that according to the “general opinion, Like all acts of double dealing, this he will escape the censure of treason." I speech was capable of most contradictory A well-wisher from Paris, wrote, “ I am interpretations, all mysterious. To those very glad to hear that my Lord of Straf- who knew that the Bill, coldly received by ford is like to speed so well;" the Court the Lords, had lain four days untouched whisper was, “ that the King will not let upon their table, and therefore expected him go, and that the Parliament is not its rejection, an expectation justified by likely to be long-lived.”
the practice of that time, and to those That rumour about Parliament contains who knew that it was both possible and the secret of Strafford's death. That probable " that the “declaration” of the month of April that seemed to promise Upper House would be given in Strafto him so well, in truth revealed indica- ford's favour, || it seemed as if Charles, tions of his fate. Two important appoint- braving the anger of Parliament, had illements were made during that month ; in gally interfered in its proceedings, to each case his enemies were favoured. I bring punishment on a criminal the Lords Oliver St. John, the ablest, certainly his | were disposed to acquit. bitterest legal opponent in Parliament, but the Peers were, on the contrary, received from the King the post of So- addressed by the King as if they were all licitor-General ; || and to the Earl of Hol- about to vote Strafford guilty of High land, who for years hated Strafford, and Treason, though it was notorious that of was hated in return, at Court his most the four-score present at the trial, not
* February 27, 1641. Gaudy's Notes, Brit. Mus. + D'Ewes, Harl. MSS. (162), 140, 149.
• Baillie, i. 306. | April 10, and 30, 1641. Fairfax Corresp., ii. 104. † April 2, 1641. Dalrymple's Memorials of State,
118; Clarendon, ed. 1839, 116. § Mr. Read's and Mr. Tomkins' Letters, April 26, Strafford Letters, li. 416. 1641. Rolls Office.
I. $ Letter from Father Philips, read to the Commons i D’Ewes, Harl. MSS. (164), 993. “Mr. O. St. by Pym, June 25, 1641. Rushworth, iv. 257. John, lately made the King's solicitor.” April 29, 1641.' | Narrative, 1647, 82.