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expressions, of which he reserved the explication till a proper time and place. For this reason the parliament could never put any confidence in his promises, wherein there was always either some ambiguous term, or some restriction which rendered them of no effect. This may be said to be one of the principal causes of his ruin; for giving thereby occasion of distrust, it was not possible to find any expedient to make peace with the parliament.”—Ibid. Vol. XI. p. 582.
In their declaration of 1641, they tell the king, They could not but too well and too sorrow fully remember what gracious messages they had from him the last summer; when, with his privity the bringing up the army was in agitation : and how not two days before he gave direction for the accusation of the five members, and his own coming to the house of commons (to seize and hale them thence by violence) that house received from him a gracious messuge, that he would always have care of their privileges, as of his own prerogative; and of the safety of their persons, as of his owa children."-Clarend. Vol. 1. p. 447.
" His majesty called God 10 witness" (the parliament further allege) “ that he never had any such thought, or knew of any resolution of bringing up the army; which must seem strange (and even incredible) to those who should read the deposition and examinations of Goring, Piercy, Wilinot, Pollard, Leg, &c. and consider the nature of the petition sent to Sir Jacob Ashley, signed C. R. Charles Rer, which his majesty had now acknowledged to be his own hand, and to have been delivered by himself to Captain Leg."-Clarend. Vol. 11. p. 550, 562, 563.
The king's insidious and double dealing as to the papists is extremely notorious. “The lord keeper had in his majesty's name promised the parliament at their breaking up, that the laws against popish priests should be rigorously put in execution; yet on the very next day, the king caused a warrant to be sealed to pardon six friars and jesuits. Bishop Williams, then lord-keeper, thought it a burning shame for him who was of the reformed religion, to affix the seal to such a warrant; which was brought twice to him, and he both times refused to pass it. But the king commanded, and got it to be sealed in his sight at Hampton Court; the parliament was immediately in a flame, finding themselves dealt with so DOUBLY.”-Hist. Stu. p. 78.- Coke Det. p. 17.
“ In his answer to the parliament's declaration of May 19, he desires God would no longer prosper or bless his actions, than they were directed to the maintenance of the true protestant profession; to the preservation of the property and liberty of the subject, in the observation of laws, and to the maintenance of the rights and freedom of parliament.”—Clarend. Vol. 11. p. 613.--How far the king's actions were truly directed to these valuable ends, is left to every one to judge; and consequently what ground his majesty had to expect that God would prosper and bless him.
To the parliament's earnest petition, " That no popish recusant be admitted to come to court, but upon special occasion, according to the statute 3 Jac.—It was in answer solemnly returned. . AnSWER. This his majesty promises. 2. That the laws against papists be put in execution, and that a day be fixed for the departure of all jesuits and seminary priests out of the kingdom. Answ. It shall be so published by proclamation. 3. That your majesty will remove from places of authority and governinent all popish recusants. Answ. His majesty will give order accordingly. It is surprising, says the historian, that the king should
make these promises to his parliament, within six months after he had signed his marriage articles, in which he had engaged (plighting even his honour and conscience) to set all Roman catholics at liberty, and to suffer no search or molestation to be given them for their religion; and had in consequence of it pardoned twenty Romish priests, and given orders to his lord keeper to direct the judges and justices of the peace all over England, to forbear all manner of proceedings against his Roman catholic subjects, by information, indictment, or otherwise, it being his royal pleasure that there should be a cessation of all and singular pains and penalties to which they were liable by any laws, statutes, or ordinances of this realm.”
-Neal, Vol. II. p. 163. But as the judicious Rapin observes,- " It seems to have been a maxim in this and the last reign, that no faith is to be kept with parliaments !"
Hence it came to pass, " that the king was not trusted at all; the number of mal-contents was iufinite : his majesty seemed to do every thing that lay in his power to increase their number; or at least not to trouble himself about it. And what inflamed still more the people’s discontent was the seeing the popish recusants not only tolerated, but countenanced and considered as the best subjects, though his majesty solemnly declared in his speech to the common-council of London, I do profess in the name of a king that I did, and ever will, and that to the utmost of my power, be a prosecutor of all such as shall any ways oppose the laws and statutes of this kingdom, either PAPists or separatists. ----And yet his majesty could not resolve to execute the seven priests legally. condemned, though both houses of parliament had been very urgent with him to do it: and although he continually promised to put the laws in
execution against recusants, his promises had never been performed; but on the contrary he trusted recusants with the most important posts." --Rapin, Vol. xi. p. 305.
The king, in a letter to the marquis of Ormond, Jan. 18, 1644-5, orders him to promise the Irish rebels, that if they would give him the assistance they had promised, he would consent to the repeal of the penal laws against them by law. And in a letter to the queen, March 5, 1644-5, he promises to take away all the penal laws against Roman catholics in ENGLAND, if he might have their assistance. And yet in a message of his majesty to the two houses, April 8, 1642, he called God to witness, that he would NEVER consent, upon WHATSOEVER PRETENCE, to a toleration of the popish profession, or abolition of the laws now in force against popish recusants in Ireland, Inquiry into Glamorgan's Transactions, p. 287. “And in July, 1643, being just going to receive the sacrament from archbishop Usher's hands at Oxford, he made this solemn protestation :-May I so receive comfort from this blessed sacrament, as I do intend the establishment of the true ren formed protestant religion, as it stood in its beauty, in the happy days of queen Elizabeth, without ANY CONNIVANCE at popERY! And may this sacrament be MY DAMNATIon, if my heart do not join with my lips in this protestation.” Rapin, Vol. xii. p. 169.
yet (astonishing to read !) the very next day was peace given to the bloody Irish rebels by the cessation agreed on at Oxford: in which toleration was granted to the catholics of Ireland."-- Hist. Stu. p. 243. And in treating of a peace with those horrid murderers he made no scruple to grant them the same in the most ample manner, as will presently appear.
Alike hard is it to reconcile with sincerity “his majesty's declaration from Newark (March 9, 1641,) in which he very seriously disowned all correspondence abroad for engaging foreign aids ; We are confident, says he, no sober honest man in our kingdom can believe, that we are so desperate or so senseless as to entertain such designs as would bury our name and posterity in perpetual scorn and infamy.--And yet at the very same time the
queen was soliciting for succour from Lorrain; (ten thousand men, by the king's privity and direction) and colonel Cokran appointed to treat with the king of Denmark for arms and men to be sent over from thence into England."--Bennet's Def. Memor. p. 109. – King's Letter to the Queen, Feb. 19, 1641.
The king's conduct as to the condemnation of the earl of Strafford seemed also not a little to reflect on his veracity and honour.
“ He had," says Lord Clarendon, " been present at the earl's trial
, and heard all the testimony given against him, and had heard nothing proved by which he could believe that he was a traitor, either in fact or in intention : and therefore the king declared it to be much against his conscience, and that he neither could nor would give his royal assent to the bill of attainder against him.”-Clarend. Vol. 1. p. 241, 243. “He took advice (as some report) of several of the bishops, and others his intimate counsellors, what to do in this intricate affair; and that the major part of them urged to him the opinion of the judges that this was treason, and the bill legal : but what chiefly induced the king to pass the bill, was said to be a letter from the earl himself, in which he desires him to pass it : and adds, My consent, Sir, herein shall more acquit you to God than all the world can do besides: to a willing man there is no injury done.—After