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The lord mayor, aldermen, and commonalty of London petitioned the king, for, at least, an abatement of the heavy number of ships exacted from them, but were by order of council smartly told, That petitions against such commands were not to be received; and whereas you speak of PRECEDENTS, you shall know that the PRECEDENIS in former times were obedience, not direction; and that there were also PRECEDENTS of punishments of those that disobeyed his Majesty's commands.Echard, p. 459. "The sheriff of Northamptonshire having sent to court a petition of the county against ship money, the council reprimanded him very sharply, commanding him to do his office on pain of exemplary punishment. The judges were exhorted in their circuits to use all their authority to promote it. So it was evident the king was resolved to compass his ends, let what would be the consequence; and that this imposition was grown by degrees a standing tax upon the people.”—Rapın, Vol

. x. p. 398, 399. Even in the year 1640, when the war with Scotland was commenced, “ The king, instead of giving over this odious tax, continued to exact it with great rigour, though his affairs were then at a crisis which should have made him dread the issue. -The lord mayor and sheriffs of London were proceeded against in the star-chainber for not levying it with that severity upon the city which the court expected.”Ib. p. 438.

So extreme was the rigour of the court in this point, “ That when the writs for ship money were issued out, the proceedings against the officers, bailiffs, constables, &c. for not collecting the assessment, were to bind them over to answer at the council board, and commitment if any refuse to give bond; and if sheriffs neglect to collect all such assessments in their year, they shall stand

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charged with the arrears."—Coke Det. p. 108.And when the parliament of 1640 was convened, Lord Clarendon observes,—“The court proceeded in all respects in the same unpopular ways it had done; ship money was levied with the same severity; and the same rigour used in ecclesiastical courts, without the least compliance with the humour of any man.”—Clarend. Vol. 1. p. 131.

A bill was depending in the house of cominons to grant his Majesty the duties of tonnage and poundage, but before it was passed, the custom house officers seized the goods of three eminent merchants, Mr. Rolls, Mr. Chambers, and Mr. Vassal for non-payment. Mr. Chambers (an alderman) was fined 2000). besides the loss of his goods, and suffered six years imprisonment.* Mr. Rolls's warehouses were locked up; and himself (a member of parliament) taken out of the house of commons and imprisoned. This occasioned some warm speeches against the custom house officers and farmers of the revenues; but the king took all upon himself; and sent the house word, that what the officers had done was by his special direction and command, and it was not so much their act, as his own. This was a new way of covering the unwarrantable proceedings of corrupt ministers, and was said to be the advice of the Bishops Laud and Neile; a contrivance that laid the foundation of his majesty's ruin.---Neal, Vol. 11. p. 195.

Whitelock says, that after twelve years imprisonment, and long waiting for satisfaction for his losses from the long parliament, he at last died in want.-Whitelock Mem. p. 13.

The lord mayor, aldermen, and commonalty of London petitioned the king, for, at least, an abatement of the heavy number of ships exacted from them, but were by order of council smartly told, That petitions against such commands were not to be received ; and whereas you speak of PRECEDENTS, you shall know that the PRECEDENTs in former times were obedience, not direction; and that there were also PRECEDENTS of punishments of those that disobeyed his Majesty's commands.Echard, p. 459. • The sheriff of Northamptonshire having sent to court a petition of the county against ship money, the council reprimanded him very sharply, commanding him to do his office on pain of exemplary punishment. The judges were exhorted in their circuits to use all their authority to promote it. So it was evident the king was resolved to compass bis ends, let what would be the consequence; and that this imposition was grown by degrees a standing tax upon the people.” — Rapın, Vol. x. p. 398, 399. Even in the year 1640, when the war with Scotland was commenced, “ The king, instead of giving over this odious tax, continued to exact it with great rigour, though his affairs were then at a crisis which should have made him dread the issue. -The lord mayor and sheriffs of London were proceeded against in the star-chainber for not levying it with that severity upon the city which the court expected.”—Ib. p. 438.

So extreme was the rigour of the court in this point, " That when the writs for ship money were issued out, the proceedings against the officers, bailiffs, constables, &c. for not collecting the assessment, were to bind them over to answer at the council board, and commitment if any refuse 10 give bond; and if sheriffs neglect to collect all such assessments in their year, they shall stand

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charged with the arrears.”—Coke Det. p. 108.— And when the parliament of 1640 was convened, Lord Clarendon observes,—“The court proceeded in all respects in the same unpopular ways it had done; ship money was levied with the same severity; and the same rigour used in ecclesiastical courts, without the least compliance with the humour of any man.”—Clarend. Vol. 1. p. 131.

A bill was depending in the house of commons to grant his Majesty the duties of tonnage and poundage, but before it was passed, the custom house officers seized the goods of three eminent merchants, Mr. Rolls, Mr. Chambers, and Mr. Vassal for non-payment.

Mr. Chambers (an alderman) was fined 2000). besides the loss of his goods, and suffered six years imprisonment.* Mr. Rolls's warehouses were locked up; and himself (a member of parliament) taken out of the house of commons and imprisoned. This occasioned some warm speeches against the custom house officers and farmers of the revenues; but the king took all upon himself; and sent the house word, that what the officers had done was by his special direction and command, and it was not so much their act, as his own. This was a new way of covering the unwarrantable proceedings of corrupt ministers, and was said to be the advice of the Bishops Laud and Neile; a contrivance that laid the foundation of his majesty's ruin. -Neal, Vol. II. p. 195.

* Whitelock says, that after twelve years imprisonment, and long waiting for satisfaction for his losses from the long parliament, he at last died in want.-IV hitelock Mem. p. 13.

CHAP. VI.

The King's flagrant Invasions of the Privilege

and Rights of PARLIAMENT, and violences committed on it.

THE freedom and rights of parliament have ever been held sacred by the people of Britain. The two houses are as essential and unalterable a part of the legislature of these kingdoins as the sovereign himself: they share with him in the sovereignty : all manifest and open invasion of their liberty has therefore been justly considered as subversive of the constitution : a wound to the people's right in ils tenderest and vital part. But in what manner did king Charles behave towards his parliaments ? Why, finding them a check upon his arbitrary measure, complaining of evil counsellors, and praying a redress of grievances, he at first hectors and threatens them, and afterwards proceeded to open'outrage and force.

“ It was the teinper of the king and court to look upon the parliament, especially the commons, with extreme contempt.”--Rapin, Vol. x. p. 211. “ He taxed them (in the beginning of his reign, and long before the open rupture) with undutifulness and sedition; calls the leaders of them VIPERS and EVIL AFFECTED PERSONS, who must look for their punishment; stiles them maLEVOLENT PERSONS, who like EMPYRICKS' and LEWD ARTISTS strove to make new work."- Ech. p. 444. Tells them, “ If they had any grievances to be redressed, of which his Majesty was not sensible, they must complain in a MANNERLY way, without the least reflection on his, or his blessed father's government.-Says, I must let you know, that I will not allow any of my servants to be questioned amongst you, much less

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