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wlio valued herself, not unjustly, on the aids
time incumbent on a king of Great Britain. This I know has been denied by a very able writer % who asserts, " that if James had entered into an immediate war to maintain the elector Palatine on the throne of Bohemia, he must have exhausted and ruined this nation to support it." But I must confess I cannot see that this would have been the event. The princes of the union were, it is true, not so closely connected in temper and interest as might have been wished; France weakly refused to aid the foes of Ferdinand; and the popish party at that time was most powerful: But still a resistance might have been made; and had James had skill and courage enough to have joined in it, it might have been effectual to have withstood the attempts towards bringing on the whole world a blind superstition, and a lawless rule.
To talk of ruining and exhausting the British nation, by engaging in this war as a principal, is, in my opinion, unworthy of the penetration and abilities of this writer. Was France ruined and exhausted by encountering this same Ferdinand, when his power by success wras much more formidable than it now was? did not Richlieu obtain the greatest glory by advising the assistance of Gustavus Adolphus; by supporting him with money and troops; by drawing off the confederates of the emperor, and engaging every State possible against him ? Might not the same thing have been done by James, and that without injuring the British, any more than Lewis the thirteenth did the French nation? Gustavus Adolphus indeed was a great captain, and headed a brave army: But a great captain,
* Oldcastle's Remarks, p. 285.
she from time to time had given them, to
and a brave army could not have been wanting, had the king of Great Britain fallen heartily into the war, and supported it, as the king of France afterwards did by the persons and purses of his people. In short as a protestant, James was concerned to prevent the increase of the power of Ferdinand, and hinder him from triumphing; for every victory of his was a wound to the interest of the religion professed by him.
But we see that he was so far from doing what he ought to have done in this matter, that he suffered the Bohemians to be reduced; his son-in-law to be expelled his dominions; and the protestants to be brought to the very brink of ruin in Germany; from which only they were delivered by the force of Gustavus, and the abilities of Richlieu. Nor were the reformed in France more indebted to James, than those in the empire. At his accession to the English throne, the dukes la Tremouille, and Bouillon, together with the famous du Plessis, had a design to make him protector of the calvinist party in Francea. But they soon laid aside their design after having had a thorough knowledge of his character. For no man interested himself less than James in their affairs, no prince gave them less assistance. He refused to speak to Henry the fourth in favour of Bouillon, when solicited by him to do it, because he said it did not become a great prince to intercede for a rebel subjectb. .And though the reformed were a very considerable body in France, possessed of places of strength and importance and capable with proper help, of making head against all their enemies, as they had fully manifested in the
• See Sully's Memoirs, vol. II. p. 15. * Id. ibid.
her own, as well as their great advantage. Though he was not a catholic in persuasion,
former civil wars: though they were thus powerful, and consequently important, he stood tamely by, and saw them divested of their strong holds, and rendered almost wholly insignificant as a party. It is true, James kept up a kind of correspondence with Bouillon, whom at first he had refused to intercede for, and by him gave assurances of his "assisting the reformed if the whole body was assailed, the edicts broken, and they in danger of apparent ruin: in which case (says Buckingham, in a letter to Sir Thomas Edmonds) his majesty doth engage himself to assist them; which though he should have no other means to perform, he will call a parliament for that purpose, not doubting but his people will be as ready to furnish him with means, as his majesty to engage himself to aid them in that cause V But James was not as good as his word. The reformed were assailed soon alter, though not in a body : the edicts were broken in numberless instances, particularly in taking from them their strong towns; and they were in danger of apparent ruinb; and yet 1 know not that James afforded them the least assistance, any farther than by ordering his ambassadors to use their good offices on their behalf. " Yea, we are assured by the duke of Rohan himself, one of the protestant chiefs, that James urged him by letters (in any case) to make a peace, and to submit to, and wholly rely upon the promises of his own sovereign, pressing him moreover to consider the affairs of his
a Birch's View of the Negotiations, &c. p. 406. b See Howell's
tetters, p. 90, and Hist, of the Edict of Nantz, vol. II. p. 343, 420.
VOL I. S
he favoured those that were, provided they would swear allegiance unto him; and he
son-in-law, and assuring him that be could not possibly give the reformed any assistance V
Had the reformed been properly aided during the minority of Lewis the thirteenth, their power probably would have been so great that Richlieu's arts would not have overturned it: nor would France have given that disturbance to Europe she did, under Lewis the fourteenth. " Advantages (says a noble author) might
have been taken of the divisions which religion occasioned; and supporting the protestant party in France, would have kept that crown under restraints, and under inabilities, in some measure equal to those which were occasioned anciently by the vast alienations of its demesnes, and by the exorbitant power of its vassals. But James the first was incapable of thinking with sense, or acting with spiritV
And the writer of Tom Tell-Troath, addressed to James, arid printed about the year 1622, has the following passage. " They (the French protestants) are indeed so many hostages which God almighty has put into your majesties hands to secure you, and your majesties dominions from all danger of that country: and to lose them were no other (in my opinion) than wilfully to tempt God to deliver us into the hands of our enemies. As long as God hath any children in France, we shall be sure to have brethren there. But they once gone, your brother of France will quickly
* Duke of Rohan's Discourse upon the Peace made before Montpellier, p. 44. at the end of his Memoirs, 8vo. Lond« 1660. b Bolingbroke's
Letters on the Study and Use of History, Vol. II. p. 181., 8vo. Lond. 1752.
not only relaxed73 the rigour of the laws in
shew whose child he is, and how incompatible the obedience he owes him (the pope) is with any goodwill he can bear your majestic. Since then the tye you have upon that prince's friendship is of so loose a knot, what can your majesty do better for yourself and yours, than to keep his enmity still clogged, by cherishing and maintaining so good a party in his coun* try, as those of the religion3."
What Mr. Kelly means by saying James made the interest of the protestants his own, on more than one occasion, 1 know not. He refers us indeed to the em~ bassies of Sir Edward Herbert, and the earl of Carlisle into France, in order to intercede for the Hugonots, the latter of whom he observes from Rap in, spent vast sums, and consequently his master must be much in. earnest to do them service5. But what service die} James do them? what success had his applications? none; and therefore we may be sure he very little regarded them. Had this gentleman known the character of the earl of Carlisle as one of the most expensive, luxurious men then living, he would have interpreted the words of Rapin as he ought. The vast sums spent by Carlisle, were not on the business of the Hugonots, or to promote their affairs ; but in dress, equipage, and house-keeping, in which he knew no bounds. But I ask pardon for taking so much notice of the mistakes of a writer of so little consequence, either as to knowledge or judgment.
73 He not only relaxed the rigour of the laws in their favour, but consented to such terms for them in the
* Hadeian Miscellany, vol. II. 512. b See Kelly's
Jiemarki on the Life of James I. p. 7. fol, LontL