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COUNCIL FOR 1890-91.
THE WORSHIPFUL R. C. CHRISTIE, M.A., Chancellor of the Diocese of Manchester,
The Elms, Rochampton, London, President.
THE Hon. and Rev. G. T. O. BRIDGEMAN, M.A., Hon. Canon of Liverpool, The Hall,
His Honour SIR HENRY FOX BRISTOWE, Q.C., Vice-Chancellor of the County
Palatine of Lancaster, The Cliff, Nantwich, Vice-President.
JAMES CROSTON, F.S.A., Upton Hall, Prestbury, Macclesfield, VICE-PRESIDENT.
LIEUT.-COL. HENRY FISHWICK, F.S.A., The Heights, Rochdale, Vice-PRESIDENT.
W. ALEXANDER ABRAM, 42, Adelaide Terrace, Blackburn.
G. E. COKAYNE, M.A., F.S.A., Norroy King of Arms, Heralds' College, London, E.C.
H. H. HOWORTH, M.P., F.S.A., Bentcliffe, Eccles, near Manchester.
The Rev. J. H. STANNING, M.A., The Vicarage, Leigh, Lancashire.
HENRY TAYLOR, F.S.A., Curzon Park, Chester.
JOHN PAUL RYLANDS, F.S.A., Heather Lea, Claughton, Birkenhead, Hon.
J. P. EARWAKER, M.A., F.S.A., Pensarn, Abergele, N. Wales, and 50, Portland
Street, Manchester, Hon. SECRETARY
Royalist Composition Papers,
BEING THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE
Committee for Compounding,
SO FAR AS THEY RELATE TO THE
County of Lancaster.
EXTRACTED FROM THE RECORDS PRESERVED IN THE PUBLIC
RECORD OFFICE, LONDON.
Vol. I., A-B.
J. H. STANNING, M.A.,
VICAR OF LEIGH.
THE RECORD SOCIETY.
96279 ASFOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS.
EXAMINER PRINTING WORKS,
MUST reserve to the last volume a full introduction to the subject matter of these papers, and ask the reader to be content with a short
preface to the present issue. At a very early stage in the struggle between the King and Parliament the latter adopted the policy of confiscation of their opponents' property which was afterwards so ruthlessly carried out. On August 22nd, 1642, Charles set up his standard at Nottingham, and the civil war began. Negotiations for peace were at once commenced, and the King offered to take down his standard, and to withdraw on his part accusations of treason against his opponents, if they on their part would do the like towards his own followers. “Nothing," says Professor Gardiner, 1 “but the violence of party spirit can explain the mode in which the Royal offer was rejected. The Houses declared that they would never lay down arms until his Majesty should withdraw his protection from all persons who had been, or who hereafter might be, voted to be delinquents, to the end that both this and succeeding generations may take warning with what danger they incur the like heinous crimes; and also to the end that those great charges and damages wherewith all the Commonwealth hath been burdened . . . since his Majesty's departure from the
· History of the Great Civil War, vol. i., p. 20.
Parliament, may be borne by the delinquents and other malignant and disaffected persons; and that all his Majesty's good and well-affected subjects who, by the loan of moneys or otherwise at their charge, have assisted the Commonwealth, or shall in like manner hereafter assist the Commonwealth in time of extreme danger, may be repaid all sums of money by them lent for those purposes, and be satisfied their charges so sustained out of the estates of the said delinquents, and of the malignant and disaffected party in this kingdom.”'
On whatever grounds the authors of this policy rested the justification of their proceedings,—whether, as Professor Gardiner? suggests, they were following the precedents of the sweeping confiscations of estates of traitors set them by a long line of kings, and of the fines imposed upon Roman Catholics by the recusancy laws of the reign of Elizabeth, the delinquent being in their eyes as the traitor or the recusant had been; or whether they thought, as suggested by Miss M. G. W. Peacock, that in passing them they were taking the best steps they could to guard against civil war; or whether some, at any rate, among them had before their eyes the plunder of the religious houses at the Reformation, and thought the opportunity a fitting one for dealing in the same way with the estates of the nobility and gentry ;8 or whether it was merely that this was a convenient method of providing the sinews of war,-the policy was adopted, and gradually extended. And that being an age when toleration was not understood, it was carried out, as I have said, ruthlessly. It will help us to
Vol. iii., p. 6.
? Index of the Names of those Royalists whose estates were confiscated during the Commonwealth. Preface, p. viii.
3 But see Green, vol. i., p. 13.