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A.D. 1677.]



were ordered to render an account of its disposal to parliament. No portion of it was suffered to pass through the hands of the treasurer *.

3. In February the king of France at the head of a Feb. numerous army burst into the Spanish Netherlands, 22. confounded his enemies by the rapidity and complexity of his movements, sate down suddenly before Valenciennes, and in a few days carried that fortress by assault. Every eye was now turned towards Flanders. The no- Ma velty of a winter campaign, the success of its commence- 7. ment, and its probable consequences, created a general alarm: Solinas and Fonseca, the Spanish agents, spared neither pains nor expense to arouse the passions of the people, and to acquire friends in the parliament'; and 10. an address was voted by the commons, praying the king to take such measures as might be necessary to preserve the Spanish Netherlands from the rapacious grasp of the French monarch. Under the influence of Danby the

13. lords proposed the addition to the address of a promise of support from the parliament: but the lower house re. 15. jected the promise as superfluous, and Charles marked

17. his sense of the rejection by this laconic reply, that he held on that subject the same opinion as the two houses. The French army continued its victorious career. Cam - April

1. bray surrendered; the prince of Orange was defeated

• Dalrymple, ii. 110. C. Journ. Feb. 21; March 2. 9. 11. Marvell, i. 282. 236. 294. 296. 310. 315. Danby's Letters, 309. The commons had made the officers accountable to their house for the money ; the lords added an amendment that they should be accountable also to the house of lords. This the commons refused to admit, and the lords after several conferences yielded, but at the same time presented an address to the king stating, that they had done so, not meaning to give up their right, but waiving it for the moment, that the public service might not be injured by the loss of the bill. L. Journ. xiii. 118, 119. Marvell, i. 318. 322. According to Burnet (ii. 109,) the clause was introduced by the country party for the express purpose of provoking a dispute between the houses.

† The king was alarmed at the activity of these men. They informed some members of the house of commons that he had said, "only a set of rogues

could have voted such an address as that of the 16th of March." This caused much anger in the house, and Charles seized the opportunity to arrest them, and send them out of the kingdom. Temple, ii. 401. Marvell, i. 304. Macph. i. 33.


April at Cassel, and the city of St. Omer opened its gates to 2. the conquerors. The

cry for war now resounded from all parts of the kingdom; a second address was voted; and to this, after a long debate, and a division in which the minister obtained a majority of nine voices, was appended the promise of support, which had been formerly negatived. The king answered that he expected something more specific, a grant of at least 600,0001. to enable him to take part in the war with any prospect of success : but the demand was eluded under the pretence that many of the members had left town on account of

the Easter holidays, and Charles having passed the mo16.

ney bills, adjourned the parliament for the space of five weeks*.

During the recess the imperial ambassador received the sum of ten thousand, the Spanish ambassador that of twelve thousand pounds, to purchase votes in the lower house; and at the same time Courtin, the French envoy, negotiated with the enemies of the lord treasurer to oppose any grant of money to the king. The effect

of all these intrigues appeared at the next meeting. May Charles, adverting to the assertion of his opponents, that 23. he sought to obtain a supply for purposes of his own, so

lemnly pledged his word that "they should never re

pent any trust which they might repose in him for the

safety of his kingdom 4.” This speech provoked a second address, of which the first part accorded with the policy of the French court, by the positive refusal of a supply before the declaration of war; and the second gratified the wishes of the allies, by praying the king to enter into treaties with the United States and other powers for the preservation of the Netherlands. Charles




• C. Journ. Mar. 6. 15. 17. 29, Ap. 13. 16. Marvell, i. 297. 299. 304.316. 321. 571-596.

+ This pledge has been pronounced "one of the most dishonourable and scandalous acts, that ever proceeded from a throne," because he was then negotiating for money with the French ambassador. Now Charles made this speech on May 23, but there is no proof of the existence of such negotiation till after he had been provoked to adjourn the parliament.

A.D. 1677.]



felt, or affected to feel, this address as an insult. On the May first part he made no comment: in relation to the second 28. he charged the house with an invasion of his prerogative: they had presumed to dictate to him when, how, and with whom he was to make war; if he were to submit to such an encroachment, he should soon become a mere cipher in the government; and on that account he commanded both houses to adjourn to the month of July. When the commons returned to their own house, several members rose to contend, that for a compulsory adjournment a special commission under the great seal was necessary: but the speaker exclaimed; "by the

king's command this house is adjourned till July “ 16th.” He immediately quitted the chair, and the members separated *.”

In this parliamentary contest Charles had certainly the advantage over his adversaries. He had professed himself ready to concur with the general wish of the nation: they by their obstinacy had prevented that concurrence, and thus provoked many to suspect the purity of their patriotismt. If we consider the avowed enmity of Danby to the interests of France, we shall see little reason to doubt that the king, if he had received a supply, would have taken this year the same decisive measures which he took the next. It is indeed true that he made to Courtin assurances of his attachment to France, and communications of interesting intelligence: but this might be merely an artifice to procure the quarterly remittance of his pension; and so it was interpreted by the French ministers, who, instead of relying on the royal professions, instructed their envoy in England to keep the king dependent on France for money, by ob

• Dalrymple, ii. 111. Macph. 1 83. Com. Journ. May 25. 28. Mar vell, i. 336, 599_638,

" To speak my thoughts concerning that address, I think it hard to believe that the fear of the greatness of France could be the leading motive "to it.” Brisbane in Danby's Letters, 315. At that time the pointing out the particular alliances to be made was thought by many an encroach. ment the prerogative: at the present nu man denies that the commons may offer their advice on any such subject.

structing through the leaders in parliament every proposed grant or supply from his own subjects*.

The adjournment, however, though it relieved, did not remove their apprehensions. . Courtin urged a dissolution or a prorogation till April 1678. Charles de manded an augmentation of his yearly pension to the amount of 200,0001. A long negotiation followed. The envoy, though he had been instructed to consent, if he

found it necessary, perpetually pleaded the poverty of June the French treasury; and the king, though Montague, 11

his ambassador in Paris, assured him of success, at July 26. length condescended to accept the smaller sum of two

millions of livres, between one hundred and fifty and one

hundred and sixty thousand pounds. Montague remonSept. strated : Charles repented of his facility, revoked his 4. word, declared to Barillon, the successor of Courtin, that

he had not been aware of the difference in the value of the two sums, and, when that minister objected, conducted him to the door, saying, “I am ashamed of the

“ blunder; you must go and settle the matter with the Oct. “ lord treasurer.”. In conclusion he obtained his de

mand, with this addition, that the augmented pension should be reckoned from the commencement of the current yeart.

In July the adjournment of parliament had been prolonged to December, and a promise was given to Courtin

* One of Courtin's accounts, dated May 5 of this year, is preserved, stating the distribution of something more than 3,0001. Dalrymple, ii. 314. It is remarkable that of this sum 300 guineas were given to Coleman, who laboured to bring about a dissolution, and 500 guineas to Dr. Carey, a dependent on Shaftesbury, who was under prosecution by the house of lords. A pamphlet, voted to be seditious, and supposed to have been written by Shaftesbury, was traced to Dr. Carey. He refused to give up the author, and was adjudged to pay a fine of 10001., and to be imprisoned till it was paid. Marvell, i. 286, 288. 546.

+ Courtin had received his authority for 200,0001. on the 11th of June: and it is probable that Montague discovered it ; for on that very day he wrute to ihe king that, if he had authority to ask, he would engage to procure an augmentation of the pension to that amount. This leiter is im. portant, as it shows how early, and how anxiously this ardent patriot laborired to iudulge the king in his pecuniary dealings with the French monarch. Compare Danby's Letters, 1–37, with the dispatches in Dal. rymple, ii. 111-116.




that, on the payment of the French pension, it should be again adjourned till April. The four lords in the Tower had consoled themselves with the knowledge that they must be discharged at the close of the session. To their disappointment the session by these adjournments was continued. The prospect of a long and indefinite confinement humbled the spirit of Buckingham, Salisbury, and Wharton, who, having in a petition to the king, revoked their opinion, and stated their repentance, obtained their liberty; but the obstinacy of Shaftesbury disdained to submit: he appealed for protection to the law, was

June brought by writ of habeas corpus before the court of King's Bench, and with the aid of four barristers pleaded his own cause. The judges replied that they could not 29. admit him to bail, because he had been sent to the Tower, not for safe custody, but in execution of judge ment: neither could they grant him a discharge, because, that judgment having been pronounced by the house of lords, the case came not within the jurisdiction

1678, of the court, pending the session. Seven months later,

Feb. when the parliament met, the other three lords having 4. previously asked pardon, resumed their seats : but 7. Shaftesbury had sinned more deeply; to the original offence he had added that of appealing from the judgment of his peers to an inferior tribunal, the court of King's Bench, and on that account he was compelled 25. not only to make the same submission with his companions, but also to crave on his knees forgiveness for this breach of the privilege of the house. “My lords,” he said, “I go not about to justify myself, but cast myself

at your lordships' feet, acknowledge my error, and

humbly beg your pardon.” More than this could not 27. be required. The house was satisfied; and the king ordered the repentant sinner to be discharged from the Tower. No man can doubt that the punishment thus inflicted on the four lords originated in a wish to humble the leaders of an opposite and formidable party. Danby had then a majority at his nod, and could expound the

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