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but resisted the confirmation in all they could, although, by those laws, the subjects of this island were no less free than any of all Europe.

Just. My good Lord, the reason is manifest ; for while the Normans, and other of the French that followed the conqueror, made spoil of the English, they would not endure that any thing but the will of the conqueror should stand for law; but, after a descent or two, when themselves were become English, and found themselves beaten with their own rods, they then began to savour the difference between subjection and slavery, and insist upon the law, Meum & l'uum; and to be able to say unto themselves, Hoc fac f. vives; yea, that the conquering English in Ireland did the like, your Lordship knows it better than I.

Couns. I think you guess aright: And to the end the subject may know, that, being a faithful servant to his prince, he miglit enjoy his own life, and, paying to his prince what belongs to a sovereign, the remainder was his own to dispose ; Henry the First, to content his vassals, gave them the great charter, and the charter of forests.

Just. What reason, then, had King John to deny the confirmation?

Couns. He did not, but he, on the contrary, confirmed both the charters with additions, and required the Pope, whom he had then made his superior, to strengthen thein with a golden bull.

Just. But your honour knows, that it was not long after, that he repented himself.

Couns. It is true, and he had reason so to do, for the harons refused to follow him into France, as they ought to have done ; and to say true, this great charter, upon which you insist so much, was not originally granted regally and freely; for Henry the First did usurp the kingdom, and therefore, the better to assure himself against Robert, his eldest brother, he flattered his nobility and people, with those charters : Yea, King John that confirmed them had the like respect; for Arthur, Duke of Bretagne, was the undoubted heir of the crown, upon whom John usurped. And so to conclude, these charters had their original from kings de facto, but not de jure.

Just. But King John confirmed the charter, after the death of his nephew Arthur, when he was then Rex de jure also.

Couns. It is true, for he durst do no other, standing accursed, whereby few or none obeyed him, for his nobility refused to follow him into Scotland; and he had so grieved the people by pulling down all the park pales before harvest, to the end his deer might spoil the corn ; and by seizing the temporalities of so many bishopricks into his hands, and chiefly for practising the death of the Duke of Bretagne, his nephew, as also having lost Normandy, to the French, so as the hearts of all men were turned from him.

Just. Nay, by your favour, my Lord, King John restored King Edward's laws, after his absolution, and wrote his letters in the fifteenth of his reign, to all sheriffs, countermanding all former oppressions; yea, this he did, notwithstanding the Lords refused to follow him into France.

Couns. Pardon me, he did not restore King Edward's laws then, nor yet confirmed the charters, but he promised upon hi absolution to do

both: But after his return out of France, in his sixteenth year,

be denied it, because, without such a promise, he had not obtained restitution, his promise being constrained, and not voluntary.

Just. But what think you? Was he not bound in honour to perform it?

Couns. Certainly no, for it was determined in the case of King, Francis the First of France, that all promises by him made, whilst he was in the hands of Charles the Fifth, his enemy, were void, by reason, the judge of honour, which tells us he durst do no other.

Just. But King John was not in prison.

Couns. Yet, for all that, restraint is an imprisonment, yea, fear itself is an imprisonment, and the king was subject to both: I know there is nothing more kingly in a king, than the performance of his word; but, yet of a word freely and voluntarily given. Neither was the charter of Henry the First so published, that all men might plead it for their advantage ; but a charter was left, in deposito, in the hands of the Archbishop of Canterbury, for the time, and so to his successors. Stephen Langton, who was ever a traitor to the king, produced this charter, and shewed it to the barons, thereby encouraging them to make war against the king. Neither was it the old charter simply the barons sought to have confirmed, but they presented unto the king other articles and orders, tending to the alteration of the whole commonwealth ; which when the king refused to sign, the barons presently put themselves into the field, and in rebellious and outrageous fashion, sent the king word, excepl he confirmed them, they would not. desist from making war against him, till he had satisfied them therein. And in conclusion, the king being betrayed of all his nobility, in effect, was forced to grant the charter of Magna Chartar, and Charta de Forestis, at such time as he was invironed with an army in the meadows of Staynes; which charters, being procured by force, Pope Innocent afterwards disavowed, and threatened to curse the barons, if they submitted not themselves, as they ought to their Sovereign Lord; which when the lords refused to obey, the king entertained an army of strangers, for his own defence, wherewith having mastered and beaten the barons, they called in Lewis of France, a most unnatural resolution, to be their king. Neither was Magna Chartar a law in the nineteenth of Henry the Third, but simply a charter, which he confirmed in the twenty-first of his reign, and made it a law in the twenty-fifth, according to Littleton's opinion. Thus much for the beginning of the great charter, which had first an obscure birth from usurpation, and was secondly fostered and shewed to the world by rebellion.

Just. I cannot deny but that all your Lordship hath said is true; but, secing the charters were afterwards so many times confirmed by parliament and made laws, and that there is nothing in them unequal or prejudicial to the king ; Doth not your honour think it reason they should be observed ?

Couns. Yes, and observed they are in all that the state of a king can permit, for no man is destroyed, but by the laws of the land, no man disseized of his inheritance, but by the laws of the land; imprisoned they are by the prerogative, where the king hath cause to suspect their loyalty ; for were it otherwise, the king should never come to the knowledge of any conspiracy or treason, against his person or state, and being imprisoned, yet doth not any man suffer death, but by the law of the land.

Just. But may it please your Lordship, were not Cornwallis, Sharp, and Hoskins imprisoned, there being no suspicion of treason there?

Couns. They were, but it cost them nothing.

Just. And what got the king by it? For in the conclusion, besides the murmer of the people, Cornwallis, Sharp, and Hoskins having greatly overshot themselves, and repented them, a fine of five or six hundred pounds was laid on his Majesty, for their offences, for so much their diet cost his Majesty.

Couns. I know who gave the advice, sure I am that it was none of mine: But thus I say, if you consult your memory, you shall find, that those kings, which did, in their own times, confirm the Magna Charta, did not only imprison, but they caused of their nobility, and others, to be slain, without hearing or trial.

Just. My good lord, if you will give me leave to speak freely, I say, that they are not well advised, that persuade the king, not 10 admit the Magna Charta, with the former reservations. For as the king can never lose a farthing by it, as I shall prove anon ; so except England were as Naples is, and kept by garisons of another nation, it is impossible for a king of England to greaten and inrich himself by any way so assuredly, as by the love of his people. For by one rebellion the king hath more loss, than by a hundred years observance of Magna Charta : For therein have our kings been forced to compound with rogues and rebels, and to pardon them, yea, the state of the king, the monarchy, the nobility have been endangered by them.

Couns. Well, Sir, let that pass, why should not our kings raise money, as the kings of France do, by their letters and edicts only? For, since the time of Lewis the Eleventh, of whom it is said, that he freed the French kings of their wardship, the French kings have seldon assembled the states, for any

contribution. Just. I will tell you why; the strength of England doth consist of the people and yeomanry; the peasants of France have no courage nor arms : In France, every village and borough hath a castle, which the French call Chasticau Villina; every good city 'hath a good cittadel ; the king hath the regiments of his guards, and his men at arms always in pay; yea, the nobility of France, in whom, the strength of France consists, do always assist their king in those levies upon their tenants. But, my lord, if you mark it, France was never free, in effect, from çivil wars; and lately it was endangered either to be conquered by the Spaniard, or to be cantonised by the rebellious French themselves, since that freedom of wardship. But, my good Lord, to leave this digression, that, wherein I would willingly satisfy your Lordship, is, that the kings of England have never received loss, by parliament, or prejudice.

Couns. No, Sir, you shall find that the subjects in parliament have decreed great things, to the disadvantage and dishonour of our kings in former times.

Just. My good lord, to avoid confusion, I will make a short report

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of them all, and then your lordship may object where you see cause. And I doubt not but to give your lordship satisfaction. In the sixth year of Henry the Third, there was no dispute, the house gave the king two shillings of every plough-land within England; and, in the end of the same year, he had escuage paid him, to wit, for every knight's fee, two marks in silver. In the fifth year of that king, the lords demanded the confirmation of the great charter, which the king's council, for that time present excused, alledging that those privileges were extorted by force, during the king's minority; and yet the king was pleased to send forth his writ to the sheriffs of every county, requiring them to certify, what those liberties were, and how used ; and, in exchange of the lords demand, because they pressed him so violently, the king required all the castles and places, which the lords held of his, and had held in the time of his father, with those manors and lordships, which they had heretofore wrested from the crown; which at that time, the king being provided of forces, they durst not deny. In the fourteenth year, he had the fifteenth penny of all goods given him, upon condition to confirm the great charter : For, by reason of the wars in France, and the loss of Rochelle, he was then forced to consent to the lords, in all they demanded. In the tenth year of his reign, he fined the city of London, at fifty thousand marks, because they had received Lewis of France. In the eleventh year, in the parliament at Oxford, he revoked the great charter, being granted when he was under age, and governed by the Earl of Pembroke, and the Bishop of Winchester. In his eleventh year, the Earls of Cornwall and Chester, Marshal, Edward Earl of Pembroke, Gilbert Earl of Gloucester, Warren, Hereford, Ferrars, and Warwick, and others rebelled against the king, and constrained him to yield unto them in what they demanded for their particular interest; which rebellion being appeased, he sailed into France; and, in his fifteenth year, he had a fifteenth of the temporality and a dism and a half of the spirituality, and withal, escuage of every knight's fee.

Couns. But what say you to the parliament of Westminster, in the sixteenth year of the king : where, notwithstanding the wars of France, and his great charge in repulsing the Welch rebels, he was flatly denied the subsidy demanded ?

Just. I confess, my lord, that the house excused themselves, by reason of their poverty, and the lords taking of arms; in the next year, it was manifest that the house was practised against the king : And was it not so, my good lord, think you, in our two last parliaments ? for, in the first, even those, whom his Majesty trusted most, betrayed him in the union; and in the second, there were other of the great ones ran counter. But your lordship spoke of dangers of parliaments; in this, my lord, there was a denial, but there was no danger at all : But to return where I left, what got the lords, by practising the house at that time? I say, that those, that broke this staff upon the king, were overturned with the counterbuff, for he refused all those lands which he had given in his minority; he called all his exacting officers to account; he found them all faulty; he examined the corruption of other magistrates; and, from all these, he drew sufficient money to satisfy his pre

YOL, IV.

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sent necessity ; whereby he not only spared his people, but highly contented them with an act of so great justice : Yea, Hubert, Earl of Kent, the chief justice, whom he had most trusted, and most advanced, was found as false to the king, as any one of the rest; and, for conclusion, in the end of that year, at the assembly of the states at Lambeth, the king had the fortieth part of every man's goods given him freely towards his debts: for the people, who, the same year, had refused to give the king any thing, when they saw he had squeesed those sponges of the common-wealth, they willingly yielded to give him satisfaction.

Couns. But, I pray you, what became of this Hubert, whom the king had favoured above all men, betraying his Majesty, as he did ?

Just. There were many that persuaded the king to put him to death, but he could not be drawn to consent; but the king seized upon his estate, which was great; yet, in the end, he left him a sufficient portion, and gave him his life, because he had done great service in former times : For his Majesty, though he took advantage of his vice, yet he forgot not to have consideration of his virtue. And upon this occasion it was, that the king, betrayed by those whom he most trusted, entertained strangers, and gave them their offices, and the charge of his castles and strong places in England.

Couns. But the drawing in of those strangers was the cause, that the Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, moved war against the king.

Just, It is true, my good lord, but he was soon after slain in Ireland, and his whole masculine race, ten years extinguished, though there were five sons of them ; and, the marshal being dead, who was the mover and ringleader of that war, the king pardoned the rest of the lords that had assisted the marshal.

Couns. Whst reason had the king so to do?

Just. Because he was so persuaded, that they loved his person, and only hated those corrupt counsellors, that then bore the greatest sway under him, as also, because they were the best men of war he had, whom, if he destroyed, having war with the French, he had wanted commanders to have served him.

Couns. But what reason had the lords to take arms ?

Just. Because the king entertained the Poictovins: Were not they the king's vassals also ? Should the Spaniards rebel, because the Spanish king trusts to the Neapolitans, Portuguese, Milanese, and other nations, his vassals ? seeing those, that are governed by the viceroys and deputies, are, in policy, to be well entertained, and to be employed, who would otherwise devise how to free themselves ; whereas, being trusted and employed by their prince, they entertained themselves with the hopes, that others the king's vassals do. If the king had called in the Spaniards, or other nations, not his subjects, the nobility of England had reason of grief,

Coups. But what people did ever serve the King of England more faithfully than the Gascoignes did, even to the last of the conquest of that duchy ?

Just. Your lordship says well, and I am of that opinion, that, if it had pleased the Queen of England, to have drawn some of the chief

the Irish nobility into England, and, by exchange, to have made

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