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House of Commons granted on the 12th of June, without reserve, the five subsidies previously voted, and the King thought that now all was ended on both sides, and that no motive for further deliberation and resolutions remained. The Commons, on the other hand, were convinced that it was not sufficient theoretically to lay down certain principles and confirm privileges, but that it was their right and duty to make practical use of them, and to proceed to particulars, (unless all they had done were to be in vain,) and examine what abuses in the administration might be redressed. By doing this, they would equally consult the advantage and honour of the King and that of his subjects. Accordingly the prosecution of Mainwaring for the above-mentioned sermon, was continued before the Upper House, and he was sentenced to be excluded for ever from all offices in the Church, to pay a fine of £1000, to make a recantation and apology, to remain in prison at the pleasure of the House, and his sermon to be seized and burnt. In the order issued by the King for the execution of the last resolution, it was said, to take away all occasion and pretext for scandal and offence, Mainwaring's sermon should henceforward be neither printed nor sold, but given up; for, though he had meant well, yet through ignorance of the laws, he had drawn upon himself the censure of Parliament and the condemnation of his book. A representation to the King was more important and comprehensive, in which the House of Commons stated its grievances. They related to the arrogance and influence of the Roman Catholics, to the too great force of the standing army, the raising of recruits in foreign countries, the levying of taxes not voted, the conduct of the war and of foreign affairs, the decay of the fortresses, the decline of trade, and the excessive and pernicious influence of the Duke of Buckingham. The King, displeased at this representation, answered, that though he saw that they understood less of all these things than he did himself, he would, however, take the contents of their representation into his consideration. He also persisted in saying that he took every thing upon himself that had been done by Buckingham and the other Ministers; they were innocent, for they had in all cases acted by his orders.
The House of Commons, not moved by these observations, which did the greatest harm to the King himself, requested him to recall a proposal of the 3d of February, 1628, respecting the levying of the excise, because it was inconsistent with the rights of the Parliament and with the Petition of Right. In the same spirit and for the same reasons, the House drew up a remonstrance against the duties of tonnage and poundage, which had not been granted by Parliament. The King, who saw in all this only pernicious innovations, and improper interference in his rights, summoned both the Houses on the 26th of June, 1628, and said in substance, “My Lords and Gentlemen, it may appear strange that I put an end to this session before the passing of many Bills. I will therefore, though I am accountable for my actions to God alone, acquaint you with the motives of my conduct. All know that the House of Commons lately presented a remonstrance to me, the propriety of which every person may judge of, and the value of which I will not here examine, as I am convinced that no wise man can approve it. I have since had positive information that a second remonstrance is preparing to deprive me of tonnage and poundage, (one of the principal resources of the crown,) under the pretext that I had renounced it by confirming the Petition of Right. This is so much to my disadvantage that I am compelled to close this sitting some hours sooner than I intended, for I am not inclined to receive any representation to which I must give a harsh answer. As I see further that the House of Commons begins to make false interpretations of what is granted in that petition, I will now, that still more erroneous views may not arise in the country, give a declaration respecting the real meaning of it. At the time when that petition was in contemplation, the two Houses declared, that they had neither the intention
nor the power to abridge my rights; whence it. follows, that I did not grant my subjects any new liberties, but only confirmed the ancient ones. To shew, however, the purity of my intentions, and that I neither repent of what has been done, nor intend to deviate in any respect from my promise, I declare, that such circumstances as those which formerly appeared to trench on your liberties and gave occasion to the Petition of Rights, shall, on the word of a King, never again occur. But, with respect to tonnage and poundage, I cannot do without it; and you have no more power to take it from me, than I have inclination to give it up. In conclusion, I command you all carefully to mark my words, as they contain the true sense and meaning of what I granted you in your Petition of Rights. This is addressed especially to you, the Judges, because the interpretation of the laws belongs to you alone, under me; for neither the Lords nor the Commons, nor both together, (whatever new doctrines may be attempted to be set up,) have any right whatever to pass or to interpret laws without my assent.” After this speech, which, by the King's order, was entered in the Journals of the House of Commons, the Speaker presented the bill of supply, observing, that so large a sum had never before been granted in so short a time. It received, with some other bills, the royal assent; the Parliament WOL. I. L l
was then prorogued to the 20th of October, 1628, and afterwards to the 20th of January, 1629. While the speech of the King and the prorogation of the Parliament were approved by only a few persons, who thought that the right was on his side, others said that the remonstrance at which the King had taken offence was moderate in its form, and in its substance well founded: its object was by no means to abridge his just rights, but to remove the causes of former injustice and to bring the administration into harmony with the Petition of Right. Nor is the question, whether the crown can do without certain revenues, or whether they shall be refused to it; but that, according to the express words of the Petition of Right, every tax must be granted by Parliament. From this ancient, and newly confirmed rule, the King cannot make arbitrary exceptions, nor are vague words and promises sufficient, when the formal consolidation of the law is in question. The Parliament well know that it by no means possesses the legislative power without the King, but if the latter claims it for himself alone and the judges who depend upon him, this leads equally to the destruction of the due relation between him and the Parliament, and to the establishment of an illegal, arbitrary authority. While the King hoped to make himself popular by measures against the Roman Catholics and Jesuits, and prohibitions of the sale of Mainwaring's