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have been mentioned, into execution. Sir Edward Coke took a leading part in this business; he brought into full view the spiritual economy of the secular and regular clergy of the English catholics, their ecclesiastical agencies, and their establishments abroad. In his answer to the petition, his majesty promised to give “ life, motion, and execution" to the laws*. Proclamations hostile to the catholics were accordingly issued, and an act passed' for
restraining the sending over of any to be po
pishly bred beyond the seas;" it re-enacted and increased the severe penalties of the act passed in the first year of James against foreign education. On other occasions, the commons proceeded in a manner that showed their hostility to the catholics. Some priests having been condemned, and their execution staid, the commons made it a subject of severe inquiry.—It having appeared that some persons had been tried before lord chief justice Richardson for being priests ; that no proof of their having been guilty of that offence was produced, except the discovery of some sacerdotal vestments in the house in which they were apprehended, and that the chief justice, conceiving this evidence insufficient, had directed the jury to find them “not
guilty," saying, that the question was “priests
or no priests,--and that they were entitled to “ have justice done them;" this was made a subject of complaint.—“Never was the like example,” said sir Robert Phillips ; “ if the judges give us not “ better satisfaction, they themselves will be par
• Parl. Hist. vol. vii. p. 387, 391.
“ ties*.” One is sorry to find that the report made to the commons on this subject was brought up by Mr. Seldent.
A committee for religion was then formed; it appears by the articles for their instruction, that Arminianism was now an object of great terror to the house
But the contention between the monarch and the commons now rose so high, that, on the 10th day of March in the fourth year of his reign,–(1629), -he dissolved the parliament, with expressions of great displeasure. On the 10th of the same month, he published “ His declaration, to all his loving
subjects, of the cause which had moved him to “ dissolve it.” It is written with perspicuity, force, and elegance. On the subject of religion he says, “ We call God to record, before whom we stand, “ that it is, and always has been, our heart's desire,
to be found worthy of that title, which we account “ the most glorious in all our crown,-Defender of " the Faith. -Neither shall we ever give way to “ the authorizing of any thing, whereby any inno“ vation may steal or creep into the church; but “ to preserve that unity of doctrine and discipline, " established in the time of queen Elizabeth, “whereby the church of England hath stood and “ flourished ever since. “ And, as we were careful to make
• Parl. Hist. vol. viii. p. 306.
+ What had become of his noble motto, Ilegi Tarlos The sdsvomprar?" You will find,” Mr. Fox said to the writer of these pages, “much fewer real friends of religious liberty " than you expect; but you may always depend on Fitzwil- . “ liam and Petty." # Parl. Hist. vol. viii. p. 319.-In the debates upon
the duke of Buckingham, one of his advocates expatiated in the great pains taken by him to convert his mother from the catholic religion ; to confirm his wife, “ whom he found not firm,” in the protestant religion; and to discountenance the Arminians.
Ib. p. 217.
all breaches " and rents in religion at home, so did we, by our
proclamation and commandment for the execu“tion of laws against priests and popish recusants, fortify all ways and approaches against that
foreign enemy; in which, if we have not suc“ceeded according to our intention, we must lay " the fault, where it is, on the subordinate officers “ and ministers in the country, by whose remiss
ness, jesuits and priests escape without appre
hension, and recusants from those convictions “and penalties, which the law and our command“ ment would have inflicted on them."
It is impossible not to be aware of the strong feelings of self degradation, which the monarch must have had, when he used these expressions.
From March 1629, no parliament was called till April 1639. A parliament was then convened; it was dissolved after sitting a few months : but, in September in the next year, a new parliament was summoned to meet in the following November, “ a “ parliament which,” say the authors of the Parliamentary History *, “many before that time, thought “ would never have had a beginning, and afterwards, that it would never have had an end."
* Vol. viii. p. 505.
From its long duration, it has been called the Long Parliament.
To the early part of the period between the accession of the monarch, and the meeting of the long parliament, we must assign the mitigated execution of the laws against the catholics, which is mentioned in our extracts from father Leander and Panzani.
A work of the celebrated Prynne*, shows equally the amiable disposition of the monarch to gentleness and mercy, and his culpable timidity.-It con
.-tains “ several letters of grace, protection, and “ warrants of discharge, granted by him to noto“rious popish recusants, priests and jesuits, to ex
empt them from all prosecutions and penal laws
against them, signed with his own hand ;” and " a note of the names of those recusants, against " whom process had been stayed by his privy “signet.” By a certificate produced by Mr. Prynne, under the hand of Mr. John Pulford, the officer employed in these prosecutions, it appears that the number of recusants-convict in the twenty-nine counties, within the southern division of England, from the first till the sixteenth year of the reign of his majesty, amounted to 11,970. A list follows, of
discharges of priests and jesuits, under the king's “ councils and secretary Windebanck's hands t.”
* “ The Popish Royall Favourite ; or a full Discovery of “his Majestie's extraordinary Favours to and Protections of • notorious Papists, Priests, Jesuits, against all prosecutions “ and penalties of the laws enacted against them, &c. Col. “ lected and published by authority of Parliament, by William “ Prynne, of Lincoln's-Inn, esq. 4to. 1643."
+ See his majesty's commission to compound with recusants, Rushworth, vol. i. p.413.
The whole of this work bears testimony to the moderation of the monarch; and this did him the greater honour, as his attachment to his own religion was perfectly sincere: but it equally shows the persecuting spirit both of the multitude and their leaders.
In the articles of peace, presented to the monarch in 1646*, it was expressly stipulated, that
nothing contained in them, should extend to a “ toleration of the popish religion, nor to exempt
any popish recusant from any penalties imposed " on him for the increase of the same.”
But, even during this period of mildness, as it has been termed, one priest, Mr. Edward Arrowsmith, of the society of Jesus, suffered death, merely upon the charge of being a priest and jesuit, and a persuader of others to the catholic religion, without the slightest proof of either crime. He was executed at Lancaster in 1628 : “ Divers protestants," says
says the printed relation of his death, “ beholders of the bloody spectacle, wished their “ souls with his. Others wished they had never
come there; others said it was a barbarous act “ to use men so, for their religion.”
“ From this year,” says Dr. Challoner (from whom we have copied this extract), “ till 1641, “ I find no more blood shed for religious matters, “ though, as to other penalties, they were fre
quently inflicted upon priests and other catholics: “ severe proclamations were issued against them,
* Thurloe's State Papers, vol. i. p. 77. Rush. vol. i. part iv. p. 309.