« PreviousContinue »
1. The misfortunes of Charles Stuart, son to King James, with the uncouth, dismall, and unexpressible calamities that happened thereupon, appeare yet so great a sacrifice in the opinions of all interested by losse, or suborned by that natural propensity inherent in the most, to expunge or palliate the lapses of unhappy princes, (whose in. dulgence is not seldome so diffusive as to
expiate for the faults of those standing in a far remoter relation than that of a father,) that they have hitherto stopped my pen from making any farther progresse this way; till, led on by a zeale to truth, and illuminated from the brighter judgments of others, I found not only the imprudent commissions, but voluntary omissions of King James so much instrumentall in the promotion of our present evills, as it may justly be said, he, like Adam, by bringing the crown into so great a necessity through a profuse prodigality, became the originall of his son's fall: who was in a manner compeld to stretch out his hands towards such gatherings and taxes, as are contrary to law: by which he fell from the paradise of a prince, to wit, the hearts of his people.
2. For though the best polititians extant might miscarry in their calculation of a civill warre, immediately to follow upon the death of Queene Elizabeth, in vindication of titles and opinions then current, yet the beggerly rable,' attending his majesty, not only at his first coming out of Scotland,
* It is a circumstance hitherto little known or attend. ed to, that this influx of Scottish adventurers, as it was í disheartening and unpopular to the English people, wasequally embarrassing and displeasing to James himself; and that he took very strict modes to prevent the emigration of his Scottish lieges from their northern desarts to his newly-acquired English Goshen. The following very curious proclamation of the Scottish privy-council, which is one of many to the same purpose, will bear evidence to the fact :
Proclamatioun anent the Repairing of Persons to Courte..
Apud Edinburgh, Decimo Maij, 1611. Forasmekle as the frequent and dailie resoirt of grite nomberis of idill persones, men and wemen, of base soirt and conditoun, and without ony certane trade, calling, or dependance, going from hense to courte, besey and land, is not onlie very vnplesant and offensiue to the kinges maiestie, in so far as he is daylie importuned with thair' suitis and begging, and his royall courte almost filled with thame, thay being in the opinioune and consait of all beholderis, bot ydill rascallis, and poore miserable bodyis, bot with that this cuntrey is heavelie disgraceit, and mony sclanderous imputationis gevin out agains the same, as iff thair wer no personis of goode ranke, comlynes, nor credit within the seme: and the kingis maiestie and lordes of secreit counsaill [considering,] how far suche imputationis may tuitche this cuntrey, and what impressioun it will
but through his whole raigne (like a fluent spring) found still crossing the river of
mak in the hairtis of the commoun multitude of the nighbour cuntrey; when as thay see his majestie importuned and fascheit, and his royall court filled with such noinberis of idill suitaris and vncornelie people; and the saidis lordis, thairfoir, being cairfull to prevent all forder occasioun of reproitche or sclander of the cuntrey, by staying so far as possible may be, all forder resoirt of ydill people to courte: Thairfoir ordanis lettres to be direct, chargeing officiares of armes to pas to the mercati-croces of the heid-burrowis and seypoirtis of this kingdome, and thair, be oppen proclamatioun, to command, charge, and inhibite the maisteris, awnaris, skipparis, and marinaires, of whatsomenir schippis and veschellis, that pane of thame presume, nor tak vpoun hand, to transporte, or cary in thair schippis, any passengeris from hense to England, qubill first thay gif vp to the saidis lordis the names of the passingearis; and latt the lordis vndirstand and know what lauchfull errand they haif, and procure licence for thair transporting, vndir the pane of confiscatioun of : the schippis and veschellis, and of all the mouable goodis pertening to the saidis skipparis, maisteris, and marinairs, to his maiesties vse.
In another proclamation, the council state, that one of the pretexts under which these unseemly Scottish supplicants resorted to court, was to demand payment of old debts due to them by James, which they grave.' ly say, "is, of all kind of importunity, the maist unplea- : sing to his majesty."
Tweed, did so farre justify the former conjecture, as it was only thought mistaken in relation to time. The dreadfull symptoms of that warre presaged still impending England, and the nearer approach manifested in the discontent that appeared in all places, and amongst every society, to the very court it selfe, in whose opinion, no lesse than the generality, his too palpable partiality towards his country-men, rendered him no higher place than of a king-in-law, not a prince of any naturall affections to the people of this nation. So as his inore wise and innocent successour was cast upon this unhappy choice, either to hazard the fidelity of his Scotch subjects, by obstructing this bounty; or that of the English, at whose cost alone it could be continued. All which might easily have been at first prevented, (and perhaps no lesse to the king's advantage than the peoples,) had the same caution the parliament exacted from Philip of Spaine been taken from James of Scot. VOL. I.