« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Accession of Charles I.-Marriage of the king with Henrietta Maria-The first Parliament of Charles-Grievances-Naval failures-The second Parliament-Contests of Peers and Commons with the Crown -Subsidies illegally levied-Imprisonments for refusals to pay -The Queen's foreign attendants dismissed-War with France-Its causes-La Rochelle -Expedition to the Isle of Rhé-The third Parliament -Petition of Right-Buckingham denounced in the Commons' House-Prorogation of Parliament-Siege of La RochelleBuckingham and Richelieu-Assassination of Buckingham-Felton, the assassin-Surrender of La Rochelle-Parliament - Religious differences-Parliament dissolved in anger-Members imprisoned-Peace with Spain and France.
CHARLES I. was proclaimed king on the day of his father's death. The possessor of the crown was changed. The administration of government was unaltered. Buckingham was still the first in power; with equal influence over the proud and dignified Charles of twenty-five, as over the vain and vulgar James of fifty-nine. We are told that "the face of the Court was much changed in the change of the king;" that the grossnesses of the court of James grew out of fashion.* The general change could have been little more than a forced homage to decency, whilst Buckingham was the presiding genius of the court of Charles; but from the first the king exhibited himself as "temperate, chaste, and serious."+ A letter, written within a few weeks of his accession, says, "Our sovereign, whom God preserve, is zealous for God's truth; diligently frequents and attentively hearkens to prayers and sermons; will pay all his father's, mother's, and brother's debts, and that by disparking most of his remote parks and chases; will reform the court as of unnecessary charges, so of recusant papists." The personal demeanour of the king compelled a corresponding outward
MARRIAGE OF THE KING WITH HENRIETTA MARIA.
show in the courtiers. At the beginning of this reign the people must have had a reasonable expectation of being religiously and quietly governed.
The marriage of Charles with the princess Henrietta Maria of France was the result of the treaty made in the previous reign; and it was concluded by proxy even before James was laid in the tomb at Westminster. There were bonfires in London for the marriage on the 3rd of May. On the 7th Charles was the chief mourner at the funeral of his father. The young queen arrived at Dover on the 12th of June. She came at a gloomy time, for London was visited with pestilence. On the 18th the parliament was opened by the king. Although the bonfires had been lighted in London for the king's marriage, the union with a Roman Catholic princess was in itself offensive; and Charles had given indications of concessions to the papists which were distinctly opposed to the existing laws. Although he vailed his crown to the Lords and the Commons when he first spoke from the throne, he had roused the suspicions of the sturdy band who had resisted the despotic attempts of his father. He defied public opinion by granting special pardons to Romish priests, without the intervention of the law. There was a restrictive code, harsh and unjust no doubt, but not to be dispensed with by an exercise of the prerogative. Buckingham had led the parliament into the sanction of a war; but his popularity was fast passing away. Time had revealed the concessions which had been made to Rome in the negociations for the Spanish
Queen Henrietta Maria. (Vandyck.) marriage; and the people were not all in raptures about "a most noble new