- - - Chapter 15 - - -

- The Times: 1625-1642 -

The entourage of Charles I came to be called "Cavaliers". They were named by their opponents for the Spanish caballero who was a Catholic who prosecuted Protestants. Their hair had long, curled, and flowing locks. They wore a broad-rimmed decorated hat. Their fancy jackets and breeches were loose. Boots were wide and folded over at the top. Young men wore earrings and painted their faces. A lady wore her hair in ringlets on each side of her face. Her dress was fitted at the waist, with a peaked bodice. It was low at the shoulders with a scoop neckline in front. She often wore much lace, especially at the neck down to the bust line. Her outer dress and under-skirt that was revealed in front were full and made of satin and stiff silk or velvet. Only hose of silk was worn at court.

A majority of prosperous industrial towns and fee farmers, led sometimes by lords or old landed gentry were Puritans. They dressed plainly and in somber colors such as black, grey, and buff, with no ornamentation except plain white collars and cuffs of linen rather than of lace. Wool replaced silk and velvet. No jewelry was worn. The Puritan women also wore long white aprons. The Puritan men for a time had short-cut hair. The Puritan- Parliamentarians were given the name "Roundheads" after the crop- headed London apprentices whose rioting had marked every stage of the conflict between king and Parliament. The Puritan women smoothed their hair back into little knobs and covered their hair and head with a white covering. Both Puritan men and women wore broad-rimed hats and plain shoes. The ordinary country man wore a felt hat, broadcloth coat, woolen trousers, hand-knitted worsted stockings, and plain, strong shoes.

Nine-tenths of the people were Protestant. Religion was a favorite and serious topic of discussion, even among the illiterate. On the whole, they were more inclined to salvation by grace than to salvation by good works. Popular reading included guides for good manners such as "The Rich Cabinet" by Thomas Gainsford, and "Youths Behavior" translated from the French by Francis Hawkins. It advised not to sit with one leg on the other, but with the feet even; not to spit on one's fingers; and not to sniffle in the sight of others. Books for ladies such as "Delights for Ladies" by Hugh Platt told them how to adorn themselves, tables, closets, and distillatories with beauties, banquets, perfumes, and waters. It taught preserving and comfit making, cooking, and housewifery. Gervase Markham wrote advice for men in "Hobsons Horse-load of Letters", which addressed serious negotiations, private businesses, amorous accomplishment, wanton merriment, and the defense of honor and reputation. "A Helpe to Discourse" by W.B. and E.P. primed a man to meet company with suggested questions and answers, epigrams, riddles, and jests. In Henry Peacham's "The Compleat Gentleman" (1622), the model Cavalier is portrayed in terms of horsemanship, tilting, sports, choice of companions, reserved and dignified conduct, good scholarship, and responsibility. This popular book was a guide to university, where there was a seven year course of classroom lectures. It advised conversation with men of the soundest reputation for religion, life, and learning, but recreation with those of the same rank and quality. First place was to be given to religion, so that the foundation of all studies would be the service of God. Following in importance were: speaking and writing in English or Latin (grammar, syntax, and rhetoric), astronomy, astrology, geography (whose authorities were Pliny, Strabo, and the pagan writers of the first century), chorography, mathematics, including arithmetic and geometry, poetry (reading, writing, and criticizing), music, including part-music, drawing, limning, painting, art history, exercise (riding, running, leaping, tilting, throwing, wrestling, swimming, shooting, and falconry), logic and disputation if related to one's intended profession such as the law, philosophy (Plato and Aristotle), and some medicine and botany.

The Flemish Johann Baptista van Helmont demonstrated that metals dissolved in acid can be recovered through chemical means and enunciated the doctrine that each thing in nature has its own specific organization.

Richard Brathwaite's "The English Gentleman" portrays the sombre Puritan who accepts the gospel of work. He is a staid and serious businessman. "Matrimonial Honour" by Daniel Rogers opined that for success, a marriage must be godly, with the parties equally religious, worshipping together in private and in public. A hasty or worldly marriage would bring repentance. The spouses should agree, but keep to their spheres. Children should not be spoiled.

Large households were more or less self-supporting and were managed by their ladies. Work included ordering wool, hemp, and flax; making cloth and dying it; dairy work; brewing; malting; baking; preserving wines; extracting oils; distilling perfume; and putting on banquets. Couches were coming into use in parlors.

The king and his court entourage settled for most of the year in Whitehall instead of travelling around the country. The king let the public into Hyde Park for recreation. The City of London and Westminster were still separate, but a mass of hovels was springing up in between them. The water carrier was still active and the night transport of sewage necessary. In certain areas there lived in crowded houses, those wanted for minor offenses, small thefts, and debt. Bailiffs did not dare venture into them because the inhabitants hid and defended each other unless the offense was a major one. The penalty for stealing even small sums was still death.

Indigo Jones was the first architect of consequence. He had studied in Italy and designed and built the Banqueting House at Whitehall in London in 1622. It had classical proportions and nice shaping and dressing in stone. He was now an arbiter of taste for the King Charles and his Queen and built many structures for them, including the Queen's Chapel at St. James Palace and her bedroom in the Queen's Hose in Greenwich. All over London and the country he and his pupils built many classical buildings, including houses, churches, stables, lodgings, out-buildings, staircases, galleries, watergates, and archways. They stood in stark contrast to the Tudor buildings around them. In the 1632, Jones started town-planning in London with Covent Garden fruit and vegetable market with terraced houses around a central piazza surrounded by open arcades with a Tuscan church at one end. In 1634, a man from the suburb of Hackney introduced a line of coaches rented at 1s. per hour. They soon became very popular.

A large part of England was rebuilt as yeomen expanded their houses and others lower in rank replaced mud and wood hovels with brick and stone cottages. A separate kitchen appeared. The ground floors are boarded over to create bedrooms. Permanent stairs replace ladders. Glass appears in windows. Glass and crockery replace wood and pewter, Chairs replace benches. Knives and forks become common.

About 1640 began travel between towns by covered wagons called stage coaches. They carried passengers and goods and stopped at inns for stabling and repairs.

Work was begun in 1630 to make canals that would make waters run to the sea. Barges on canals were the most efficient mode of transportation. A barge could carry 50 tons on a canal and only 30 on a river. A single horse could haul a wagon on iron rails with 8 tons, on a soft road with 8 tons, and on his back 1/8 of a ton.

Real wages, which had been falling, reached their low point and the gap between the poor and others widened. There were depressions from 1629-32 and from 1636 to about 1640, which called for Royal proclamations for the relief and distress, especially among the poor. The Book of Orders, for the relief of distress in earlier reigns, was to be reissued. The assize of beer and bread maintaining quality, prices, weights, and measures, was to be duly kept. Hoarding of foodstuffs was to be punished. Fish days and lent were to be observed to maintain the fishers. Abstaining from suppers on Fridays and on the eves of feasts was ordered in all taverns and commended to private families. City corporations were to give up their usual feasts and half the charge given to the poor. Foreign ships were not to be victualled for long voyages. The revised Book of Orders also covered the regulation of beggary, the binding of apprentices, and the general relief of the poor. All magistrates were to enforce the rules and raise special rates from all the parishes, the richer of these to help the poorer.

A new trend of spring-sown crops led to better crop balance and reduced the risks of scarcity in a bad year. But the economy was still volatile.

There were riots in London in 1640-1 from a complete breakdown in political consensus, the factions being the Royalist City elite versus the middling and lesser merchants and craftsmen.

In 1631, the clock makers broke away from the control of the
Blacksmiths. The gunmakers also broke away from the Blacksmiths.
The tinplate workers broke away from the Ironmongers.

"Searching" for bad cloth became more difficult as the industry became more diversified. For instance, a new machine called a gig- mill did the work of many hand finishers. In 1633, Charles issued a commission for the reformation of the cloth industry with minute directions for the manufacture of cloth. But there were many disagreements over the details of manufacture and reform was difficult to enforce.

By the 1630s, many parishes had a resident intellectual for the first time. The parish priests came from gentry, upper yeomanry, urban tradesmen and clerical families. They were educated and highly learned. They had libraries and were in touch with contemporary religious debates. They saw their role primarily as pastoral care. Many wanted to improve the religious knowledge and moral conduct of their parishioners. Puritan influence deepened as they forbade dancing, games, minstrels, and festivals. They punished superstitious conduct. They initiated prosecutions in church courts for sexual lapses and drunkenness. The church court had little coercive power and its punishments were restricted to penance or excommunication. Many Puritan sects espoused equality for women. By the 1640s women were preachers, e.g. in the Baptist and Anabaptist religions and, until 1660, prophetesses. These sects were mostly composed of the lower echelons of society.

The poor people did not respond to sermons as did the well-to-do. Nor were they as involved in church activity, attending church only for marriages, baptisms, and funerals.

Charles I not only believed in the divine right of kings and was authoritarian; he was the ultimate autocrat. He had an unalterable conviction that he was superior to other men, who were insignificant and privileged to revolve around him. He issued directives to reverse jury verdicts. Parliamentarians Oliver Cromwell and other educated men opposed this view. The Commons voted not to grant Charles the usual custom-dues for life, making it instead renewable each year, conditioned on the king's behavior. Charles dissolved Parliament before this passed. He continued to take tonnage and poundage.

He wanted money for war so he imposed many taxes, but without the consent of Parliament. They included many of which had fallen into disuse. He imposed a compulsory "loan" on private individuals, which the courts held was illegal, and imprisoned, those who refused. Bail was denied to these men. Simpler people who refused were threatened with impressment into the Navy, which included being landed on shore to fight as marines and soldiers. They sought to revive the old writ of habeas corpus [produce the body] to get released, but to no avail. The old writ had been just to bring to court those persons needed for proceedings, but Coke in 1614 had cited the writ with a new meaning "to have the body together with the cause of detention". Charles billeted unpaid and unruly soldiers in private homes, which they plundered. It was customary to quarter them in inns and public houses at royal expense. Martial law was declared and soldiers were executed. But the citizens did not want martial law either.

The Magna Carta got attention as a protector of basic liberties. Both attorneys and laymen read "The Pastyme of People" written by John Rastell in 1529, which described the history of the Magna Carta from 1215 to 1225. Also read was the "Great Abridgment" of the English law written by Rastell in 1527, and Coke's volume of his Institutes which dealt with the Magna Carta, which the Crown took to prevent being published until 1642, when Parliament allowed it. Broad-scale pamphleteering turned England into a school of political discussion. Oxford University favored the established church and Cambridge University was Puritan.

The estates of the members of the House of Commons were three times the extent of the members' of the House of Lords. Bishops' estates had diminished considerably because of secularization. The members of the House of Commons were elected by the people. For these reasons, the House of Commons asserted a preeminence to the House of Lords.

The House of Commons drew up a Petition of Right in 1627, which expanded upon the principles of Magna Carta and sought to fix definite bounds between royal power and the power of the law. It protested the loans compelled under pain of imprisonment and stated that no tax or the like should be exacted without the common consent of Parliament. It quoted previous law that "…no freeman may be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his freeholds or liberties, or his free customs, or be outlawed or exiled; or in any manner destroyed, but by the lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land" and that "…no man of what estate or condition that he be, should be put out of his land or tenements, nor taken, nor imprisoned nor disinherited, nor put to death without being brought to answer by due process of law". It continued that "… divers of your subjects have of late been imprisoned without any cause showed; and when for their deliverance they were brought before your Justices by your Majesty's writs of Habeas Corpus, there to undergo and receive as the court should order, and their keepers commanded to certify the causes of their detainer, no cause was certified, but that they were detained by your Majesty's special command, signified by the Lords of your Privy Council, and yet were returned back to several prisons, without being charged with anything to which they might make answer according to the law." It also protested the billeting of soldiers in private houses and martial law trying soldiers and sailors. If these terms were agreed to by the King, he was to be given a good sum of money. Since he needed the money, he yielded. He expected tonnage and poundage for the Navy for life, as was the custom. But he got it only for one year, to be renewable yearly. The King agreed to the petition, quietly putting his narrow interpretation on it, and it was put into the statute book.

In 1629 Parliament distinguished between treason to the king and treason to the Commonwealth.

The Chief Justice held in 1638 that acts of Parliament to take away the King's royal power in the defense of his kingdom were void; the king may command his subjects, their persons, their goods, and their money and acts of Parliament make no difference. But the people refused to pay these taxes.

Charles thought of more ways to obtain money and disregarded his agreement to the Petition of Right.

Without the consent of Parliament, he extended ship money to all the kingdom instead of just the ports. It was used to outfit ships for the protection of the coasts. Hampden refused to pay it on principle and the courts ruled against him in the case of King v. John Hampden and he was sent to prison. When distraints were tried, the common people used violence to prevent them. The bailiffs were pelted with rocks when they came to distrain. One man used his pitchfork to take back his steer being taken by the bailiff. If distraint were successful, people would refuse to buy the distrained property of their neighbors.

Charles revived the right of the Crown to force knighthood on the landed gentry for a fee.

Charles sold monopolies in such goods as soap, leather, salt, wine, coal, and linen rags although they had been abolished in the last Parliament of James. This made employment uncertain for workers and prices high for the public, and put masters in danger of loss of capital.

Fines were levied on people for the redress of defects in their title deeds. Crown forest boundaries were arbitrarily extended and landowners near Crown forests were heavily fined for their encroachments on them. Money was extorted from London by an illegal proclamation by which every house had to pay three years' rental to the Crown to save itself from demolition.

But what incensed the people more than the money issue were the changes in the established church. High churchmen, called Ritualists, enforced ceremonies offensive to Puritan feeling in every parish. The centrally placed communion tables were to be placed at the east end within railings and called "altars", or "mercy seats" as if for mass. They were to be ornamented with crucifixes, images, conceits, books, candles and rich tapestries. Bowing was to be done when approaching them. Clergymen were to be called "priests" and their authority treated as divine. Worship was to be done in prescribed forms and ritual with pomp and ceremony, including kneeling for communion. It was to be done in accordance with the Romish Breviars, Rituals, and Mass-books. Rings were to be used in marriages and crosses used in baptisms. Churches, fonts, tables, pulpits, chalices and the like were to be consecrated, thereby putting holiness in them. Churches that did not do this but used unconsecrated or "polluted" articles were closed by interdiction. Regard was to be had with regard to days, postures, meats, and vestments. The clergy was to wear supplices [white linen vestments flowing to the foot with lawn sleeves] and embroidered copes [vestment over the head]. A Bishop wore a four- cornered cap, cope and surplice with lawn-sleeves, tippet (long, black scarf), hood, and canonical coat. Churchwardens were to take oaths to inform against any who disobeyed. The law still required that all attend Sunday sermons. But parishes had some control over who was their preacher, even though a minister could be put upon a parish by the bishops without the consent of the patron or people. By increasing the meager pay of a parish clergyman, they could chose one with a compatible theology or employ a lecturer from outside. The Ritualists scolded clergymen for "gospel preaching" and suppressed Puritan preaching in public meetings. Preaching or printing matter concerning the controversy of free will versus predestination was forbidden. Geneva Bibles, which were popular among laymen, were prohibited from being imported. Many were excommunicated for sitting instead of kneeling at communion. The clergy prohibited marriage if they liked by withholding their license, and they licensed marriages without banns. The Ritualists encouraged certain sports to be played after church on Sunday. The Puritans protested vehemently to this because they wanted to strictly observe the sabbath. The Puritans saw the high churchmen as wanting to return to the doctrine and customs they thought to be Papist. The Ritualists were absolutists in their political views and accepted the King's intervention in church matters. The ecclesiastical Court of High Commission enforced the edicts of the church, excommunicating those who did not conform and expelling clergymen who, for instance, did not bow at the name of Jesus or wear the surplice. It was used against the Puritans and imposed high fines and imprisonment for religious eccentricity and Puritan preaching. Charles supported the established church in this endeavor because it agreed that he had a divine right to rule.

The universities and high churchmen were beginning to adopt the doctrine of free will over predestination. Parliamentarian and Puritan Oliver Cromwell and others feared this presaged a return to justification by works and the popish faith. In Parliament, he spoke out against the tyranny of the bishops, whose offices he wanted abolished, and the elaborateness of church services.

To avoid persecution, many Puritans emigrated to Virginia and New England. They were led by magistrates, country gentlemen, prominent businessmen, attorneys, and other professionals. In 1629, the Massachusetts Bay Colony was chartered at the instigation of John Winthrop as a Puritan refuge. Its leaders led a migration of Puritans organized to include five each of armorers, bakers, blacksmiths, carpenters, shoemakers, merchants; three each of clothiers, chandlers, coopers, military officers, physicians, and tailors; two each of fishermen, herdsmen, and masons; on tanner, and one weaver. The fare was five pounds and an applicant was interviewed to make sure he was a Puritan. He got 50 acres, or more for a larger family. But if he paid 50 pounds into the common stock he received 200 acres of land, plus 50 more for each dependent. Maryland was founded in 1632 as a haven for Catholics, but its charter precluded a government-established religion. It was granted to Lord Baltimore to hold in free socage and was named after King James II's Queen, who was overtly Catholic. Catholics in England could practice their religion only in their homes and could not carry arms.

As hostility grew, censorship of books and plays accelerated and the number of authorized printers was reduced in 1637 by decree of the Star Chamber. In 1640s effective government control of the press collapsed. Then there were many pamphlets and newspapers with all variety of interpretation of the Bible and all sorts of political opinion, such as on taxation, law and the liberties of the subject, religion, land and trade, and authority and property. Twenty-two pamphlets were published in 1640 and 1,996 in 1642.

In 1640 the canons of the church included a requirement for parsons to exclaim divine right of kings every year. The Commons soon resolved that this was contrary to the fundamental laws and liberties of the realm.

The Short Parliament of 1640 was dissolved soon because the Commons demanded redress of its grievances. The Long Parliament of 1640-1653 requested by the House of Lords was agreed to by Charles because he still wanted money. In election of members to the Long Parliament, voters wanted to know where contenders stood on certain political issues. In this Parliament, the Commons ceased to agree on all issues and started to rely on majority rule.

The House of Commons was led by John Pym, a middle class landholder with extensive commercial interests. The Commons treated the King's refusal to act with them as a relinquishment of his power to Parliament. When it met at the Long Parliament, Pym expressed the grievances of the King's actions against the privileges of Parliament, against religion, and against the liberties of the subjects. Specifically, he decried the disregard of free speech and of freedom from prosecution afterward, and the arbitrary dissolution of Parliament. Secondly, he alleged popery had been encouraged and the ecclesiastical jurisdiction enlarged. Thirdly, he protested the patent monopolies given to favorites to the detriment of the buying public, the imposition of ship money levies beyond the need of national defense and without the consent of Parliament, the revival of the feudal practice of imposing a fine for refusal to accept a knighthood with its attendant obligations, the enlargement of the King's forests and driving out from hence tenants with lucrative holdings, extra judicial declarations of justices without hearing of counsel or argument in many criminal matters, and the abuses of the prerogative courts in defending monopolies. Parliament's assertion into religious matters and foreign affairs was unprecedented, those areas having been exclusively in the power of the King.

The Long Parliament begun in 1640 removed many of the King's ministers and forbade clergy from sitting in Parliament or exercising any temporal authority. It passed measures which were not agreed to by the King. It undid the lawless acts of the King and the court decision in the case of King v. Hampden. Ship money was declared illegal. The new concept that the present Parliament should not be dissolved but by its own consent was adopted. The Star Chamber and Court of High Commission were abolished. The oath ex officio, an oath to answer all questions, was originally meant for facts at issue, but had been extended by these courts to opinions, beliefs, and religion and had led to abuses. The Star Chamber had been the only court which punished infractions of the Kings' edicts, so now his proclamations were unenforceable. Protection against self-incrimination was given by the provision that no person be forced "to confess or accuse him or herself of crime, offense, delinquency, or misdemeanor, or any neglect… or thing whereby, or by reason whereof, he or she shall or may be liable or exposed to any censure, pain, penalty, or punishment whatsoever, as had been the practice in the Star Chamber and the Court of High Commission.

These measures were also adopted: No one may be compelled to take knighthood nor undergo any fine for not so doing. The forest boundaries are returned to their former place. All subjects may now import gunpowder; they may also make and sell gunpowder and import saltpeter.

The Root and Branch Petition of 1640 complained about pressure on ministers by bishops on threat of dismissal not to preach about predestination, free grace, perseverance, original sin remaining after baptism, the sabbath, doctrine against universal grace, election for faith foreseen, free-will against anti-Christ, non- residents, or human inventions in God's worship. It also complained about the great increase of idle, lewd, and dissolute, ignorant and erroneous men in the ministry who wanted only to wear a canonical coat, a surplice, and a hood, bow at the name of Jesus, and be zealous of superstitious ceremonies. It also complained about the swarming of lascivious, idle, and unprofitable books, pamphlets, play-books, and ballads, such as Ovid's "Fits of Love", "The Parliament of Women", Barn's "Poems", and Parker's "Ballads". Further it opposed the restraint of reprinting books formerly licensed without relicensing. It protested the growth of popery and increase of priests and Jesuits, the strict observance of saints' days whereby large fines were imposed on people working on them, the increase of whoredoms and adulteries because of the bishops' corrupt administration of justice and taking of bribes, and the practice of excommunicating for trivial matters such as working on a holy day or not paying a fee. It further protested the fining and imprisoning of many people; breaking up men's houses and studies; taking away men's books, letters, and writings; seizing upon their estates; removing them from their callings; and separating them from their wives, to the utter infringement of the laws and of people's liberties. It complained that these practices caused many clothiers, merchants, and others to flee to Holland, thus undermining the wool industry. It finally complained of the multitude of monopolies and patents, large increase of customs, and ship-money. Many Londoners signed this petition.

The House of Commons decided to forbid bowing at the name of Jesus. When the House of Lords disagreed with this, the House of Commons claimed that it represented all the people and didn't need the concurrence of the House of Lords. The House of Commons ordered that all communion tables be removed from the east end of churches, that the railings be taken away, and all candles and basins be removed from it. Further, all crucifixes, images of the Virgin Mary, and pictures of any of the Trinity were to be demolished, which was done to even those in markets and streets. Further, all bowing at the name of Jesus or toward the east end of the church or toward the communion table was forbidden. All dancing or other sports on Sunday was forbidden. Enforcement was to be done by Justices of the Peace and Mayors. But these orders never became statutes.

Enforcement of the law for not coming to church was not now regularly enforced, so Catholics had a respite.

Rebellion of Irish Catholics against England and English Protestants broke out in Ireland in 1641. Parliament didn't trust the King with an army that he could use against themselves so it passed the following two measures expanding the Navy and calling out the militia and naming certain persons to be Lieutenants of each county.

The Admiral shall impress as many seamen as necessary for the defense of the realm. This includes mariners, sailors, watermen, ship carpenters, but no one over the age of 50 or masters or masters' mates. If one hides, he shall be imprisoned for three months without bail.

Justices of the Peace shall impress as many soldiers as the king may order for war in Ireland. This is despite the right of a citizen to be free from being compelled to go out of his county to be a soldier because the danger from Ireland is imminent. Excluded are clergymen, scholars, students, those rated at a subsidy of land of three pounds or goods of five pounds, esquires or above, the sons of such or their widows, those under eighteen or over sixty years of age, mariners, seamen, and fishermen. The penalty for disobeying is imprisonment, without bail or misprise, and a fine of ten pounds. If an offender can't pay the fine, he shall be imprisoned a year more, without bail or misprise.

The right to call out the county militia had been a prerogative of the Crown, so the King issued a Proclamation ordering the soldiers to ignore this order and obey him. So Parliament declared this Proclamation void.

The King accused five leaders of Parliament, including Pym, of trying to subvert the government of the kingdom, to deprive the King of his regal power, to alienate the affections of the people toward their King, forcing the Parliament to their ends by foul aspersions, and inviting the Scots to invade England. In 1642, the King entered Parliament with 300 soldiers to arrest these five. They had flown, but Parliament was shocked that the King had threatened the liberties of Parliament with military force. The citizens of London, in their fear of popery, rose in arms against the King, who left the city. Both sides raised big armies. The goal of the Parliamentarians was to capture the King alive and force him to concessions.

When the Parliamentarians took Oxford in 1648, they purged its faculty of royalists.

- The Law -

From 1625 to 1627 these statutes were passed:

No one shall engage in sports or any pastimes outside his own parish or bearbaiting, bullbaiting, interludes, plays or other unlawful pastimes inside his parish on Sundays because such has led to quarrels and bloodshed and nonattendance at church. The fine is 3s.4d. or if the offender does not have the money or goods to sell to pay, he shall be set in the public stocks for three hours.

No carrier with any horse or wagon or cart or drover with cattle may travel on Sunday or forfeit 20s.

No butcher may kill or sell any victual on Sunday or forfeit 6s.8d.

Every innkeeper, alehousekeeper, and other victualler permitting a patron who is not an inhabitant of the area to become drunk shall forfeit 5s. or be place in the stocks for six hours. Offenders convicted a second time shall be bound by two sureties to the sum of 200s.

As of 1627, a parent sending a child out of the country to go to a Catholic school were to forfeit 100 pounds, one half to the informer and one half to the king.

The Petition of Right herebefore described was passed as a statute in 1627.

- Judicial Procedure -

The Star Chamber decided cases as diverse as a case of subordination of witnesses, cases of counterfeiters of farthing tokens, and cases of apothecaries compounding ill medicines. It tried to keep down the prices of foodstuffs for the benefit of the poor; it repressed extortion and false accusations, and disbarred an attorney for sharp practices; it punished defamation, fraud, riots, forgery of wills; it forbade duels. A special virtue of its position was that it could handle without fear matters in which men of social or local influence might intimidate or overawe juries or even country justices. It punished a lord who caused records to be forged, unlawfully entered lands, and seized tithes. It disciplined a nobleman for drawing a sword on a lord hunting hare.

In one of its cases, Sir Edward Bullock, a knight wanting to enclose a common of a thousand acres threatened his neighbor Blackhall when he would not sell his lands and rights. The knight hired a man to break down the hedges and open a gate that had been staked up, so that his neighbor's cattle would stray. He sued his neighbor three times for trespass, lost his cases, and threatened revenge on all the witnesses who testified against him. He had the house of one pulled down. The pregnant wife and a naked child were turned out and had to lie in the streets because no one dared to take them in, even when a justice so directed. The witness, his wife, and family took refuge in an unheated outbuilding in the winter. He and his wife and one child died there. The knight had another witness cudgeled so that she was black and blue from the waist up, and could not put on her clothes for a month. The knight threatened to set fire to the house of another witness, and sent his men to pull him out of doors and keep him prisoner for some hours. The Star Chamber imprisoned the knight and his men. The knight was fined 1,000 pounds and the men 50 pounds each. The knight also had to pay one witness 100 pounds in reparation to the surviving children of the family whose house had been pulled down.

But the power of the Star Chamber was abused by King Charles I. For instance, one lord was accused by another of calling him a base lord. The evidence was paltry. But he was fined eight thousand pounds, one-half going to the King. A lord who was accused of converting agricultural land to pasture was fined four thousand pounds. The lord was fined ten thousand pounds. A person who exported fuller's earth, contrary to the King's proclamation, was pilloried and fined two thousand pounds. A man who defaced a stained-glass window in a church was fined 500 pounds and ordered to pay for a plain glass replacement. A man who became sheriff of a county and had taken the oath which bound him to remain in the county was elected to Parliament and stood in opposition to the king on many matters. He was imprisoned for many years until he made a humble submission and had to pay a heavy fine. A London importer who was alleged to have said "That the Merchants are in no part of the world so screwed and wrung as in England; That in Turkey they have more encouragement" was fined 2,000 pounds for seditious and slanderous words against his majesty's happy government. A Scottish minister circulated a book appealing to the Parliament to turn out the bishops and to resist its own dissolution by the King. In it he called the bishops men of blood, anti-Christian, satanical, ravens, and magpies, preying on the state. He was against kneeling at the sacrament and denounced the Queen for her religion. He blamed the state for the death of citizens of a certain town by famine. For as he did "scandalize his Majesties Sacred Person, his Religious, Wise, and just Government, the Person of his Royal Consort the Queen, the Persons of the Lords and Peers of this realm, especially the Reverend Bishops", he was fined 10,000 pounds, was to be unfrocked (which was done by the Court of High Commission), and was whipped, pilloried, one ear nailed to the pillory and cut off, his cheek branded, and his nose slit. Then he was imprisoned for life, but only served ten years, being released by a statute of the Long Parliament. A Puritan writer Pyrnne wrote a book that included a condemnation of masks and plays, and all who took part, and all who looked on as sinful, pernicious, and unlawful. It opined that Nero had attended plays and deserved to be murdered. Since Charles had attended plays and the Queen had taken part in a mask, it was inferred that Pyrnne meant them harm. His indictment alleged that "he hath presumed to cast aspersions upon the King, the Queen, and the Commonwealth, and endeavored to infuse an opinion onto the people that it is lawful to lay violent hands upon Princes that are either actors, favorers, or spectators of stage plays". The justices saw in the book an attempt to undermine authority. The Chief Justice called the book a most wicked, infamous, scandalous, and seditious libel. Pyrnne was sentenced to be degraded by Oxford and disbarred by Lincoln's Inn, to be fined 5,000 pounds, to be pilloried and to have his ears cut off, and then to be imprisoned for life. Three men who wrote attacks on the bishops and ecclesiastical courts, such as alleging that the bishops suppression of fasts and preaching had brought the pestilence upon the people and that the bishops had dishonored God and exercised papal jurisdiction in their own names, were each sentenced to 5,000 fine, the pillory, where their ears were cut off, and to life imprisonment. One, who had been convicted for libel before, was branded on both cheeks: "S.L." for Seditious Libeller. Others printed similar material. In vain the Star Chamber limited the number of London printers to twenty, and made licensing stricter. These prisoners were set free by the Long Parliament.

Charles I intimidated justices to obey him in decision-making even more than James I.

Charles I so abused the power of the Star Chamber court that it was abolished by the Long Parliament and with it, the involvement of the King's Council in civil and criminal cases.

The regular church courts punished people for heresy, non- attendance at church, sexual immorality, working on the sabbath or a holy day, non-payment of tithes, and lending money at interest. The special ecclesiastical court, the Court of High Commission, was composed of clerics appointed by the king and decided cases of marriage annulment, alimony, adultery, married couples living separately, cruelty of husbands to wives, and habitual drunkenness. But it also took on cases of schismatics and extended its power over them to include staid and solid Puritans, who uniformly believed that salvation was the only worthy earthly aim. Acting on information attained through secret channels or from visitations, it would summon the accused, who was required to give, under oath, "full, true, and perfect" answers to broad and undetailed charges made by secret informants. Refusal to take the oath resulted in commitment for contempt of court. If he denied the charges and fled, the court could hold the hearing without him. Many fled out of the country or went into hiding in it. If the accused went to the hearing, he could not take an attorney with him. Most of the issues involved clergy refusing to use the litany, to make the sign of the cross in baptism, to wear the surplice, or to publish the Book of Sports, and insistence on extempore prayer and preaching. Other issues were clergy who from the pulpit inveighed against ship-money and unjust taxes, and spoke rudely against the bishops and tyrannical princes. One case is that of Samuel Ward, the town preacher of a large town, heard in 1635. He neglected bowing or kneeling on coming to his seat in church and preached against the Book of Sports. He did not read the set prayers from the official book, but said prayers he had himself conceived. To this he replied that a parrot could be taught to repeat forms and an ape to imitate gestures. But his most serious offenses had to do with his utterances from the pulpit derogatory to the tenets and discipline of the church. He was accused of saying that he believed that congregations still had the right of election of all officers, including ministers. Also, he allegedly said that in preaching on the Christmas holidays he told his people "that in the following days they might do their ordinary business, intending to cross that vulgar superstitious belief, that whoever works on any of those twelve days shall be lousy". He allegedly warned his people to beware of a relapse into popery. Ward was convicted of depraving the liturgy, tending toward schism, frightening the people, and encouraging the overthrow of all manner of government. He was removed from his position, deprived of his ministerial function, suspended and silenced during the King's pleasure. He was ordered to make submission and recantation both in court and in his church and to give bond for 200 pounds. When he did not do this, he was sent to prison and lay there nearly four years, and died a few months later. In another case, a Mrs. Traske was imprisoned for at least eleven years for keeping Saturday as her sabbath. Many people were excommunicated and books censored for essentially political reasons.

In 1637, the king proclaimed that the common law courts could not intervene in ecclesiastical courts.

The Court of High Commission was abolished by the Long Parliament.

Justices of the Peace had general and quarter sessions, the latter of which were held four times a year with all Justices of the Peace attending. It was primarily a court of appeal from penal sentences. But it was also an administrative body to determine taxes and make appointments of officials and grant licenses for businesses.

In 1638, in distributing a deceased person's estate, the Chancery court upheld a trust for an heiress which would not become her husband's property.

At the request of Parliament, the King had all justices serve during their good behavior instead of serving at the King's will, which had been the practice for ages. This increased the independence of the judiciary.

The rack was used for the last time in 1640 before the Long
Parliament met. It was used to torture a rioter before hanging.

Men were still pressed to death for failure to plead, pickpockets still executed for the first offence, and husband murderers still burned.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook