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ed too well the folly of resistance to contend with him. There were many similar instances enumerated; but the most detestable, for it apparently sprang from the most odious motive, was the case of Chancellor Lord Loftus, who had held the seals of Ireland for twenty years with high reputation. The accused, it would appear, had formed an illicit attachment to this noble judge's daughter-in-law; and as she, though false to her husband's bed, was yet true enough to his pecuniary interest, or rather to her own, she prevailed with her paramour to force her father-in-law into concessions to the son; and because the chancellor refused obedience to an iniquitous award of the council-table, on a paper petition, he was by Straffbrde not only deprived of the seals, but imprisoned *. He was accused of having delegated the arbitrary power which he had assumed, to the Bishop of Down and Conner, and his chancellor, with their several officers, empowering them to attach and imprison the poorer sort who refused obedience to their decrees; of having enhanced the rate of the customs t from a twentieth of the value of the article, to a fourth, and sometimes a third; of having restrained the
* Clar. vol. i.p. 822. Warwick's Mem. p. 116-7. Clarendon informs us, that Letters of great affection and familiarity, which were found in her cabinet at her death, were exposed to public view, and we cannot doubt their existence, considering the authority; but he is mistaken so far, for the commons did not insist on the charge regarding the chancellor—a clear proof that they did not search after scandal. See Rush- and Baillie.
t He farmed the customs himself.
exportation of staples, and then granted a licence for money; of having procured to himself a monopoly of tobacco, and then having prohibited the importation of the commodity without a licence, under the most terrible penalties. The goods of the con h aveners were ordered to be seized, themselves subjected to a discretionary fine, imprisonment, and even to the pillory. In this way, he is alleged to have amassed the enormous sum of a hundred thousand pounds. Flax was a staple of Ireland, and it was charged against Strafforde, that, having raised a vast quantity on his own lands, and otherwise engrossed an immense stock, he had prohibited the manufacturing of wool, and then insisted upon the natives spinning the flax in a particular manner, whereby he, in a short time, got a monopoly in his own person, at an infinite expenceto the inhabitants: That he had imposed illegal oaths upon shipmasters and others; had exacted taxes by troops of soldiers; and, wherever his orders were resisted, he bad quartered a party of soldiers till his commands were fulfilled: That, in the same way, he had driven many families from their possessions: That he had obtained authority from the king to prevent the complaints of the injured from reaching the royal ear, by a proclamation that none should quit the limits of his government, without a licence from himself, and had fined and imprisoned all who had dared to disobey his proclamation: That he had said his majesty was so well pleased with the army in Ireland, that he meant to make it a pattern for England: That he had encouraged papists, and raised an army of 8000 from that body: That he had imposed an illegal oath upon the Scots in Ireland, and exacted enormous fines of those who refused to take it: That on his late departure from Ireland, he pronounced the Scots all traitors, and declared that, if he returned, he would drive them out root and branch: That he had stirred up war betwixt England and Scotland; and, though he had advised a parliament, he had assured his majesty at the same time, that he would assist him in extraordinary ways, if it proved refractory; and had for that purpose, confederated with Sir George Ratcliffe to bring over the Irish army: That he afterwards advised the king to dissolve the parliament, and declared to him, that he was now absolved from all rules of government: That he advised the king to go on vigorously with levying ship-money; and had recommended the prosecution of sheriffs in the star-chamber for not pursuing measures to raise that illegal tax: That a loan of L.100,000 having been demanded of the city of London, and the citizens having declined to advance the money, the names of the principal refusers were demanded; and when the mayor and alderman had resisted this iniquitous demand, he told them that no good could ever be expected till the mayor and some of the aldermen were hanged: That, by his advice, the bullion in the tower had been seized, and the measure to debase the coin projected; and when the officers of the mint represented to him the consequences of a debasement of the coin, he answered, that the French king set commissaries of horse to search into men's estates, and to peruse accompts, that they might know what to levy, and that the money was raised by force; that having said this, he turned to the Lord Cottington, who was present, and remarked, that this was a point worthy of his consideration; farther, that he had imposed a tax in the county of York for the maintenance of the trained bands. The twenty-eighth article regarded his conduct in the late war*.
His answer to the charge, prepared by counsel, was specious, but scarcely bore examination t; and no sooner had the Irish parliament felt themselves freed from the terror of his government, than they had drawn up a remonstrance against him. This was read at the beginning of the trial, and so transported Strafforde with passion, that he declared there was a conspiracy to take away his life; but the commons having resented the speech, he made an apology: Maynardremarked that the remonstrance was not read as a charge, but merely as evidence to contradict what he had said in his preamble^.
Very arbitrary acts during his presidentship of York were proved against him; but he denied that he had been instrumental in procuring the commission chiefly objected to, alleging that he had gone to Ireland about the time the commission was sent down, and that he had never sat as president
* See the Charge at length, in Rush. vol. viii. which is filled with this remarkable trial; and which, with Baillie's Journal, in vol. i. of the letters, forms the most complete report . t lb.
^"Rush. vol. viii. p- 1S7. Baillie, vol. i. p. 901.
after the new instructions were framed. That he had never presided in the council after the instructions were sent down is true; hut then he had retained the office, and discharged the duty by means of a deputy, so that in effect the whole power was centered in himself; and he, in acting by deputy, necessarily incurred the responsibility. With regard, again, to his instrumentality in obtaining such instructions, it was not directly proved; but as it was distinctly established that he had, on one occasion, thrown himself upon his knees to the king, and prayed of his majesty that he might be permitted to retire from the office, if his authority were restrained by the legal course of a prohibition from Westminster-hall; and as the article against prohibitions, an article which disfranchized the whole northern counties of the privileges of English subjects, formed the grand exception to the instructions, it follows that he must be considered more than the adviser of them. In short, those instructions merely warranted, in the royal name, what he had arrogated and prayed for as a power to be considered inherent in his office, before they were issued. It was also proved that he had threatened to lay any by the heels who sued out a prohibition; and, had his dispatches been open to the inspection of the prosecutors, there would not have been left the colour of an excuse; for he had even used all his influence to accomplish the ruin of a judge, Vernon, for merely acting in the conscientious discharge of his duty against the other's usurped power. He also argued with