Constitutional History of England, Vol 1 of 3

Constitutional History of England, Vol 1 of 3

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Excerpt: ...had neither removed all grounds of dispute between the governments, nor allayed the dislike of the nations. Spain advanced in that age the most preposterous claims to an exclusive navigation beyond the tropic, and to the sole possession of the American continent; while the English merchants, mindful of the lucrative adventures of the queen's reign, could not be restrained from trespassing on the rich harvest of the Indies by contraband and sometimes piratical voyages. These conflicting interests led of course to mutual complaints of maritime tyranny and fraud; neither likely to be ill-founded, where the one party was as much distinguished for the despotic exercise of vast power, as the other by boldness and cupidity. It was the prevailing bias of the king's temper to keep on friendly terms with Spain, or rather to court her with undisguised and impolitic partiality.515 But this so much thwarted the prejudices of his subjects that no part perhaps of his administration had such a disadvantageous effect on his popularity. The merchants presented to the Commons, in this session of 1607, a petition upon the grievances they sustained 292 from Spain, entering into such a detail of alleged cruelties as was likely to exasperate that assembly. Nothing however was done for a considerable time, when after receiving the report of a committee on the subject, the house prayed a conference with the Lords. They, who acted in this and the preceding session as the mere agents of government, intimated in their reply, that they thought it an unusual matter for the Commons to enter upon, and took time to consider about a conference. After some delay this was granted, and Sir Francis Bacon reported its result to the lower house. The Earl of Salisbury managed the conference on the part of the Lords. The tenor of his speech, as reported by Bacon, is very remarkable. After discussing the merits of the petition, and considerably extenuating the wrongs imputed to Spain, more

Product details

  • Paperback
  • 189 x 246 x 10mm | 345g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236697715
  • 9781236697714