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The Dissolution of Parliament (March 1629)

charles1.jpg (12003 bytes)In the following selection, Charles I offered his defense of the dissolution of Parliament. The selection is taken from James Harvey Robinson, Readings in European History, 2 vols (Boston: Ginn & Company, 1906), 2: 224.

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And now that our people may discern that these provocations of evil men (whose punishments we reserve to a due time) have not changed our good intentions to our subjects, we do here profess to maintain the true religion and doctrine established in the Church of England, without admitting or conniving at any backsliding wither to popery or schism. We do also declare that we will maintain the ancient and just rights and liberties of our subjects, with so much constancy and justice that they shall have cause to acknowledge that under our government and gracious protection they live in a more happy and free estate than any subjects in the Christian world. Yet let no man hereby take the boldness to abuse that liberty, turning it to licentiousness; nor misinterpret the petition by perverting it to a lawless liberty, wantonly or frowardly, under that or any other color, to resist lawful and necessary authority. For as we will maintain our subjects in their just liberties, so we do and will expect that they yield as much submission and duty to our royal prerogatives, and as ready obedience to our authority and commandments, as hath been promised to the greatest of our predecessors. . . .

And now, having laid down the truth and clearness of our proceedings, all wise and discreet men may easily judge of those rumors and jealous fears that are maliciously and wickedly bruited abroad; and may discern, by examination of their own hearts, whether (in respect of the free passage of the gospel, indifferent and equal administration of justice, freedom from oppression, and the great peace and quietness which every man enjoyeth under his own vine and fig tree) the happiness of this nation can be paralleled by any of our neighbor countries; and, if not, then to acknowledge their own blessedness, and for the same be thankful to God, the author of all goodness.

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copyright 2002 Steven Kreis
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