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WHEN the English Parliament of 1628 came together, the King told them : “If you do not your duty, mine would then order me to use those other means which God has put into my hand.” Charles's notion of Parliamentary duty was simply that the members should vote necessary supplies, and then leave the expenditures to the royal will. Parliament, however, insisted upon some assurances that abuses would not be repeated. The Petition of Right, as we saw in our account of Eliot, was the result. Though the King was obliged to give his assent to the petition, it soon became evident that he had no intention to carry out its provisions either in the letter or in the spirit. The liberal supplies granted by Parliament after the signing of the petition were soon exhausted. Every expedient of economy was resorted to in order to avoid the necessity of calling another Parliament. At first there was perhaps no clearly defined purpose to cause any positive breach of constitutional obligation, but gradually the government drifted into a policy of the most flagrant oppression. No Parliament was called for eleven years. The powers of the prerogative were strained at every point. Knighthood was forced on the gentry in order that large sums might be extorted as the price of composition. Enormous fines were levied for removing defects in title deeds. Large sums were exacted of landowners for encroachments on the crown lands. London, in consequence of its open sympathy with the Parliamentary cause, became a special object of royal dislike. An edict was issued prohibiting the enlargement of the metropolis; and large districts in the suburbs were saved from demolition only by the payment of three years' rental to the royal treasury. The powers of the Court of Star

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