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WILLIAM STUBBS Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 296

2ÇO A HAND-TO-MOUTH POLICY. [XI. of the lenders being exhausted, a new parliament was got together to wipe off the old debt or promise a new subsidy. There can be little doubt that some of the most important legislative acts were carried, at least through the Commons, by the inducement that the king would be able to dispense with direct taxation ; and, although that undertaking was a fallacious one, men could be found to overawe opposition or make a show of self-sacrifice which was sure of subsequent reward. I may note some of the parliamentary methods when I reach that part of our subject : for this is the only point on which Henry in his parliaments had anyreal difficulty. A hand-to-mouth policy has this drawback ; that, on critical occasions, it involves critical demands, and critical demands produce special irritation. That rule is exemplified very clearly in the reign of Henry VII, whose financial policy was much safer than his son's ; it was not a hand-to-mouth policy, but a severely economical one ; and both policies coincide in having nothing to spare for emergencies; accordingly we find, on every imposition of a subsidy in the reign of Henry VII, an outbreak of popular disaffection, taking hold of some political quarrel There was under Henry VIII something of the same sort ; but it was, as a rule, more easily localised, and put down at once; the restoration of law and order by his father had borne this good fruit. In 1497 a rising in Devonshire caused by an income tax, utilised by a faction and facilitated by the weakness of local organisation, could affect all Southern England, and force the king into the field. In 1536, even a great religious movement like the Pilgrimage of Grace sinks into a local and provincial rising, an abortive tumult. It is not necessary, however, at this point to formulate a general conclusion as to the oppressive character of Henry's financial ( administration: the legal taxes were not excessively heavy,

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