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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 308

302 TAXATION AND LEGISLATION. [XI. take in the next lecture, in which I shall work with rather more detail than is possible in so wide a résumé as I have attempted in this, an examination of his dealings with the administrative machinery of the parliaments. But in a general way I will attempt to state the answer now. As for taxation, we have seen how, by his early as well as his late policy, the real hold on the purse-strings was wrested from the hand of the nation. A king who had over his parliaments the strong hold that Henry had, who could dictate to them the measures he wished to pass, even down to the smallest details, and even make them petition for acts when he was the only man in the kingdom that desired them, might, we think, have contented himself with taking money through the overawed or subservient Commons. But he did not ; he chose to exact money by loan and then to come to the nation that lent the money for exoneration; the very fact that he went about the loan by exactly the same process of assessment and collection that he used in assessing and collecting a legal tax, shows that he saw what he was doing: he saw that he had the power, and he used it. Wolsey might dislike the idea of meeting a parliament that might speak unreservedly about himself ; Henry had no such dislike ; he could browbeat, or bribe, or bully, or divide, or balance parties, but he never could have doubted for a moment that in the end he should get his own way. Next to taxation, perhaps even more important than taxation, was the right of legislation; legislation of the temporally could at no time be carried through without the king's enacting words ; and the submission of the clergy in 1532, embodied in the Statute of Appeals in 1534, had established the same rule for the spiritualty. But this did not content the Lion. In the Proclamation Act of 1539 the parliament is made to surrender to the king the power

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