70 INTRODUCTION. estates; but, happily, while the cause was pending, King James died, and the prosecution was dropped. The king finished his course March 27, 1625, not without suspicion of having been poisoned by the Duke of Buckingham.. He was a mere pedant, without judgment, courage, or steadi- ness, being the very scorn of the age. His reign was a continued course of mean practices.+ He invaded the liberties of his subjects ; endangered the religion of his country ; was ever grasping at arbitrary power ;t and, in a word, liberty of conscience was totally suppressed.§ SECT. IV. From the Death of King James I. to the Death of King Charles I. WHEN King CHARLES came tothe crown, he was at first thought favourable to puritanism. His tutor, and all his court, were puritanically inclined. Dr. Preston, one of the leading puritans, came in a coach to London with the King and the Duke of Buckingham, which gave great offence to the contrary party. His majestywas so overcharged with grief for the death of his father, that he wanted the comfort of so wise and great a man.1 The puritans, however, soon found that no favour was to be expected. The unjust and inhuman proceedings of the COUNCIL-TABLE, the STAR- CHAMBER, and the HIGH commissioN, during this reign, Harris's Life of James I. p. 237. Edit. 1753. + Barnet's Hist. of his Times, vol. i. p. 17. Bennet's Mem. of Reformation, p. 147. § Hume's Hist. of Eng. vol. vi. p. 116.-11 Bishop Laud observes of James, that the sweetness of his nature was scarcely to be paralleled, and little less than a miracle. Clemency, mercy, justice, and peace, were all eminent in him; and he was the most learned and religious prince that England ever knew. On the contrary, the learnedMosheim affirms, "that " as the desireof unlimited power and authority was the reigning passion " in the heart of this monarch, so all his measures, whether of a civil or " ecclesiastical nature, were calculated to answer the purposes of his " ambition. He was the bitterest enemy of the doctrine and discipline of " the puritans to which he had been in his youth most warmly attached; " the most inflexible and ardent patron of the Arminians, in whose ruin " and condemnation in Holland he had been singularly instrumental; and " the most zealous defender of episcopal government, against which he had " more than once expressed himself in the strongest terms." Though he was no papist, he was certainly very much inclined to popery, and "was " excessively addicted to hunting and drinking."--Breviate of Laud, p. 5. Ecci. Hist. vol. v. p. 385, 391, 392.-1-fattiesLife ofJames L p. 45, 66. 4 Burnet's Hist, of his Time, vol. i. p. 19.