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Sir Robert Cotton 'The Danger Wherein the Kingdom Now Standeth and the Remedy (1628)'

British Library, Additional MS 22959, ff. 16r-18v

16r {gap: elision}

Left margin: This as appeeres by the conclusion was done before ye Parliament. The danger wherein the kingdome now standeth & the Remedy p[er] Robertu[m] Cotton. Contracted.

Assoone as the house of Austria had incorporate it selfe with Spaine & gotten the wealth of the Indyes, they aimed at the fifth Monarchie Charles the 5. begaine a foundation by surprising Rome. Respect of Religion & Hen. 8 caput Fœderis against him, hindered it. He then attempted it in Germany by faction & force seeking to bring theire pettie states in subjection / Hen. 8 prevented that by his confederacy with the Lutheran Princes. Philip 2 of Spaine pursued it in Nether Germany, this Queene Elisabeth interrupted by siding with the afflicted there, & being head of the Protestant league there, & 16v drawing on France to be a Countenance. Spaine then laboured to breake the amitie of France & England, uphled by a Common danger. Then he gettesth a party in France, so that England was constrained to helpe France against it. Then he is Councelled that the way to his p[ro]jecte is impassable so long as England is an obstacle. Then followe secret practises in Engl. & open hostility in 88 which caused the Queene no more to admitte of peace, thereby hear winning the heartes & mony of her loving subjects to secure her at home & her allies & confederates abroade, & so ended her happie dayes in glory. Spaine then thus disappointed p[ro]cures peace with k. Iames, by which by pretending frendship & marriage he gettes into our Counsell cherisheth a party amongst vs, brings in jelousie & division betw[een] us & our confederates. & so haue gotten the Pallatinate swallowed vp the fortunes of our Masters brother, with the rest of the Imperial states, distressed Denmarke, diuerted Sweden & moving the[m] now with offer of the Danish kingdome. & whether by plot or our fatality a bone being cast betweene France & vs they are confederates with Spaine France & we an enemie. Now our assurance is the confederacy with the Netherlands alone, whose tye of safety is weakened by dayly discomfortes bred & continued by some ill affected to us both, so that from the doubtfulnes offrendship as we nowe stande we may rather suspect fro[m] our domesticke faction if they growe too furious, they will rather followe the example of Rome in her growing that held Left margin: the authors words it equally safelie honourable & more easie dare regem then subjugare p[ro]uinciam considering the power they haue in theire hands then to giue any frendly assistance to serve the present conditio[n] of our State. Thus we stande home abroad & I feare are noe better for resistance at home. To withstand forreigne invasion there must be a p[ro]portion of sea & land forces. An enemie must not haue easie passage & a porte to relieve him. No marche by land can be of speed to prevent landing, & no force prevention such as to be maister of the sea. To this pointe of defense there ca[n] be no lesse then 240000 For land forces 17r in an offensiue warre men of lesse livelihood were best spared, ofrmerly vsed purgamento reipub. Buut for the safety of the Commonwealth the wisedome of all times did never interest the publike adventure. 88 vsed noe other but trayned bandes & theire auxiliaries to the nu[m]ber of 24000 not drawne forth of theire habitations before the ende of May. There may be no long greevances to the publicke for discontentments are a worse enemie the[n] forreigne forces. The distributio[n] & discretio[n] for sea & land forces is fitte for the advise of a Councell of Warre, yet being called I will hu[m]bly deliver my observations. For this preparation ij things mony & affections. Wisely said the Lord Burghley to the Qu[een] manie hearts & you haue theire lands & purses. In gathering mony for this neede 3 things necessary Speed Assurance & Satisfaction. The way to gather must be by that path called formerly via regia being secure & speedy, other not so. For this last way although it take tooke place for a while, yet at length it hath drawne constultation of the consequence & is thought a pressure of theire liberties. I feare if it be followed againe it will wholly be refused/ & the restrainte of refusers hath bred resolutio[n] to forbeare still both in the[m] & others. besides if we consider the Commission & other things incident & how long it hangd' {gap: illegible} in hand, we may easily see that such a Summe giue[n] by Parliament were more easily gathered. If any will make successions of times to p[ro]duce necessity of enforcing it being denied, either generall by excise or imposition or p[ar]ticuler on some persons as in some countryes is accustomed, he must confesse that as it is not so speedy & assured a way as by Parliament, so the successe attendeth the humo[u]r of m the multitude full of jealousie & distruste &c. If A Parlament the[n] be the most speedy safe & assured way, consider of the best way to worke it to the present neede. The vsuall time of summons being fortie dayes, for present necessity an antedate may helpe, (for it holdeth not by positiue lawe) so there be a County day after the Br. receiued &c. If the summe to be levied by once agreed vpo[n], for the time there may be in the body of the grante an assignement made to the knights of every County respectiuely who vnder such assurance may safely giue security p[ro]potionably to the receipt to such as shall advance in present for the Left margin: aduenture 17v publicke service any summes of money. The last & weightiest consideration if a Parliament be thought fitte is how to remove the difference betweene the k[ing] & subjects in the mutuall demandes. What I haue learned amongst the better parte of the multitude I will freely declare that yo[u]r Lordships may the better remove & answere those distates that either concerne religio[n], publike safety of the king & state & the just liberty of the Commonwealth. For religio[n] which lyeth neerest theire consciences, they are led in jelousie to so doubte some practise against it, first for that the Spanish matche was broken by the gratefull industry of my Lo[rd] of Buckingha[m] &c & that the Articles there demanded might leade Left margin: *in some such like difference as might endanger the quiet if not the state of the reformed religion here. That when he was an actor principall in the conditions of France, there haue passed as hard if not worse then those with Spaine. & theire suspitio[n] is encreased by the close keeping of this Agreement in that point. It is no lesse cause of the doubt of his affections in that his mother & others of neerest em-ployment are so affected. They talke much of his advancing men popishly devoted, some being placed in the campe of neerest service & chiefest commande, & that Papists haue of late yeeres more courage the[n] before. If to cleere these doubtes (p[er]haps worse in feare the[n] truth) he take a course, it might advance the publike service much against the squeamish Left margin: * Three-leaved flower humors thatof those that haue more of violent passion then settled judgment, & are not the least of the opposite nu[m]ber in the Commonwealth. The next pointe is the late misfortune & losses of men & munition & hono[u]r in our late vndertakings abroade which the more temperate spirits impute to wante of Councell but sublime spirits to wante of practise.

The Losse of the Palatinate is imputed to the credit of Gondamor, as the cause of the stay of supply to S[i]r Horace Vere & Colonell Cecill. And when Count Mansfield had a royall supply of forces to helpe p[ro]testant princes, either a 18r plotte or error defeated it. That S[i]r Robert Mansfeilds expeditio[n] to Argiers did only procure the security & garde of the Spanish coastes. That many hundreth thousand pounds were spent in the Cales votage against the advice of Parliament only to warne Spaine to be in a readines. That much munition & money was fruitlessely spent in my Lo[rd] Willoughbes iourny, which to the overcurious may seeme a plott of danger to turne the quarrell fro[m] Spaine to France an ancient allie. It was held a fundamentall rule of theire & our security by the ould Lo[rd] Burgh-ley that nothing could prevent the Spanish Monarchie, but the fast amity of these ij princes, to giue Countenance & courage to the Netherlands & Germany to make heade against theire ambitio[n]. we see by these Divisions a fearefull defeate hath happened to Denmarke. And this wastfull of publike treasure in fruitles expeditio[n] will much hinder more supply in Parliament / & others feare Another feare that may disturbe the passage of the kings desire in Parliament is the vaste waste of the kings liuelyhood, whereby ariseth this jelousie that in time when the kings Crowne lands &c faile then he will more depend our upon the peoples aide. &c. That which is likely to be deeplier disputed of is the Conceived pressure of theire liberties in commanding theire goods without consent of Parliament, in imprisoning theire persons without especiall cause declared or made good against the[m] by the Iudges, & the pretending a writte for theire attendance in a forraigne warre, all which they enforce as repugnant to many positiue lawes customes & Immunities of this Commonwealth.

These dangerous distates are encreased by the vnwonted retaining an Ireland army in winter, when 88 produced no such, which they suppose should be to subverte theire fortunes subjecting the[m] to the will of power rather then lawe & to the infringing theire liberties. &c Howe farre these jelousies may prevaile w[i]t[h] the needy multitude in a commotion & how plausible this pretence,/ for religion, libertie, Parliament &c would be, is worthy the deepest consideration, & preventing care. 18v I haue thus framed with that freedome you pleased to admitte such difficulties taken vp among the multitude as may arrest, if not remove impediments to a speedy supply in Parliament &c which how to facilitate may better be-come the care of yo[u]r Lordships judgments then my ignora[n]ce onely I would wish that to remove away a personall distaste of my Lo[rd] of Buckingham amongst the people he might be pleased if there be a necessity of Parliament to appeere first adjutor thereunto. And what satisfactio[n] it shall please his Maj[es]tie of grace to giue at such time to his people I could wish to be grounded by presidents of his best & most fortunate progenitors, which I conceiue will largely satisfy the desires & hopes of all. &c. as followeth which upo[n] better leisure I added word for word If it may appeere in some sorte to be drawne downe from him to the people, by the zealous care & industry that my Lord of Buckingh[am] hath of the publike vnity & contente, he may no-doubte remaine secure not only secure from further quarrell with them, but merite a happie memory amongste them of a zealous Patriot. For to expiate the passion of the people at such times, with sacrifice of any of his Maj[es]ties servants, I haue ever found as in Ed. 2. Rich. 1. Hen. 6. no lesse fatall to the one, then to the minister in the end. I.



No introduction.


British Library, Additional MS 22959, ff. 16r-18v, Diary of Reverend John Rous

Languages: English, Latin

Creation date: 1628


Other Witnesses

Seventeenth Century Print Exemplars

  • Robert Cotton, The Danger Wherein the Kingdome now standeth, & the remedie ([London], 1629) [STC 5863.2]
  • Robert Cotton, The Danger Wherein the Kingdom of England now Standeth; and the Remedy for the Present Safety thereof (London, 1643) [Wing C6487A]
  • Robert Cotton, Cottoni Posthuma (London, 1651) [Wing C6500], pp. 308–320
  • Robert Cotton, Cottoni Posthuma (London, 1672) [Wing C6486], pp. 308–320
  • Robert Cotton, Cottoni Posthuma (London, 1679) [Wing C6487aA], pp. 309–322

Modern Print Exemplars

  • Somers Tracts (2nd ed.), vol. 4, pp. 100–104

Selected Criticism

No bibliography

Keywords (Text Type)

  • commentary
  • treatise

Keywords (Text Topics)

  • war
  • diplomacy
  • Spanish Match

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