Sunday, February 26, 2017

G. M. Trevelyan on Life Under The Stuarts

Every age has methods of its own peculiarly attractive to those who prefer to intrigue for a fortune rather than to work for a living. In those days a young man of more wit than modesty had only to attach himself to some Lord at the Palace, be found by the King in raptures in his picture gallery and by the Queen in thoughtful attendance in her antechapel and he might soon look for shares in a monopoly that was the hope of the Treasurer and the despair of the City.
A Parliament man, speaking the mind of the nation in the day of reckoning, thus describes the patentees of this period:

 It is a nest of wasps, or swarm of vermin, which have overcrept the land, I mean the monopolers polers of the people. These, like the frogs of Egypt, have got possession of our dwellings, and we have scarce a room free from them: they sip in our cup, the dip in our dish, they sit by our fire; we find them in the dye-vat, wash bowl, and powdering-tub; they share with the butler in his box, the have marked and sealed us from head to foot....They have a vizard to hid the brand made by that good law in the last Parliament of King James; they shelter themselves under the name of Corporations.

Life Under the Stuarts, G.M. Trevelyan, University Paperbacks, 1965; pg. 154.

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King James I