He presided at convocations as the King's vicegerent; controlled the House of Commons, and was inquisitor-general of the monasteries; he was foreign and home secretary, vicar-general, and president of the star-chamber or privy-council.
The Star-chamber had been abolished.
Thousands and tens of thousands among his contemporaries raised their voices against ship-money and the Star-chamber.
Yet then he oft forgets his journey's end, although he look on the Star-Chamber.
Lye is the grand salad of arbitrary government, executor to the star-chamber and the high commission; for those courts are not extinct, they survive in him like dollars changed into single money.
Waller had formerly enjoyed a lucrative office under the crown, but he had been fined in the Star-chamber, and his wife was a "godly woman;" her zeal and his own resentment made him a patriot; he raised a troop of horse for the service, and was quickly advanced to a command.
prelate, had been scrutinized; and his conduct both private and public, as a bishop and a counsellor, in the Star-chamber and the High Commission court, had been subjected to the most severe investigation.
To excuse his participation in the arbitrary measures of the council, and his concurrence in the severe decrees of the Star-chamber, he alleged, that he was only one among many; and that it was cruel to visit on the head of a single victim the common faults of the whole board.
Before the Star-chamber he refused to take the oath ex officio, or to answer interrogatories, and in consequence was condemned to stand in the pillory, was whipped from the Fleet-prison to Westminster, receiving five hundred lashes with knotted cords, and was imprisoned with double irons on his hands and legs.
He subscribed the engagement, and, though he openly explained it in a sense conformable to his own principles, yet the parliament made to him out of the forfeited lands of the deans and chapters the grant[b] of a valuable estate, as a compensation for the cruel treatment which he had formerly suffered from the court of the Star-Chamber.
Probably the court of Star-chamber never pronounced a judgment in which the punishment was more disproportionate to the offence.
We copy the following eloquent and impassioned paragraph from the last Edinburgh Review: "Thanks unto our ancestors, there is now no Star-chamber before whom may be summoned either the scholar, whose learning offends the bishops, by disproving incidentally the divine nature of tithes, or the counsellor, who gives his client an opinion against some assumed prerogative.
This Stafford law, Which I till nowe heard never nam'd in France, Is for the present a more fearefull coort Then chancery or star-chamber.
Since the time of the star-chamber and of general warrants there has been no such proceeding in England.
The star-chamber, tyrannical and odious as it was, never proceeded in such a manner.
Archbishop Laud, to punish this their Negligence, laid a considerable Fine upon that Company in the Star-Chamber.
"Come," thought John as he paused, "they deserve a 'wigging,' but I don't want to make a 'Star-chamber matter' of this.
LILBURNE, JOHN, a victim of the Star-Chamber in the time of Charles I., and exposed on the pillory as well as fined and imprisoned; joined the Parliamentary ranks and fought for the Commonwealth, but as an Independent indulged in violent harangues against Cromwell, and was committed to the Tower, but on his release turned Quaker (1618-1657).
A Star-Chamber victim V. Jocelyn Mounchensey VI.
Luke Hatton ````"I will make a Star-Chamber matter of it.
Their miserable victims dared scarcely murmur; having ever the terrible court of Star-Chamber before them, which their persecutors could command, and which punished libellersas they would be accounted, if they gave utterance to their wrongs, and charged their oppressors with mis-doing,with fine, branding, and the pillory.
The punishments inflicted by the Star-Chamber were, as we learn from a legal authority, and a counsel in the court, "fine, imprisonment, loss of ears, or nailing to the pillory, slitting the nose, branding the forehead, whipping of late days, wearing of papers in public places, or any punishment but death."
And John Chamberlain, Esq., writing to Sir Dudley Carlton, about the same period, observes, that "The world is now much terrified with the Star-Chamber, there being not so little an offence against any proclamation, but is liable and subject to the censure of that court.
Thus they enjoyed a complete immunity of wrong; and, with the terrible court of Star-Chamber to defend them and to punish their enemies, they set all opposition at defiance.
In the court of Star-Chamber, as already remarked, Sir Giles Mompesson found an instrument in every way fitted to his purposes; and he worked it with terrible effect, as will be shown hereafter.
The Star-Chamber itself served the king as, in a less degree, it served Sir Giles Mompesson, and others of the same stamp, as a means of increasing his revenue; half the fines mulcted from those who incurred its censure or its punishments being awarded to the crown.
A Star-Chamber victim.
Need I say my father was ruined by the Star-Chamber?" "Hush! hush!
To speak of the Star-Chamber as you have spoken is worse than treason.
"Must one suffer grievous wrong, and not complain?" "Certes, you must not contemn the Star-Chamber, or you will incur its censure," Sir Francis replied in a low tone.
The Star-Chamber hath its spies everywhere.
The Star-Chamber will uphold us."
You have dared to utter scandalous and contemptuous language against the great and high court of Star-Chamber, before the decrees of which, all men bow; impugning its justice and denying its authority; and you shall feel the full weight of its displeasure.
" "But I did, Sir Francis," squeaked a little whey-faced man, in a large ruff and tight-laced yellow doublet, from the opposite side of the table; "I heard him most audaciously vilipend the high court of Star-Chamber and its councils; and I will bear testimony against him when called upon."
Clement Lanyere, the owner of this gashed and ghastly face, who was also reft of his ears, and branded on the cheek, had suffered infamy and degradation, owing to the licence he had given his tongue in respect to the Star-Chamber.
But it is scarcely likely that they should be aware, as I chance to be, that the clownish insolent who has dared to wag his tongue against me, is the son of a Star-Chamber delinquent.
"Know, to your confusion, that the High Court of Star-Chamber is so tender of upholding the honour of its sentences, that it ever punishes such as speak against them with the greatest severity.
"Look at this man," Sir Giles continued, addressing Jocelyn; "and you will perceive how those who malign the Star-Chamber are treated.
" "By whom were you prosecuted in the Star-Chamber?" "By him I now serve.
'Quod non habet in cere, luet in corpore' is a decree of the Star-Chamber; meaning, for I do not expect you to understand Latin, that he who cannot pay in purse shall pay in person.
"Who is this young man, Sir Giles?" "He is named Jocelyn Mounchensey, my lord Marquis; and is the son of an old Norfolk knight baronet, who, you may remember, was arraigned before the Court of Star-Chamber, heavily fined, and imprisoned.
He hath spoken contemptuously of the Star-Chamber,and that, my lord Marquis, as you well know, is an offence, which cannot be passed over."
It is not likely that this youth's headstrong temper, coupled with his fantastic notions of honour, will permit him to deny your worship's accusation, and therefore his confession being written down, and subscribed by himself, will be exhibited against him when he is brought to the bar of the Star-Chamber, and he will be judged ex ore suo.
"No one knows better than thou, good Lupo, how promptly and effectually the court of Star-Chamber will vindicate its authority, and how severely it will punish those who derogate from its dignity.
"Sir Giles will make a Star-Chamber matter of it.
A shudder crossed him as he thought of the Star-Chamber, and he turned his gaze elsewhere, trying to bring the whole glorious city within his ken.
"I hold a warrant from the Star-Chamber for your arrest," said the man in the mask; "and you will vainly offer resistance if I choose to execute it.
I had a frienda very dear friend," he continued, in a tone of deep pathos"confined within the Fleet Prison by a decree of the Star-Chamber.
And as I could only affirm, that as he was guilty of no crime, so he could confess none, the King returned me the petition, coldly observing'The dignity of our Court of Star-Chamber must be maintained before all things.
"I am threatened with arrest by the Star-Chamber," pursued Jocelyn; "so your Excellency will perceive that my position is fraught with extreme peril.
as the Star-Chamber; suffering stripes and imprisonment for refusing to read thy mischievous proclamation to their flocks."
Showing how judgment was given by King James in the Star-Chamber in the great cause of the Countess of Exeter against Sir Thomas and Lady Lake XXVIII.
He looked upon the Star-Chamber and the Fleet as the means by which he could plunder society and stifle the cry of the oppressed; and it was his business to see that both machines were kept in good order, and worked well.
And it was lucky for us he did so die, or he might have proved a serious obstacle to our seizure of these estates, for I remember it being stated at the time, by one of the judges, that had he been living, he might have procured a reversal of the Star-Chamber sentence upon Sir Ferdinando in his favour.
You will remember, when we first met, you were in danger from the Star-Chamber.
The officers of the Star-Chamber are on the watch for you; and if found, your arrest is certain.
You will not find him,but you will find a serjeant-at-arms with a Star-Chamber warrant for your arrest.
From a sentence of the Star-Chamber.
Acting under cover of the Star-Chamber, and in pursuance of its iniquitous decrees, he nailed me to the pillory, and so fast, that the ears through which the spikes were driven were left behind.
Think what you would feel, if you stood there on that infamous post, a spectacle to the base and shouting rabble, with a paper fastened to your breast, setting forth your crimes, and acquainting all that you were a Star-Chamber delinquent?" "Enough, Sir," interrupted Sir Jocelyn.
The serjeant-at-arms, a tall, thin man, with a sinister aspect, advanced towards the young knight, and touching him with his wand, said"I attach your person, Sir Jocelyn Mounchensey, in virtue of a warrant, which I hold from the High Court of Star-Chamber."
To this gate state-offenders were brought by water after committal by the Council of the Star-Chamber.
Frequently flooded by the river, these dungeons were exceedingly damp and unwholesome; and they were reserved for such prisoners as had incurred the censure of the inexorable Court of Star-Chamber.
The barbarities carried out in pursuance of the atrocious sentences of the Court of Star-Chamber were to him pleasant spectacles; and the bleeding and mutilated wretches, whom his accusations had conducted to the pillory, when brought back to their dungeons, could not escape his hateful presenceworse to them, from his fiendish derision of their agonies, than that of the executioner.
After his arrest by the serjeant-at-arms, Sir Jocelyn was taken, in the first instance, to the Star-Chamber, where some of the Lords of the Council were sitting at the time, and examined respecting the "libellous language and false scandal" he had used in reference to the proceedings of that high and honourable court.
Consigned once more to the custody of the serjeant-at-arms, he was placed on board a barge, of ill-omened appearance, being covered with black cloth, like a Venetian gondola, and kept for offenders against the Star-Chamber.
Star-Chamber delinquents cannot expect to be treated like ordinary prisoners.
"Star-Chamber prisoners will get little indulgence from me, I warrant them."
"Every word you utter against the decrees of the Star-Chamber, will be reported to the Council, and will be brought up against you; so you had best be cautious.
Ha! ha!" "One censured by the Star-Chamber must wear a paper on his breast at the pillory.
"How ingeniously devised are our Star-Chamber punishments, Master Joachim, and how well they meet the offences.
"Master Joachim Tunstall, you well know I am not sentenced by the Star-Chamber, or any other court, to confinement within this cell.
You need not be uneasy about this young man being summoned before the Star-Chamber.
Showing how judgment was given by King James in the Star-Chamber, in the great cause of the Countess of Exeter against Sir Thomas and Lady Lake.
Five days had King James and the whole of the Privy Council been sitting within the Star-Chamber; and the great cause that had occupied them during the whole of that time was drawing to an endlittle remaining for his Majesty to do in it, except to pronounce sentence.
It was the Star-Chamber.
We are told in Strype's Stowe, that the Star-Chamber was "so called, either by derivation from the old English word Steoran, which signifieth to steer or rule, as doth the pilot of a ship; because the King and Council did sit here, as it were, at the stern, and did govern in the ship of the Commonwealth.
Well, then, it occupied five days in the Star-Chamber; and Sir Thomas and his lady are sent to the Tower, and Sarah Swarton to the Fleet.
But though this seat is erected into a tribunal before which accusations against wrong-doers can be brought, and sentence upon them pronounced; still, whatever charges are now made, and against whomsoever they may be preferred, those charges will have to be repeated to the Lords of the Council of the Star-Chamber, before whom the accused will be taken; and any judgment now given will have to be confirmed by that high and honourable Court.
But let me premise that, in the greater part of these cases, and in all the more important of them, where grievous and irreparable wrong has been committed, the engine employed by these crafty and dangerous men has been the Star-Chamber."
"The Star-Chamber!" exclaimed Charles, bending his brows.
The Star-Chamber is too jealous of its honour not to resent the imputation; and such a charge will not escape its censure."
It is chiefly he and his partner who, by their evil doings, have brought the Star-Chamber into disrepute, and made it a terror to all just men, who have dreaded being caught within the toils woven around it by these infamous wretches; and the Court will do well to purge itself of such villanies, and make a terrible example of those who have so dishonoured it."
"The Star-Chamber will never desert its faithful servants, and such we have been," said Sir Giles.
He commenced a suit against them in the Star-Chamber, but here again he was baffled by the cunning and knavery of Sir Giles, and having unwittingly incurred the censure of the Court, he was cast into the Fleet Prison, where he perished miserably."
By your machinations, villain, was my brother destroyedby your machinations has his son been imprisoned, and his life endangeredby your machinations I myself was censured by the terrible Star-Chamber, and its severest punishments inflicted upon me.
I have a Star-Chamber warrant for your arrest.
As will have been foreseen, the judgment pronounced by Prince Charles upon Mompesson and his partner, was confirmed by the King and the Lords of the Council, when the two offenders were brought be them in the Star-Chamber.
"I know not that," replied the tormentor,a big, brawny fellow, habited in a leathern jerkin, with his arms bared to the shoulder,taking up his hammer and selecting a couple of sharp-pointed nails; "but in any case he has an order from the Council of the Star-Chamber to stand here.
Strict search had been made by the officers of the Star-Chamber for concealed treasure, but little was found, the bulk having been carried off, as before related, by the myrmidons.
Here, it was at once evident, was concealed the treasure that had escaped the clutches of the myrmidons and the officers of the Star-Chamber.