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A Short History Lesson and a Few More Great Quotes! August 24, 2012 12:00 AM | Tagged as Henry VII, Law, Merry Wives of Windsor, nobility., Richard III, rights, Star Chamber

 

Have you heard this quote before? 

I will make a Star-chamber matter of it., a1s1

Have you ever wondered what the Star Chamber is?  After Richard III’s murder and Henry VII usurpation of the Kingship, he implemented The Star Chamber Act in 1487.  It initially was as a separate tribunal distinct from the King’s general Council.  In its early days it was appreciated because of the speed and flexibility.  It was made up of Privy Counselors, as well as common law judges.   I basically oversaw the equal enforcement of the lower courts in cases against prominent people particularly those powerful people that the lower courts would never convict of any crime due to their power.  However, Henry VII used the Star Chamber to rid himself of the problem of powerful landed gentry.  It would also bypass local courts when the common people had complaints against the excesses of nobility. 

Under the direction of Cardinal Wolsey and Thomas Cranmer, it became a political weapon against anyone who opposed policies of Henry VII thus making it a type of inquisition for those who did not toe the line with Henry’s commands.  Court sessions were held in secret, and a plaintiff could be accused without indictments, and were allowed no right of appeal.  There weren’t even juries or witnesses, only accusation in writing were presented as evidence. 

It was abolished in 1641.  Almost 300 years later, it was described like this:

“In the Star Chamber the council could inflict any punishment short of death, and frequently sentenced objects of its wrath to the pillory, to whipping and to the cutting off of ears. ... With each embarrassment to arbitrary power the Star Chamber became emboldened to undertake further usurpation. ... The Star Chamber finally summoned juries before it for verdicts disagreeable to the government, and fined and imprisoned them. It spread terrorism among those who were called to do constitutional acts. It imposed ruinous fines. It became the chief defense of Charles against assaults upon those usurpations which cost him his life. . . .” (Edgar Lee Masters, 1868-1950, poet, dramatist and biographer).

 

A few more without the history lesson: 

This is the short and the long of it., a2s2

We have some salt of our youth in us., a2s3

O, what a world of vile ill-favoured faults
Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a year!, a3s4

Look for an opportunity to see this very fun and entertain play!  And if you do, don’t forget to order an oyster charm to remember it by! 

All his successors gone before him have done't; and all his ancestors that come after him may., aIsI