‘The power of Parliament, and especially of the Commons has always depended in the last resort on control of taxation’.1 Professor Roskell’s judgement is not invalidated by the fact that Parliaments had always been concerned with many other issues, of which the most explosive were a recurring desire to influence the King’s choice of ministers, and an almost invariable desire to attack the clergy. Many members agreed with the opinion of Sir Robert Phelips in 1628 that ‘I never think that Parliament truly happy, that intends nothing but money’.2 Yet however much members’ sense of their dignity might make them want to feel that their advice was wanted as well as their cash, money remained the chief bargaining weapon with which they could induce the King to listen to their advice.
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