end is to establish possession of the subjects, and to take off the commission and records and orders that are against us. This is the main business; and the way to sweeten the business with the king, and to certify ourselves, is, first, to settle these things, and then we may in good time proceed to vindicate our privileges’ (ib. vol. cxxxv.). That Pym took the broader view of the situation can hardly be doubted; but he found no support. In the disturbance which marked the end of this session he took no part, and his name does not therefore occur among those of the men imprisoned by the king. Nor did he, at any time during the eleven years which elapsed before parliament was again summoned, take a public part in resistance to the arbitrary government of Charles.
An anecdote told by Dr. Welwood of Pym's parting with Wentworth, apparently in 1628, is of doubtful authority. Welwood states that Pym took leave of his friend with the words: ‘You are going to be undone; and remember also that, though you leave us now, I will never leave you while your head is upon your shoulders.’ It looks like a tale constructed after the event. At all events, Pym and Wentworth had not been politically in close harmony for some time. Pym was at bottom a puritan, Wentworth an anti-puritan; and the two had certainly not in 1628 ‘gone hand-in-hand in the House of Commons,’ as Welwood asserts (Memorials, vi. 47).
Another anecdote tells how Pym, together with Hampden and Cromwell, embarked with the intention of emigrating to New England, but was stopped by the king's orders. Mr. Forster (Life of Pym, p. 81) has shown that this cannot have taken place in 1638, but it is possible that something of the kind may have happened at an earlier date. Thomas Cave, in a sermon preached in 1642, ‘God waiting to be gracious,’ says: ‘Preparations were made by some very considerable personages for a western voyage—the vessel provided, and the goods ready to be carried aboard—when an unexpected and almost a miraculous providence diverted that design in the very nick of time.’ At all events, there can be no doubt of the interest taken by Pym in America. He was one of the patentees of Connecticut (Palfrey, i. 108), and was not only a patentee for Providence (Patent in P.R.O. Colonial Entry Book, iv. 1), but was treasurer of the company (ib. iii. 7; cf. Strafford Letters, ii. 141).
With the meeting of the Short parliament in 1640, Pym begins to play that part of unacknowledged leader of the House of Commons which was all that the ideas of that age permitted. On 17 April he spoke for two hours, a length of time to which Parliament was then unaccustomed. He summed up the grievances of the nation, both in civil and ecclesiastical affairs. He did not, however, ask at this time that any of the king's ministers should be held responsible, but contented himself with asking the lords to join in searching out the causes and remedies of the existing evils. Pym's moderation, combined with his energy, was the secret of his strength (there is a report of this speech in Rushworth, iii. 113; it was printed at length in 1641, with the title of A Speech delivered in Parliament by I. P., Esq., and is among the Thomason Tracts. Mr. Forster, in his Life of Pym, p. 89, gave long extracts from the latter, arguing that it had been corrected by Pym himself). On 27 April Pym followed up the blow by resisting an immediate grant of supply. On 1 May he carried a motion to send for Dr. Beale for asserting that the king had power to make laws without consent of parliament (Commons' Journals, ii. 18; Rossingham's News Letter, 4 May; State Papers, Dom. cccclii. 20). At a private meeting of the leading members, held on the 4th, it was resolved that on the following morning Pym should bring forward the subject of declaration issued by the Scots, and should ask the king to come to terms with his northern subjects (the evidence is collected in Gardiner's Hist. of England, ix. 116, n. 1). To avert what he regarded as a real catastrophe, Charles dissolved parliament on the 5th.
Pym's study was searched in vain, as well as the studies of his associates, to find compromising evidence of a conspiracy with the Scots. It is likely that he approved and even took part in those invitations to the Scots of which even now so little is accurately known. At all events, on 31 Aug., three days after the rout at Newburn, the council was alarmed by news that a meeting of the opposition, at which Pym was present, had been held in London, and it is probable that this refers to a meeting in which twelve peers signed a petition, calling on the king to redress grievances, and asking for the summoning of a fresh parliament. This petition was drawn up by Pym and St. John; and, containing as it does a demand that the advisers of the measures complained of shall be brought to trial, is evidence that Pym thought the time had come to go beyond the moderate demands made by him in the Short parliament (Petition of the Peers, 28 Aug., State Papers, Dom. cccclxv. 16; cf. Windebank to the King, 31 Aug., Clarendon State Papers, ii.