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of your affection to me, doth infinitely tie me to you. Commend my service to my friend. The rest tomorrow, for I hope to lodge at London this night, &c. Secrecy I need not recommend, otherwise than that you may recommend it over to our friend; both because it prevents opposition, and because it is both the king's and my lord marquis's nature, to love to do things unexpected.
CCLI. TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.*
OUR VERY GOOD LORD,
We thought it our duty to impart to his Majesty, by your lordship, one particular of parliament business, which we hold it our part to relate, though it be too high for us to give our opinion of it.
The officers that make out the writs of parliament addressed themselves to me the chancellor to know, whether they should make such a writ of summons to the prince, giving me to understand, that there were some precedents of it; which I the chancellor communicated with the rest of the committees for parliament business; in whose assistance I find so much strength that I am not willing to do any thing without them: whereupon we, according to his Majesty's prudent and constant rule, for observing in what reigns the precedents were, upon diligent search have found as followeth.
That king Edward I. called his eldest son prince Edward to his parliament in the thirtieth year of his reign, the prince then being about the age of eighteen years; and to another parliament in the four and thirtieth year of his reign.
Edward III. called the Black Prince, his eldest son, to his parliament in the five and twentieth, eight and twentieth, and two and fortieth years of his reign.
Henry IV. called prince Henry to his parliaments in the first, third, eighth, and eleventh years of his reign, the prince being under age in the three first parliaments; and we find in particular, that the eighth year, the prince sat in the upper house in days of business, and recommended a bill to the lords. King Edward IV. called prince Edward, his son, to his parliament, in anno 22 of his reign, being within age.
King Henry VII. called prince Arthur to his parliament in the seventh year of his reign, being within age.
Of king Edward VI. we find nothing, his years were tender, and he was not created prince of Wales. And for prince Henry, he was created prince of Wales during the last parliament at which he lived. We have thought it our duty to relate to his Majesty what we have found, and withal that the writs of summons to the prince are not much differing from the writs to the peers; for they run in fide et ligeancia, and sometime in fide et homagio in quibus nobis tenemini, and after, consilium nobis impensuri circa ardua regni. Whereby it should seem that princes came to parliament not only in the days of • Stephens's Second Collection, p. 129.
| solemnity, when they came without writ, but also on the days of sitting. And if it should be so, then the prince may vote, and likewise may be of a committee of the upper house, and consequently may be of a conference with the lower house, and the like.
This might have been made more manifest as to the presence, and acts of the prince in days of sitting, if, through the negligence of officers, the journal books of the upper house before the reign of king Henry VIII. were not all missing.
All which we thought it appertained to our care to look through, and faithfully to represent to his Majesty and having agreed secrecy amongst ourselves, and enjoined it to the inferior officers, we humbly desire to know his Majesty's pleasure, whether he will silence the question altogether, or make use of it for his service, or refer it to his council, or what other course he will be pleased to take according to his great wisdom and good pleasure.
This we have despatched the sooner, because the writs of summons must have forty days distance from the first days of the parliament. And for the other parts of our accounts, his Majesty shall hear from us, by the grace of God, within few days; evermore praying for his Majesty's prosperity, and wishing your lordship much happiness.
Your lordship's to be commanded,
FR. VERULAM, CANC. EDW. COKE, H. MONTAGU, HENRY HOBARTE, RAN. CREW.
York-house, 21 Oct. 1620.
CCLII. TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.+
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
WE have, these two days past, made report to the board of our parliament committee, upon relation whereof, for some things we provide, for some things we arm.
The king, by my lord treasurer's signification, did wisely put it upon a consult, whether the patents, which we mentioned in our joint letters, were at this time to be removed by act of council before parliament. I opined (but yet somewhat like Ovid's mistress, that strove, but yet as one that would be overcome) that yes. My reasons:
That men would go better and faster to the main errand.
That these things should not be staged, nor talked of, and so the less fuel to the fire.
That in things of this nature, wherein the council had done the like in former particulars, which I enumerated, before parliament, near parliament, during parliament, the council were to keep their wonted centinel, as if they thought not of a parliament, to destroy in other patents as concealments. The reasons on the other side were:
That it would be thought but an humouring of the parliament, being now in the calends of a parliament, and that after parliament they would come up again.
+ Stephens's Second Collection, p. 137.
That offered graces, by reason and experience, lose their thanks.
That they are to be suffered to play upon something, since they can do nothing of themselves.
That the choosing out of some things, when perhaps their minds might be more upon other things, would do no great effect.
That former patents taken away by act of council, were upon the complaints of particular persons; whereas now it should seem to be done tanquam ex officio.
To this I yielded, though, I confess, I am yet a little doubtful to the point of suavibus modis. But it is true that the speech of these, though in the lower house, may be contemned; and if way be given to them, as I writ to your lordship of some of them in my last, it will sort to your honour. For other things, the lords have put them in a very good way, of which I will give express account when I see his Majesty, as also of other observations concerning parliament. For if his Majesty said well, that when he knew the men and the elections, he would guess at the success; the prognostics are not so good as I expected, occasioned by the late occurrents abroad, and the general licentious speaking of state matters, of which I wrote in my last. God ever keep you.
Your lordship's most obliged friend and faithful
As soon as his Majesty's convenience would permit, I have acquainted him with the draught of the proclamation your lordship sent me by his Majesty's direction: his Majesty liketh it in every point so well, both in matter and form, that he findeth no cause to alter a word in it, and would have your lordship acquaint the lords of the council with it, though he assureth himself, no man can find any thing in it to be changed, and to take order for the speedy setting it forth. And so I rest Yours, &c.
CCLVI. TO THE KING.§
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, TIME hath been when I have brought unto you gemitum columbæ from others, now I bring it from myself. I fly unto your Majesty with the wings of a dove, which once within these seven days I thought would have carried me a higher flight. When I enter into myself, I find not the materials of such a tempest as is come upon me: I have been, as your Majesty knoweth best, never author of any immoderate counsel, but always desired to have things carried suavibus modis. I have been no avaricious oppressor of the people. I have been no haughty, or intolerable, or hateful man, in my conversation or carriage: I have inherited no hatred from my father, but am a good patriot born. Whence should this be? For these are the things that use to raise dislikes abroad.
For the house of commons, I began my credit there, and now it must be the place of the sepulture thereof; and yet this parliament, upon the message touching religion, the old love revived, and they said, I was the same man still, only honesty was turned into honour.
For the upper house, even within these days, before these troubles, they seemed as to take me into their arms, finding in me ingenuity, which they took to be the true straight line of nobleness, without any crooks or angles.
And for the briberies and gifts wherewith I am charged, when the books of hearts shall be opened, I hope I shall not be found to have the troubled fountain of a corrupt heart, in a depraved habit of taking rewards to pervert justice; howsoever I may be frail, and partake of the abuses of the times.
And therefore I am resolved, when I come to my answer, not to trick up my innocency, as I writ to the lords, by cavillations or voidances; but to speak to them the language that my heart speaketh to me, in excusing, extenuating, or ingenuously confessing; praying to God to give me the grace to see the bottom of my faults, and that no hardness of heart do steal upon me, under show of more neatness of conscience, than is cause. But not to trouble your Majesty any longer, craving pardon for this long mourning letter; that which I thirst after, as the ‡ Ibid. P. 136. § Ibid.
hart after the streams, is, that I may know, by my matchless friend that presenteth to you this letter, your Majesty's heart (which is an abyssus of goodness, as I am an abyssus of misery) towards me. I have been ever your man, and counted myself but an usufructuary of myself, the property being yours. And now making myself an oblation to do with me as may best conduce to the honour of your justice, the honour of your mercy, and the use of your service, resting as clay in your Majesty's gracious hands. March 25, 1621. FR. ST. ALBAN, CANC.
CCLVII. TO THE KING.*
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, I THINK myself infinitely bounden to your Majesty, for vouchsafing me access to your royal person, and to touch the hem of your garment. I see your Majesty imitateth Him that would not break the broken reed, nor quench the smoking flax ; and as your Majesty imitateth Christ, so I hope assuredly my lords of the upper house will imitate you: and unto your Majesty's grace and mercy, and next to my lords, I recommend myself. It is not possible, nor it were not safe, for me to answer particulars till I have my charge; which when I shall receive, I shall without fig-leaves or disguise excuse what I can excuse, extenuate what I can extenuate, and ingenuously confess what I can neither clear nor extenuate. And if there be any thing which I mought conceive to be no offence, and yet is, I desire to be informed, that I may be twice penitent, once for my fault, and the second time for my error. And so submitting all that I am to your Majesty's grace, I rest
20 April, 1621.
CCLVIII. TO THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.+
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,
Ir hath pleased God, for these three days past, to visit me with such extremity of head-ache, upon the hinder part of my head, fixed in one place, that I thought verily it had been some imposthumation. And then the little physic that I have, told me, that either it must grow to a congelation, and so to a lethargy; or to break, and so to a mortal fever and sudden death: which apprehension, and chiefly the anguish of the pain, made me unable to think of any business. But now that the pain itself is assuaged to be tolerable, I resume the care of my business, and therein prostrate myself again, by my letter, at your Majesty's feet.
Your Majesty can bear me witness, that, at my last so comfortable access, I did not so much as move your Majesty, by your absolute power of pardon, or otherwise, to take my cause into your hands, and to interpose between the sentence of the house; and, according to my own desire, your Majesty left • Stephens's Second Collection, p. 138.
it to the sentence of the house, and it was reported by my lord treasurer.
But now, if not per omnipotentiam, as the divines speak, but per potestatem suaviter disponentem, your Majesty will graciously save me from a sentence, with the good liking of the house, and that cup may pass from me, it is the utmost of my desires.
This I move with the more belief, because I assure myself that, if it be reformation that is sought, the very taking away the seal, upon my general submission, will be as much in example, for this four hundred years, as any farther severities.
The means of this I most humbly leave unto your Majesty. But surely I conceive, that your Majesty opening yourself in this kind to the lords counsellors, and a motion from the prince, after my submission, and my lord marquis using his interest with his friends in the house, may effect the sparing of a sentence, I making my humble suit to the house for that purpose, joined with the delivery of the seal into your Majesty's hands.
This is the last suit I shall make to your Majesty in this business, prostrating myself at your mercyseat, after fifteen years' service, wherein I have served your Majesty in my poor endeavours with an entire heart, and, as I presumed to say unto your Majesty, am still a virgin for matters which concern your person or crown; and now only craving, that after eight steps of honour I be not precipitated altogether.
But because he that hath taken bribes is apt to give bribes, I will go farther, and present your Majesty with a bribe. For if your Majesty give me peace and leisure, and God give me life, I will present your Majesty with a good history of England, and a better digest of your laws. And so concluding with my prayers, I rest
Your Majesty's afflicted, but ever devoted
21 April, 1621.
CCLIX. TO THE PRINCE OF WALES.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR HIGHNESS,
WHEN I call to mind, how infinitely I am bound to your highness, that stretched forth your arm to save me from a sentence; that took hold of me to keep me from being plunged deep in a sentence; that hath kept me alive in your gracious memory and mention since the sentence; pitying me as, I hope, I deserve, and valuing me above that I can deserve: I find my words almost as barren as my fortunes, to express unto your highness the thankfulness I owe. Therefore I can but resort to prayers to Almighty God to clothe you with his most rich and precious blessings, and likewise joyfully to meditate upon those he hath conferred upon you already; in that he hath made you to the king your father, a principal part of his safety, contentment, and continuance in yourself so judicious, accomplished, and graceful in all your doings, with more + Ibid. p. 143. Ibid. p. 145.
virtues in the buds (which are the sweetest) than
have been known in a young prince, of long time; CCLXII. A MEMORIAL FOR HIS MAJESTY'S with the realm so well beloved, so much honoured, as it is men's daily observation how nearly you approach to his Majesty's perfections; how every day you exceed yourself; how, compared with other princes, which God hath ordained to be young at this time, you shine amongst them; they rather setting off your religious, moral, and natural excellencies, than matching them, though you be but a second person. These and such like meditations I feed upon, since I can yield your highness no other retribution. And for myself, I hope by the assistance of God above, of whose grace and favour I have had extraordinary signs and effects during my afflictions, to lead such a life in the last acts thereof, as whether his Majesty employ me, or whether I live to myself, I shall make the world say that I was not unworthy such a patron.
I am much beholden to your highness's worthy servant Sir John Vaughan, the sweet air and loving | usage of whose house hath already much revived my languishing spirits; I beseech your highness, thank him for me. God ever preserve and prosper your highness.
Your highness's most humble and most bounden servant,
FOR that your Majesty is pleased to call for my opinion concerning the sacred intention you have to go on with the reformation of your courts of justice, and relieving the grievances of your people, which the parliament hath entered into; I shall never be a recusant, though I be confined, to do you service. Your Majesty's star-chamber, next your court of parliament, is your highest chair. You never came upon that mount, but your garments did shine before you went off. It is the supreme court of judicature ordinary, it is an open council; nothing I would think can be more seasonable, if your other appointments permit it, than if your Majesty will be pleased to come thither in person, the morrow after this term, (which is the time anniversary, before the circuits and the long vacation,) and there make an open declaration :
That you purpose to pursue the reformation, which the parliament hath begun. That all things go well, in all affairs, when the ordinary and extraordinary are well mingled and tempered together. That in matters of your treasure, you did rely upon your parliament for the extraordinary, but you were ever desirous to do what you could by improvements, retrenchments, and the like, to set the ordinary in good frame and establishment. That you are in the same mind in matter of reformation of justice, and grievance, to assist yourself with the advice and authority of parliament at times; but meanwhile to go on with the same intentions, by your own regal power and care. That it doth well in church-music when the greatest part of the hymn is sung by one voice, and then the choir at all times falls in sweetly and solemnly, and that the same harmony sorteth well in monarchy between the king and his parliament.
That all great reformations are best brought to perfection by a good correspondence between the king and his parliament, and by well sorting the matters and the times; for in that which the king doth in his ordinary administration, and proceedings, neither can the information be so universal, nor the complaint so well encouraged, nor the references so many times free from private affection, as when the king proceedeth by parliament; on the other side, that the parliament wanteth time to go through with many things; besides, some things are of that nature, as they are better discerned and resolved by a few than by many. Again, some things are so merely regal, as it is not fit to transfer them; and many things, whereof it is fit for the king to have the principal honour and thanks.
Therefore, that according to these differences and distributions, your Majesty meaneth to go on, where the parliament hath left, and to call for the memorials, and inchoations of those things, which have passed in both houses, and to have them pass the file of your council, and such other assistance as shall be thought fit to be called respectively, accord+ Ibid. p. 147. Ibid.
hands, and to receive his pleasure from himself. My riches in my adversity have been, that I have had a good master, a good friend, and a good servant.
I perceive by Mr. Meautys his Majesty's inclination, that I should go first to Gorhambury; and his Majesty's inclinations have ever been with me instead of directions. Wherefore I purpose, God willing, to go thither forthwith, humbly thanking his Majesty, nevertheless, that he meant to have put my
ing to the nature of the business, and to have your | learned counsel search precedents what the king hath done for matter of reformation, as the parliament hath informed themselves by precedents what the parliament hath done: and thereupon that the clock be set, and resolutions taken, what is to be holpen by commission, what by act of council, what by proclamation, what to be prepared for parliament, what to be left wholly for parliament. That if your Majesty had done this before a par-desire, in my petition contained, into a way, if I had liament, it mought have been thought to be done to prevent a parliament, whereas, now it is to pursue a parliament; and that by this means many grievances shall be answered by deed, and not by word; and your Majesty's care shall be better than any standing committee in this interim between the meetings of parliament.
For the particulars, your Majesty in your grace and wisdom will consider, how unproper and how unwarranted a thing it is for me, as I now stand, to send for entries of parliament, or for searchers for precedents, whereupon to ground an advice; and besides, what I should now say may be thought by your Majesty (how good an opinion soever you have of me) much more by others, to be busy or officious, or relating to my present fortunes.
insisted upon it; but I will accommodate my present occasions as I may, and leave the times, and seasons, and ways, to his Majesty's grace and choice.
Only I desire his Majesty to bear with me if I have pressed unseasonably. My letters out of the Tower were de profundis; and the world is a prison, if I may not approach his Majesty, finding in my heart as I do. God preserve and prosper his Majesty, and your lordship.
Your lordship's faithful and bounden servant,
CCLXV. TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCK-
MY VERY GOOD Lord,
I THANK God I am come very well to Gorham
CCLXIII. TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKING-bury, whereof I thought your lordship would be glad
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
YOUR lordship, I know, and the king both, mought think me very unworthy of that I have been, or that I am, if I should not by all means desire to be freed from the restraint which debarreth me from approach to his Majesty's person, which I ever so much loved, and admired; and severeth me likewise from all conference with your lordship, which is my second comfort. Nevertheless, if it be conceived that it may be matter of inconvenience, or envy, my particular respects must give place: only in regard of my present urgent occasions, to take some present order for the debts that press me most, I have petitioned his Majesty to give me leave to stay at London till the last of July, and then I will dispose of my abode according to the sentence. I have sent to the prince to join with you in it, for though the matter seem small, yet it importeth me much. God prosper you.
to hear sometimes; my lord, I wish myself by you in this stirring world, not for any love to place or business, for that is almost gone with me, but for my love to yourself, which can never cease in
Your lordship's most obliged friend and true servant,