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First, Sir Thomas Smith hath certified in writing, on the behalf of the merchants of London, that there will be a contribution of 20,000l. a year, during two years space, towards the charge of repressing the pirates; wherein we do both conceive, that this, being as the first offer, will be increased. And we consider also, that the merchants of the West, who have sustained in proportion far greater damage than those of London, will come into the circle, and follow the example: and for that purpose letters are directed unto them.
Secondly, for the consultation de modo of the arming and proceeding against them, in respect that my lord admiral † cometh not yet abroad, the table hath referred it to my lord treasurer, † the lord Carew, § and Mr. Chancellor of the exchequer, who heretofore hath served as treasurer of the navy, to confer with the lord admiral, calling to that conference Sir Robert Mansell, and others expert in seaservice; and so to make report unto the board. At which time some principal merchants shall likewise attend for the lords better information.
So that, when this is done, his Majesty shall be advertised from the table: whereupon his Majesty may be pleased to take into his royal consideration, both the business in itself, and as it may have relation to Sir John Digby's embassage.
For the proclamation, that lieutenants, not being counsellors, deputy lieutenants, justices of the peace, and gentlemen of quality, should depart the city, and reside in their countries: we find the city so dead of company of that kind for the present, as we account it out of season to command that, which is already done. But after men have attended their business the two next terms, in the end of Trinityterm, according to the custom, when the justices shall attend at the star-chamber, I shall give a charge concerning the same: and that shall be corroborated by a proclamation, if cause be.
For the information given against the Witheringtons, that they should countenance and abet the spoils and disorders in the middle shires; we find the informers to falter and fail in their accusation. Nevertheless, upon my motion, the table hath ordered, that the informer shall attend one of the clerks of the council, and set down articulately what he can speak, and how he can prove it, and against whom, either the Witheringtons or others.
For the causes of Ireland, and the late letters from the deputy,¶ we have but entered into them, and have appointed Tuesday for a farther consultation of the same; and therefore of that subject I forbear to write more for this present Indorsed,
TO THE LORD KEEPER.**
For safety and caution against tumults and disorders in and near the city, in respect of some idle fly- March 30, 1617. An account of council business. ing papers, that were cast abroad of a May-day, &c. the lords have wisely taken a course neither to nurse it, or nourish it, by too much apprehension, nor much less to neglect due provision to make all sure. And therefore order is given, that as well the trained bands, as the military bands newly erected, shall be in muster as well weekly, in the mean time, on every Thursday, which is the day upon which May-day falleth, as in the May-week itself, the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Besides, that the strength of the watch shall that day be increased.
For the buildings in and about London, order is given for four selected aldermen, and four selected justices, to have the care and charge thereof laid upon them; and they answerable for the observing of his Majesty's proclamation, and for stop of all farther building; for which purposes the said Eslus are warned to be before the board, where they shall receive a strait charge, and be tied to a continual account.
For the provosts marshals, there is already direc. tion given for the city and the counties adjacent ; and it shall be strengthened with farther commission, if there be cause.
* Of Biborough in Kent, second son of Thomas Smith, of Ostenhanger, of that county, Esq. He had farmed the customs in the reign of queen Elizabeth, and was sent by king James I. ambassador to the court of Russia, in March 1604-5; from whence returning, he was made governor of the society of merchants trading to the East-Indies, Muscovy, the French and Summer Islands; and treasurer for the colony and company of Virginia. He built a magnificent house at Deptford, which was burnt on the 30th of January, 1618; and in April 1619, he was removed from his employment of governor and treasurer, upon several complaints of frauds committed by him. + Charles Howard, earl of Nottingham. Thomas Howard, earl of Suffolk.
George, lord Carew, who had been president of Munster, in Ireland, and was now master of the ordnance. He was created earl of Totness by king Charles I. 1626.
MY HONOURABLE LORD,
WHEREAS the late lord chancellor thought it fit to dismiss out of the chancery a cause touching Henry Skipwith to the common law, where he desireth it should be decided: these are to entreat your lordshiptt in the gentleman's favour, that if the adverse party shall attempt to bring it now back again into your lordship's court, you would not retain it there, but let it rest in the place where now it is, that without more vexation unto him in posting him from one to another, he may have a final hearing and determination thereof. And so I rest
Your lordship's ever at command,
This is a business, wherein I spake to my lord chancellor ; ‡‡ whereupon he dismissed the suit. Lincoln, the 4th of April, 1617.
Sir Fulk Greville.
Sir Oliver St. John, afterwards viscount Grandison. ** Harl. MSS. Vol. 7006.
+ This is the first of many letters, which the marquis of Buckingham wrote to lord Bacon in favour of persons, who had causes depending in, or likely to come into, the court of chancery. And it is not improbable, that such recommendations were considered in that age as less extraordinary and irregular, than they would appear now. The marquis made the same kind of applications to lord Bacon's successor, the lord keeper Williams, in whose Life, by bishop Hacket, Part I. p. 107, we are informed, that "there was not a cause of moment, but, as soon as it came to publication, one of the parties brought letters from this mighty peer, and the lord keeper's patron."
TO THE REVEREND UNIVERSITY OF
AMONGST the gratulations I have received, none are more welcome and agreeable to me than your letters, wherein the less I acknowledge of those attributes you give me, the more I must acknowledge of your affection, which bindeth me no less to you, that are professors of learning, than my own dedication doth to learning itself. And therefore you have no need to doubt, but I will emulate, as much as in me is, towards you the merits of him that is gone, by how much the more I take myself to have more propriety in the principal motive thereof. And for the equality you write of, I shall by the grace of God, far as may concern me, hold the balance as equally between the two universities, as I shall hold the balance of other justice between party and party. And yet in both cases I must meet with some inclinations of affection, which nevertheless shall not carry me aside. And so I commend you to God's goodness. Your most loving and assured friend, FR. BACON.
Gorhambury, April 12, 1617.
TO THE LORD KEEPER.†
MY HONOURABLE LORD,
I HAVE acquainted his Majesty with your letters, who liked all your proceedings well, saving only the point, for which you have since made amends, in obeying his pleasure touching the proclamation. His Majesty would have your lordship go thoroughly about the business of Ireland, whereinto you are so well entered, especially at this time, that the chief justice is come over, who hath delivered his opinion thereof to his Majesty, and hath understood what his Majesty conceived of the same; wherewith he will acquaint your lordship, and with his own observation and judgment of the businesses of that country.
I give your lordship hearty thanks for your care to satisfy my lady of Rutland's§ desire; and will be as careful, when I come to York, of recommending your suit to the bishop. So I rest
Your lordship's ever at command,
Newark, the 5th of April, 1617. To my very honourable lord, Sir Francis Bacon, knight, lord keeper of the great seal of England.
From the collections of the late Robert Stephens, Esq., historiographer royal, and John Locker, Esq., now in possession of the editor.
+ Harl. MSS. vol. 7006.
Sir John Denham, one of the lords justices of Ireland in 1616. He was made one of the barons of the Exchequer in England, May 2, 1617. He died January 6, 1638, in the eightieth year of his age. He was the first who set up customs in Ireland, (not but there were laws for the same before,) of which the first year's revenue amounted but to 5007.; but before his death, which was about twenty-two years after, they were let for 54,000l. per annum. Borlase's Reduction of Ireland to the Crown of England, p. 200. Edit. London, 1675. Frances, countess of Rutland, first wife of Francis, earl of Rutland, and daughter and coheir of Sir Henry Knevet, of
TO THE LORD KEEPER.¶ MY VERY Good lord,
I SPAKE at York with the archbishop,** touching the house, which he hath wholly put into your hands, to do with it what your lordship shall be pleased.
I have heretofore, since we were in this journey, moved his Majesty for despatch of my lord Brackley's ++ business: but because his Majesty never having heard of any precedent in the like case, was of opinion, that this would be of ill consequence in making that dignity as easy, as the pulling out of a sword to make a man a knight, and so make it of little esteem, he was desirous to be assured, first, that it was no new course, before he would do it in that fashion. But since he can receive no assurance from your lordship of any precedent in that kind, his Majesty intendeth not so to precipitate the business, as to expose that dignity to censure and contempt, in omitting the solemnities required, and usually belonging unto it.
His Majesty, though he were a while troubled with a little pain in his back, which hindered his hunting, is now, God be thanked, very well, and as merry as he ever was; and we have all held out well. I showed his Majesty your letter, who taketh very well your care and desire to hear of his health. So I commit you to God, and rest
Your lordship's most assured friend to do you
Aukland, the 18th of April, 1617.
SINCE the writing of this letter, I have had some farther speech with his Majesty, touching my lord Brackley; and find, that if, in your lordship's information in the course, you write any thing, that may tend to the farthering of the despatch of it in that kind, he desireth it may be done.
TO THE LORD KEEPER.‡‡
I SEND your lordship the warrant for the queen §§ signed by his Majesty, to whom I have likewise delivered your lordship's letter. And touching the matter of the pirates, his Majesty cannot yet resolve; | but within a day or two your lordship shall see a despatch, which he purposeth to send to the lords
Charleton in Wiltshire, knight. She had by the earl an only daughter and heir, Catharine, first married to George, marquis, and afterwards duke, of Buckingham; and secondly to Randolph Mac-Donald, earl, and afterwards marquis, of Antrim in Ireland.
Relating to York-house.
Harl. MSS. vol. 7006. ** Dr. Tobie Matthew.
++ Who desired to be created earl in an unusual manner, by letters patents, without the delivering of the patent by the king's own hand, or without the ordinary solemnities of creation. He was accordingly created earl of Bridgwater, May 27, 1617. Harl. MSS. vol. 7006. Relating to her house. See the lord keeper's letter of April 7, 1617, printed in his works.
of his council in general, what his opinion and pleasure is in that point.
I would not omit this opportunity to let your lordship know, that his Majesty, God be thanked, is in very good health, and so well pleased with his journey, that I never saw him better, nor merrier. So I rest
Your lordship's ever at command,
before his going into France, which, by the king's commandment, is to be within some ten days: and I could wish you used him kindly and with respect. His return out of France is intended before MichaelGod direct you, and be with you. I rest
Your very loving uncle, and assured friend,
Dorset-house, this 28th of April, 1617.
LORD KEEPER BACON TO MR. MAXEY,
AFTER my hearty commendations, I having heard of you, as a man well deserving, and of able gifts to become profitable in the church; and there being fallen within my gift the rectory of Frome St. Quintin with the chapel of Evershot, in Dorsetshire, which seems to be a thing of good value, 187. in the king's books, and in a good country, I have thought good to make offer of it to you; the rather for that you are of Trinity college, whereof myself was some time: and my purpose is to make choice of men rather by care and inquiry, than by their own suits and commendatory letters. So I bid you farewell.
From your loving friend,
FR. BACON, C. S.
From Dorset-house, 23 April, 1617.
TO THE LORD KEEPER.
MY HONOURABLE lord,
I UNDERSTAND that Sir Lewis Tresham hath a suit depending in the chancery before your lordship; and therefore out of my love and respect toward him, I have thought fit to recommend him unto your favour so far only, as may stand with justice and equity, which is all he desireth, having to encounter a strong party. And because he is shortly to go into Spain, about some other business of his own, I farther desire your lordship to give him what expedition you can, that he may receive no prejudice by his journey.
Your lordship's ever at command,
Indorsed May 6, 1616.
THE LORD KEEPER TO HIS NIECE,
ING HER MARRIAGE.
TO THE LORD KEEPER.§
MY HONOURABLE LORD,
I HAVE by reports heard that, which doth much grieve and trouble me, that your lordship hath, TOUCH-through a pain in one of your legs, been forced to keep your chamber. And being desirous to understand the true estate of your health, which reports do not always bring, I entreat your lordship to favour me with a word or two from yourself, which, I hope, will bring me the comfort I desire, who cannot but be very sensible of whatsoever happeneth to your lordship, as being
AMONGST your other virtues, I know there wanteth not in you a mind to hearken to the advice of your friends. And therefore you will give me leave to move, you again more seriously than before in the match with Mr. Comptroller.+
The state wherein you now are, is to be preferred before marriage, or changed for marriage, not simply the one or the other, but according as, by God's providence, the offers of marriage are more or less fit to be embraced. This gentleman is religious, a person of honour, being counsellor of state, a great officer, and in very good favour with his Majesty. He is of years and health fit to be comfortable to you, and to free you of burdensome cares. He is of good means, and a wise and provident man, and of a loving and excellent good nature; and, I find, hath set his affections upon you; so as I foresee you may sooner change your mind, which, as you told me, is not yet towards marriage, than find so happy a choice. I hear he is willing to visit you,
From the collections of the late Robert Stephens, Esq. Sir Thomas Edmonds, who had been appointed to that office, December 21, 1616; and January 19, 1617-18, was made treasurer of the household. He had been married to Magdalen, one of the daughters and coheirs of Sir John Wood,
Your lordship's most affectionate to do you
TO THE EARL OF BUCKINGHAM.
THIS day I have made even with the business of the kingdom for common justice; not one cause unheard; the lawyers drawn dry of all the motions knight, clerk of the signet: which lady died at Paris, Dec. 31, 1614.
The proposal for a second marriage between him and the lord keeper's niece does not appear to have had success. Harl. MSS. Vol. 7006. § Ibid.
I will not omit to let you know, that his Majesty is very well, and receiveth much contentment in his journey. And with this conclusion, I rest Your lordship's most affectionate to do you service, G. BUCKINGHAM.
they were to make; not one petition unanswered. | putation may light upon Sir Robert Naunton, And this, I think, could not be said in our age before. | through his zealous affection to attend his Majesty This I speak not out of ostentation, but out of glad- in this journey. ness when I have done my duty. I know men think I cannot continue, if I should thus oppress myself with business: but that account is made. The duties of life are more than life; and, if I die now, I shall die before the world will be weary of me, which in our times is somewhat rare. And all this while I have been a little unperfect in my foot. But I have taken pains more like the beast with four legs, than like a man with scarce two legs. But if it be a gout, which I do neither acknowledge, nor much disclaim, it is a good-natured gout; for I have no rage of it, and it goeth away quickly. I have hope, it is but an accident of changing from a fieldair to a Thames-air; † or rather, I think, it is the distance of the king and your lordship from me, that doth congeal my humours and spirits.
When I had written this letter, I received your lordship's letter of the third of this present, wherein your lordship showeth your solicitous care of my health, which did wonderfully comfort me. And it is true, that at this present I am very well, and my supposed gout quite vanished.
I humbly pray you to commend my service, | infinite in desire, howsoever limited in ability, to his Majesty, to hear of whose health and good disposition is to me the greatest beatitude, which I can receive in this world. And I humbly beseech his Majesty to pardon me, that I do not now send him my account of council business, and other his royal commands, till within these four days; because the flood of business of justice did hitherto wholly possess me; which, I know, worketh this effect, as it contenteth his subjects, and knitteth their hearts more and more to his Majesty, though, I must confess, my mind is upon other matters, as his Majesty shall know, by the grace of God, at his return. God ever bless and prosper you.
Your lordship's true and most devoted friend and servant,
Edinburgh, the 11th of June, 1617.
TO THE LORD VISCOUNT FENTON.!]
MY VERY GOOD Lord,
I THANK your lordship for your courteous letter; and if I were asked the question, I would always choose rather to have a letter of no news, than a letter of news; for news imports alteration: but letters of kindness and respect bring that, which, though it be no news amongst friends, is more welcome.
I am exceedingly glad to hear, that this journey of his Majesty, which I never esteemed more than a long progress, save that it had reason of state joined with pleasure, doth sort to be so joyful and so comfortable.
For your parliament, God speed it well; and for ours, you know the sea would be calm, if it were not for the winds: and I hope the king, whensoever that shall be, will find those winds reasonably well laid.
Now that the sun is got up a little higher, God ordains all things to the happiness of his Majesty, and his monarchy.
My health, I thank God, is good; and I hope this supposed gout was but an incomer. I ever rest Your lordship's affectionate and assured friend, FR. BACON.
Whitehall, June 18 .
TO THE LORD KEEPER, WRITTEN FROM
I WILL begin to speak of the business of this day; opus hujus diei in die suo, which is of the parliament. It began on the 7th of this month, and ended this day, being the 28th of June. His Majesty, as I perceived by relation, rode thither in great state the first day. These eyes are witnesses, that he rode in an honourable fashion, as I have seen him in England, this day. All the lords rode in English robes: not an English lord on horseback, though all the parliament-house at his Majesty's elbow, but my lord of Buckingham, who waited upon the king's stirrup in his collar, but not in his robes. His Majesty the first day, by way of preparation to
Sir Thomas Erskine, who for his service to the king, in the attempt of the earl of Gowry, was, upon his Majesty's accession to the throne of England, made captain of his guard in the room of Sir Walter Raleigh. He was afterwards created earl of Kelly.
From a copy in the Paper-office.
the subject of the parliament, made a declaratory speech, wherein he expressed himself what he would not do, but what he would do. The relation is too prolix for a sheet of paper; and I am promised a copy of it, which I will bring myself unto your lordship with all the speed I may. But I may not be so reserved, as not to tell your lordship, that in that speech his Majesty was pleased to do England and Englishmen much honour and grace; and that he studied nothing so much, sleeping and waking, as to reduce the barbarity, I have warrant to use the king's own word, of this country unto the sweet civility of ours; adding farther, that if the Scottish nation would be as docible to learn the goodness of England, as they are teachable to limp after their ill, he might with facility prevail in his desire: for they had learned of the English to drink healths, to wear coaches and gay clothes, to take tobacco, and to speak neither Scottish nor English. Many such diseases of the times his Majesty was pleased to enumerate, not fit for my pen to remember, and graciously to recognise, how much he was beholden to the English nation for their love and conformity to his desires. The king did personally and infallibly sit amongst them of the parliament every day; so that there fell not a word amongst them, but his Majesty was of council with it.
The whole assembly, after the wonted manner, was abstracted into eight bishops, eight lords, eight gentlemen, knights of the shires, and eight lay burgesses for towns. And this epitome of the whole parliament did meet every day in one room to treat and debate of the great affairs of the kingdom. There was exception taken against some of the lower house, which were returned by the country, being pointed at as men averse in their appetites and humours to the business of the parliament, who were deposed of their attendance by the king's power; and others, better affected, by the king's election, placed in their room.
unreasonably and undutifully refractory, his Majesty hath declared himself, that he will proceed against him by the warrant of the law, and by the strength of his royal power.
His Majesty's speech this day had a necessary connexion with his former discourse. He was pleased to declare what was done and determined in the progress of this parliament; his reasons for it; and that nothing was gotten by shouldering or wrestling, but by debate, judgment, and reason, without any interposition of his royal power in any thing. He commanded the lords in state of judicature, to give life, by a careful execution, unto the law, which otherwise was but mortuum cadaver et bona peritura.
Thus much touching the legal part of my advertisement unto you. I will give your lordship an account in two lines of the complement of the country, time, and place.
The country affords more profit and better contentment, than I could ever promise myself, by my reading of it.
The king was never more cheerful in body and mind, never so well pleased: and so are the English of all conditions.
The entertainment, very honourable, very general, and very full every day feasts and invitations. I know not who paid for it. They strive, by direction, to give us all fair contentment, that we may know, that the country is not so contemptible, but that it is worth the cherishing.
The lord provost of this town, who in English is the mayor, did feast the king and all the lords this week; and another day all the gentlemen. And I confess, it was performed with state, with abundance, and with a general content.
There is a general, and a bold expectation, that Mr. John Murray shall be created a baron of this country; and some do chat, that my lord of Buckingham's Mr. Wray shall be a groom of the bedchamber in his place.
There hath been yet no creation of lords, since his Majesty did touch Scotland: but of knights many, yet not so many as we heard in England; but it is thought all the pensioners will be knights tomorrow. Neither are there any more English lords sworn of the privy council here, save my lord of Buckingham.
The earl of Southampton, Montgomery, and Hay, are already gone for England.
The greatest and weightiest articles, agitated in this parliament, were specially touching the government of the kirk and kirkmen, and for the abolishing of hereditary sheriffs to an annual charge; and to enable justices of the peace to have as well the real execution, as the title of their places. For now the sheriff doth hold jura regalia in his circuit without check or controlment; and the justices of the peace do want the staff of their authority. For the church and commonwealth, his Majesty doth strive to shape the frame of this kingdom to the method and degrees of the government of England, as by reading of the several acts it may appear. The king's desire and travel herein, though he did suffer a momentary opposition, (for his countrymen will speak boldly to him,) hath in part been profitable. For though he hath not fully and complementally pre-wise and all-sufficient, guard and assist your lordship vailed in all things, yet he hath won ground in most things, and hath gained acts of parliament to authorize particular commissioners, to set down orders for the church and churchmen, and to treat with sheriffs for their offices by way of pecuniary composition. But all these proceedings are to have an inseparable reference to his Majesty. If any prove
I have made good profit of my journey hither; for I have gotten a transcript of the speech, which your lordship did deliver at your first and happy sitting in chancery; which I could not gain in England. It hath been showed to the king, and received due approbation. The God of heaven, all
in all your actions: for I can read here whatsoever