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more than needs. I doubt only the chair * because | find favour in his eyes; and that I submit myself I hear he useth names sharply; and besides, it may wholly to his grace and mercy, and to be governed be, he hath a tooth at me yet, which is not fallen both in my cause and fortunes by his direction, out with age. But the best is, as one saith, "satis knowing that his heart is inscrutable for good. est lapsos non erigere; urgere vero jacentes, aut Only I may express myself thus far, that my desire præcipitantes impellere, certe est inhumanum." Mr. is, that the thread, or line, of my life, may be no Chancellor, if you will be nobly pleased to grace me longer than the thread, or line, of my service: I upon this occasion, by showing tenderness of my mean, that I may be of use to your Majesty in one name, and commiseration of my fortune, there is no kind or other. man in that assembly, from whose mouth I had rather it should come. I hope it will be no dishonour to you. It will oblige me much, and be a worthy fruit of our last reintegration of friendship. I rest Your faithful friend to do you service.
Memoranda of what the LORD CHANCELLOR intended to deliver to the KING, April 16, 1621,† upon his first access to his Majesty, after his troubles.
THAT howsoever it goeth with me, I think myself infinitely bound to his Majesty for admitting me to touch the hem of his garment; and that, according to my faith, so be it unto me.
That I ought also humbly to thank his Majesty for that, in that excellent speech of his which is printed, that speech of so great maturity, wherein the elements are so well mingled, by kindling affection, by washing away aspersion, by establishing of opinion, and yet giving way to opinion, I do find some passages, which I do construe to my advantage. And lastly, I have heard from my friends, that, notwithstanding these waves of information, his Majesty mentions my name with grace and favour.
In the next place, I am to make an oblation of myself into his Majesty's hands, that, as I wrote to him, I am as clay in his hands, his Majesty may make a vessel of honour or dishonour of me, as I
Sir Robert Philips was chairman of the committee of the house of commons for inquiring into the abuses of the courts of justice. He was son of Sir Edward Philips, Master of the Rolls, who died September 11, 1614, being succeeded by Sir Julius Cæsar, to whom the king had given, January 16, 1610-11, under the great seal, the reversion of that post.
A committee of the house of commons had been appointed about the 12th of March, 1620-1, to inspect the abuses of the courts of justice, of which Sir Edward Sackville was named the chairman, but by reason of some indisposition, Sir Robert Philips was chosen in his room. The first thing they fell upon was bribery and corruption, of which the lord chancellor was accused by Mr. Christopher Aubrey and Mr. Edward Egerton; who affirmed, that they had procured money to be given to his lordship to promote their causes depending before him. This charge being corroborated by some circumstances, a report of it was made from the committee to the house, on Thursday, the 15th of March; and a second on the 17th, of other matters of the same nature, charged upon his lordship. The heads of the accusation having been drawn up were presented by the commons to the lords, in a conference, on Monday, the 19th of the same month. The subject of this conference being reported, the next day, to the house of lords, by the lord treasurer, the marquis of Buckingham presented to their lordships a letter to them from the lord chancellor, dated that day. Upon this letter, answer was sent from the lords to the lord chancellor, on the 20th, that they had received his letter and intended to proceed in his cause, now before them, according to the rule of justice, desiring his lordship to provide for his just defence. The next day, March 21, the commons sent to the lords a farther charge against the lord chancellor; and their lordships, in the mean time, examined the complaints against him, and witnesses in the house, and appointed a select committee of themselves to take examinations Likewise. Towards the latter end of March the session was
Now for any farther speech, I would humbly pray his Majesty, that whatsoever the law of nature shall teach me to speak for my own preservation, your Majesty will understand it to be in such sort, as I do nevertheless depend wholly upon your will and pleasure. And under this submission, if your Majesty will graciously give me the hearing, I will open my heart unto you, both touching my fault, and fortune.
For the former of these, I shall deal ingenuously with your Majesty, without seeking fig-leaves or subterfuges.
There be three degrees, or cases, as I conceive, of gifts and rewards given to a judge :
The first is of bargain, contract, or promise of reward, pendente lite. And this is properly called "venalis sententia," or "baratria," or 66 corruptelæ munerum." And of this my heart tells me, I am innocent, that I had no bribe or reward in my eye or thought, when I pronounced any sentence or order.
The second is a neglect in the judge to inform himself whether the cause be fully at an end or no, what time he receives the gift; but takes it upon the credit of the party, that all is done; or otherwise omits to inquire.
And the third is, when it is received sine fraude, after the cause ended; which, it seems by the opinion of the civilians, is no offence. Look into. the case of simony, &c.
discontinued for some time, in hopes, as it was imagined, of softening the lord chancellor's fall; but upon the re-assembling of the parliament, more complaints being daily represented, on Wednesday, April 24, the prince signified unto the lords, that his lordship had sent a submission, dated the 22nd. Which the lords having considered and heard the collection of corruptions charged on him, and the proofs read, they sent a copy of the same, without the proofs, to him, by baron Denham and Mr. Attorney-general, with this message, that his lordship's confession was not fully set down by him; and that they had therefore sent him the particular charge, and expected his answer to it with all convenient expedition. To which he answered, that he would return their lordships an answer with speed. On the 25th of April, the lords considered of this said answer, and sent a second message by the same persons, that having received a doubtful answer to their message, sent him the day before, they now sent to him again, to know directly and presently, whether his lordship would make his confession, or stand upon his defence. His answer, returned by the same messengers, was, that he would make no manner of defence, but meant to acknowledge corruption, and to make a particular confession to every point, and after that an humble submission; but humbly craved liberty, that where the charge was more full than he finds the truth of the fact, he may make declaration of the truth in such particulars, the charge being brief, and containing not all circumstances. The lords sent the same messengers, to let him know, that they granted him time to do this till the Monday following; when he sent his confession and submission; which being avowed by him to several lords, sent to him, the lords resolved, on the 2nd of May, to proceed to sentence him the next morning, and summoned him to attend; which he excusing on account of being confined to his bed by sickness, they gave judgment accordingly on the 3d of May, 1621.
Draught of another paper to the same purpose.
THERE be three degrees, or cases, of bribery, charged or supposed, in a judge:
The first, of bargain, or contract, for reward to pervert justice.
The second, where the judge conceives the cause to be at an end, by the information of the party, or otherwise, useth not such diligence, as he ought, to inquire of it. And the third, when the cause is really ended, and it is sine fraude, without relation to any precedent promise.
Now if I might see the particulars of my charge, I should deal plainly with your Majesty, in whether of these degrees every particular case falls.
But for the first of them, I take myself to be as innocent, as any born upon St. Innocents' day, in my heart.
ation of the state were frustrated, and the city of Ghent, in foreign parts, lost.
3. And his setting the seal to pardons for murders, and other enormous crimes.
The judgment was imprisonment, fine, and ransom, and restitution to the king, but no disablement, nor making him uncapable, no degrading in honour mentioned in the judgment; but contrariwise, in the clause, that restitution should be made and levied out of his lands and goods, it is expressly said, that because his honour of earl was not taken from him, therefore his 20l. per annum creation money should not be meddled with.
Observations upon THORPE's Case.
24. Edw. 3. His offence was taking of money from five several persons, that were felons, for staying their process of exigent; for that it made him a
For the second, I doubt in some particulars I kind of accessary of felony, and touched upon matter may be faulty.
And for the last, I conceived it to be no fault; but therein I desire to be better informed, that I may be twice penitent, once for the fact, and again for the error. For I had rather be a briber, than a defender of bribes.
I must likewise confess to your Majesty, that at new-year's tides, and likewise at my first coming in, which was, as it were, my wedding, I did not so precisely, as perhaps I ought, examine whether those, that presented me, had causes before me, yea or no.
And this is simply all, that I can say for the present, concerning my charge, until I may receive it more particularly. And all this while, I do not fly to that, as to say, that these things are vitia temporis and not vitia hominis.
For my fortune, summa summorum with me is, that I may not be made altogether unprofitable to do your Majesty service, or honour. If your Majesty continue me as I am, I hope I shall be a new man, and shall reform things out of feeling, more than another can do out of example. If I cast part of my burden, I shall be more strong and delivré to bear the rest. And, to tell your Majesty what my thoughts run upon, I think of writing a story of England, and of recompiling of your laws into a better digest.
But to conclude, I most humbly pray your Majesty's directions and advice. For as your Majesty hath used to give me the attribute of care of your business, so I must now cast the care of myself upon God and you.
Notes upon MICHAEL DE LA POLE's Case.*
10 Rich. 2. THE offences were of three natures: 1. Deceits to the king.
2. Misgovernance in point of estate, whereby the ordinances made by ten commissioners for reform
This paper was probably drawn up on occasion of the proceedings and judgment passed upon the lord viscount St. Alban, by the house of lords, May 3, 1621.
The judgment was the judgment of felony: but the proceeding had made things strong and new; first, the proceeding was by commission of oyer and terminer, and by jury; and not by parliament.
The judgment is recited to be given in the king's high and sovereign power.
It is recited likewise, that the king, when he made him chief justice, and increased his wages, did ore tenus say to him, in the presence of his council, that now if he bribed he would hang him: unto which penance, for so the record called it, he submitted himself. So it was a judgment by contract.
His oath likewise, which was devised some few years before, which is very strict in words, that he shall take no reward, neither before nor after, is chiefly insisted upon. And that, which is more to be observed, there is a precise proviso, that the judgment and proceeding shall not be drawn into example against any, and specially not against any who have not taken the like oath: which the lord chancellor, lord treasurer, master of the wards, &c. take not, but only the judges of both benches, and baron of the exchequer.
The king pardoned him presently after, doubting, as it seems, that the judgment was erroneous, both in matter and form of proceeding; brought it before the lords of parliament, who affirmed the judgment, and gave authority to the king in the like cases, for the time to come, to call to him what lords it pleased him, and to adjudge them.
Notes upon Sir JOHN LEE's Case, Steward of the King's Household.
44 Edw. 3. His offences were, great oppressions in usurpation of authority, in attacking and imprisoning in the Tower, and other prisons, numbers of the king's subjects, for causes no ways appertaining to his jurisdiction; and for discharging an appellant of felony without warrant, and for deceit of the king, and extortions.
His judgment was only imprisonment in the
Tower, until he had made a fine and ransom at the king's will; and no more.
Notes upon Lord LATIMER'S Case.
50 Edw. 3. His offences were very high and heinous, drawing upon high treason: as the extortious taking of victuals at Bretagne, to a great value, without paying any thing; and for ransoming divers parishes there to the sum of 83,000l. contrary to the articles of truce proclaimed by the king; for suffering his deputies and lieutenants in Bretagne to exact, upon the towns and countries there, divers sums of money, to the sum of 150,000 crowns; for sharing with Richard Lyons in his deceit of the king; for enlarging, by his own authority, divers felons; and divers other exorbitant offences.
Notwithstanding all this, his judgment was only to be committed to the Marshalsea, and to make fine and ransom at the king's will.
But after, at the suit of the commons, in regard of those horrible and treasonable offences, he was displaced from his office, and disabled to be of the king's council; but his honours not touched, and he was presently bailed by some of the lords, and suffered to go at large.
JOHN Lord NEVILLE'S Case.
50 Edw. 3. His offences were, the not supplying the full number of the soldiers in Bretagne, according to the allowance of the king's pay. And the second was for buying certain debts, due from the king, to his own lucre, and giving the parties small recompence, and specially in a case of the lady Ravensholme.
And it was prayed by the commons, that he might be put out of office about the king: but there was no judgment given upon that prayer, but only of restitution to the lady, and a general clause of being punished according to his demerits.
TO THE COUNT GONDOMAR, AMBASSADOR
PERSPEXI et agnosco providentiam divinam, quod in tanta solitudine mihi tanquam cœlitus suscitaverit talem amicum, qui tantis implicatus negotiis, et in tantis temporis angustiis, curam mei habuerit, idque pro me effecerit, quod alii amici mei aut non ausi sint tentare, aut obtinere non potuerint. que illustrissimæ Dominationi tuæ reddent fructum proprium et perpetuum mores tui tam generosi, et erga omnia officia humanitatis et honoris propensi; neque erit fortasse inter opera tua hoc minimum, quod me, qui et aliquis fui apud vivos, neque omnino intermoriar apud posteros, ope et gratia tua erexeris, confirmaris. Ego quid possum? Ero tandem tuus, si minus usufructu, at saltem affectu, voto. Sub cineribus fortunæ vivi erunt semper ignes amoris. Te igitur humillime saluto, tibi valedico, omnia prospera exopto, gratitudinem testor, observantiam polliceor.
Illustrissimo et excellentissimo Do. Do. Didaco Sarmiento de Acunna, Comiti de Gondomar, Legato Regis Hispaniarum extraordinario in Anglia.
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.†
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
I HUMBLY thank your lordship for the grace and favour which you did both to the message and messenger, in bringing Mr. Meautys to kiss his Majesty's hands, and to receive his pleasure. My riches in my adversity hath been, that I have had a good master, a good friend, and a good servant.
Perceiving, by Mr. Meautys, his Majesty's inclination, it shall be, as it hath ever used to be to me, instead of a direction; and therefore I purpose to go forthwith to Gorhambury, humbly thanking his Majesty nevertheless, that he was graciously pleased to have acquainted my lords with my desire, if it had stood me so much upon. But his Majesty knoweth best the times and seasons; and to his grace I submit myself, desiring his Majesty and your lordship to take my letters from the Tower, as written de profundis, and those I continue to write to be ex aquis salsis.
ILLUSTRISSIMO DOMINO LEGATO, AMORUM illustrissimæ Dominationis tuæ erga me, ejusque et fervorem et candorem, tam in prosperis rebus, quam in adversis, equabili tenore constantem perspexi. Quo nomine tibi meritas et debitas gratias ago. Me vero jam vocat et ætas, et fortuna, atque etiam genius meus, cui adhuc satis morose satisfeci, ut excedens e theatro rerum civilium literis me dedam, et ipsos actores instruam, et posteritati serviam. Id mihi fortasse honori erit, et degam To Lord Buckingham, upon bringing Mr. Meautys tanquam in atriis vitæ melioris.
In the "Letters, Memoirs, &c. of the lord chancellor Bacon," published by Mr. Stephens, in 1736, p. 517, is a Spanish letter to him from count Gondomar, dated at London, June 14, 1621.
[June 22, 1621.]
to him to kiss the king's hands.
This letter is reprinted here, because it differs, in some respects, from that published in "Letters, Memoirs, Parliamentary Affairs, State Papers," &c. by Robert Stephens, Esq. p. 151. Edit. London, 1736, 4to.
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
I HAVE written, as I thought it decent in me to do, to his Majesty, the letter I send enclosed. I have great faith, that your lordship, now nobly and like yourself, will effect with his Majesty. In this the king is of himself, and it hath no relation to parliament. I have written also, as your lordship advised me, only touching that point of means. I have lived hitherto upon the scraps of my former fortunes; and I shall not be able to hold out longer. Therefore I hope your lordship will now, according to the loving promises and hopes given, settle my poor fortunes, or rather my being. I am much fallen in love with a private life; but yet I shall so spend my time, as shall not decay my abilities for use. God preserve and prosper your lordship. [Sept. 5, 1621.]
TO THE PRINCE.
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR HIGHNESS,
I CANNOT too oft acknowledge your highness's favour in my troubles; but acknowledgment now is but begging of new favour. Yet even that is not inconvenient; for thanksgiving and petition go well together, even to God himself. My humble suit to❘ your highness, that I may be thought on for means to subsist; and to that purpose, that your highness will join with my noble friend to the king. That done, I shall ever be ready, either at God's call, or his Majesty's, and as happy, to my thinking, as a man can be, that must leave to serve such a king. God preserve and prosper your highness.
On the back of the draughts of the three preceding
Lord chamberlain,|| to thank him for his kind remembrance by you; and though in this private fortune I shall have use of few friends, yet I cannot but acknowledge the moderation and affection his lordship showed in my business, and desire, that of those few his lordship will still be one for my comfort, in whatsoever may cross his way, for the fartherance of my private life and fortune.
Mr. John Murray. If there be any thing that may concern me, that is fit for him to speak, and me to know, that I may receive it by you.
Mr. Maxwell. That I am sorry, that so soon as I came to know him, and to be beholden to him, I wanted power to be of use to him.
Lord of Kelly; and to acquaint him with that part touching the confinement.
TO THE KING.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,
Now that your Majesty hath passed the recreation of your progress, there is nevertheless one kind of recreation, which, I know, remaineth with your Majesty all the year, which is to do good, and to exercise your clemency and beneficence. I shall never measure my poor service by the merit, which perhaps is small, but by the acceptation, which hath been always favourably great. I have served your Majesty now seventeen years; and since my first service, which was in the commission of the union, I received from your Majesty never chiding or rebuke, but always sweetness and thanks. Neither was I, in these seventeen years, ever chargeable to your Majesty, but got my means in an honourable sweat of my labour, save that of late your Majesty was graciously pleased to bestow upon me the pension of twelve hundred pounds for a few years. For in that other poor prop of my estate, which is the farming of the petty writs, I improved your Majesty's revenue by four hundred pounds the year. And likewise, when I received the seal, I left both the attorney's place, which was a gainful place, and the clerkship of the star-chamber, which was queen Elizabeth's favour, and was worth twelve hundred pounds by the year, which would have been a good commendam. The honours which your Majesty hath done me, have put me above the means to get my living; and the misery I am fallen into hath put me below the means to subsist as I am. I hope my courses shall be such, for this little end of my thread which remaineth, as your Majesty, in doing me good, may do good to many, both that live now, and shall be born hereafter. I have been the keeper of your seal, and now am your beadsman. Let your own royal heart, and my noble friend, speak the rest. God preserve and prosper your Majesty.
Your Majesty's faithful poor servant and
September 5, 1621.
Cardinal Wolsey said, that if he had pleased God as he pleased the king, he had not been ruined. My conscience saith no such thing; for I know not but in serving you I have served God in one. But it may be, if I had pleased God, as I had pleased you, it would have been better with me.
TO THE KING.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, I DO very humbly thank your Majesty for your gracious remission of my fine. I can now, I thank God and you, die, and make a will.
I desire to do, for the little time God shall send me life, like the merchants of London, which, when they give over trade, lay out their money upon land.
|| William, earl of Pembroke.
So, being freed from civil business, I lay forth my poor talent upon those things which may be perpetual, still having relation to do you honour with those powers I have left.
I have therefore chosen to write the reign of king Henry the VIIth, who was in a sort your forerunner, and whose spirit, as well as his blood, is doubled upon your Majesty.
I durst not have presumed to entreat your Majesty to look over the book, and correct it, or at least to signify what you would have amended. But since you are pleased to send for the book, I will hope for it.
[God knoweth, whether ever I shall see you again; but I will pray for you to the last gasp, resting *] The same, your true beadsman,
October 8, 1621.
FR. ST. ALBAN.
me to add the least affliction, or discontentment, unto your lordship's present fortune. May it therefore please your lordship to suspend the passing of this pardon, until the next assembly be over and dissolved; and I will be then as ready to seal it as your lordship to accept of it; and, in the mean time, undertake, that the king and my lord admiral shall interpret this short delay as a service and respect issuing wholly from your lordship; and rest, in all other offices whatsoever,
Your lordship's faithful servant,
JO. LINCOLN, ELECT. CUSTOS SIGILLI.
To the right honourable his very good lord, the lord
Grant of Pardon to the Viscount St. Alban, under the privy seal.†
A SPECIAL pardon granted unto Francis, Viscount St. Alban, for all felonies done and committed against the common laws and statutes of this realm; and for all offences of præmunire; and for all misprisions, riots, &c. with the restitution of all his lands and goods forfeited by reason of any of the premises; except out of the same pardon all treasons, murders, rapes, incest; and except also all fines, imprisonments, penalties, and forfeitures, adjudged against the said Viscount St. Alban, by a sentence lately made in the parliament. Teste Rege apud Westm. 17 die Octob. anno Regni sui 19. Per lettre de privato sigillo.
DR. WILLIAMS, BISHOP OF LINCOLN ELECT,
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
HAVING perused a privy seal, containing a pardon
TO THE LORD KEEPER.
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
I KNOW the reasons must appear to your lordship many and weighty, which should move you to stop the king's grace, or to dissuade it; and somewhat the more in respect of my person, being, I hope, no unfit subject for noble dealing. The message I received by Mr. Meautys did import inconvenience, in the form of the pardon; your lordship's last letter, in the time: for, as for the matter, it lay so fair for his Majesty's and my lord of Buckingham's own knowledge, as I conceive your lordship doth not aim at that. My affliction hath made me understand myself better, and not worse; yet loving advice, I know, helps well. Therefore I sent Mr. Meautys to your lordship, that I might reap so much fruit of your lordship's professed good affection, as to know in some more particular fashion, what it is that your lordship doubteth, or disliketh,§ that I may the better endeavour your satisfaction, or acquiescence, if there be cause. So I rest
Your lordship's to do you service,
October 18, 1621.
for the House of Lords.
for your lordship, and thought seriously thereupon, Petition of the Lord Viscount St. Alban, intended I find, that the passing of the same, the assembly in parliament so near approaching, ‡ cannot but be much prejudicial to the service of the king, to the honour of my lord of Buckingham, to that commiseration which otherwise would be had of your lordship's present estate, and especially to my judgment and fidelity. I have ever affectionately loved your lordship's many and most excellent good parts and endowments; nor had ever cause to disaffect your lordship's person. So as no respect in the world, beside the former considerations, could have drawn
This passage has a line drawn over it. + Cotton Library, Titus Book VII.
It met November 24, 1621; and was dissolved February 8, 1621-2.
The lord keeper, in a letter to the marquis of Buckingham, dated October 27, 1621, printed in the Cabala, p. 60. Edit.
MY RIGHT HONOURABLE VERY GOOD LORDS, IN all humbleness, acknowledging your lordships' justice, I do now in like manner crave and implore your grace and compassion. I am old, weak, ruined, in want, a very subject of pity. My only suit to your lordships is, to show me your noble favour towards the release of my confinement, so every confinement is, and to me, I protest, worse than the Tower. There I could have had company, phy
London, 1654, gives his reasons, why he hesitated to seal that pardon.
He had been committed to the Tower, in May, 1621, and discharged after two days' confinement there, according to Camden, Annales Regis Jac. I. p. 71. There is a letter of his lordship to the marquis of Buckingham, dated from the