« PreviousContinue »
sicians, conference with my creditors and friends about my debts, and the necessities of my estate, helps for my studies and the writings I have in hand. Here I live upon the sword-point of a sharp air, endangered if I go abroad, dulled if I stay within, solitary and comfortless without company, banished from all opportunities to treat with any to do myself good, and to help out any wrecks; and that, which is one of my greatest griefs, my wife, that hath been no partaker of my offending, must be partaker of this misery of my restraint.
May it please your lordships, therefore, since there is a time for justice, and a time for mercy, to think with compassion upon that which I have already suffered, which is not little; and to recommend this my humble, and as I hope, modest suit to his most excellent Majesty, the fountain of grace, of whose mercy, for so much as concerns himself merely, I have already tasted, and likewise of his favour of this very kind, by some small temporary dispensations.
Herein your lordships shall do a work of charity and nobility: you shall do me good; you shall do my creditors good; and, it may be, you shall do posterity good, if out of the carcass of dead and rotten greatness, as out of Samson's lion, there may be honey gathered for the use of future times. God bless your persons and counsels. Your lordships' supplicant and servant, FR. ST. ALBAN.
Copy of the petition intended for the house of parliament.
TO JOHN LORD DIGBY.*
RECEIVING, by Mr. Johnson, your loving salutations, it made me call to mind many of your lordship's tokens, yea and pledges, of good and hearty affection in both my fortunes; for which I shall be ever yours. I pray, my lord, if occasion serve, give me your good word to the king, for the release of my confinement, which is to me a very strait kind of imprisonment. I am no Jesuit, nor no leper, but one that served his Majesty these sixteen years, even from the commission of the union till this last parliament, and ever had many thanks of his Majesty, and was never chidden. This his Majesty, I know, will remember, at one time or other; for I
am his man still.
God keep your lordship.
Your lordship's most affectionate to do you service,
FR. ST. ALBAN. Gorhambury, this last of December, 1621.
Tower, May 31, 1621, desiring his lordship to procure his discharge that day.
Created so in November, 1618, and in September, 1622, earl of Bristol. + Harl. MSS. Vol. 7000.
TO THE LORD VISCOUNT ST. ALBAN.†
I HAVE received your lordship's letter, and have been long thinking upon it, and the longer, the less able to make answer unto it. Therefore if your lordship will be pleased to send any understanding man unto me, to whom I may, in discourse, open myself, I will, by that means, so discover my heart with all freedom, which were too long to do by letter, especially in this time of parliament business, that your lordship shall receive satisfaction. In the mean time I rest Your lordship's faithful servant, Royston, Dec. 16 . G. BUCKINGHAM.
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
THE reason why I was so desirous to have had conference with your lordship at London, was indeed to save you the trouble of writing; I mean, the reason in the second place; for the chief was to see your lordship. But since you are pleased to give me the liberty to send to your lordship one, to whom you will deliver your mind, I take that in so good part, as I think myself tied the more to use that liberty modestly. Wherefore, if your lordship will vouchsafe to send me one of your own, except I might have leave to come to London, either Mr. Packer, my ancient friend, or Mr. Aylesbury, ‡ of whose good affection towards me I have heard report; to me it shall be indifferent. But if your lordship will have one of my nomination, if I might presume so far, I would name before all others, my lord of Falkland. But because perhaps it may cost him a journey, which I may not in good manners desire, I have thought of Sir Edward Sackville, Sir Robert Mansel, my brother, Mr. Solicitor-general,§ who, though he be almost a stranger to me, yet, as my case now is, I had rather employ a man of good nature than a friend, and Sir Arthur Ingram, notwithstanding he be great with my lord treasurer. Of these, if your lordship will be pleased to prick one, I hope well I shall entreat him to attend your lordship, and to be sorry never a whit of the employment. Your lordship may take your own time to signify your will, in regard of the present business of parliament. But my time was confined, by due respect, to write a present answer to a letter, which I construed to be a kind letter, and such as giveth me yet hope to show myself to your lordship, Your lordship's most obliged friend, and faithful servant,
FR. ST. ALBAN.
To the lord of Buckingham, in answer to his of the 16th of December.
Thomas Aylesbury, Esq. secretary to the Marquis of Buckingham as lord high admiral. He was created a baronet in 1627. Lord chancellor Clarendon married his daughter Frances.
§ Sir Robert Heath, made solicitor in January, 1620-1.
A Memorial of Conference, when the Lord Viscount ST. ALBAN expected the Marquis of BUCKINGHAM.
MY LORD MARQUIS,
Inducement.] AFFLICTIONS are truly called trials; trials of a man's self, and trials of friends. For the first, I am not guilty to myself of any unworthiness, except perhaps too much softness in the beginning of my troubles. But since, I praise God, I have not lived like a drone, nor like a mal-content, nor like a man confused. But though the world hath taken her talent from me, yet God's talent I put to use.
For trial of friends, he cannot have many friends, that hath chosen to rely upon one. So that is in a small room, ending in yourself. My suit therefore to you is, that you would now, upon this vouchsafed conference, open yourself to me, whether I stand in your favour and affection, as I have done; and if there be an alteration, what is the cause; and, if none, what effects I may expect for the future of your friendship and favour, my state being not unknown to you.
Reasons of doubting.] The reasons, why I should doubt of your lordship's coolness towards me, or falling from me, are either out of judgment and discourse, or out of experience, and somewhat that I find. My judgment telleth, that when a man is out of sight and out of use, it is a nobleness somewhat above this age to continue a constant friend: that | some, that are thought to have your ear, or more, love me not, and may either disvalue me, or distaste your lordship with me. Besides, your lordship hath now so many, either new-purchased friends, or reconciled enemies, as there is scarce room for an
old friend specially set aside. And lastly, I may
doubt, that that, for which I was fittest, which was to carry things suavibus modis, and not to bristle, or undertake, or give venturous counsels, is out of fashion and request.
As for that, I find your lordship knoweth, as well as I, what promises you made me, and iterated them back by message, and from your mouth, consisting of three things: the pardon of the whole sentence; some help for my debts; and an annual pension, which your lordship did set at 2000l. as obtained, and 3000. in hope. Of these being promises undesired, as well as favours undeserved, there is effected only the remission of the fine, and the pardon now stayed. From me I know there hath proceeded nothing, that may cause the change. These I lay before you, desiring to know what I may hope for; for hopes are racks, and your lordship, that would not condemn me to the Tower, I know will not condemn me to the rack.
The pardon stayed.] I have, though it be a thing trivial, and that at a coronation one might have it for five marks, and after a parliament for nothing,
He had been secretary to the lord viscount St. Alban, while his lordship had the great seal, and was afterwards clerk of the council, and knighted. He succeeded his patron in the manor of Gorhambury, which, after the death of Sir Thomas, came to his cousin and heir, Sir Thomas Meautys, who married Anne, daughter of Sir Nathaniel Bacon of Culford-Hall, in Suffolk, knight; which lady married a second husband, Sir Harbottle Grimstone, baronet, and master of
yet have great reason to desire it, specially being now stirred: chiefly, first, because I have been so sifted; and now it is time there were an end. Secondly, because I mean to live a retired life; and so cannot be at hand to shake off any clamour.
For any offence the parliament should take, it is rather honour, that in a thing wherein the king is absolute, yet he will not interpose in that, which the parliament hath handled; and the king hath already restored judicature, after a long intermission: but for matter of his grace, his Majesty shall have reason to keep it entire.
I do not think any, except a Turk or Tartar, would wish to have another chop out of me. But the best is, it will be found there is a time for envy, and a time for pity; and cold fragments will not serve, if the stomach be on edge. For me, if they judge by that which is past, they judge of the weather of this year by an almanack of the old year; they rather repent of that they have done, and think they have but served the turns of a few.
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR LORDSHIP,
As soon as I came to London, I repaired to Sir Edward Sackville,† whom I find very zealous, as I told your lordship. I left him to do you service, in any particular you shall command him, to my lord marquis, though it were with some adventure; and withal he imparted to me what advice he had given to my lady this afternoon, upon his visiting of her at York-house, when Mr. Packer also, as it fell out, was come, at the same time, to see my lady, and seemed to concur with Sir Edward Sackville in the same ways; which were, for my lady to become a suitor to my lady Buckingham,‡ and my lady marchioness,§ to work my lord marquis for obtaining of the king some bounty towards your lordship; and in particular, that of the thousand pounds for the small writs. If I may speak my opinion to your lordship, it is not amiss to begin any way, or with any particular, though but small game at first, only to set a rusty clock a going, and then haply it may go right for a time, enough to bring on the rest of your lordship's requests. Yet because your lordship directed me to wish my lady, from you, by no means, to act any thing, but only to open her mind, in discourse unto friends, until she should receive your farther direction; it became not me to be too forward in putting it on too fast with Sir Edward; and my lady was pleased to tell me since, that she hath written to your lordship at large.
I inquired, even now, of Benbow, whether the proclamation for dissolving the parliament were comthe rolls; who purchased the reversion of Gorhambury, from Sir Hercules Meautys, nephew of the second Sir Thomas.
Afterwards earl of Dorset, well known for his duel in 1613, with the lord Kinloss, in which the latter was killed.
Mary, countess of Buckingham, mother of the marquis. Catharine, marchioness of Buckingham, wife of the marquis, and only daughter and heir of Francis, earl of Rutland.
ing forth. He tells me he knows no more certainty | Edward Sackville, who is forward to make my lady of it than that Mr. Secretary commanded him yes- a way by the prince, if your lordship advise it. terday to be ready for despatching of the writs, when There are packets newly come out of Spain: and he should be called for; but since then he hears it the king, they say, seems well pleased with the sticks, and endures some qualms; but they speak it | contents; wherein there is an absolute promise, and still loud at court, that the king is resolved of it. undertaking, for restitution of the Palatinate; the Benbow tells me likewise, that he hath attended, dispensation returned already from the pope, and the these two days, upon a committee of the lords, with match hastened on their parts. My lord Digby the book of the commission of peace; and that their goes shortly; and Mr. Matthew tells me, he means, work is to empty the commission in some counties before his going, to write by him to your lordship. by the score, and many of them parliament-men: which course sure helps to ring the passing-bell to the parliament.
Mr. Borough tells me, he is at this present fain to attend some service for the king; but about Saturday he hopes to be at liberty to wait upon your lordship. I humbly rest
Your lordship's for ever to honour and serve,
January 3, 1621.
The king goes not till Wednesday, and the prince certainly goes with him. My lord marquis, in person, christens my lord of Falkland's child tomorrow, at his house by Watford.
Mr. Murray tells me, the king hath given your book || to my lord Brooke, ¶ and enjoined him to read it, recommending it much to him: and then my lord Brooke is to return it to your lordship; and so it may go to the press, when your lordship pleases, with such amendments as the king hath made, which I have seen, and are very few, and those
To the Right Honourable my most honoured Lord, rather words, as epidemic, and mild instead of dethe Lord Viscount St. Alban.
TO THE LORD VISCOUNT ST. ALBAN. MAY IT PLEASE YOUR LORDSHIP, THIS afternoon my lady found access to my lord marquis, procured for her by my lord of Montgomery and Sir Edward Sackville, who seemed to contend which of them should show most patience in waiting, which they did a whole afternoon, the opportunity to bring my lord to his chamber, where my lady attended him. But when he was come, she found time enough to speak at large: and though my lord spake so loud, as that what passed was no secret to me and some others, that were within hearing; yet, because my lady told me she purposeth to write to your lordship the whole passage, it becomes not me to anticipate, by these, any part of her ladyship's relation.
I send your lordship herewith the proclamation for dissolving the parliament; wherein there is nothing forgotten, that we have done amiss: but for most of those things, that we have well done, we must be fain, I see, to commend ourselves.
I delivered your lordship's to my lord of Montgomery, and Mr. Matthew, who was even then come to York-house to visit my lady, when I received the letter; and, as soon as he had read it, he said, that he had rather your lordship had sent him a challenge; and that it had been easier to answer, than so noble and kind a letter. He intends to see your lordship some time this week; and so doth Sir
John Borough, educated in common law at Gray's-Inn, keeper of the Records of the Tower of London, secretary to the earl marshal, in 1623 made Norroy; in July the year following knighted, and on the 23d of December, the same year, made garter king at arms in the place of Sir William Segar. He died October 21, 1643.
+ Philip, afterwards earl of Pembroke.
Mr. Meautys was member, in this parliament, for the
town of Cambridge.
Either John Murray of the king's bed-chamber, men
bonnaire, &c. Only that of persons attainted, enabled to serve in parliament by a bare reversal of their attainder, the king by all means will have left out. I met with my lord Brooke, and told him, that Mr. Murray had directed me to wait upon him for the book, when he had done with it. He desired to be spared this week, as being to him a week of much business, and the next week I should have it: and he ended in a compliment, that care should be taken, by all means, for good ink and paper to print it in; for that the book deserveth it.
I beg leave to kiss your lordship's hands.
Your lordship's in all humbleness to honour and serve,
TO THE LORD VISCOUNT ST. ALBAN.
I MET, even now, with a piece of news so unexpected, and yet so certainly true, as that, howsoever I had much ado, at first, to desire the relater to speak probably; yet now I dare send it your lordship upon my credit. It is my lord of Somerset's and his lady's coming out of the Tower, on Saturday last,** fetched forth by my lord of Falkland, and without the usual degrees of confinement, at first to some one place,++ but absolute and free to go where
tioned above in the letter of 21 January, 1614, or Thomas Murray, tutor and secretary to the prince, made provost of Eton-College, in the room of Sir Henry Saville, who died February 19, 1621-2. Mr. Murray died likewise, April 1, 1623.
The History of the Reign of King Henry the Seventh." Fulk Grevile. ** January 6, 1621-2. Camdeni Annales Regis Jacobi I. p. 77. ++ Camden, ubi supra, says, "that the earl was ordered to
they please. I know not how peradventure this might occasion you to cast your thoughts, touching yourself, into some new mould, though not in the main, yet in something on the bye.
I beg leave to kiss your lordship's hands.
Your lordship's in all humbleness for ever to honour and serve you.
LODOWIC STEWART, DUKE OF LENOX, TO THE LORD VISCOUNT ST. ALBAN.
Ir is not unknown to your lordship, that in respect I am now a married man, I have more reason than before to think of providing me some house in London, whereof I am yet destitute; and for that purpose, I have resolved to entreat your lordship, that I may deal with you for York-house; wherein I will not offer any conditions to your loss. And, in respect I have understood, that the consideration of your lady's wanting a house hath bred some difficulty in your lordship to part with it, I will for that make offer unto your lordship and your lady, to use the house in Cannon-row, late the earl of Hertford's, being a very commodious and capable house, wherein I and my wife have absolute power; and whereof your lordship shall have as long time as you can challenge or desire of York-house. In this I do freelier deal with your lordship, in respect I know you are well assured of my well-wishes to you in general; and that in this particular, though I have not been without thoughts of this house before your lordship had it, yet I was willing to give way to your lordship's more pressing use thereof then. And as I do not doubt of your lordship's endeavour to gratify me in this; so I shall esteem it as an extraordinary courtesy, which I will study to requite by all means.
So, with my best wishes to your lordship, I rest
In respect my lord of Buckingham was once desirous to have had this house, I would not deal for it till now, that he is otherwise provided.
Whitehall, the 29th of January, 1621.
To the right honourable my very good lord, my lord viscount St. Alban.
ANSWER OF THE LORD VISCOUNT ST. ALBAN.
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
I AM Sorry to deny your Grace any thing; but in this you will pardon me. York-house is the house,
confine himself to the lord viscount Wallingford's house or neighbourhood."
Mr. Chamberlain, in a MS. letter to Sir Dudley Carle
wherein my father died, and wherein I first breathed; and there will I yield my last breath, if so please God, and the king will give me leave; though I be now by fortune, as the old proverb is, like a bear in a monk's hood. At least no money, no value, shall make me part with it. Besides, as I never denied it to my lord marquis, so yet the difficulty I made was so like a denial, as I owe unto my great love and respect to his lordship a denial to all my other friends; among whom, in a very near place next his lordship, I ever account of your Grace. So not doubting, that you will continue me in your former love and good affection, I rest
Your Grace's, to do you humble service affectionate, &c.
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
As my hopes, since my misfortunes, have proceeded of your lordship's mere motion, without any petition of mine; so I leave the times and the ways to the same good mind of yours. True it is, a small matter for my debts would do me more good now, than double a twelvemonth hence. I have lost six thousand pounds by year, besides caps and courtesies. But now a very moderate proportion would suffice for still I bear a little of the mind of a commissioner of the treasury, not to be over chargeable to his Majesty; and two things I may assure your lordship of; the one, that I shall lead such a course of life, as whatsoever the king doth for me, shall rather sort to his Majesty's and your lordship's honour, than to envy; the other, that whatsoever men talk, I can play the good husband, and the king's bounty shall not be lost. If your lordship think good, the prince should come in to help; I know his highness wisheth me well; if you will let me know when, and how, he may be used. But the king is the fountain, who, I know, is good. God prosper you.
Your lordship's most bounden and faithful
Gorhambury, January 30, 1621.
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
YOUR lordship dealeth honourably with me in giving me notice, that your lordship is provided of a house, whereby you discontinue the treaty your lordship had with me for York-house, although I shall make no use of this notice, as to deal with any other. For I was ever resolved your lordship should have had it, or no man. But your lordship doth yet more nobly, in assuring me, you never
ton, dated at London, January 19, 1621-2, mentions, that the marquis of Buckingham had contracted with the lord and lady Wallingford, for their house near Whitehall, for some money
meant it with any the least inconvenience to myself. | subsidy, hinder it. For that only prevented the
May it please your lordship likewise to be assured from me, that I ever desired you should have it, and do-still continue of the same mind.
I humbly pray your lordship, to move his Majesty to take some commiseration of my long imprisonment. When I was in the Tower, I was nearer help of physic; I could parley with my creditors; I could deal with friends about my business; I could have helps at hand for my writings and studies, wherein I spend my time; all which here fail me. Good my lord, deliver me out of this; me who am his Majesty's devout beadsman, and
Your lordship's most obliged friend and faithful servant,
FR. ST. ALBAN. Gorhambury, this 3rd of Feb. 1621.
JOHN SELDEN, ESQ. TO THE LORD VISCOUNT ST. ALBAN.
MY MOST HONOURABLE LORD, Ar your last going to Gorhambury, you were pleased to have speech with me about some passages of parliament; touching which, I conceived, by your lordship, that I should have had farther direction by a gentleman, to whom you committed some care and consideration of your lordship's intentions therein. I can only give this account of it, that never was any man more willing or ready to do your lordship service, than myself; and in that you then spake of, I had been most forward to have done whatsoever I had been, by farther direction, used in. But I understood, that your lordship's pleasure that way was changed. Since, my lord, I was advised with, touching the judgments given in the late parliament. For them, if it please your lordship to hear my weak judgment expressed freely to you, I conceive thus. First, that admitting it were no session, but only a convention, as the proclamation calls it; yet the judgments given in the upper house, if no other reason be against them, are good; for they are given by the lords, or the upper house, by virtue of that ordinary authority, which they have as the supreme court of judicature; which is easily to be conceived, without any relation to the matter of session, which consists only in the passing of acts, or not passing them, with the royal assent. And though no session of the three states together be without such acts so passed; yet every part of the parliament severally did its own acts legally enough to continue, as the acts of other courts of justice are done. And why should any doubts be, but that a judgment out of the king's bench, or exchequer-chamber, reversed there, had been good, although no session? For there was truly a parliament, truly an upper house, which exercised by itself this power of judicature, although no session. Yet withal, my lord, I doubt, it will fall out, upon fuller consideration, to be thought a session also. Were it not for the proclamation, I should be clearly of that mind; neither doth the clause, in the act of
determination of the session at that instant; but did not prevent the being of a session, whensoever the parliament should be dissolved. But because that point was resolved in the proclamation, and also in the commission of dissolution on the 8th of February, I will rest satisfied.
But there are also examples of former times, that may direct us in that point of the judgment, in regard there is store of judgments of parliament, especially under Edward I. and Edward II. in such conventions, as never had, for aught appears, any act passed in them.
Next, my lord, I conceive thus; that by reason there is no record of those judgments, it may be justly thought, that they are of no force. For thus it stands. The lower house exhibited the declarations in paper; and the lords, receiving them, proceeded to judgment verbally; and the notes of their judgments are taken by the clerk, in the journal only; which, as I think, is no record of itself, neither was it ever used as one. Now the record, that in former times was of the judgments and proceedings there, was in this form. The accusation was exhibited in parchment; and being so received, and indorsed, was the first record; and that remained filed among the bills of parliament, it being of itself as the bills in the king's bench. Then out of this there was a formal judgment, with the accusation entered into that roll, or second record, which the clerk transcribes by ancient use, and sends into the chancery.
But in this case there are none of these: neither doth any thing seem to help to make a record of it, than only this, that the clerk may enter it, now after the parliament; which, I doubt, he cannot. Because, although in other courts the clerks enter all, and make their records after the term; yet in this parliamentary proceeding it falls out, that the court being dissolved, the clerk cannot be said to have such a relation to the parliament, which is not then at all in being, as the prothonotaries of the courts of Westminster have to their courts, which stand only adjourned. Besides, there cannot be an example found, by which it may appear, that ever any record of the first kind, where the transcript is into the chancery, was made in parliament; but only sitting the house, and in their view. But this I offer to your lordship's farther consideration, desiring your favourable censure of my fancy herein; which, with whatsoever ability I may pretend to, shall ever be desirous to serve you, to whom I shall perpetually own myself
Your lordship's most humble servant, J. SELDEN. From the Temple, February XIV. CIDCXXI.
IF your lordship have done with that Mascardus de Interpretatione Statutorum,* I shall be glad that
juris ad generalem statutorum interpretationem accommoAlderani Mascardi communes conclusiones utriusque datæ. Printed at Ferrara, 1608.