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If you take my lord of Canterbury, I will say no more, but the chancellor's place requires a whole man; and to have both jurisdictions, spiritual and temporal, in that height, is fit but for a king.
For myself, I can only present your Majesty with "gloria in obsequio;"* yet I dare promise, that if I sit in that place, your business shall not make such short turns upon you, as it doth; but when a direction is once given, it shall be pursued and performed, and your Majesty shall only be troubled with the true care of a king, which is, to think what you would have done in chief, and not how for the passages.
I do presume also, in respect of my father's memory, and that I have been always gracious in the lower house, I have some interest in the gentlemen of England, and shall be able to do some good effect in rectifying that body of parliament-men, which is cardo rerum. For let me tell your Majesty, that that part of the chancellor's place, which is to judge in equity between party and party, that same regnum judiciale, which since my father's time is but too much enlarged, concerneth your Majesty least, more than the acquitting of your conscience for justice: but it is the other parts, of a moderator amongst your council, of an overseer over your judges, of a planter of fit justices and governors in the country, that importeth your affairs and these times most.
I will add also, that I hope by my care the inventive part of your council will be strengthened; who now commonly do exercise rather their judgments than their inventions, and the inventive part cometh from projectors and private men, which cannot be so well; in which kind my lord of Salisbury had a good method, if his ends had been upright.
To conclude: if I were the man I would be, I should hope, that as your Majesty hath of late won hearts by depressing, you should in this lose no hearts by advancing for I see your people can better skill of concretum than abstractum, and that the waves of their affections flow rather after persons than things: so that acts of this nature, if this were one, do more good than twenty bills of grace. If God call my lord, the warrants and commissions which are requisite for the taking of the seal, and for the working with it, and for the reviving of warrants under his hand, which die with him, and the like, shall be in readiness. And in this, time presseth more, because it is the end of a term, and almost the beginning of the circuits; so that the seal cannot stand still: but this may be done as heretofore by commission, till your Majesty hath resolved of an officer. God ever preserve your Majesty.
CXXVIII. A LETTER TO THE KING, OF MY
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT Majesty,
And yet that which happened the last day of term, concerning certain indictments in the nature of præmunire, preferred into the king's bench, but not found, is not so much as is voiced abroad; though I must say, it is "omni tempore nimium, et hoc tempore alienum :" and therefore, I beseech your Majesty not to give any believing ear to reports, but to receive the truth from me, that am your attorney-general, and ought to stand indifferent for jurisdictions of all courts; which account I cannot give your Majesty now, because I was then absent; and some are now absent, which are properly and authentically to inform me touching that which passed. Neither let this any ways disjoint your other business, for there is a time for all things, and FR. BACON. this very accident may be turned to good. Not that I am of opinion that that same cunning maxim of nostrum æstimare, quem supra cæteros, et quibus de causis extollas: tibi summum rerum judicium dii dedere: nobis obsequii gloria relicta est." It does not become us to inquire into the person you are pleased to prefer above others, or into the reasons: to you heaven has given a consummate judgment; to us there remains the glory of a cheerful obedience." Stephens.
Your Majesty's most humble subject and bounden servant,
Feb. 12, 1615.
"Gloria in obsequio" is taken from the sixth book of the Annals of Tacitus: where some persons being accused for their intimacy with Sejanus, the late great favourite of the emperor Tiberius; M. Terentius, a Roman knight, did not, Like others, excuse or deny the same for fear of punishment; but doth in the senate make an ingenuous confession thereof, છે. gives his reasons why he not only courted, but rejoiced obtaining the friendship of Sejanus. And then addresses himself as if speaking to Tiberius, in these words; "Non est
"Separa et impera," which sometimes holdeth in | upon the king and your excellent self, but because
persons, can well take place in jurisdictions; but because some good occasion by this excess may be taken to settle that which would have been more dangerous, if it had gone out by little and little. God ever preserve your Majesty.
I find hourly that I need this strength in his Majesty's service, both for my better warrant and satisfaction of my conscience, that I deal not in things above my vocation; and for my better countenance and prevailing, where his Majesty's service is, under any pretext, opposed, I would it were despatched. I remember a greater matter than this was deBACON.spatched by a letter from Royston, which was the placing of the archbishop that now is; and I imagine the king did it on purpose, that the act might appear to be his own.
Your Majesty's most humble subject and most bounden servant,
February 15, 1615.
CXXIX. TO SIR GEORGE VILLIERS.*
I RECEIVED this morning from you two letters by the same bearer; the one written before, the other after his Majesty had received my last.
In this difference between the two courts of chancery and king's bench, for so I had rather take it for this time, than between the persons of my lord chancellor and my lord chief justice, I marvel not, if rumour get way of true relation; for I know fame hath swift wings, especially that which hath black feathers but within these two days, for sooner I cannot be ready, I will write unto his Majesty both the narrative truly, and my opinion sincerely; taking much comfort that I serve such a king that hath God's property in discerning truly of men's hearts. I purpose to speak with my lord chancellor this day and so to exhibit that cordial of his Majesty's grace, as I hope that other accident will rather rouse and raise his spirit, than deject him, or incline him to relapse. Meanwhile I commend the wit of a mean man that said this other day, "Well, the next term you shall have an old man come with a besom of wormwood in his hand that will sweep away all this." For it is my lord chancellor's fashion, specially towards the summer, to carry a posy of wormwood. I write this letter in haste to return your messenger with it. God keep you; and long and happily may you serve his Majesty.
Your true and affectionate servant,
Feb. 19, 1615. Sir, I thank you for your inward letter; I have burned it as you commanded: but the fire it hath kindled in me will never be extinguished.
CXXX. TO SIR GEORGE VILLIERS, ABOUT SWEARING HIM INTO THE PRIVY COUNCIL.+
My lord chancellor's health growing with the days, and his resignation being an uncertainty, I would be glad you went on with my first motion, my swearing privy counsellor. This I desire not so much to make myself more sure of the other, and to put it past competition, for herein I rest wholly * Rawley's Resuscitatio. † Ibid.
My lord chancellor told me yesterday in plain terms, that if the king would ask his opinion touching the person that he would commend to succeed him upon death or disability, he would name me for the fittest man. You may advise, whether use may not be made of this offer.
I sent a pretty while since a paper to Mr. John Murray, which was indeed a little remembrance of some things past, concerning my honest and faithful services to his Majesty; not by way of boasting, from which I am far, but as tokens of my studying his service uprightly and carefully. If you be pleased to call for the paper, which is with Mr. John Murray, and to find a fit time that his Majesty may cast an eye upon it, I think it will do no hurt; and I have written to Mr. Murray to deliver the paper, if you call for it. God keep you in all happiness.
CXXXI. TO THE KING, CONCERNING THE PRÆMUNIRE IN THE KING'S BENCH, AGAINST THE CHANCERY.‡
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, I WAS yesterday in the afternoon with my lord chancellor according to your commandment which I received by the master of the horse, and find the old man well comforted, both towards God, and towards the world: and that same middle comfort which is divine and human, proceeding from your Majesty, being God's lieutenant on earth, I am persuaded, hath been a great cause that such a sickness hath been portable to such an age. I did not fail in my conjecture, that this business of the chancery hath stirred him; he showeth to despise it, but he is full of it, and almost like a young duellist that findeth himself behind-hand.
I will now, as your Majesty requireth, give you a true relation of that which hath passed: neither will I decline your royal commandment for delivering my opinion also, though it be a tender subject to write on; but I that account my being but as an accident to my service, will neglect no duty upon self-safety.
First, it is necessary I let your Majesty know the ground of the difference between the two courts, that your Majesty may the better understand the narrative.
There was a statute made 27 Edw. III. cap. 1, which, no doubt, in the principal intention thereof, was ordained against those that sued to Rome; wherein there are words somewhat general against any "that questioneth or impeacheth any judgment given in the king's courts, or in any other court." Upon these doubtful words, other courts, the controversy groweth. For the sounder interpretation taketh them to be meant of those courts, which though locally they were not held at Rome, or where the pope's chair was, but here within the realm; yet in their jurisdiction had their dependence upon the court of Rome; as were the court of the legate here, and the courts of the archbishops and bishops, which were then but subordinate judgment-seats to that high tribunal of Rome. And for this construction, the opposition of the words, if they be well observed, between the king's courts and other courts, maketh very much; for it importeth as if those other courts were not the king's The grand jury, consisting, as it seemeth, of very courts. Also the main scope of the statute fortifieth substantial and intelligent persons, would not find the same. And lastly, the practice of many ages. the bills, notwithstanding they were clamoured by The other interpretation, which cleaveth to the let-the parties, and twice sent back by the court; and ter, expoundeth the king's courts to be the courts of law only, and other courts to be courts of equity, as the chancery, exchequer-chamber, duchy, &c. Though this also flieth indeed from the letter, for that all these are the king's courts.
cellor's life, there were two indictments preferred of præmunire, for suing in chancery after judgment in common law; the one by Rich. Glanville, the other by William Allen: the former against Courtney, the party in chancery, Gibb the counsellor, and Deurst the clerk; the latter against alderman Bowles and Humfrey Smith, parties in chancery; serjeant More the counsellor, Elias Wood, solicitor in the cause, and Sir John Tindal, master of the chancery, and an assessor to my lord chancellor.
For the cases themselves, it were too long to trouble your Majesty with them; but this I will say, if they were set on that preferred them, they were the worst marksmen that ever were that set them on. For there could not have been chosen two such causes to the honour and advantage of the chancery, for the justness of the decrees, and the foulness and scandal both of fact and person, in those that impeach the decrees.
in conclusion, resolutely seventeen of nineteen found an Ignoramus; wherein, for that time, I think Ignoramus was wiser than those that know too much.
Your Majesty will pardon me, if I be sparing in delivering to you some other circumstances of aggra
same day; as if it had been some fatal constellation. They be not things so sufficiently tried, as I dare put them into your ear.
There is also another statute, which is but a simple prohibition, and not with a penalty of a pre-vation, and of concurrences of some like matters the munire, as the other is, "that after judgments given in the king's courts, the parties shall be in peace, except the judgment be undone by error or attaint," which is a legal form of reversal. And of this also I hold the sounder interpretation to be to settle possessions against disturbances, and not to take away remedy in equity, where those judgments are obtained ex rigore juris, and against good conscience. But upon these two statutes there hath been a late conceit in some, that if a judgment pass at the common law against any, that he may not after sue for relief in chancery; and if he doth, both he, and his counsel, and his solicitors, yea and the judge in equity himself, are within the danger of those statutes.
Here your Majesty hath the true state of the question, which I was necessarily to open to you first, because your Majesty calleth for this relation, not as news, but as business. Now to the historical part.
It is the course of the king's bench, that they give in charge to a grand jury offences of all natures, to be presented within Middlesex, where the said court is; and the manner is, to enumerate them as it were in articles. This was done by justice Crook, the Wednesday before the term ended. And that article, If any man, after a judgment given, had drawn the said judgment to a new examination in any other court, was by him specially given in charge; which had not used to be given in charge before. It is true, it was not solemnly dwelt upon, but as it were thrown in amongst the rest.
The last day of the term, and, that which all men condemn, the supposed last day of my lord chan
For my opinion, I cannot but begin with this preface, that I am infinitely sorry that your Majesty is thus put to salve and cure, not only accidents of time, but errors of servants; for I account this a kind of sickness of my lord Coke's, that comes almost in as ill a time as the sickness of my lord chancellor. And as, I think, it was one of the wisest parts that ever he played, when he went down to your Majesty to Royston, and desired to have my lord chancellor joined with him; so this was one of the weakest parts that ever he played, to make all the world perceive that my lord chancellor is severed from him at this time.
But for that which may concern your service, which is my end, leaving other men to their own ways, first, my opinion is plainly that my lord Coke at this time is not to be disgraced; both because he is so well habituate for that which remaineth of these capital causes, and also for that which I find is in his breast touching your finances and matters of repair of your estate; and, if I might speak it, as I think it were good his hopes were at an end in some kind, so I could wish they were raised in some other.
On the other side, this great and public affront, not only to the reverend and well deserving person of your chancellor, and at a time when he was thought to lie on dying, which was barbarous, but to your high court of chancery, which is the court of your absolute power, may not, in my opinion, pass lightly, nor end only in some formal atonement, but use is to be made thereof for the settling of your
authority and strengthening of your prerogative | not to be worthy to be card-holder, or candle-holder, according to the true rules of monarchy. will make profit of this accident as a thing of God's sending.
Now to reconcile and accommodate these two advices, which seem almost opposite; first, your Majesty may not see it, though I confess it to be suspicious, that my lord Coke was any way aforehand privy to that which was done; or that he did set it or animate it, but only took the matter as it came before him; and that his error was only, that at such a time he did not divert it in some good manner.
Lastly, I may not forget to represent to your Majesty, that there is no thinking of arraignments until these things be somewhat accommodated, and some outward and superficial reconciliation at least made between my lord chancellor and my lord chief justice; for this accident is a banquet to all the delinquent's friends. But this is a thing that falleth Secondly, if it be true, as is reported, that any of out naturally of itself, in respect of the judges going the puisne judges did stir this business; or that they circuit, and my lord chancellor's infirmity with hope did openly revile and menace the jury for doing of recovery and although this protraction of time their conscience, as they did honestly and truly, I may breed some doubt of mutability, yet I have lately think that judge is worthy to lose his place. And, learned out of an excellent letter of a certain king, to be plain with your Majesty, I do not think there that the sun showeth sometimes watry to our eyes, is any thing a greater polychreston, or ad multa utile but when the cloud is gone, the sun is as before. to your affairs, than upon a just and fit occasion to God ever preserve your Majesty. make some example against the presumption of a judge in causes that concern your Majesty, whereby the whole body of those magistrates may be contained the better in awe; and it may be this will light upon no unfit subject of a person, that is rude, and that no man cares for.
Thirdly, if there be no one so much in fault, which I cannot yet affirm either way, and there must be a just ground, God forbid else, yet I should think, that the very presumption of going so far, in so high a cause, deserveth to have that done which was done in this very case upon the indictment of serjeant Heale in queen Elizabeth's time; that the judges should answer it upon their knees before your Majesty or your council, and receive a sharp admonition: at which time also, my lord Wray, being then chief justice, slipt the collar and was forborn.
Fourthly, for the persons themselves, Glanville and Allen, which are base fellows and turbulent, I think there will be discovered and proved against them, besides the preferring of the bills, such combinations and contemptuous speeches and behaviours, as there will be good ground to call them, and perhaps some of their petty counsellors at law, into the star-chamber.
In all this which I have said your Majesty may be pleased to observe, that I do not engage you much in the main point of the jurisdiction, for which I have a great deal of reason, which I now forbear. | But two things I wish to be done: the one, that your Majesty take this occasion to redouble unto all your judges your ancient and true charge and rule, That you will endure no innovating the point of jurisdiction, but will have every court impaled within their own precedents, and not assume to themselves new powers upon conceits and inventions of law; the other, that in these high causes that touch upon state and monarchy, your Majesty give them strait charge, that upon any occasions intervenient hereafter, they do not make the vulgar party to their contestations, by public handling them, before they have consulted with your Majesty, to whom the reglement of those things only appertaineth.
To conclude, I am not without hope, that your Majesty managing this business according to your great wisdom, unto which I acknowledge myself
Your Majesty's most humble subject and bounden servant,
Feb. 21, 1615.
TO THE KING, ON THE BREACH
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, YOUR privy council have wisely and truly discerned of the orders and demands of the new company, that they are unlawful and unjust; and themselves have now acknowledged the work impossible without them, by their petition in writing now registered in the council book; so as this conclusion of their own making, is become peremptory and final to themselves; and the impossibility confessed, the practice and abuse reserved to the judgment the state shall make of it.
This breach then of this great contract is wholly on their part, which could not have been if your Majesty had broken upon the patent; for the patent was your Majesty's act, the orders are their act; and in the former case they had not been liable to farther question, now they are.
There rest two things to be considered: the one, if they, like Proteus when he is hard held, shall yet again vary their shape; and shall quit their orders convinced of injustice, and lay their imposition only upon the trade of whites, whether your Majesty shall farther expect: the other, if your Majesty dissolve them upon this breach on their part, what is farther to be done for the setting of the trade again in joint, and for your own honour and profit: in both which points I will not presume to give opinion, but only to break the business for your Majesty's better judgment.
For the first, I am sorry the occasion was given by my lord Coke's speech at this time of the commitment of some of them, that they should seek omnem movere lapidem to help themselves. Better it had been, if, as my lord Fenton said to me that morning very judiciously and with a great deal of Rawley's Resuscitatio.
foresight, that for that time they should have had a bridge made for them to be gone. But my lord Coke floweth according to his own tides, and not according to the tides of business. The thing which my lord Coke said was good and too little, but at this time it was too much; but that is past. Howsoever, if they should go back and seek again to entertain your Majesty with new orders or offers, as is said to be intended, your Majesty hath ready two answers of repulse, if it please your Majesty to use them.
The one, that this is now the fourth time that they have mainly broken with your Majesty, and contradicted themselves. First, they undertook to dye and dress all the cloths of the realm; soon after, they wound themselves into the trade of whites, and came down to the proportion contracted. Secondly, they ought to have performed that contract according to their subscription pro rata, without any of these orders and impositions; soon after, they deserted their subscription, and had recourse to these devices of orders. Thirdly, if by order, and not by subscription, yet their orders should have laid it upon the whites; which is an unlawful and prohibited trade; nevertheless they would have brought in lawful and settled trades, full manufactures, merchandise of all natures, poll-money or brotherhoodmoney, and I cannot tell what. And now lastly, it seemeth, they would go back to lay it upon the whites; and therefore whether your Majesty will any more rest and build this great wheel of your kingdom upon these broken and brittle pins, and try experiments farther upon the health and body of your state, I leave to your princely judgment.
The other answer of repulse is a kind of apposing them what they will do after the three years contracted for; which is a point hitherto not much stirred, though Sir Lionel Cranfield hath ever beaten upon it in his speech with me; for after the three years they are not tied otherways than as trade shall give encouragement, of which encouragement your Majesty hath a bitter taste: and if they should hold on according to the third year's proportion, and not rise on by farther gradation, your Majesty hath not your end. No, I fear, and have long feared, that this feeding of the foreigner may be dangerous; for as we may think to hold up our clothing by vent
whites, till we can dye and dress; so they, I mean the Dutch, will think to hold up their manufacture of dyeing and dressing upon our whites, till they can clothe: so as your Majesty hath the greatest reason in the world to make the new company to come in and strengthen that part of their contract; and they refusing, as it is confidently believed they will, to make their default more visible to all men.
For the second main part of your Majesty's consultation, that is, what shall be done supposing an absolute breach, I have had some speech with Mr. Secretary Lake, and likewise with Sir Lionel Cranfield; and, as I conceive, there may be three ways taken into consideration: the first is, that the old company be restored, who, no doubt, are in appetite, and, as I find by Sir Lionel Cranfield, not unprepared;
and that the licences, the one, that of 30,000 cloths, which was the old licence; the other that of my lord Cumberland's, which is without stint, my lord of Cumberland receiving satisfaction, be compounded into one entire licence without stint; and then, that they amongst themselves take order for that profit which hath been offered to your Majesty. This is a plain and known way, wherein your Majesty is not an actor; only it hath this, that the work of dyeing and dressing cloths, which hath been so much glorified, seemeth to be wholly relinquished, if you leave there. The second is, that there be a free trade of cloth, with this difference, that the dyed and dressed pay no custom, and the whites double custom, it being a merchandise prohibited and only licentiate. This continueth in life and fame the work desired, and will have a popular applause : but, I do confess, I did ever think that trading in companies is most agreeable to the English nature, which wanteth that same general vein of a republic which runneth in the Dutch, and serveth to them instead of a company; and therefore I dare not advise to adventure this great trade of the kingdom, which hath been so long under government, in a free or loose trade. The third is a compound way of both, which is, to go on with the trade of whites by the old company restored; and that your Majesty's profit be raised by order amongst themselves, rather than by double custom, wherein you must be the actor; and that nevertheless there be added a privilege to the same company to carry out cloths dyed, and dressed, custom-free; which will still continue as a glorious beam of your Majesty's royal design. I hope and wish at least, that this which I have written may be of some use to your Majesty, to settle, by the advice of the lords about you, this great business at the least it is the effect of my care and poor ability, which, if in me be any, it is given me to no other end but faithfully to serve your Majesty. God ever preserve you. Your Majesty's most humble subject and bounden servant, Feb. 25, 1615.
CXXXIII. TO SIR GEORGE VILLIERS..
I HUMBLY pray you not to think me over-hasty or much in appetite, if I put you in remembrance of my motion of strengthening me with the oath and trust of a privy counsellor; not for mine own strength, for as to that, I thank God, I am armed within, but for the strength of my service. The times I submit to you, who knoweth them best. But sure I am, there were never times which did more require a king's attorney to be well armed, and, as I said once to you, to wear a gauntlet and not a glove the arraignments, when they proceed; the contention between the chancery and king's bench; the great cause of the rege inconsulto, which is so precious to the king's prerogative; divers * Rawley's Resuscitatio.