Page images

depend wholly, next to God, upon the king; and be ruled, as hitherto you have been, by his instructions; for that's best for yourself. For the king's care and thoughts concerning you are according to the thoughts of a great king; whereas your thoughts concerning yourself are, and ought to be, according to the thoughts of a modest man. But let me not weary you the sum is, that you think goodness the best part of greatness; and that you remember whence your rising comes, and make return accordingly. God ever keep you.

Your true and most devoted servant,

Gorhambury, Aug, 12, 1616.



IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST Excellent MAJESTY, I HAVE sent Sir George Villiers's patent drawn again, containing also a barony; the name Blechly, which is his own, and to my thinking soundeth better than Whaddon. I have included both in one patent, to avoid a double preface, and as hath been used in the patents of earls in the like nature: nevertheless the ceremony of robing and otherwise is to be double, as is also used in the like case of earls.

It resteth, that I express unto your Majesty my great joy, in your honouring and advancing this gentleman; whom to describe, not with colours, but with true lines, I may say this; your Majesty certainly hath found out and chosen a safe nature, a capable man, an honest will, generous and noble affections, and a courage well lodged, and one that I know loveth your Majesty unfeignedly, and admireth you as much as is in a man to admire his sovereign upon earth. Only your Majesty's school, wherein he hath already so well profited, as in this entrance upon the stage, being the time of the greatest danger, he hath not committed any manifest error, will add perfection to your Majesty's comfort and the great contentment of your people. God ever preserve your Majesty. I rest in all humbleness,

Your Majesty's most bounden and devoted subject and servant,

[blocks in formation]

may do for himself: now good counsel helpeth a man to help himself; but you have so happy a master as supplieth all. My service and good will shall not be wanting.

It was graciously and kindly done also of his Majesty towards me, to tell you that you were beholden to me; but it must be then for thinking of you as I do; for otherwise, for speaking as I think, it is but the part of an honest man. I send you your patent, whereof God give you joy; and I send you here enclosed a little note of remembrance for that part of the ceremony which concerneth the patent; for as for other ceremonies, I leave to others. My lord chancellor despatched your patent presently upon the receipt; and writ to me, how glad he was of it, and how well he wished you. If you write to him a few words of thanks, I think you shall do well. God keep you and prosper you. I ever rest

Your true and most devoted servant,

Gorhambury, Aug. 19, 1616.



I AM more and more bound unto his Majesty, who, I think, knowing me to have other ends than ambition, is contented to make me judge of mine own desires. I am now beating my brains, among many cares of his Majesty's business, touching the redeeming the time in this business of cloth. The great question is; how to miss, or how to mate the Flemings; how to pass by them, or how to pass over them.

In my next letter, I shall alter your style: but I shall never whilst I breathe alter mine own style, in being Your true and devoted servant,

Aug. 22, 1616.



IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, FIRST, from the bottom of my heart I thank the God of all mercy and salvation, that he hath preserved you from receiving any hurt by your fall; and I pray his Divine Majesty ever to preserve you on horseback and on foot from hurt and fear of hurt.

Now touching the clothing business; for that I perceive the cloth goeth not off as it should, and that Wiltshire is now come in with complaint, as well as Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, so that this gangrene creepeth on; I humbly pray your Majesty to take into your Majesty's princely consideration a remedy for the present stand, which

Rawley's Resuscitatio.

Stephens's First Collection, p. 179.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

certainly will do the deed; and for any thing that I know will be honourable and convenient, though joined with some loss in your Majesty's customs, which I know in a business of this quality, and being but for an interim till you may negotiate, your Majesty doth not esteem: and it is this:

That your Majesty by your proclamation do forbid, after fourteen days, giving that time for suiting men's selves, the wearing of any stuff made wholly of silk, without mixture of wool, for the space of six months. So your Majesty shall supply outward vent with inward use, specially for the finer cloths, which are those wherein the stand principally is, and which silk weavers are likest to buy; and you shall show a most princely care over thousands of the poor people; and besides, your Majesty shall blow a horn, to let the Flemings know your Majesty will not give over the chace. Again, the winter season coming on is fittest for wearing of cloth; and there is scope enough left for bravery and vanity by lacing and embroidery, so it be upon cloth or stuff's of wool.

I thought it my duty to offer and submit this remedy, amongst others, to your Majesty's great wisdom, because it pleased you to lay the care of this business upon me; and indeed my care did fly to it before, as it shall always do to any knots and difficulties in your business, wherein hitherto I have been not unfortunate. God ever have you in his most precious custody.

Your Majesty's most faithful and most bounden

[blocks in formation]

the work impossible or inconvenient, which I do not yet believe, I know his Majesty and the state will not suffer them to perish.

I wish what shall be done were done with resolution and speed, and that your lordship, because it is a gracious business, had thanks of it next the king; and that there were some commission under his Majesty's sign manual to deal with some selected persons of the old company, and to take their answers and consent under their hands; and that the procuring the commission, and the procuring their offers to be accepted, were your lordship's work.

In this treaty my lord chancellor must by no means be left out; for he will moderate well, and aimeth at his Majesty's ends.

Mr. Solicitor is not yet returned, but I look for him presently. I rest

Your lordship's true and most devoted servant,

Monday, October 14,

at 10 of the clock.


FIRST, The company consists of a number of young men and shop-keepers, which not being bred in the trade, are fearful to meddle with any of the dear and fine cloths, but only meddle with the coarse cloths, which is every man's skill; and besides, having other trades to live upon, they come in the sunshine so long as things go well, and as soon as they meet with any storm or cloud, they leave trade, and go back to shop-keeping; whereas the old com

CLXI. TO THE LORD VISCOUNT VILLIERS. pany were beaten traders, and having no other

MY VERY GOOd lord,

It was my opinion from the beginning, that this company will never overcome the business of the cloth; and that the impediments are as much or more in the persons which are instrumenta animata, than in the dead business itself.

I have therefore sent unto the king here enclosed my reasons, which I pray your lordship to show his Majesty.

The new company and the old company are but the sons of Adam to me, and I take myself to have some credit with both; but it is upon fear rather with the old, and upon love rather with the new; and yet with both upon persuasion that I understand the business.

Nevertheless I walk in via regia, which is not absolutely acceptable to either; for the new company would have all their demands granted, and the old company would have the king's work given over and deserted.

My opinion is, that the old company be drawn to succeed into the contract, else the king's honour suffereth, and that we all draw in one way to effect that. If time, which is the wisest of things, prove Stephens's First Collection, p. 181.

[ocr errors]

means of living but that trade, were fain to ride out all accidents and difficulties, which, being men of great ability, they were well able to do.

Secondly, These young men being the major part, and having a kind of dependence upon alderman Cockain, they carry things by plurality of voices; and yet those few of the old company, which are amongst them, do drive almost three parts of the trade and it is impossible things should go well, where one part gives the vote, and the other doth the work; so that the execution of all things lies chiefly upon them that never consented, which is merely motus violentus, and cannot last.

Thirdly, The new company make continually such new springing demands, as the state can never be secure nor trust to them; neither doth it seem that they do much trust themselves.

Fourthly, The present stand of cloth at Blackwell-hall, which is that that presseth the state most, and is provided for but by a temporary and weak remedy, is supposed would be presently at an end, upon the revivor of the old; in respect that they are able men and united amongst themselves.

Fifthly, In these cases opinio est veritate major, and the very voice and expectation of revivor of the old + Stephens's First Collection, p. 182.

company will comfort the clothiers, and encourage them not to lay down their looms.

Sixthly, The very Flemings themselves, in regard of the pique they have against the new company, are like to be more pliant and tractable towards his Majesty's ends and desires.

Seventhly, Considering the business hath not gone on well, his Majesty must either lay the fault upon the matter itself, or upon the persons that have managed it; wherein the king shall best acquit | his honour, to lay it where it is indeed; that is, upon the carriage and proceedings of the new company, which have been full of uncertainty and abuse.

Lastly, The subjects of this kingdom generally have an ill taste and conceit of the new company, and therefore the putting of them down will discharge the state of a great deal of envy.



Now that the king hath received my opinion, with the judges' opinion, unto whom it was referred, touching the proposition for inns, in point of law; it resteth that it be molded and carried in that sort, as it may pass with best contentment and conveniency. Wherein I that ever love good company, as I was joined with others in the legal point, so I desire not to be alone touching the conveniency. And therefore I send your lordship a form of warrant for the king's signature, whereby the framing of the business, and that which belongeth to it, may be referred to myself with serjeant Montague and serjeant Finch, and though Montague should change his place, that alteration hurteth not the business, but rather helpeth it. And because the inquiry and survey touching inns will require much attendance and charge, and the making of the licences, I shall think fit, when that question cometh to me, to be † to the justice of assise, and not to those that follow this business therefore his Majesty may be pleased to consider what proportion or dividend shall be allotted to Mr. Mompesson, and those that shall follow it at their own charge, which useth in like case to be a fifth. So I ever rest

Your lordship's true and most devoted servant, FR. BACON. Nov. 13, 1616.


I think his Majesty was not only well advised, but well inspired, to give order for this same wicked child of Cain, Bertram, to be examined before he was farther proceeded with. And I for my part, before I had received his Majesty's pleasure by my lord chamberlain, went thus far; that I had appointed him to be farther examined, and also had taken order with Mr. Solicitor that he should be provided to make some declaration at his trial in some solemn fashion, and not to let such a strange murder pass, as if it had been but a horse-stealing.

But upon his Majesty's pleasure signified, I forthwith caused the trial to be staid, and examined the party according to his Majesty's questions; and also sent for the principal counsel in the cause, whereupon Sir John Tyndal's report was grounded, to discern the justice or iniquity of the said report, as his Majesty likewise commanded.

I send therefore the case of Bertram truly stated and collected, and the examination taken before myself and Mr. Solicitor; whereby it will appear to his Majesty that Sir John Tyndal, as to his cause, is a kind of martyr: for if ever he made a just report in his life, this was it.

But the event since all this is, that this Bertram being, as it seemeth, indurate, or in despair, hath hanged himself in prison; of which accident, as I am sorry, because he is taken from example and public justice, so yet I would not for any thing it had been before his examination; so that there may be otherwise some occasion taken, either by some declaration in the king's bench upon the return of the coroners' inquest, or by some printed book of the fact, or by some other means, whereof I purpose to advise with my lord chancellor, to have both. his Majesty's royal care, and the truth of the fact, with the circumstances, manifested and published. ||

For the taking of a toy of my lord chief justice before he was placed, it was done before your letter came; and on Tuesday Heath and Shute shall be admitted and all perfected.

My lord chancellor proposeth to be at the hall to-morrow, to give my lord chief justice his oath; and I pray God it hurt him not this cold weather. God ever prosper you.

Your true and most devoted servant,



Sunday night, Nov. 17, 1616.

Stephens's First Collection, p. 184.

Here (referred) or some word of the like import is omitted.

I suppose after the judges and attorney-general had given the opinion above mentioned, that a patent was soon granted for licensing of common inns; whence Sir Giles Mompesson levied several sums by fines, and annual rent, and from alehouses also by a subsequent patent: proceeding therein with so much rigour, that it was complained of in the parliament which begun in 1620-21, as one of the great grievances of the nation; the patent declared illegal, and recalled by the king's proclamation; Mompesson and Michel, the chief projectors of this and some other oppressions, severely censured accord

ing to their demerits: the manner of which may be seen in the journals of that parliament, and the histories of those times. Stephens.

Stephens's First Collection, p. 186.

This Bertram, who according to Camden in his Annals of king James, was a grave man of above 70 years of age, and of a clear reputation, pistolled Sir John Tyndal, a master in chancery, on the 12th of November, for making a report against him, in a cause where the sum contended for did not exceed 2007.

By his examination taken the 16th, he confessed it to be as foul a murder as ever was: under the sense of which he hanged himself the next day. Stephens.



I HAVE acquainted his Majesty with your letter, and the other papers enclosed, who liketh very well of the course you purpose touching the manifest to be published of Bertram's fact; and will have you, according to your own motion, advise with my lord chancellor of the manner of it. His Majesty's pleasure likewise is, that according to the declaration he made before the lords of his council at Whitehall, touching the review of my lord Coke's Reports, you draw a warrant ready for his signature, directed to those judges whom he then named to that effect, and send it speedily to him to be signed, that there may be a despatch of that business before the end of this term. And so I rest

Your faithful friend at command,


Newmarket, Nov. 19, 1616.

the decree, which mentions a bond, and thereupon got his adversary Sir George Simeon committed. Afterwards it was moved upon Simeon's part, that there was only one debt of 2001. and that the decree was mistaken in the penning of it, and so must needs be understood, because the decree must be upon the proofs; and all the proofs went but upon the 2007. in toto, and not upon any particular bond: whereupon my lord chancellor referred the consideration of the proofs, and the comparing of them with the decree, to Sir John Tyndal and doctor | Amye.

They reported, which was the killing report, that upon the proofs there was but one 2007, in all, and that had been eagerly followed by Bertram, and that Simeon had suffered by error and mistaking, and that it were time he were released, which was a most just and true report, and yet it concluded, as is used in such cases, that they referred it to the better judgment of the court; and the court upon the reading of that report gave order that the plaintiff Bertram should show cause by a day why Simeon should not be enlarged, and the plaintiff Bertram dismissed. And before the day prefixed to show cause, Bertram pistolled Sir John Tyndal.


LEONARD Chamberlayne died intestate without CLXVI. TO THE LORD VISCOUNT VILLIERS.† issue, and left a sister married to Bertram, and a niece afterwards married to Sir George Simeon.

The niece obtained letters of administration, and did administer; but afterwards upon appeal, Bertram in the right of his wife, that was the sister, obtained the former administration to be repealed, and new letters of administration to be committed to Bertram and his wife, because the sister was nearer of kin than the niece.

Thereupon Bertram brings his bill in chancery against the first administratrix, to discover the true state of the intestate, and to have it set over unto him, being the rightful administrator; and this cause coming to hearing, it did appear that there was a debt of 2001. owing by one Harris to the intestate whereupon it was decreed, that the debt of Harris by bond should be set over to Bertram, and likewise that all other moneys, debts, and bonds, should be assigned over to him. In the penning of this decree there was an error or slip; for it was penned that a debt by Harris by a bond of 2001. should be set over, whereas the proofs went plainly that it was but 2001. in toto upon divers specialties and writings. Upon this pinch and advantage Bertram moved still that the bond of 2001. should be brought in, and at last the defendant alleging that there was no such bond, the court ordered that the money itself, namely, 2007. should be brought in: which was done accordingly, and soon after by order of the court it was paid over to Bertram.

When Bertram had this 2007. in his purse, he would needs surmise, that there was another 2001. due by Harris upon account, besides the 2001. due by one singular bond, and still pressed the words of Stephens's Second Collection, p. 23.

MY VERY Good lord,

I AM glad to find your lordship mindful of your own business, and if any man put you in mind of it, I do not dislike that neither; but your lordship may assure yourself, in whatsoever you commit to me your lordship's farther care shall be needless: for I desire to take nothing from my master and my friend but care; and therein I am so covetous, as I will leave them as little as may be.

Now therefore things are grown to a conclusion, touching your land and office, I will give your lordship an account of that which is passed; and acquaint your judgment, which I know to be great and capable of any thing, with your own business; that you may discern the difference between doing things substantially, and between shuffling and talking: and first for your patent.

First, It was my counsel and care that your book should be fee-farm, and not fee-simple; whereby the rent of the crown in succession is not diminished, and yet the quantity of the land, which you have upon your value, is enlarged; whereby you have both honour and profit.

Secondly, By the help of Sir Lionel Cranfield I advanced the value of Sherbourn from 26,000. (which was thought and admitted by my lord treasurer and Sir John Deccombe, as a value of great favour to your lordship, because it was a thousand pound more than it was valued at to Somerset) to thirty-two thousand pounds; whereby there were six thousand pounds gotten, and yet justly.

Thirdly, I advised the course of rating Hartington at a hundred years' purchase, and the rest at + Stephens's First Collection, p. 108.

thirty-five years' purchase fee-farm, to be set down | who was tied to Somerset, it would have been sub

and expressed in the warrant; that it may appear and remain of record, that your lordship had no other rates made to you in favour, than such as purchasers upon sale are seldom drawn into; whereby you have honour.

Fourthly, That lease to the feoffees, which was kept as a secret in the decke, and was not only of Hartington, but also of most of the other particulars in your book, I caused to be throughly looked into and provided for; without which your assurance had been nothing worth: and yet I handled it so, and made the matter so well understood, as you were not put to be a suitor to the prince for his good will in it, as others ignorantly thought you must have done.

Fifthly, The annexation,* which no body dreamt of, and which some idle bold lawyer would perhaps have said had been needless; and yet is of that weight, that there was never yet any man that would purchase any such land from the king, except he had a declaration to discharge it, I was provident to have it discharged by declaration.

Sixthly, Lest it should be said that your lordship was the first, except the queen and the prince, that brake the annexation, upon a mere gift; for that others had it discharged only upon sale, which was for the king's profit and necessity; I found a remedy for that also, because I have carved it in the declaration, as that this was not gift to your lordship, but rather a purchase and exchange, as indeed it was, for Sherbourn.

Seventhly and lastly, I have taken order, as much as in me was, that your lordship in these things which you have passed be not abused, if you part with them: for I have taken notes in a book of their values and former offers.

Now for your office.

First, Whereas my lord Teynham, at the first, would have had your lordship have had but one life in it, and he another; and my lord treasurer, and the solicitor, and Deccombe, were about to give way to it: I turned utterly that course, telling them that you were to have two lives in it, as well as Somerset had.

Secondly, I have accordingly, in the assurance from your deputies, made them acknowledge the trust, and give security not only for your lordship's time, but after; so as you may dispose, if you should die, which I would be sorry to live to, the profits of the office by your will, or otherwise, to any of your friends for their comfort and advancement.

Thirdly, I dealt so with Whitlocke as well as Heath, as there was no difficulty made of the surrender.

Lastly, I did cast with myself, that if your lordship's deputies had come in by Sir Edward Coke,

The annexation; by which lands, &c. were united or annexed to the duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster.

Certainly the wisdom of foresight and prevention is far above the wisdom of remedy; and yet I fear the following observation Sir Francis Bacon makes in his essay of empire, concerning the times in or near which he lived, hath been verified too much in others. "This is true, that the wisdom of all these later times in princes' affairs, is rather fine deli

[ocr errors]

ject to some clamour from Somerset, and some question what was forfeited by Somerset's attainder, being but of felony, to the king; but now they coming in from a new chief justice, all is without question or scruple.

Thus your lordship may see my love and care towards you, which I think infinitely too little in respect of the fulness of my mind; but I thought good to write this, to make you understand better the state of your own business, doing by you as I do by the king; which is, to do his business safely and with foresight, not only of to-morrow or next day, but afar off; † and not to come fiddling with a report to him what is done every day, but to give him up a good sum in the end.

I purpose to send your lordship a kalendar fair written of those evidences which concern your estate, for so much as have passed my hands; which in truth are not fit to remain with solicitors, no nor with friends, but in some great cabinet to be made for that purpose.

All this while I must say plainly to your lordship, that you fall short for your present charge, except you play the good husband; for the office of Teynham is in reversion; Darcey's land is in reversion; all the land in your books is but in reversion, and yields you no present profit, because you pay the fee-farm. So as you are a strange heteroclite in grammar, for you want the present tense; many verbs want the præterperfect tense, and some the future tense, but none want the present tense. I will hereafter write to your lordship, what I think of for that supply; to the end that you may, as you have begun to your great honour, despise money, where it crosseth reason of state or virtue. But I will trouble you no farther at this time. preserve and prosper your lordship. Your true and most devoted servant, Nov. 29, 1616. FR. BACON.

God ever



I DELIVERED the proclamation for cloth to secretary Winwood on Saturday, but he keepeth it to carry it down himself, and goeth down, as I take it, to-day. His Majesty may perceive by the docket of the proclamation, that I do not only study, but act that point touching the judges, which his Majesty commandeth in your last.

Yesterday was a day of great good for his Majesty's service, and the peace of this kingdom concerning duels, by occasion of Darcy's case. I spake

veries or shiftings of dangers and mischiefs when they are near, than solid or grounded courses to keep them aloof. But this is but to try masteries with fortune; and let men beware how they neglect and suffer matter of trouble to be prepared; for no man can forbid the spark, nor tell whence it may come."

Stephens's First Collection, p. 192.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »