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I have ever had of my lord, whereof your Majesty is best witness, is far from that. But my meaning was plain and simple, that his lordship might, through his great fortune, be the less apt to cast and foresee the unfaithfulness of friends, and the malignity of enemies, and accidents of time. Which is a judgment, your Majesty knoweth better than I, that the best authors make of the best and best tempered spirits, "ut sunt res humanæ;" insomuch that Guicciardine maketh the same judgment, not of a particular person, but of the wisest state of Europe, the senate of Venice, when he saith, their prosperity had made them secure, and underweighers of perils. Therefore I beseech your Majesty to deliver me in this from any the least imputation upon my dear and noble lord and friend. And so expecting that that sun which when it went from us left us cold weather, and now it is returned towards us hath brought with it a blessed harvest; will, when it cometh to us, dispel and disperse all mists and mistakings.
July 31, 1617.
CLXXXV. TO THE EARL OF BUCKINGHAM.*
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
SINCE my last to your lordship, I did first send for Mr. Attorney-General, and made him know, that, since I heard from court, I was resolved to further the match and the conditions thereof for your lordship's brother's advancement the best I could. did send also to my lady Hatton, and some other special friends, to let them know, I would in any thing declare for the match; which I did, to the end that if they had any apprehension of my assistance, they might be discouraged in it. I sent also to Sir John Butler, and after by letter to my lady your mother, to tender my performance of any good office towards the match or the advancement from the mother. This was all I could think of for the present.
I did ever foresee, that this alliance would go near to lose me your lordship that I hold so dear; and that was the only respect particular to myself that moved me to be as I was, till I heard from you. But I will rely upon your constancy and nature, and my own deserving, and the firm tie we have in respect of the king's service.
In the mean time I must a little complain to your lordship, that I do hear my lady your mother and your brother Sir John do speak of me with some bitterness and neglect. I must bear with the one as a lady, and the other as a lover, and with both for your lordship's sake, whom I will make judge of any thing they shall have against me. But I hope, though I be a true servant to your lordship, you will not have me to be a vassal to their passions, especially as long as they are governed by Sir Edward Coke and secretary Winwood, the latter of which I take to be the worst; for Sir Edward Coke, I think, is more modest and discreet: therefore your Stephens's First Collection, p. 215.
lordship shall do me right: and yet I shall take it for favour, if you signify to them, that you have received satisfaction from me, and would have them use me friendly and in good manner. God keep us from these long journeys and absence, which make misunderstandings and give advantage to untruth, and God ever prosper and preserve your lordship. Your lordship's true and devoted friend and servant, FR. BACON, C. S. Gorhambury, Aug. 23, 1617.
CLXXXVI. A MEMORIAL FOR YOUR MAJESTY.+
ALTHOUGH I doubt not but your Majesty's own memory and care of your affairs will put you in mind of all things convenient against you shall meet with your council, yet some particulars I thought it not unfit to represent to your Majesty; because they passed the labour of your council.
I. Some time before your departure, here was delivered unto you by the officers of your exchequer a computation of your revenue and expense, wherein was expressed that your revenue ordinary was not only equal to your expense, but did somewhat exceed it, though not much.
In this point, because the half year will now be expired at Michaelmas, it shall be fit, that your Majesty call to account, whether that equality hath held for this half year; and if not, what the causes have been, and whether the course prescribed hath been kept, that the ordinary expense hath been borne out of the ordinary revenue, and the extraordinary only out of such money as hath come in by extraordinary means, or else your estate cannot clearly appear. II. To maintain this equality, and to cause your Majesty's state to subsist in some reasonable manner till farther supply might be had, it was found to be necessary that 200,000l. of your Majesty's most pregnant and pressing debts should be discharged; and after consideration of the means how to do that, two ways were resolved on. One that 100,000. should be discharged to the farmers of your customs by 25,000l. yearly, they having for their security power to defalke so much of their rent in their own hands: but because if that should be defalked, then your ordinary should want so much, it was agreed that the farmers should be paid the 25,000l. yearly in the sale of woods.
In this point it is fit for your Majesty to be informed what hath been done, and whether order hath been taken with the farmers for it, and what debts were assigned to them so to discharge; for of the particulars of that course I never heard yet.
And because it is apparent that the woodfalls this year do not amount to half that sum of 25,000/. your Majesty is to give charge that consideration be had how the same shall be supplied by some
† Stephens's Second Collection, p. 58.
other extraordinary for the present year, or else here will follow a fracture of the whole assignments.
Item, Your Majesty may please to call for information how that money raised upon the woods is employed, so much as is already received, and to be wary that no part hereof be suffered to go for extraordinaries, but to be employed only for the use for which it is assigned, or else a greater rupture will follow in your assign
Item, A special consideration is to be had what course shall be taken for the rest of the years with the wood sales for supply of this 25,000l. yearly.
III. The other hundred thousand pound was agreed to be borrowed, and an allotment made by my lords of the council at the table, how the same should be employed, and for what special services, whereof I deliver to your Majesty herewith a copy. In which point it may please your Majesty to cause yourself to be informed how that allotment hath been observed, and because it is likely that a good part of it hath gone towards the charges of this your journey to Scotland, at least so it is paid, your Majesty is to call for the particulars of that charge, that you may see how much of that hundred thousand it taketh up.
And then consideration is to be had how it may be supplied with some extraordinary comings in, as namely the moneys to come from the merchant adventurers, that the same be allotted to none other use, but to perform this allotment, that so the foundation laid may be maintained, or else all will be to seek; and if there be any other extraordinary means to come to your Majesty, that they may be reserved to that use.
And because care must be had to keep your credit in London, for this money borrowed, your Majesty may please to call for information what is done in the matter of the forests, and what sum, and in what reasonable time, is like to be made hereof.
The extraordinaries which it is like will be alleged for this year.
Your Majesty's journey into Scotland.
The enlarging your park at Theobalds.
Of all which when your Majesty hath seen an estimate what they amount unto, and what money hath been already delivered towards them, which I fear will fall to be out of the moneys borrowed at London; then it is to be considered what extraordinaries are any ways to come in, which may supply these extraordinaries laid out, and be employed for the uses for which the moneys borrowed were intended.
CLXXXVII. TO THE EARL OF BUCKINGHAM.*
MY EVER BEST LORD, NOW BETTER THAN YOURSELF, YOUR lordship's pen or rather pencil hath portrayed towards me such magnanimity and nobleness and true kindness, as methinketh I see the image of some ancient virtue, and not any thing of these times. It is the line of my life, and not the lines of my letter, that must express my thankfulness: wherein if I fail, then God fail me, and make me as miserable as I think myself at this time happy by this reviver, through his Majesty's singular clemency, and your incomparable love and favour. God preserve you, prosper you, and reward you for your kindness to
Your raised and infinitely obliged friend and servant,
FR. BACON, C. S.
Sept. 22, 1617.
CLXXXVIII. TO THE EARL OF BUCKINGHAM.+
MY VERY GOod lord,
I SEND your lordship the certificate touching the enrolment of prentices. We can find no ground for it by law. Myself shall ever be ready to farther things that your lordship commendeth; but where the matter will not bear it, your lordship, I know, will think not the worse, but the better of me, if I signify the true state of things to your lordship; resting ever
Your lordship's true friend and devoted servant, FR. BACON, C. S. York-house, October 29, 1617.
| very blunt one; you have not besides sent him some CLXXXIX. TO THE EARL OF BUCKINGHAM.* advice of your own, his Majesty having only intrusted you to speak with Sir Lionel Cranfield about his estate.
Your lordship's faithful friend and servant,
MY VERY GOOD Lord,
THE liking which his Majesty hath of our proceeding concerning his household, telleth me that his Majesty cannot but dislike the declining and tergiversation of the inferior officers; which by this time he understandeth.
There be but four kinds of retrenchments. The union of tables. 2. The putting down of tables. 3. The abatement of dishes to tables. 4. The cutting off new diets and allowance lately raised; and yet perhaps such as are more necessary than some of the old.
In my opinion, the first is the best and most feasible. The lord chamberlain's table is the principal table of state. The lord steward's table, I think, is much frequented by Scottish gentlemen. Your lordship's table hath a great attendance; and the groom of the stole's table is much resorted to by the bedchamber. These would not be touched. But for the rest, his Majesty's case considered, I think they may well be united into one.
These things are out of my element, but my care runneth where the king's state most laboureth. Sir Lionel Cranfield † is yet sick, for which I am very sorry; for methinks his Majesty, upon these tossings over his business from one to others, hath an apt occasion to go on with sub-committees. God ever preserve and prosper you.
Your lordship's true friend and devoted servant,
York-house, Nov. 19, 1617.
CXC. TO THE LORD KEEPER.
MY HONOURABLE LORD,
His Majesty commandeth me to write to your lordship, that he wonders your hand being at that letter of the lords of the council, which he saith is a
Stephens's First Collection, p. 219.
+ Sir Lionel Cranfield was a man of so much note in these times, and so often named in these papers, that I cannot omit taking some notice of his good and bad fortunes. He was bred a merchant, yet by his great abilities in, and application to business, and the relation he had to my lord of Buckingham by marriage, he was raised to be master of the court of requests, then of the wardrobe, and after of the court of wards, created Lord Cranfield, and earl of Middlesex; missing the lord keeper's place, he was constituted lord high treasurer, which being an office he understood as well as any, we may conclude his integrity fell short of his ability, from the severe judgment given against him by the house of lords in 1624. Stephens. + Stephens's Second Collection, p. 64. Ibid. p. 65.
One of these letters of K. James, as it contains a specimen of the frugality and good economy of his court, and relates to the subject we are upon, I have borrowed from the Cabala, p. 258, in terms following.
A letter read to the council-board 21 Nov. 1617, touching
No worldly thing is so precious as time: ye know what task I gave you to work upon, during my absence; and what time was limited unto you, for the performance thereof. This same shancellor of Scotland was wont to tell me twenty-four years
CXCI. TO THE EARL OF BUCKINGHAM. §
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
YESTERDAY at afternoon were read at the table his Majesty's two letters,|| written with his own hand, the matter worthy the hand. For they were written "ex arte imperandi,” if I can judge; and I hope they and the like will disenchant us of the opinion, which yet sticks with us, that to-day will be as yesterday, and to-morrow as to-day; so as there will be, as he saith, "Acribus initiis, fine incurioso."
I hold my opinion given in my former letter, that the uniting of some tables is the most passable way. But that is not all; for when that is done, the king may save greatly in that which remaineth. For if it be set down, what tables shall be fixed, and what diet allowed to them, my steward, as ill a mesnager as I am, or my lord mayor's steward, can go near to tell, what charge will go near to maintain the proportion. Then add to that some large allowance for waste, because the king shall not lose his prerogative to be deceived more than other men, and yet, no question, there will be a great retrenchment. But against this last abatement will be fronted the payment of arrears. But I confess I would be glad that I might see, or rather that a parliament may see, and chiefly that the king, for his own quiet, may see, that upon such a sum paid, such an annual retrenchment will follow for things will never be done in act, except they be first done in conceit.
I know these things do not pertain to me for my part is to acquit the king's office towards God by administration of justice, and to oblige the hearts
ago, that my house could not be kept upon epigrams: long
Mr. Stephens says, In the other I suppose his Majesty apprehends that the vigour the council at first showed in reducing the charge of his household, would not be of long continuance; it being observed by Tacitus, in the words here cited, to be a thing not unusual in public affairs, that violent beginnings had negligent conclusions.
of his people to him by the same, and to maintain | king's business. God ever preserve and prosper his prerogative. But yet because it is in hoc that the king's case laboureth, I cannot but yield my care, and my strength too, in council, such as it is; which cannot be so much, as it was between our Lady-day and Michaelmas last. But whatsoever it is, it is wholly his Majesty's without any deflexion.
As soon as I find any possibility of health in Sir Lionel Cranfield, to execute a sub-commission, I will by conference with him frame a draught of a letter from his Majesty, for which there is the fairest occasion in the world. And the king hath prepared it as well as possible. God ever preserve and prosper you.
Your lordship's true friend and devoted servant, FR. BACON, C. S. York-house, Nov. 22, 1617.
CXCII. TO THE EARL OF BUCKINGHAM.*
How well I wish to Sir Gilbert Haughton, himself I dare say doth not doubt, partly out of mine own affection, and chiefly for your lordship's affection towards him, which is to me more than mine own. That the king should make bargains of hope, when his treasure sufficeth not for his own charge, I may not advise for my dearest friends; for I am nailed to the king's estate. But two things I shall assent unto; the one, that if the king can redeem his works without charge of officers, I shall be glad of it, both for the gentleman's sake, and because I perceive the uniting of the allum-works in the king's hand is best; the other, that if his Majesty be pleased to signify his pleasure to my lord treasurer and me, that there be no forfeiture taken by Banister till the king shall advise of this bargain, we will hold him to it. God preserve and prosper your lordship. Your lordship, I think, perceiveth both by scribbling and cursory inditing, that I write in straits of business.
Your lordship's true friend and devoted servant,
CXCIII. TO THE EARL OF BUCKINGHAM.†
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
I SEND your lordship a draught of a letter touching the sub-commission, written in wide lines, because it may be the better amended by his Majesty. think it is so penned as none can except to it, no nor imagine any thing of it. For the household business there was given a fortnight's day; for the pensions, the course which I first propounded, of abating a third throughout, and some wholly, seemeth well entered into. These be no ill beginnings. But this course of the sub-commission threads all the * Stephens's Second Collection, p. 67.
Your lordship's true friend and devoted servant,
DRAUGHT OF THE SUB-COMMISSION.
In this first and greatest branch of our charge concerning our house, we do find what difficulties are made, and what time is lost, in disputing of and devising upon the manner of doing it: whereof the matter must be, and is so fully resolved. Neither can we but see in this, as in a glass, the like event to follow in the rest upon like reason. For the inferior officers in every kind, who are best able for skill to propound the retrenchments, will out of interest or fearfulness make dainty to do service; and that which is done with an ill-will will never be well done. Again, to make it the act of the whole table, for the particular propositions and reckonings, will be too tedious for you, and will draw the business itself into length; and to make any particular committees of yourselves, were to impose that upon a few, which requireth to be carried indifferently as the act of you all. For since the great officers themselves think it too heavy for them, as our state now is, to deal in it, without bringing it to the table; with much more reason may any particular persons of you be loth to meddle in it, but at the board. all which respects we have thought fit, neither do we see any other way, that you send unto us the names of the officers of our exchequer, and our custom-house, and auditors, out of which we will make choice of some few, best qualified to be sub-committees, for the better case, and the speeding of the business by their continual travels and meetings; whose part and employment we incline to be to attend the principal officers in their several charges, and join themselves to some of the inferior officers, and so take upon them the mechanic and laborious part of every business, thereby to facilitate and prepare it for your consultations, according to the directions and instructions they shall receive from you from time to time.
CXCIV. TO THE KING.‡
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,
BEING yesterday assembled in council to proceed in the course we had begun for retrenchment of your Majesty's expenses; we received your princely letters, whereby we are directed to send to your Majesty the names of the officers of the exchequer, custom-house, and auditors, out of which you purpose to make choice of some to be sub-committed to handle the mechanic and laborious part of that which your Majesty had appointed to our care; we + Ibid. Ibid. p. 69.
have, according to our duty, sent unto your Majesty the names of the several officers of your Majesty in those places, to be ordered as your wisdom shall think best to direct. But withal, we thought it appertenant to our duties to inform your Majesty how far we have proceeded in the several heads of retrenchments by your Majesty at your departure committed unto us, that when you know in what estate our labours are, your judgment may the better direct any farther course as shall be meet.
The matter of the household was by us, some days since, committed peremptorily to the officers of the house, as matter of commandment from your Majesty, and of duty in them, to reduce the expense of your house to a limited charge of fifty thousand pounds by the year, besides the benefit of the compositions; and they have ever since painfully, as we are informed, travailed in it, and will be ready on Sunday next, which was the day given them, to present some models of retrenchments of divers kinds, all aiming at your Majesty's service.
In the point of pensions we have made a beginning, by suspending some wholly for a time, and of others of a third part; in which course we are still going on, until we make it fit to be presented to your Majesty; in like manner the lord chamberlain and the lord Hay did yesterday report unto us, what their travail had ordered in the wardrobe; and although some doubt did arise unto us, whether your Majesty's letters intended a stay of our labours, until you had made choice of the sub-committee intended by you; yet presuming that such a course by sub-committee was purposed rather for a fartherance, than let to that work, we did resolve to go on still till your Majesty's farther directions shall come unto us; and then according to our duty we will proceed, as we shall be by your Majesty commanded. In the mean time we thought it our duty to inform your Majesty of what we have done, that neither your Majesty may conceive that we have been negligent in those things which were committed unto us, nor your directions by your late letters hinder or cast back that which is already so far proceeded in. And so humbly kissing your royal hands, and praying to the Almighty for your long and happy reign over us, we rest
and fresh suit, upon the king's business, than that the same is yet ripe, either for advertisement, or advice.
The sub-commissioners meet forenoon and afternoon, with great diligence, and without distraction or running several ways: which if it be no more than necessary, what would less have done? that is, if there had been no sub-commissioners, or they not well chosen.
I speak with Sir Lionel Cranfield, as cause requireth either for account or direction, and as far as I can, by the taste I have from him, discern probably their service will attain, and may exceed his Majesty's expectation.
I do well like the course they take, which is, in every kind to set down, as in beer, in wine, in beef, in muttons, in corn, &c. what cometh to the king's and then what is spent, and lastly what may be saved. This way, though it be not so accusative, yet it is demonstrative. "Nam rectum est index sui et obliqui," and the false manner of accounting, and where the gain cleaveth, will appear after by consequence. I humbly pray his Majesty to pardon me for troubling him with these imperfect glances, which I do, both because I know his Majesty thinketh long to understand somewhat, and lest his Majesty should conceive, that he multiplying honours and favours upon me, I should not also increase and redouble my endeavours and cares for his service. God ever bless, preserve, and prosper his Majesty and your lordship, to whom I ever remain, Your true and most devoted servant, FR. BACON, C. S.
16 Jan. 1617.
CXCVI. TO MR. MATTHEW, ABOUT READING AND GIVING JUDGMENT UPON HIS WRITINGS.+
BECAUSE you shall not lose your labour this afternoon, which now I must needs spend with my lord chancellor, I send my desire to you in this letter, that you will take care not to leave the writing, which I left with you last, with any man, so long, as that he may be able to take a copy of it; because, first, it must be censured by you, and then considered again by me. The thing which I expect most from you is, that you would read it carefully over by yourself, and to make some little note in writing, where you think, to speak like a critic, that I do perhaps indormiscere, or where I do indulgere genio; or where, in fine, I give any manner of disadvantage to myself. This, super totam materiam, you must not fail to note: besides, all such words and phrases as you cannot like; for you know in how high account I have your judgment.
special warrant made lord chancellor, Rymer XVII. p. 55, and at which time probably some affairs, that required privacy and retirement, might occur.