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they were to make; not one petition unanswered. | And this, I think, could not be said in our age before. This I speak not out of ostentation, but out of gladness when I have done my duty. I know men think I cannot continue, if I should thus oppress myself with business: but that account is made. The duties of life are more than life; and, if I die now, I shall die before the world will be weary of me, which in our times is somewhat rare. And all this while I have been a little unperfect in my foot. But I have taken pains more like the beast with four legs, than like a man with scarce two legs. But if it be a gout, which I do neither acknowledge, nor much disclaim, it is a good-natured gout; for I have no rage of it, and it goeth away quickly. I have hope, it is but an accident of changing from a fieldair to a Thames-air; † or rather, I think, it is the distance of the king and your lordship from me, that doth congeal my humours and spirits.
When I had written this letter, I received your lordship's letter of the third of this present, wherein your lordship showeth your solicitous care of my health, which did wonderfully comfort me. And it is true, that at this present I am very well, and my supposed gout quite vanished.
I humbly pray you to commend my service, infinite in desire, howsoever limited in ability, to his Majesty, to hear of whose health and good disposition is to me the greatest beatitude, which I can receive in this world. And I humbly beseech his Majesty to pardon me, that I do not now send him my account of council business, and other his royal commands, till within these four days; because the flood of business of justice did hitherto wholly possess me; which, I know, worketh this effect, as it contenteth his subjects, and knitteth their hearts more and more to his Majesty, though, I must confess, my mind is upon other matters, as his Majesty shall know, by the grace of God, at his return. God ever bless and prosper you.
Your lordship's true and most devoted friend and servant, Whitehall, this 8th of June, 1617.
TO THE LORD KEEPER.‡
YOUR lordship will understand, by Sir Thomas Lake's letter, his Majesty's directions touching the surveyor's deputy of the court of wards. And though I assure myself of your lordship's care of the business, which his Majesty maketh his own; yet my respect to Sir Robert Naunton § maketh me add my recommendation thereof to your lordship, whom I desire to give all the fartherance and assistance you can to the business, that no prejudice or im
+ Dorset-house, originally belonging to the bishops of Salisbury, afterwards the house of Sir Richard Sackville, and then of his son Sir Thomas, earl of Dorset, and lord treasurer. Harl. MSS. vol. 7006. Surveyor of the court of wards.
I WILL begin to speak of the business of this day; opus hujus diei in die suo, which is of the parliament. It began on the 7th of this month, and ended this day, being the 28th of June. His Majesty, as I perceived by relation, rode thither in great state the first day. These eyes are witnesses, that he rode in an honourable fashion, as I have seen him in England, this day. All the lords rode in English robes: not an English lord on horseback, though all the parliament-house at his Majesty's elbow, but my lord of Buckingham, who waited upon the king's stirrup in his collar, but not in his robes. His Majesty the first day, by way of preparation to
|| Sir Thomas Erskine, who for his service to the king, in the attempt of the earl of Gowry, was, upon his Majesty's accession to the throne of England, made captain of his guard in the room of Sir Walter Raleigh. He was afterwards created earl of Kelly.
From a copy in the Paper-office.
the subject of the parliament, made a declaratory | unreasonably and undutifully refractory, his Majesty
hath declared himself, that he will proceed against him by the warrant of the law, and by the strength of his royal power.
speech, wherein he expressed himself what he would not do, but what he would do. The relation is too prolix for a sheet of paper; and I am promised a copy of it, which I will bring myself unto your lordship with all the speed I may. But I may not be so reserved, as not to tell your lordship, that in that speech his Majesty was pleased to do England and Englishmen much honour and grace; and that he studied nothing so much, sleeping and waking, as to reduce the barbarity, I have warrant to use the king's own word, of this country unto the sweet civility of ours; adding farther, that if the Scottish nation would be as docible to learn the goodness of England, as they are teachable to limp after their ill, he might with facility prevail in his desire: for they had learned of the English to drink healths, to wear coaches and gay clothes, to take tobacco, and to speak neither Scottish nor English. Many such diseases of the times his Majesty was pleased to enumerate, not fit for my pen to remember, and graciously to recognise, how much he was beholden to the English nation for their love and conformity to his desires. The king did personally and infallibly sit amongst them of the parliament every day; so that there fell not a word amongst them, but his Majesty was of council with it.
His Majesty's speech this day had a necessary connexion with his former discourse. He was pleased to declare what was done and determined in the progress of this parliament; his reasons for it; and that nothing was gotten by shouldering or wrestling, but by debate, judgment, and reason, without any interposition of his royal power in any thing. He commanded the lords in state of judicature, to give life, by a careful execution, unto the law, which otherwise was but mortuum cadaver el bona peritura.
The whole assembly, after the wonted manner, was abstracted into eight bishops, eight lords, eight gentlemen, knights of the shires, and eight lay burgesses for towns. And this epitome of the whole parliament did meet every day in one room to treat and debate of the great affairs of the kingdom. There was exception taken against some of the lower house, which were returned by the country, being pointed at as men averse in their appetites and humours to the business of the parliament, who were deposed of their attendance by the king's power; and others, better affected, by the king's election, placed in their room.
The greatest and weightiest articles, agitated in this parliament, were specially touching the government of the kirk and kirkmen, and for the abolishing of hereditary sheriffs to an annual charge; and to enable justices of the peace to have as well the real execution, as the title of their places. For now the sheriff doth hold jura regalia in his circuit without check or controlment; and the justices of the peace do want the staff of their authority. For the church and commonwealth, his Majesty doth strive to shape the frame of this kingdom to the method and degrees of the government of England, as by reading of the several acts it may appear. The king's desire and travel herein, though he did suffer a momentary opposition, (for his countrymen will speak boldly to him,) hath in part been profitable. For though he hath not fully and complementally prevailed in all things, yet he hath won ground in most things, and hath gained acts of parliament to authorize particular commissioners, to set down orders for the church and churchmen, and to treat with sheriffs for their offices by way of pecuniary composition. But all these proceedings are to have an inseparable reference to his Majesty. If any prove
Thus much touching the legal part of my advertisement unto you. I will give your lordship an account in two lines of the complement of the country, time, and place.
The country affords more profit and better contentment, than I could ever promise myself, by my reading of it.
The king was never more cheerful in body and mind, never so well pleased: and so are the English of all conditions.
The entertainment, very honourable, very general, and very full: every day feasts and invitations. I know not who paid for it. They strive, by direction, to give us all fair contentment, that we may know, that the country is not so contemptible, but that it is worth the cherishing.
The lord provost of this town, who in English is the mayor, did feast the king and all the lords this week; and another day all the gentlemen. And I confess, it was performed with state, with abundance, and with a general content.
There is a general, and a bold expectation, that Mr. John Murray shall be created a baron of this country; and some do chat, that my lord of Buckingham's Mr. Wray shall be a groom of the bedchamber in his place.
There hath been yet no creation of lords, since his Majesty did touch Scotland: but of knights many, yet not so many as we heard in England; but it is thought all the pensioners will be knights tomorrow. Neither are there any more English lords sworn of the privy council here, save my lord of Buckingham.
The earl of Southampton, Montgomery, and Hay, are already gone for England.
I have made good profit of my journey hither; | for I have gotten a transcript of the speech, which your lordship did deliver at your first and happy sitting in chancery; which I could not gain in England. It hath been showed to the king, and received due approbation. The God of heaven, allwise and all-sufficient, guard and assist your lordship in all your actions: for I can read here whatsoever your lordship doth act there; and your courses be such, as you need not to fear to give copies of them. But the king's ears be wide and long, and he seeth with many eyes. All this works for your honour and comfort. I pray God nothing be soiled, heated, of cooled in the carriage. Envy sometimes attend:
virtues, and not for good; and these bore certain that good service, whereof we hear so general ap-
Your lordship's ever at command,
My lord of Pembroke, my lord of Arundel, my lord Zouch, and Mr. Secretary Lake, were new sworn of the council here.
TO THE KING.||
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, I Do very much thank your Majesty for your letter, and think myself much honoured by it. For though it contain some matter of dislike, in which respect it had grieved me more than any event which hath fallen out in my life; yet because I know reprehensions from the best masters to the best servants are necessary; and that no chastisement is pleasant for the time, but yet worketh good effects; and for that I find intermixed some passages of trust and grace; and find also in myself inwardly sincerity of intention, and conformity of will, howsoever I may have erred; I do not a little comfort myself, resting upon your Majesty's accustomed favour; and most humbly desiring, that any one of my particular notions may be expounded by the constant and direct course, which, your Majesty knoweth, I have ever held in your service.
And because it hath pleased your Majesty, of your singular grace and favour, to write fully and freely
Your lordship's true and devoted friend and unto me; it is duty and decorum in me not to write shortly to your Majesty again, but with some length; not so much by way of defence or answer, which yet I know your Majesty would always graciously admit; as to show, that I have, as I ought, weighed every word of your Majesty's letter.
TO THE EARL OF BUCKINGHAM.
MY VERY GOod lord,
I HAVE sent enclosed a letter to his Majesty concerning the strangers; in which business I had formerly written to your lordship a joint letter with my lord of Canterbury, and my lord Privy Seal, and Mr. Secretary Winwood.
I am, I thank God, much relieved with my being in the country air, and the order I keep; so that of late years I have not found my health better.
Your lordship writeth seldomer than you were wont; but when you are once gotten into England, you will be more at leisure. God bless and prosper you.
Gorhambury, July 29, 1617.
First, I do acknowledge, that this match of Sir John Villiers is magnum in parvo in both senses, that your Majesty speaketh. But your Majesty perceiveth well, that I took it to be in a farther degree, majus in parvo, in respect of your service. But since your Majesty biddeth me to confide upon your act of empire, I have done. For, as the scripture saith, "to God all things are possible;" so certainly to wise kings much is possible. But for that second sense, that your Majesty speaketh of, magnum in parvo, in respect of the stir; albeit it being but a most lawful and ordinary thing, I most humbly pray your Majesty to pardon me, if I signify to you, that we here take the loud and vocal, and, as I may call it, streperous carriage, to have been far more on the other side, which indeed is inconvenient, rather than the thing itself.
Now for the manner of my affection to my lord of Buckingham, for whom I would spend my life, and that which is to me more, the cares of my life; I must humbly confess, that it was in this a little parent-like, this being no other term, than his lordone of the barons of the exchequer in Ireland; for which he was recommended by the lord keeper to the earl of Buckingham, in a letter dated at Whitehall, May 25, 1617.
This letter appears, from the indorsement of the king's answer to it, to have been written at Gorhambury, July 25, 1617. That printed with this date in his Works, should be August 2, 1617, as I find by the original draught of it.
ship hath heretofore vouchsafed to my counsels; but in truth, and it please your Majesty, without any grain of disesteem for his lordship's discretion. For I know him to be naturally a wise man, of a sound and staid wit, as I ever said unto your Majesty. And again, I know he hath the best tutor in Europe. But yet I was afraid, that the height of his fortune might make him too secur; and as the proverb is, a lookeron sometimes seeth more than a gamester.
For the particular part of a true friend, which your Majesty witnesseth, that the earl hath lately performed towards me, in palliating some errors of mine; it is no new thing with me to be more and more bound to his lordship; and I am most humbly to thank, whatsoever it was, both your Majesty and him; knowing well, that I may and do commit many errors, and must depend upon your Majesty's gracious countenance and favour for them, and shall have need of such a friend near your Majesty. For I am not so ignorant of mine own case, but that I know I am come in with as strong an envy of some particulars, as with the love of the general.
For my opposition to this business, which, it seemeth, hath been informed your Majesty, I think it was meant, if it be not a thing merely feigned, and without truth or ground, of one of these two things; for I will dissemble nothing with your Majesty. It is true, that in those matters, which by your Majesty's commandment and reference, came before the table concerning Sir Edward Coke, I was sometimes sharp, it may be too much; but it was with end to have your Majesty's will performed; or else, when methought he was more peremptory than became him, in respect of the honour of the table. It is true also, that I disliked the riot or violence, whereof we of your council gave your Majesty advertisement by our joint letter: and I disliked it the more, because he justified it to be law; which was his old song. But in that act of council, which was made thereupon, I did not see but all my lords were as forward as myself, as a thing most necessary for preservation of your peace, which had been so carefully and firmly kept in your absence. And all this had a fair end, in a reconcilement made by Mr. Attorney, whereby both husband and wife and child should have kept together. Which, if it had continued, I am persuaded the match had been in better and fairer forwardness, than now it is.
Now for the times of things, I beseech your Majesty to understand that which my lord of Buckingham will witness with me, that I never had any word of letter from his lordship of the business, till I wrote my letter of advice; nor again, after my letter of advice, till five weeks after, which was now within this sennight. So that although I did in truth presume, that the earl would do nothing without your Majesty's privity; yet I was in some doubt, by this his silence of his own mind, that he was not earnest in it, but only was content to embrace the officious offers and endeavours of others.
But, to conclude this point, after I had received, by a former letter of his lordship, knowledge of his mind, I think Sir Edward Coke himself, the last Sir Henry Yelverton.
time he was before the lords, might particularly perceive an alteration in my carriage. And now that your Majesty hath been pleased to open yourself to me, I shall be willing to farther the match by any thing, that shall be desired of me, or that is in my power.
And whereas your Majesty conceiveth some dregs of spleen in me by the word Mr. Bacon; truly it was but to express in thankfulness the comparative of my fortune unto your Majesty, the author of the latter, to show how little I needed to fear, while I had your favour. For, I thank God, I was never vindicative nor implacable.
As for my opinion of prejudice to your Majesty's service, as I touched it before, I have done; I do humbly acquiesce in your Majesty's satisfaction, and rely upon your Majesty's judgment, who unto judgment have also power, so to mingle the elements, as may conserve the fabric.
For the interest which I have in the mother, I do not doubt but it was increased by this, that I in judgment, as I then stood, affected that which she did in passion. But I think the chief obligation was, that I stood so firmly to her in the matter of her assurance, wherein I supposed I did your Majesty service, and mentioned it in a memorial of council-business, as half craving thanks for it. And sure I am now, that, and the like, hath made Sir Edward Coke a convert, as I did write to your Majesty in my last.
For the collation of the two spirits, I shall easily subscribe to your Majesty's answer; for Solomon were no true man, if in matter of malice the woman should not be the superior.
To conclude, I have gone through, with the plainness of truth, the parts of your Majesty's letter, very humbly craving pardon for troubling your Majesty so long; and most humbly praying your Majesty to continue me in your grace and favour, which is the fruit of my life upon the root of a good conscience. And although time in this business have cast me upon a particular, which, I confess, may have probable show of passion or interest; yet God is my witness, that the thing that most moved me, was an anxious and solicitous care of your Majesty's state and service, out of consideration of the time past and present.
God ever preserve and bless your Majesty, and send you a joyful return, after your prosperous journey.
The KING to the LORD KEEPER, in answer to hi Lordship's letter from Gorhambury, of July 25 1617.
RIGHT trusty and well beloved counsellor, we gree you well.
Although our approach doth now begin to be nea London, and that there doth not appear any grea necessity of answering your last letter, since we ar so shortly to be at home; yet we have thought goo
to make some observations to you upon the same, | short of memory, as to have forgotten how far you
undertook in that business, before acquainting us with it; what a long journey you made the poor man undertake, together with the slight recommendation you sent of him; which drave us to those straits, that both the poor man had been undone, and your credit a little blasted, if Buckingham had not, by his importunity, made us both grant you more than suit, for you had already acted a part of it, and likewise run a hazard of the hinderance of your own service, by preferring a person to so important a place, whom you so slightly recommended.
Our third observation is upon the point of your opposition to this business, wherein you either do, or at least would seem to mistake us a little. For first, whereas you excuse yourself of the oppositions you made against Sir Edward Coke at the counciltable, both for that, and other causes; we never took upon us such a patrociny of Sir Edward Coke,' as if he were a man not to be meddled withal in any case. For whatsoever you did against him, by our employment and commendation, we ever allowed it, and still do, for good service on your part. De bonis operibus non lapidamus vos. But whereas you talk of the riot and violence committed by him, we wonder you make no mention of the riot and violence of them, that stole away his daughter, which was the first ground of all that noise, as we said before. For a man may be compelled by manifest wrong beyond his patience; and the first breach of that quietness, which hath ever been kept since the beginning of our journey, was made by them that committed the theft. And for your laying the burden of your opposition upon the council, we meddle not with that question; but the opposition, which we justly find fault with you, was the refusal to sign a warrant for the father to the recovery of his child, clad with those circumstances, as is reported, of your slight carriage to Buckingham's mother, when she repaired to you upon so reasonable an errand. What farther opposition you made in that business, we leave it to the due trial in the own time. But whereas you would distinguish of times, pretending ignorance either of our meaning or his, when you made your opposition; that would have served for a reasonable excuse not to have farthered such a business, till you had been first employed in it: but that can serve for no excuse of crossing any thing, that so nearly concerned one, whom you profess such friendship unto. We will not speak of obligation; for surely we think, even in good manners, you had reason not to have crossed any thing, with all true affection; whereas others did it out of faction and ambition. Which words glancing directly at secretary Winwood, he alleged, that what he had done was by the direction of the queen and the other parties, and showed a letter of approbation of all his courses from the king, making the whole table judge what faction or ambition appeared in his carriage: to which no answer was returned. The queen, some time after, taking notice of the disgust, which the lord keeper had conceived against secretary Winwood, and asking his lordship, what occasion the secretary had given him to oppose himself so violently against him, his lordship answered, “Madam, can say no more but he is proud, and I am proud." MS. letter of Mr. Chamberlain, October 11, 1617.
Mr. Lowder. See the letter of the earl of Buckingham of the 5th of July.
that you may not err, by mistaking our meaning.
The first observation we are to make is, that, whereas you would invert the second sense, wherein we took your magnum in parvo, in accounting it to be made magnum by their streperous carriage, that were for the match, we cannot but show you your mistaking therein. For every wrong must be judged by the first violent and wrongous ground whereupon it proceeds. And was not the thefteous stealing away of the daughter from her own father * the first ground whereupon all this great noise hath since proceeded? For the ground of her getting again came upon a lawful and ordinary warrant, subscribed by one of our council,† for redress of the former violence: and except the father of a child might be proved to be either lunatic, or idiot, we never read in any law, that either it could be lawful for any creature to steal his child from him; or that it was a matter of noise and streperous carriage for him to hunt for the recovery of his child again. Our next observation is, that whereas you protest your affection to Buckingham, and thereafter confess, that it is in some sort parent-like; yet, after that you have praised his natural parts, we will not say, that you throw all down by a direct imputation upon him; but we are sure you do not deny to have had a greater jealousy of his discretion, than, so far as we conceive, he ever deserved at your or any man's hands. For you say, that you were afraid that the height of his fortune might make him too secure; and so, as a looker on, you might sometimes see more than a gamester. Now we know not how to interpret this in plain English otherwise, than that you were afraid, that the height of his fortune might make him misknow himself. And surely, if that be your parent-like affection toward him, he hath no obligation to you for it. And for our part, besides our own proof, that we find him farthest from that vice of any courtier, that ever we had so near about us; so do we fear, that you shall prove the only phenix in that jealousy of all the kingdom. For we would be very sorry, that the world should apprehend that conceit of him. But we cannot conceal, that we think it was least your part of any to enter into that jealousy of him, of whom we have heard you oft speak in a contrary style. And as for that error of yours, which he lately palliated, whereof you seem to pretend ignorance; the time is so short since you commended to him one to be of the barons of our exchequer in Ireland, as we cannot think you to be so
Lady Hatton had first removed her daughter to Sir Edmund Withipole's house, near Oatlands, without the knowledge of Sir Edward Coke; and from thence, according to a letter of Mr. Chamberlain, dated July 19, 1617, the young lady was privately conveyed to a house of the lord of Argyle's by Hampton-Court. "Whence," adds Mr. Chamberlain, "her father, with a warrant from Mr. Secretary [Winwood, ] fetched her; but indeed went farther than his warrant, and brake open divers doors before he got her."
† Secretary Winwood, who, as Mr. Chamberlain observes in the letter cited in the note above, was treated with ill language at the council-board by the lord keeper, and threatened with a pramuni e, on account of his warrant granted to Sir Edward Coke His lordship, at the same time, told the lady Compton, mother of the earl of Buckingham, that they wished well to her and her sons, and would be ready to serve the earl VOL. II.