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CLXV. TO SIR FRANCIS BACON, HIS MAJESTY'S ATTORNEY-GENERAL.*
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 2001. 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.
THE CASE OF JOHN BERTRAM. LEONARD Chamberlayne died intestate without 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afterwards upon appeal, Bertram in the right of his wife, that was the sister, obtained the former administration to be repealed, and new letters of administration to be committed to Bertram and his wife, because the sister was nearer of kin than the niece.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 2007. should be brought in, and at last the defendant alleging that there was no such bond, the court ordered that the money itself, namely, 2001. 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 2001. 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.
CLXVI. TO THE LORD VISCOUNT VILLIERS.+ 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 26,0001. (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
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. will trouble you no farther at this time. preserve and prosper your lordship.
Your true and most devoted servant, Nov. 29, 1616. FR. BACON.
CLXVII. TO THE LORD VISCOUNT VILLIERS, ABOUT DUELS.
MY VERY GOOD Lord,
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.
big, and, publishing his Majesty's strait charge to me, said, it had struck me blind, as in point of duels and cartels, &c. I should not know coronet from a hatband. I was bold also to declare how excellently his Majesty had expressed to me a contemplation of his touching duels; that is, that when he came forth and saw himself princely attended with goodly nobles and gentlemen, he entered into the thought, that none of their lives were in certainty not for twenty-four hours from the duel; for it was but a heat or a mistaking, and then a lie, and then a challenge, and then life: saying, that I did not marvel, seeing Xerxes shed tears, to think none of his great army should be alive once within a hundred years, his Majesty were touched with compassion to think that not one of his attendance but might be dead within twenty-four hours by the duel. This I write because his Majesty may be wary what he saith to me, in things of this nature, I being so apt to play the blab. In this also I forgot not to : prepare the judges, and wish them to profess, and as it were to denounce, that in all cases of duel capital before them, they will use equal severity towards the insolent murder by the duel, and the insidious murder; and that they will extirpate that difference out of the opinions of men; which they did excellent well.
I must also say, that it was the first time that I heard my lord of Arundel speak in that place; and I do assure your lordship he doth excellently become the court; he speaketh wisely and weightily, and yet easily and clearly, as a great nobleman should do.* There hath been a proceeding in the king's bench against Bertram's keeper, for misdemeanor, and I have put a little pamphlet, prettily penned by one · Mr. Trotte, that I set on work, touching the whole business to the press, by my lord chancellor's advice. I pray God direct his Majesty in the cloth business, that that thorn may be once out of our sides. His Majesty knoweth my opinion ab antiquo. Thanks be to God for your health, and long may you live to do us all good. I rest
Your true and most devoted servant,
A PROPOSITION FOR THE REPRESSING OF SINGULAR COMBATS OR DUELS, IN THE HAND-WRITING OF SIR FRANCIS BACON.† FIRST, for the ordinance which his Majesty may establish herein, I wish it may not look back to * My lord of Arundel descended from the noble family of the Howards; his grandfather the duke of Norfolk losing his life upon the account of Mary queen of Scots, and his father suffering some years' imprisonment under sentence of condemnation: he was restored in blood, and to the titles of Arundel and Surry, 1 Jac. made a privy counsellor on the 25th of July, 1616, and afterwards earl marshal of England, and general of the army sent against the Scots by king Charles I. But about the beginning of our civil wars he retired into Italy, where he had spent part of his youth, and returned to the religion he had professed, dying at Padua in 1646. He was a gentleman of a noble aspect, and of a noble nature, a great virtuoso and antiquary, who with much care and cost procured many valuable antiquities and inscriptions to be brought from Asia, Greece, and Italy into England, and placed them in or near his garden at Arundel-house in the Strand; several of which were very generously presented by his grandson the
any offence past, for that strikes before it warns. I wish also it may be declared to be temporary, until a parliament; for that will be very acceptable to the parliament; and it is good to teach the parliament to work upon an edict or proclamation precedent.
For the manner, I should think fit there be published a grave and severe proclamation, induced by the overflow of the present mischief.
For the ordinance itself: first, I consider that offence hath vogue only amongst noble persons, or persons of quality. I consider also that the greatest honour for subjects of quality in a lawful monarchy, is to have access and approach to their sovereign's sight and person, which is the fountain of honour: and though this be a comfort all persons of quality do not use; yet there is no good spirit but will think himself in darkness, if he be debarred of it. Therefore I do propound, that the principal part of the punishment be, that the offender, in the cases hereafter set down, be banished perpetually from approach to the courts of the king, queen, or prince.
Secondly, That the same offender receive a strict prosecution by the king's attorney, ore tenus, in the star-chamber: for the fact being notorious, will always be confessed, and so made fit for an ore tenus. And that this prosecution be without respect of persons, be the offender never so great; and that the fine set be irremissible.
Lastly, For the causes, that they be these following: 1. Where any singular combat, upon what quarrel soever, is acted and performed, though death do not ensue.
2. Where any person passeth beyond the seas, with purpose to perform any singular combat, though it be never acted.
3. Where any person sendeth a challenge. 4. Where any person accepteth a challenge. 5. Where any person carrieth or delivereth a challenge.
6. Where any person appointeth the field, directly or indirectly, although it be not upon any cartel or challenge in writing.
7. Where any person accepteth to be second in any quarrel.
CLXVIII. TO THE LORD VISCOUNT
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR LORDSHIP,
I PRAY let his Majesty understand, that although duke of Norfolk to the university of Oxford, where they are among others of the famous Selden fixed to the walls enclosing the Theatre. It were to be wished, that the great number of ancient statues which adorned his house and gardens, and have since been much neglected, had met with as safe a repository. The eloquence which Sir Francis Bacon doth here commend in this lord, is much the same which in the beginning of his" Advancement of Learning" he doth attribute to the king, in the words of Tacitus, concerning Augustus Cæsar: "Augusto profluens, et quæ principem deceret eloquentia fuit."
On occasion of this letter, in which is mentioned Sir Francis Bacon's speech against duels, it may not be improper to insert here this curious paper from Sir David Dalrymple's Memorials and Letters, p. 51.
Stephens's Second Collection, p. 32.
ness in good case, whereof I gave him a particula account.
my lord chancellor's answer touching the dismission of the Farmers' cause, was full of respect and duty, yet I would be glad to avoid an express signification The queen calleth upon me for the matter of he from his Majesty, if his Majesty may otherwise house, wherein your lordship and my lord chamber have his end. And therefore I have thought of a lain and I dealt, and received his Majesty's dired course, that a motion be made in open court, and ❘ tion, so that I shall prepare a warrant first to m that thereupon my lord move a compromise to some lord treasurer and Mr. Chancellor, for that is th to be named on either part, with bond to stand to right way, to advise how to settle it by assignmen their award. And as I find this to be agreeable to in case she survive his Majesty, which I hope i my lord chancellor's disposition, so I do not find but God she shall not. the Farmers and the other party are willing enough towards it. And therefore his Majesty may be pleased to forbear any other letter or message touching that business. God ever keep your lordship. Your lordship's true and most devoted servant, FR. BACON.
Jan. 23, 1616.
CLXIX. THIS LETTER WAS WRITTEN TO THE
DAY SIR FRANCIS BACON WAS DECLARED
MY DEAREST lord,
IT is both in care and kindness, that small ones float up to the tongue, and great ones sink down into the heart in silence. Therefore I could speak little to your lordship to-day, neither had I fit time: but I must profess thus much, that in this day's work you are the truest and perfectest mirror and example of firm and generous friendship that ever was in court. And I shall count every day lost, wherein I shall not either study your well doing in thought, or do your name honour in speech, or perform you service in deed. Good my lord, account and accept me,
Your most bounden and devoted friend and servant of all men living,
March 7, 1616.
FR. BACON, C. S.
CLXX. TO THE EARL OF BUCKINGHAM.†
MY SINGULAR GOOD LORD,
WHEN I heard here your lordship was dead, I thought I had lived too long. That was, to tell your lordship truly the state of my mind, upon that report. Since, I hear it was an idle mistaking of my lord Evers for my lord Villiers. God's name be blessed, that you are alive to do infinite good, and not so much as sick or ill disposed for any thing I now hear.
I have resigned the prince's seal, and my lord Hobart is placed. I made the prince laugh, when I told him I resigned it with more comfort than I received it; he understanding me that I had changed for a better: but after I had given him that thought, I turned it upon this, that I left his state and busiStephens's First Collection, p. 194.
+ Stephens's Second Collection, p. 33.
Her desire was expressly and of herself, that whe I had prepared a warrant to be sent to his Majesty I should send it by your lordship's hands.
We sit in council, that is all I can yet say; Si John Denham is not come, upon whose comin the king shall have account of our consultation touching Ireland, which we cannot conclude till w have spoken with him. God ever preserve an
It grieveth me much that I cannot hear enoug of his Majesty's good disposition of health, and hi pleasures, and other ordinary occurrences of hi journey. I pray your lordship will direct M
Packer to write to me some time of matters of tha
7 Apr. 1617.
CLXXI. TO THE RENOWNED UNIVERSIT
I AM debtor to you for your letters, and of th time likewise, that I have taken to answer them But as soon as I could choose what to think on, thought good to let you know; that although yo may err much in your valuation of me, yet you sha not be deceived in your assurance: and for the othe part also, though the manner be to mend the pictur by the life; yet I would be glad to mend the life b the picture, and to become, and be, as you expres me to be. Your gratulations shall be no more we come to me, than your business or occasions; whic I will attend; and yet not so, but that I shall er deavour to prevent them by my care of your good And so I commend you to God's goodness.
Your most loving and assured friend and son,
Gorhambury, Apr. 12, 1617.
CLXXII. TO THE EARL OF BUCKINGHAM.
I AM now for five or six days retired to my hous
§ Stephens's First Collection, p. 196.
in the country: for I think all my lords are willing | referred it, it was not so fit for her to write to your to do as scholars do, who though they call them holy-days, yet they mean them play-days.
We purpose to meet again on Easter-Monday, and go all to the spital sermon for that day, and therein to revive the ancient religious manner, when all the council used to attend those sermons, which some neglect in queen Elizabeth's time, and his Majesty's great devotion in the due hearing of sermons himself with his council at the court, brought into desuetude. But now our attendance upon his Majesty, by reason of his absence, cannot be, it is not amiss to revive.
I perceive by a letter your lordship did write some days since to my lord Brackley, that your lordship would have the king satisfied by precedents, that letters patents might be of the dignity of an earldom without delivery of the patent by the king's own hand, or without the ordinary solemnities of a creation. I find precedents somewhat tending to the same purpose, yet not matching fully. But howsoever let me, according to my faithful and free manner of dealing with your lordship, say to you, that since the king means it, I would not have your lordship, for the satisfying a little trembling or panting of the heart in my lord or lady Brackley, to expose your lordship's self, or myself, whose opinion would be thought to be relied upon, or the king our master, to envy with the nobility of this realm; as to have these ceremonies of honour dispensed with, which in conferring honour have used to be observed, like a kind of doctor Bullatus without the ceremony of a commencement: the king and you know I am not ceremonious in nature, and therefore you may think, if it please you, I do it in judgment. God ever preserve you.
Your lordship's most faithful and devoted friend and servant,
FR. BACON, C. S.
I purpose to send the precedents themselves by my lord of Brackley; but I thought fit to give you some taste of my opinion before. Gorhambury, Apr. 13, 1617.
CLXXIII. TO THE EARL OF BUCKINGHAM.*
MY SINGULAR GOOD LORD,
I PRAY your good lordship to deliver to his Majesty the enclosed.
I send your lordship also the warrant to my lord treasurer and Mr. Chancellor of the exchequer for the queen's house: it is to come again to the king, when the bill is drawn for the letters patents; for this is only the warrant to be signed by his Majesty.
I asked the queen, whether she would write to your lordship about it; her answer was very modest and discreet, that because it proceeded wholly from his Majesty's kindness and goodness, who had
• Stephens's Second Collection, p. 37.
lordship for the despatch of it, but she desired me to thank your lordship for your former care of it, and to desire you to continue it: and withal she desireth your lordship not to press his Majesty in it, but to take his best times. This answer, because I like it so well, I write to you at large; for other matters I will write by the next. God ever prosper you and preserve you.
Your lordship's most faithful and devoted friend and servant, FR. BACON, C. S.
London, 19 Apr. 1617.
CLXXIV. TO MR. MATTHEW, IN REFLECTION UPON SOME ASTRONOMERS IN ITALY.‡ SIR,
I WRITE to you chiefly now, to the end, that by the continuance of my acquaintance with you by letters, you may perceive how much I desire, and how much I do not despair of the recontinuance of our acquaintance by conversation. In the mean time I wish you would desire the astronomers of Italy to amuse us less than they do with their fabulous and foolish traditions, and come nearer to the experiments of sense; and tell us, that when all the planets, except the moon, are beyond the line in the other hemisphere for six months together, we must needs have a cold winter, as we saw it was the last year. For understanding that this was general over all these parts of the world; and finding that it was cold weather with all winds, and namely west-wind, I imagined there was some higher cause of this effect; though yet I confess I thought not that ever I should have found that cause so palpable a one as it proved; which yet, when I came quickly afterwards to observe, I found also very clearly, that the summer must needs be cold too; though yet it were generally thought, that the year would make a shift to pay itself, and that we should be sure to have heats for our cold. You see, that though I be full of business, yet I can be glad rather to lay it all aside, than to say nothing to you. But I long much more to be speaking often with you, and I hope I shall not long want my wish.
CLXXV. TO THE KING, ABOUT THE SPANISH MATCH.§
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, MR. Vice-Chamberlain hath acquainted myself and the rest of the commissioners for the marriage with Spain, which are here, with your Majesty's instructions, signed by your royal hands, touching that point of the suppressing of pirates, as it hath relation to his negotiation; whereupon we met yesterday at my lord admiral's at Chelsea, because
Sir Tobie Matthew's Collection of Letters, p. 25.