« PreviousContinue »
we were loth to draw my lord into the air, being but newly upon his recovery.*
We conceive the parts of the business are four : the charge; the confederations, and who shall be solicited or retained to come in; the forces and the distributions of them; and the enterprise. We had only at this time conference amongst ourselves, and shall appoint, after the holy-days, times for the calling before us such as are fit, and thereupon perform all the parts of your royal commandments.
In this conference I met with somewhat which I must confess was altogether new to me, and opened but darkly neither; whereof I think Mr. ViceChamberlain will give your Majesty some light, for so we wished. By occasion whereof I hold it my duty, in respect of the great place wherein your Majesty hath set me, being only made worthy by your grace, which maketh it decent for me to counsel you ad summas rerum, to intimate or represent to your Majesty thus much.
I do foresee, in my simple judgment, much inconvenience to ensue, if your Majesty proceed to this treaty with Spain, and that your council draw not all one way. I saw the bitter fruits of a divided council the last parliament; I saw no very pleasant fruits thereof in the matter of the cloth. This will be of equal, if not more inconvenience; for wheresoever the opinion of your people is material, as in many cases it is not, there, if your council be united, they shall be able almost to give law to opinion and rumour; but if they be divided, the infusion will not be according to the strength and virtue of the votes of your council, but according to the aptness and inclination of the popular. This I leave to your Majesty in your high wisdom to remedy: only I could wish that when Sir John Digby's instructions are perfected, and that he is ready to go, your Majesty would be pleased to write some formal letter to the body of your council, if it shall be in your absence, signifying to them your resolution in general, to the end, that when deliberation shall be turned into resolution, no man, howsoever he may retain the inwardness of his opinion, may be active in contrarium.
The letters for my lords of the council with your Majesty, touching the affairs of Ireland, written largely and articulately, and by your Majesty's direction, will much facilitate our labours here: though there will not want matter of consultation thereupon. God ever preserve your Majesty safe and happy. Your Majesty's most devoted and obliged servant, London, April 19, 1617. FR. BACON, C. S.
CLXXVI. TO THE EARL OF BUCKINGHAM.t
MY SINGULAR GOOD LORD,
I SEND your lordship, according to the direction
*Charles lord Howard of Effingham and earl of Nottingham, was, as Sir Robert Naunton observes, as goodly a gentleman for person as the times had any; which is confirmed by Mr. Osbourn, although his eyes met not with him till he was turned towards the point of eighty. He being also brave, faithful, and diligent, commanded the fleet as lord high admiral
of your letter, a note of the precedents that I find i my lord Brackley's business; which do rather com near the case than match it. Your lordship know eth already my opinion, that I would rather hav you constant in the matter, than instant for the time
I send also enclosed an account of council busines by way of remembrance to his Majesty, which i may please you to deliver to him.
The queen returneth her thanks to your lordshi for the despatch of the warrant touching her house I have not yet acquainted the lord treasurer and chancellor of the exchequer with it; but I purpos to-morrow to deliver them the warrant, and to ad vise with them for the executing of the same.
I have received the king's letter with anothe from your lordship, touching the cause of the officers and Sir Arthur Ingram, whereof I will be very care ful to do them justice.
Yesterday I took my place in chancery, which hold only for the king's grace and favour, and you constant friendship. There was much ado, and great deal of world; but this matter of pomp, which is heaven to some men, is hell to me, or purgatory at least. It is true, I was glad to see that the king' choice was so generally approved; and that I had so much interest in men's good will and good opinions because it maketh me the fitter instrument to do my master service and my friend also.
After I was set in chancery, I published his Ma jesty's charge which he gave me when he gave me the seal; and what rules and resolutions I had taken for the fulfilling his commandments. I send your lordship a copy of that I said. My lord Hay coming to take his leave of me two days before, told him what I was meditating, and he desired me to send him some remembrance of it; and so could not but send him another copy thereof. tell me it hath done the king a great deal of honour insomuch that some of my friends that are wise men and no vain ones, did not stick to say to me that there was not these seven years such a prepar ation for a parliament; which was a commend ation, I confess, pleased me well. I pray take som fit time to show it his Majesty, because if I mis understood him in any thing, I may amend it, be cause I know his judgment is higher and deepe than mine.
I take infinite contentment to hear his Majesty i in great good health and vigour; I pray God pre serve and continue it. Thus wishing you well abov all men living, next my master and his: I rest Your true and devoted friend and servant, FR. BACON, C. S Dorset-house, which putteth me in mind to thank your lordship, for your care of me touching York-house, May 8, 1617.
upon several occasions, particularly against the Spanis Armada, 1588. But in the latter end of the year 1618, b surrendered this honourable place to the king, who conferre it upon the marquis of Buckingham, and died in the year 162. and of his age the 88th. Stephens.
+ Stephens's First Collection, p. 200.
CLXXVII. AN ACCOUNT OF COUNCIL BUSINESS, AND OTHER MATTERS COMMITTED TO ME BY HIS MAJESTY.*
FIRST, for May-day; at which time there was great apprehension of tumult by prentices and loose people; there was never such a still. The remedies that did the effect were three:
First, the putting in muster of the trained bands and military bands in a brave fashion that way. Next, the laying a strait charge upon the mayor and aldermen for the city, and justices of the peace for the suburbs, that the prentices and others might go abroad with their flags and other gauderies, but without weapon of shot and pike, as they formerly took liberty to do which charge was exceeding well performed and obeyed. And the last was, that we had, according to our warrant dormant, strengthened our commissions of the peace in London and Middlesex, with new clauses of lieutenancy; which as soon as it was known abroad, all was quiet by the terror it wrought. This I write, because it maketh good my farther assurance I gave his Majesty at his first removes, that all should be quiet; for which I received his thanks.
For the Irish affairs, I received this day his Majesty's letter to the lords, which we have not yet opened, but shall sit upon them this afternoon. I do not forget, besides the points of state, to put my lord treasurer in remembrance, that his Majesty laid upon him the care of the improvement of the revenue of Ireland by all good means, of which I find his lordship very careful, and I will help him the
best I can.
The matter of the revenue of the recusants here in England, I purpose to put forward by a conference with my lord of Canterbury, upon whom the king laid it, and upon secretary Winwood; and, because it is matter of the exchequer, with my lord treasurer and Mr., Chancellor; and after to take the assistance of Mr. Attorney, and the learned counsel; and when we have put it in a frame, to certify his Majesty.
The business of the pirates is, I doubt not, by this time come to his Majesty, upon the letters of us the commissioners, whereof I took special care ; and I must say, I find Mr. Vice-Chamberlain a good able man with his pen. But to speak of the main business, which is the match with Spain, the king knows my mind by a former letter; that I
Stephens's First Collection, p. 202.
During the time that my lord chief justice Coke lay under the displeasure of the court, some information was given to the king, that he having published eleven books of Reports, had written many things against his Majesty's prerogative. And being commanded to explain some of them, my lord chancellor Ellesmere doth thereupon, in his letter of 22 October 1616, write thus to the king: "According to your Majesty's directions signified unto me by Mr. Solicitor, I called the lord chief justice before me on Thursday the 17th instant, in presence of Mr. Attorney, and others of your learned counsel. I did let him know your Majesty's acceptance of the few animadversions, which upon review of his own labours he had ent, though fewer than you expected, and his excuses other than you expected." And did at the same time inform him, that his Majesty was dissatisfied with several other passages therein; and those not of the principal points of the cases judged, but delivered by way of expatiation, and which might have been omitted without prejudice to the judgment; of
would be glad it proceeded with an united council not but that votes and thoughts are to be free: but yet after a king hath resolved, all men ought to cooperate, and neither to be active nor much locutive in oppositum; especially in a case where a few dissenting from the rest, may hurt the business in foro famæ.
Yesterday, which was my weary day, I bid all the judges to dinner, which was not used to be, and entertained them in a private withdrawing chamber, with the learned counsel. When the feast was passed, I came amongst them, and sat me down at the end of the table, and prayed them to think I was one of them, and but a foreman. I told them I was weary, and therefore must be short, and that I would now speak to them upon two points. Whereof the one was, that I would tell them plainly, that I was firmly persuaded, that the former discords and differences between the chancery and other courts were but flesh and blood; and that now the men were gone, the matter was gone; and that for my part, as I would not suffer any the least diminution or derogation from the ancient and due power of the chancery, so if any thing should be brought to them at any time, touching the proceedings of the chancery, which did seem to them exorbitant or inordinate, that they should freely and friendly acquaint me with it, and we should soon agree; or if not, we had a master that could easily both discern and rule. At which speech of mine, besides a great deal of thanks and acknowledgment, I did see cheer and comfort in their faces, as if it were a new world.
The second point was, that I let them know how his Majesty, at his going, gave me charge to call and receive from them the accounts of their circuits, according to his Majesty's former prescript, to be set down in writing; and that I was to transmit the writings themselves to his Majesty; and accordingly as soon as I have received them I will send them to his Majesty.
Some two days before I had a conference with some judges, not all, but such as I did choose, touching the high commission, and the extending of the same in some points; which I see I shall be able to despatch by consent, without his majesty's farther
I did call upon the committees also for the proceeding in the purging of Sir Edward Coke's "Reports," which I see they go on with seriously.†
Thanks be to God, we have not much to do for which sort the attorney and solicitor-general did for the present only select five, which being delivered to the chief justice on the 17th of October, he returns his answers at large upon the 21st of the same month, the which I have seen under his own hand. "Tis true the lord chancellor wished he might have been spared all service concerning the chief justice, as remembering the fifth petition of "dimitte nobis debita nostra, etc." Insomuch that though a committee of judges was appointed to consider these books, yet the matter seems to have slept, till after Sir Francis Bacon was made lord keeper, it revived, and two judges more were added to the former. Whereupon Sir Edward Coke doth by his letter make his humble suit to the earl of Buckingham, I. That if his Majesty shall not be satisfied with his former offer, namely, by the advice of the judges to explain and publish those points, so as no shadow may remain against his prerogative, that then all the judges of England may be called thereto. 2. That they might certify also what cases he had published for his Majesty's prerogative and benefit, for the good of the church, and quiet
matters of council, and I see now that his Majesty | king created his uncle the earl of Hertford, to be
is as well able by his letters to govern England from Scotland, as he was to govern Scotland from England.
CLXXVIII. A NOTE OF SOME PRECEDENTS AS COME NEAREST THE CASE OF THE LORD BRACKLEY: REFERRED TO IN THE FOREGOING LETTER.*
THE lord Hay was created baron of Sawley, 28 Junii 13 Regis, without the ceremony of robing, as I take it, but then the patent, as I conceive it also, delivered to the person of the said lord Hay by the king's own hands; and again, the dignity of a baron hath incident to it only the ceremony of robes, and not the cincture of the sword, coronet, &c.
The duke of Lenox was created earl of Richmond, 6 Octobris 11 Regis, without any of the ceremonies, as I take it; but the patent, as I conceive it also, was delivered to the person of the said duke, with the hands of the king; and again, in regard he was invested of the superior dignity of duke of Scotland, the ceremonies were not fit to be iterated.
King Henry VII. created Edward Courtenay, knight, earl of Devon, "26 Octobris, 1 Regni, teste meipso apud Wesmonasterium," &c. Whereby it may be collected, that it was done without the solemnities; for that where the solemnities were performed, it hath used to be with a hisce testibus, and not teste meipso; and whether it were delivered with the king's hand or not, it appears not.
duke of Somerset "per cincturam gladii, cappam honoris, et circuli aurei impositionem, et traditionem virgulæ aureæ," hisce testibus, and not teste meipso, and with a datum per manus nostras: yet these things are but conjectural.
I find no precedents for a non obstante, or a dispensation with the solemnities, as the lord Brackley's bill was penned.
CLXXIX. TO THE LORD KEEPER.†
MY HONOURed Lord,
I HAVE acquainted his Majesty with your letter. and the papers that came enclosed, who is exceedingly well satisfied with that account you have given him therein, especially with the speech you made a the taking of your place in the chancery. Whereby his Majesty perceiveth that you have not only given proof how well you understand the place of a chan cellor, but done him much right also, in giving notice unto those that were present, that you have received such instructions from his Majesty: whose honour will be so much the greater, in that all men wil acknowledge the sufficiency and worthiness of his Majesty's choice, in preferring a man of such abili ties to that place, which besides cannot but be a great advancement and fartherance to his service and I can assure your lordship, that his Majesty was never so well pleased, as he is with this account you have given him of this passage. Thus with th remembrance of my service, I rest
Your lordship's ever at command,
Edinburgh, 18 May, 1617.
Edward VI. created William earl of Essex, marquis of Northampton, 16 Feb. 1 Edw. VI. and it is mentioned to be "per cincturam gladii, cappam honoris, et circuli aurei impositionem;" but whether the delivery was by the king's own hand non constat, but it was teste meipso, and not hisce testibus. The same king created John viscount L'Isle, earl CLXXX. TO THE EARL OF BUCKINGHAM. of Warwick, the same time, and it is mentioned to be 66 per cincturam gladii," &c. but it was teste meipso, and not hisce testibus.
Edward VI. created Thomas lord Wriothesley, earl of Southampton in the same day, and in the same manner, with a teste meipso, and not hisce testibus. These three creations being made upon one day, and when the king was a child of about nine years old, and in the very entrance of his reign, for the patents bear date at the Tower of London, doth make me conjecture that all the solemnities were performed; but whether the king endured to be present at the whole ceremony, and to deliver the patents with his own hand, I doubt; for that I find that the very self-same day, year, and place, the
ing men's inheritances, and good of the commonwealth. But Sir Edward then, or soon after, coming into favour by the marriage of his daughter, I conceive there was no farther proceedings in this affair. It will be needless for me to declare what reputation these books have among the professors of the law; but I cannot omit upon this occasion to take notice of a character Sir Francis Bacon had some time before given them in his proposition to the king, touching the compiling an amendment of the laws of England. "To give every man his due, had it not
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
I KNOW your lordship hath a special care of an thing that concerneth the queen. She was entere into dislike of her solicitor, this bearer Mr. Lowde and resolute in it. To serve, and not to please, no man's condition. Therefore upon knowledge her pleasure, he was willing to part with his plac upon hopes not to be destituted, but to be preferre to one of the barons' places in Ireland. I pray mov the king for him, and let his Majesty know from m that I think, howsoever he pleased not here, he fit to do his Majesty service in that place; he grave and formal, which is somewhat there, ar sufficient enough for that place. The queen ha
made Mr. Hackwell her solicitor, who hath for a long time taken much pains in her business, wherein she hath done well. He was an opposite in parliament, as Jones was, that the king hath made chief justice of Ireland. But I hold it no ill counsel to join, or to remove such men. God preserve and prosper you.
break it altogether, or defer any farther delay in it, till your lordship's return: and this the rather, for that, besides the inconvenience of the matter itself, it hath been carried so harshly and inconsiderately by secretary Winwood, as, for doubt that the father should take away the maiden by force, the mother, to get the start, hath conveyed her away secretly; which is ill of all sides. Thus hoping your lordship will not only accept well, but believe my faithful FR. BACON. advice, who by my great experience in the world must needs see farther than your lordship can, I
Your true and devoted friend and servant,
Whitehall, 25 May, 1617.
CLXXXI. TO THE EARL OF BUCKINGHAM.*
MY VERY GOOD lord,
I SHALL write to your lordship of a business which your lordship may think to concern myself; but I do think it concerneth your lordship much more. For as for me, as my judgment is not so weak to think it can do me any hurt, so my love to you is so strong, as I would prefer the good of you and yours before mine own particular,
It seemeth secretary Winwood hath officiously busied himself to make a match between your brother and Sir Edward Coke's daughter: and, as we hear, he doth it rather to make a faction, than out of any great affection to your lordship; it is true, he hath the consent of Sir Edward Coke, as we hear, upon reasonable conditions for your brother; and yet no better than, without question, may be found in some other matches. But the mother's consent is not had, nor the young gentlewoman's, who expecteth a great fortune from her mother, which without her consent is endangered. This match, out of my faith and freedom towards your lordship, I hold very inconvenient both for your brother and yourself.
First, He shall marry into a disgraced house, which in reason of state is never held good.
Next, He shall marry into a troubled house of man and wife, which in religion and christian diseretion is disliked.
Thirdly, Your lordship will go near to lose all such your friends as are adverse to Sir Edward Coke; myself only except, who out of a pure love and thankfulness shall ever be firm to you.
And lastly and chiefly, believe it, it will greatly weaken and distract the king's service; for though, in regard of the king's great wisdom and depth, I am persuaded, those things will not follow which they imagine: yet opinion will do a great deal of harm, and cast the king back, and make him relapse into those inconveniences which are now well on to be recovered.
Therefore my advice is, and your lordship shall do yourself a great deal of honour, if, according to religion and the law of God, your lordship will signify unto my lady your mother, that your desire is, that the marriage be not pressed or proceeded in without the consent of both parents; and so either
Stephens's First Collection, p. 207. ↑ Ibid. p. 210. All that I have seen relating to the difference between the governor of Diepe and Sir Edward Coke, is contained in a letter of secretary Winwood's to my lord Buckingham, dated
Your lordship's true and most devoted friend and servant, FR. BACON, C. S.
I have not heard from your lordship since I sent the king my last account of council business: but I assure myself you received it, because I sent at the same time a packet to secretary Lake, who hath signified to me that he hath received it.
I pray your lordship deliver to his Majesty this little note of chancery business. July 12, 1617.
CLXXXII. TO THE KING.†
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST Excellent Majesty, I THINK it agreeable to my duty, and the great obligation wherein I am tied to your Majesty, to be freer than other men in giving your Majesty faithful counsel, while things are in passing; and more bound than other men in doing your commandments, when your resolution is settled, and made known
I shall therefore most humbly crave pardon from your Majesty, if in plainness, and no less humbleness, I deliver to your Majesty my honest and disinterested opinion, in the business of the match of Sir John Villiers, which I take to be magnum in parvo: preserving always the laws and duties of a firm friendship to my lord of Buckingham, whom I will never cease to love, and to whom I have written already, but have not heard yet from his lordship.
But first I have three suits to make to your Majesty, hoping well you will grant them all.
The first is, that if there be any merit in drawing on that match, your Majesty would bestow the thanks not upon the zeal of Sir Edward Coke to please your Majesty, nor upon the eloquent persuasions or pragmaticals of Mr. Secretary Winwood, but upon them, that carrying your commands and directions with strength and justice, in the matter of the governor of Diepe, in the matter of Sir Robert Rich, and in the matter of protecting the lady, according to your Majesty's commandment; have so humbled Sir Edward Coke, as he seeketh now that with submission, which, as your Majesty knoweth,
29 June this year, and in these words; "Sir Edward Coke hath consigned into the hands of the lords 24007. for the satisfaction of the French ambassador, in the cause which con cerneth the governor of Diepe." Stephens.
before he rejected with scorn: for this is the true orator that hath persuaded this business; as I doubt not but your Majesty in your excellent wisdom doth easily discern.
My second suit is, that your Majesty would not think me so pusillanimous, as that I, that when I was but Mr. Bacon, had ever, through your Majesty's favour, good reason at Sir Edward Coke's hands, when he was at the greatest, should now, that your Majesty of your great goodness hath placed me so near your chair, being, as I hope, by God's grace and your instructions, made a servant according to your heart and hand, fear him, or take umbrage of him, in respect of mine own particular.
My third suit is, that if your Majesty be resolved the match shall go on, after you have heard my reasons to the contrary; I may receive therein your particular will and commandments from yourself, that I may conform myself thereunto; imagining with myself, though I will not wager on women's minds, that I can prevail more with the mother than any other man. For if I should be requested in it from my lord of Buckingham, the answer of a true friend ought to be, that I had rather go against his mind than against his good: but your Majesty I must obey; and besides, I shall conceive that your Majesty, out of your great wisdom and depth, doth see those things which I see not.
Now therefore, not to hold your Majesty with many words, which do but drown matter, let me most humbly desire your Majesty to take into your royal consideration, that the state is at this time not only in good quiet and obedience, but in a good affection and disposition. Your Majesty's prerogative and authority having risen some just degrees above the horizon more than heretofore, which hath dispersed vapours: your judges are in good temper; your justices of the peace, which is the body of the gentlemen of England, grow to be loving and obsequious, and to be weary of the humour of ruffling: all mutinous spirits grow to be a little poor, and to draw in their horns; and not the less for your Majesty's disauthorizing the man I speak of. Now then I reasonably doubt, that if there be but an opinion of his coming in, with the strength of such an alliance, it will give a turn and relapse in men's minds, into the former state of things, hardly to be holpen, to the great weakening of your Majesty's service.
Again, your Majesty may have perceived, that as far as it was fit for me in modesty to advise, I was ever for a parliament; which seemeth to me to be cardo rerum or summa summarum for the present occasions. But this my advice was ever conditional; that your Majesty should go to a parliament with a council united, and not distracted; and that your Majesty will give me leave never to expect, if that man come in. Not for any difference of mine own, for I am omnibus omnia for your Majesty's service, but because he is by nature unsociable, and by habit popular, and too old now to take a new ply. And men begin already to collect, yea and to conclude, that he that raiseth such a smoke to get in, will set all on fire when he is in.
It may please your Majesty, now I have said, I have done; and as I think I have done a duty not unworthy the first year of your last high favour, I most humbly pray your Majesty to pardon me, if in any thing I have erred; for my errors shall always be supplied by obedience; and so I conclude with my prayers for the happy preservation of your person and estate.
Your Majesty's most humble, bounden, and most devoted servant, FR. BACON, C. S. Gorhambury, July 25, 1617.
CLXXXIII. TO THE EARL OF BUCKINGHAM.* MY VERY GOOD LORD,
I Do think long to hear from your lordship, touching my last letter, wherein I gave you my opinion touching your brother's match. As I then showed my dislike of the matter, so the carriage of it here in the manner I dislike as much. If your lordship think it is humour or interest in me that leads me, God judge my sincerity. But I must say, that in your many noble favours towards me, they ever moved and flowed from yourself, and not from any of your friends whatsoever; and therefore in requital give me leave, that my counsels to you again be referred to your happiness, and not to the desires of any of your friends. I shall ever give you, as I give my master, safe counsel, and such as time will approve.
I received yesterday from Mr. Attorney the queen's bill, which I send your lordship. The payment is not out of lands, but out of the customs, and so it can be but the rent. Your lordship remembereth, it is but in a case which I hope shall never be; that is, after his Majesty's death, if she survive. God ever bless and direct you.
Your lordship's most faithful and devoted friend and servant,
Gorhambury, July 25, 1617.
FR. BACON, C. S.
CLXXXIV. TO THE KING.†
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, I DARE not presume any more to reply upon your Majesty, but I reserve my defence till I attend your Majesty at your happy return; when I hope verily to approve myself, not only a true servant to your Majesty, but a true friend to my lord of Buckingham; and for the times also, I hope to give your Majesty a good account, though distance of place may ol scure them. But there is one part of your Majesty's letter that I could be sorry to take time to answer: which is, that your Majesty conceiveth, that whereas I wrote that the height of my lord's fortune might make him secure, I meant that he was turned proud, or unknowing of himself; surely the opinion which Stephens's First Collection, p. 213. + Ibid. p. 214