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At the former I told him that he knew my errand, | lentis tanquam in sepi spinarum," it catcheth upon which stood upon two points; the one to inform every thing. him of the particular case of Peacham's treasons, for I never give it other word to him, the other, to receive his opinion to myself, and in secret, according to my commission from your Majesty.
At the former time he fell upon the same allegation which he had begun at the council-table; that judges were not to give opinion by fractions, but entirely according to the vote whereupon they should settle upon conference: and that this auricular taking of opinions, single and apart, was new and dangerous; and other words more vehement than I repeat.
I replied in civil and plain terms, that I wished his lordship, in my love to him, to think better of it; for that this, that his lordship was pleased to put into great words, seemed to me and my fellows, when we spake of it amongst ourselves, a reasonable and familiar matter, for a king to consult with his judges, either assembled or selected, or one by one. And then to give him a little outlet to save his first opinion, wherewith he is most commonly in love, I added, that judges sometimes might make a suit to be spared for their opinion, till they had spoken with their brethren; but if the king, upon his own princely judgment, for reason of estate, should think it fit to have it otherwise, and should so demand it, there was no declining: nay, that it touched upon a violation of their oath, which was to counsel the king, without distinction whether it were jointly or severally. Thereupon, I put him the case of the privy council, as if your Majesty should be pleased to command any of them to deliver their opinion apart and in private; whether it were a good answer to deny it, otherwise than if it were propounded at the table. To this he said, that the cases were not alike, because this concerned life. To which I replied, that questions of estate might concern thousands of lives, and many things more precious than the life of a particular; as war, and peace, and the like.
The latter meeting is yet of more importance; for then, coming armed with divers precedents, I thought to set in with the best strength I could, and said, that before I descended to the record, I would break the case to him thus: That it was true we were to proceed upon the ancient statute of king Edward the third, because other temporary statutes were gone; and therefore it must be said in the indictment, "Imaginatus est et compassavit mortem et finalem destructionem domini regis:" then must the particular treasons follow in this manner, namely, "Et quod ad perimplendum nefandum propositum suum, composuit et conscripsit quendam detestabilem et venenosum libellum, sive scriptum, in quo, inter alia proditoria, continetur, etc." And then the principal passages of treason, taken forth of the papers, are to be entered in hæc verba; and with a conclusion in the end, "Ad intentionem quod ligeus populus et veri subditi domini regis cordialem suum amorem a domino rege retraherent, et ipsum dominum regem relinquerent, et guerram et insurrectionem contra eum levarent et facerent, etc." I have in this form followed the ancient style of the indictments for brevity sake, though when we come to the business itself, we shall enlarge it according to the use of the later times. This I represented to him, being a thing he is well acquainted with, that he might perceive the platform of that was intended, without any mistaking or obscurity. But then I fell to the matter itself, to lock him in as much as I could, namely,
That there be four means or manners, whereby the death of the king is compassed and imagined. The first by some particular fact or plot.
The second, by disabling his title; as by affirming, that he is not lawful king; or that another ought to be king; or that he is an usurper, or a bastard, or the like.
The third, by subjecting his title to the pope ; and thereby making him of an absolute king a con
The fourth, by disabling his regiment, and making him appear to be incapable or indign to reign.
These things I relate to your Majesty in sum, as is fit: which, when I opened to my lord, I did insist a little more upon, with more efficacy and edge, and authority of law and record than I can now express.
To conclude, his lordship "tanquam exitum quæ-ditional king. rens," desired me for the time to leave with him the papers, without pressing him to consent to deliver a private opinion till he had perused them. I said I would; and the more willingly, because I thought his lordship, upon due consideration of the papers, would find the case to be so clear a case of treason, as he would make no difficulty to deliver his opinion in private; and so I was persuaded of the rest of the judges of the king's bench, who likewise, as I partly understood, made no scruple to deliver their own opinion in private; whereunto he said, which I noted well, that his brethren were wise men, and that they might make a show as if they would give an opinion, as was required; but the end would be, that it would come to this: they would say, they doubted of it, and so pray advice with the rest. But to this I answered, that I was sorry to hear him say so much, lest, if it came so to pass, some that loved him not might make a construction, that that which he had foretold, he had wrought. Thus your Majesty sees, that, as Solomon saith, "Gressus no
Then I placed Peacham's treason within the last division, agreeable to divers precedents, whereof I had the records ready; and concluded, that your Majesty's safety and life and authority was thus by law insconced and quartered; and that it was in vain to fortify on three of the sides, and so leave you open on the fourth.
It is true, he heard me in a grave fashion more than accustomed, and took a pen and took notes of my divisions; and when he read the precedents and records, would say, This you mean, falleth within your first, or your second, division. In the end I expressly demanded his opinion, as that whereto both he and I were enjoined. But he desired me
to leave the precedents with him, that he might advise upon them. I told him, the rest of my fellows would despatch their part, and I should be behind with mine; which I persuaded myself your Majesty would impute rather to his backwardness than my negligence. He said, as soon as I should understand that the rest were ready, he would not be long after with his opinion.
For Mr. St. John, your Majesty knoweth, the day draweth on; and my lord chancellor's recovery, the season, and his age, promising not to be too hasty. I spake with him on Sunday, at what time I found him in bed, but his spirits strong, and not spent or wearied, and spake wholly of your business, leading me from one matter to another; and wished and seemed to hope, that he might attend the day for O. S. and it were, as he said, to be his last work, to conclude his services, and express his affection towards your Majesty. I presumed to
That she was a woman of intrigue, and, as Camden says in his Annals of King James, "rebus turbandis nata," will appear from her conduct relating to the king's and her kinswoman the lady Arabella: for having been the great instrument of her marriage with Sir William Seymour, afterwards earl and marquis of Hertford, and of procuring her escape from the Tower; she was convened before the privy council, for refusing to give any answer in a matter which so nearly concerned the state: she was fined in the star-chamber, and the charge which was then given against her, printed in the Cabala, p. 369, was, I doubt not, says Mr. Stephens, made by Sir Francis Bacon. But as if this was not a sufficient warning, she afterwards reported that the lady Arabella left a child by her husband; for which and her repeated obstinacy she incurred a greater censure in the same court. That charge, whether Sir Francis Bacon's or not, is as follows:
Your lordships do observe the nature of this charge: my lady of Shrewsbury, a lady wise, and that ought to know what duty requireth, is charged to have refused, and to have persisted in refusal to answer, and to be examined in a high cause of state: being examined by the council-table, which is a representative body of the king. The nature of the cause, upon which she was examined, is an essential point, which doth aggravate and increase this contempt and presumption; and therefore of necessity with that we must begin.
How graciously and parent-like his Majesty used the lady Arabella before she gave him cause of indignation, the world
My lady notwithstanding, extremely ill-advised, transacted the most weighty and binding part and action of her life, which is her marriage, without acquainting his Majesty; which had been a neglect even to a mean parent: but being to our sovereign, and she standing so near to his Majesty as she doth, and then choosing such a condition as it pleased her to choose, all parties laid together, how dangerous it was, my lady might have read it in the fortune of that house wherewith she is matched; for it was not unlike the case of Mr. Seymour's grandmother.
The king nevertheless so remembered he was a king, as he forgot not he was a kinsman, and placed her only" sub libera
But now did my lady accumulate and heap up this offence with a far greater than the former, by seeking to withdraw herself out of the king's power into foreign parts.
That this flight or escape into foreign parts might have been seed of trouble to this state, is a matter whereof the conceit of a vulgar person is not uncapable.
For although my lady should have put on a mind to continue her loyalty, as nature and duty did bind her; yet when she was in another sphere, she must have moved in the motion of that orb, and not of the planet itself: and God forbid the king's felicity should be so little, as he should not have envy and enviers enough in foreign parts.
It is true, if any foreigner had wrought upon this occasion, I do not doubt but the intent would have been, as the prophet saith, "they have conceived mischief, and brought forth a vain thing." But yet your lordships know that it is wisdom in princes, and it is a watch they owe to themselves and to their people, to stop the beginnings of evils, and not to despise them. Seneca saith well, "Non jam amplius levia sunt pericula, si levia videantur; dangers cease to be light, because by despising they grow and gather strength.
say to him, that I knew your Majesty would be exceeding desirous of his being present that day, so as that it might be without prejudice to his continuance; but that otherwise your Majesty esteemed a servant more than a service, especially such a servant. Surely in mine opinion your Majesty were better put off the day than want his presence, considering the cause of the putting off is so notorious; and then the capital and the criminal may come together the next term.
I have not been unprofitable in helping to discover and examine, within these few days, a late patent, by surreption obtained from your Majesty, of the greatest forest in England, worth 30,000%. under colour of a defective title, for a matter of 400. The person must be named, because the patent must be questioned. It is a great person, my lord of Shrewsbury; or rather, as I think, a greater than he, which is my lady of Shrewsbury.*
And accordingly hath been the practice both of the wisest and stoutest princes to hold for matter pregnant of peril, to have any near them in blood to fly into foreign parts. Wherein I will not wander; but take the example of king Henry the seventh, a prince not unfit to be paralleled with his Majesty; I mean not the particular of Perkin Warbeck, for he was but an idol or a disguise; but the example I mean, is that of the earl of Suffolk, whom the king extorted from Philip of Austria. The story is memorable, that Philip, after the death of Isabella, coming to take possession of his kingdom of Castile, which was but matrimonial to his father-in-law Ferdinando of Aragon, was cast by weather upon the coast of Weymouth, where the Italian story saith, king Henry used him in all things else as a prince, but in one thing as a prisoner; for he forced upon him a promise to restore the earl of Suffolk that was fled into Flanders: and yet this I note was in the 21st year of his reign, when the king had a goodly prince at man's estate, besides his daughters, nay, and the whole line of Clarence nearer in title; for that earl of Suffolk was descended of a sister of Edward the fourth so far off did that king take his aim. To this action of so deep consequence, it appeareth, you, my lady of Shrewsbury, were privy, not upon foreign suspicions or strained inferences, but upon vehement presumptions, now clear and particular testimony, as hath been opened to you; so as the king had not only reason to examine you upon it, but to have proceeded with you upon it as for a great contempt; which if it be reserved for the present, your ladyship is to understand it aright, that it is not defect of proof, but abundance of grace, that is the cause of this proceeding; and your ladyship shall do well to see into what danger you have brought yourself. All offences consist of the fact which is open, and the intent which is secret: this fact of conspiring in the flight of this lady may bear a hard and gentler construction; if upon overmuch affection to your kinswoman, gentler; if upon practice or other end, harder: you must take heed how you enter into such actions; whereof if the hidden part be drawn into that which is open, it may be your overthrow; which I speak not by way of charge, but by way of
For that which you are properly charged with, you must know that all subjects, without distinction of degrees, owe to the king tribute and service, not only of their deed and hand, but of their knowledge and discovery.
If there be any thing that imports the king's service, they ought themselves undemanded to impart it; much more if they be called and examined; whether it be of their own fact or of another's, they ought to make direct answer: neither was there ever any subject brought in causes of estate to trial judicial, but first he passed examination; for examination is the entrance of justice in criminal causes; it is one of the eyes of the king's politic body; there are but two, information and examination; it may not be endured that one of the lights be put out by your example.
Your excuses are not worthy your own judgment; rash vows of lawful things are to be kept, but unlawful vows not; your own divines will tell you so. For your examples, they are some erroneous traditions. My lord of Pembroke spake somewhat that he was unlettered, and it was but when he was examined by one private counsellor, to whom he took exception; that of my lord Lumley is a fiction; the pre-eminences of nobility I would hold with to the last grain; but every day's experience is to the contrary: nay, you may learn
a disjunctive, that the judges should deliver an opinion privately, either to my lord chancellor, or to ourselves distributed his sickness made the latter way to be taken; but the other may be reserved with some accommodating, when we see the success of the former.
I am appointed this day to attend my lord treasurer for a proposition of raising profit and revenue by enfranchising copy-holders. I am right glad to see the patrimonial part of your revenue well looked into, as well as the fiscal: and I hope it will so be in other parts as well as this. God preserve your Majesty.
Your Majesty's most humble, and devoted
Feb. 7, 1614.
this morning, about eight of the clock. I perceive CXVI. TO THE KING, CONCERNING OWEN'S he hath now that signum sanitatis, as to feel better his former weakness: for it is true, I did a little mistrust that it was but a boutade of desire and good spirit, when he promised himself strength for Friday, though I was won and carried with it. But now I find him well inclined to use, should I say, your liberty, or rather your interdict, signified by Mr. Secretary from your Majesty. His lordship showed me also your own letter, whereof he had told me before, but had not showed it me. What shall I say? I do much admire your goodness for writing such a letter at such a time.
He had sent also to my lord treasurer, to desire him to come to him about that time. His lordship came; and, not to trouble your Majesty with circum- | stances, both their lordships concluded, myself present and concurring, That it could be no prejudice to your Majesty's service to put off the day for Mr. St. John till the next term: the rather, because there are seven of your privy council, which are at least numerus and part of the court, which are by infirmity like to be absent; that is, my lord chancellor, my lord admiral, my lord of Shrewsbury, my lord of Exeter, my lord Zouch, my lord Stanhope, and Mr. Chancellor of the duchy; wherefore they agreed to hold a council to-morrow in the afternoon for that purpose.
It is true, that I was always of opinion that it was no time lost; and I do think so the rather, because I could be content, that the matter of Peacham were first settled and put to a point. For there be, perchance, that would make the example upon Mr. St. John to stand for all. For Peacham, I expect some account from my fellows this day; if it should fall out otherwise, then I hope it may not be left so. Your Majesty, in your last letter, very wisely put in
duty of lady Arabella herself, a lady of the blood, of a higher rank than yourself, who declining, and yet that but by request Beither, to declare of your fact, yieldeth ingenuously to be examined of her own. I do not doubt but by this time you see both your own error, and the king's grace in proceeding with you in this manner.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY, MYSELF, with the rest of your counsel learned, conferred with my lord Coke, and the rest of the judges of the king's bench only, being met at my lord's chamber, concerning the business of Owen. For although it be true, that your Majesty in your letter did mention that the same course might be held in the taking of opinions apart in this, which was prescribed and used in Peacham's cause; yet both my lords of the council, and we amongst ourselves, holding it, in a case so clear, not needful; but rather that it would import a diffidence in us, and deprive us of the means to debate it with the judges, if cause were, more strongly, which is somewhat, we thought best rather to use this form.
The judges desired us to leave the examinations and papers with them for some little time, to consider, which is a thing they use, but I conceive, there will be no manner of question made of it. My lord chief justice, to show forwardness, as I interpret it, showed us passages of Suarez and others, thereby to prove, that though your Majesty stood not excommunicate by particular sentence, yet by the general bulls of Cœna Domini, and others, you were upon the matter excommunicate; and therefore, that the treason was as de præsenti. But I (that foresee that if that course should be held, when it cometh to a public day, to disseminate to the vulgar an opinion, that your Majesty's case is all onc, as if you were de facto particularly and expressly excommunicate, it would but increase the danger of your person with those that are desperate papists, and that it is needless) commended my lord's diligence, but withal put it by; and fell upon the other course,
champ, dated June 4, 1611, who had made their escape the day before. Rymer, XVI. p. 710. Stephens.
In 1614, a benevolence was set on foot. Mr. Oliver St. John gave his opinion publicly, that it was against law, reason, and religion; for which he was condemned in a fine of five thousand pounds, and to be imprisoned during the king's Rawley's Resuscitatio,
Note. See the proclamation for apprehending the lady |
which is the true way, that is, that whoever shall affirm, in diem, or sub conditione, that your Majesty may be destroyed, is a traitor de præsenti; for that he maketh you but tenant for life, at the will of another. And I put the duke of Buckingham's case, who said, that if the king caused him to be arrested of treason, he would stab him; and the case of the impostress Elizabeth Barton, that said, that if king Henry the eighth took not his wife again, Catherine dowager, he should be no longer king; and the like. It may be these particulars are not worth the relating; but because I find nothing in the world so important to your service, as to have you thoroughly | informed, the ability of your direction considered, it maketh me thus to do; most humbly praying your Majesty to admonish me, if I be over troublesome.
For Peacham, the rest of my fellows are ready to make their report to your Majesty at such time, and in such manner, as your Majesty shall require it. Myself yesterday took my lord Coke aside, after the rest were gone, and told him all the rest were ready, and I was now to require his lordship's opinion, according to my commission. He said, I should have it; and repeated that twice or thrice, as thinking he had gone too far in that kind of negative, to deliver any opinion apart, before; and said, he would tell it me within a very short time, though he were not that instant ready. I have tossed this business in omnes partes, whereof I will give your Majesty knowledge when time serveth. God preserve your Majesty.
Your Majesty's most humble and devoted subject
CXVII. TO THE KING, ABOUT A CERTIFICATE OF LORD CHIEF JUSTICE COKE.*
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY, I SEND your Majesty enclosed my lord Coke's answers; I will not call them rescripts, much less oracles. They are of his own hand, and offered to me as they are in writing; though I am glad of it for mine own discharge. I thought it my duty, as soon as I received them, instantly to send them to your Majesty; and forbear, for the present, to speak farther of them. I, for my part, though this Muscovia weather be a little too hard for my constitution, was ready to have waited upon your Majesty this day, all respects set aside: but my lord treasurer, in respect of the season and much other business, was willing to save me. I will only conclude touching these papers with a text, divided I cannot say, Oportet isthæc fieri;" but I may say, Finis autem nondum." God preserve your Majesty. Your Majesty's most humble and devoted subject
14 Feb. 1614.
CXVIII. SIR FRANCIS BACON TO KING JAMES.+
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY,
I PERCEIVE by the bishop of Bath and Wells, that although it seemeth he hath dealt in an effectual manner with Peacham, yet he prevaileth little hitherto; for he hath gotten of him no new names, neither doth Peacham alter in his tale touching Sir John Sydenham.
Peacham standeth off in two material points de novo.
The one, he will not yet discover into whose hands he did put his papers touching the consistory villanies. They were not found with the other bundles upon the search; neither did he ever say that he had burned or defaced them. Therefore it is like they are in some person's hands; and it is like again, that that person that he hath trusted with those papers, he likewise trusted with these others of the treasons, I mean with the sight of them.
The other, that he taketh time to answer, when he is asked, whether he heard not from Mr. Paulet some such words, as he saith he heard from Sir John Sydenham, or in some lighter manner.
I hold it fit, that myself, and my fellows, go to the Tower, and so I purpose to examine him upon these points, and some others; at the least, that the world may take notice that the business is followed as heretofore, and that the stay of the trial is upon farther discovery, according to that we give out.
I think also it were not amiss to make a false
fire, as if all things were ready for his going down to his trial, and that he were upon the very point of being carried down, to see what that will work with him.
Lastly, I do think it most necessary, and a point principally to be regarded, that because we live in an age wherein no counsel is kept, and that it is true there is some bruit abroad, that the judges of the king's bench do doubt of the case, that it should not be treason; that it be given out constantly, and yet as it were a secret, and so a fame to slide, that the doubt was only upon the publication, in that it was never published, for that (if your Majesty marketh it) taketh away, or at least qualifies the danger of the example; for that will be no man's
This is all I can do to thridd your Majesty's business with a continual and settled care, turning and returning, not with any thing in the world, save only the occasions themselves, and your Majesty's good pleasure.
I had no time to report to your Majesty, at your being here, the business referred, touching Mr. John Murray. I find a shrewd ground of a title against your Majesty and the patentees of these land; for I see a fair deed, I find a reasonable conlands, by the coheir of Thomas earl of Northumbersideration for the making the said deed, being for the advancement of his daughters; for that all the possessions of the earldom were entailed upon his Sir David Dalrymple's Memoirs and Letters, p. 29.
brother; I find it was made four years before his rebellion; and I see some probable cause why it hath slept so long. But Mr. Murray's petition speaketh only of the moiety of one of the coheirs, whereunto if your Majesty should give way, you might be prejudiced in the other moiety. Therefore, if Mr. Murray can get power of the whole, then it may be safe for your Majesty to give way to the trial of the right, when the whole shall be submitted to you.
Mr. Murray is my dear friend; but I must cut even in these things, and so I know he would himself wish no other. God preserve your Majesty. Your Majesty's most humble and devoted subject
and servant, Febr. the 28th, 1614.
was last at London after the end of the last parliament, but where he lodged he knoweth not.
Being asked, with what gentlemen, or others in London, when he was here last, he had conference and speech withal? he saith he had speech only with Sir Maurice Berkeley, and that about the petitions only, which had been before sent up to him by the people of the country, touching the apparitors and the grievances offered the people by the court of the officials.
Being asked, touching one Peacham, of his name, what knowledge he had of him, and whether he was not the person that did put into his mind divers of loose and contexted papers? he saith this Peacham, those traitorous passages which are both in his of his name, was a divine, a scholar, and a traveller; and that he came to him some years past, the certainty of the time he cannot remember, and lay at this examinate's house a quarter of a year, and took so much upon him, as he had scarce the command
CXIX. SIR FRANCIS BACON TO KING JAMES.* of his own house or study; but that he would be
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,
I SEND your Majesty enclosed a copy of our last examination of Peacham, taken the 10th of this present, whereby your Majesty may perceive, that this miscreant wretch goeth back from all, and denieth his hand and all. No doubt, being fully of belief that he shall go presently down to his trial, he meant now to repeat his part which he purposed to play in the country, which was to deny all. But your Majesty, in your wisdom, perceiveth, that this denial of his hand, being not possible to be counterfeited, and sworn to by Adams, and so oft by himself formerly confessed and admitted, could not mend his case before any jury in the world, but rather aggravateth it by his notorious impudence and falsehood, and will make him more odious. He never deceived me; for when others had hopes of discovery, and thought time well spent that way, I told your Majesty pereuntibus mille figure, and that he did but now turn himself into divers shapes, to save or delay his punishment. And therefore submitting myself to your Majesty's high wisdom, I think myself bound, in conscience, to put your Majesty in remembrance, whether Sir John Sydenham shall be detained upon this man's impeaching,
writing, sometimes in the church, sometimes in the steeple, sometimes in this examinate's study; and now saith farther, that those papers, as well loose as contexted, which he had formerly confessed to be of his own hand, might be of the writing of the said Peacham; and saith confidently, that none of them are his own hand-writing or inditing; but whatsoever is in his former examinations, as well before his Majesty's learned council, as before my lord of Canterbury, and other the lords, and others of his Majesty's privy council, was wholly out of fear, and to avoid torture, and not otherwise.
Being required to describe what manner of man the said Peacham that lay at his house was; he saith that he was tall of stature, and can make no other description of him, but saith, as he taketh it, he dwelleth sometimes at Honslow as a minister; for he hath seen his letters of orders and licence under the hand of Mr. D. Chatterton, sometime bishop of Lincoln. He denieth to set his hand to this examination.
THER PEACHAM'S CASE BE TREASON OR NOT.
in whom there is no truth. Notwithstanding, that THE TRUE STATE OF THE QUESTION WHEfurther inquiry be made of this other person, and that information and light be taken from Mr. Paulet and his servants, I hold it, as things are, necessary. God preserve your Majesty.
Your Majesty's most humble and devoted subject and servant.
IN THE HAND-WRITING OF KING JAMES.
THE indictment is grounded upon the statute of Edward the third, that he compassed and imagined the king's death; the indictment then is according to the law, and justly founded. But how is it verified? First, then, I gather this conclusion, that since the indictment is made according to the prescription of law, the process is formal, the law is fulfilled, and the judge and jury are only to hearken to the verification of the hypothesis, and whether the minor be well proved or not.