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while, I do not fly to that, as to say that these things are vitia temporis, and not vitia hominis.
For my fortune, summa summorum with me is, that I may not be made altogether unprofitable to do your majesty's service or honour. If your majesty continue me as I am, I hope I shall be a new man, and shall reform things out of feeling, more than another can do out of example. If I cast part of my burden, I shall be more strong and delivré to bear the rest. And, to tell your majesty what my thoughts run upon, I think of writing a story of England, and of recompiling of your laws into a better digest.
But to conclude, I most humbly pray your majesty's directions and advice. For as your majesty hath used to give me the attribute of care of your business, so I must now cast the care of myself upon God and you.
17th April. The Lord Treasurer signified, that in the interim of this cessation, the Lord Chancellor was an humble suitor unto his majesty, that he might see his majesty and speak with him ; and although his majesty, in respect of the Lord Chancellor's person, and of the place he holds, might have given his lordship that favour, yet, for that his lordship is under the trial of this house his majesty would not on the sudden grant it.
That, on Sunday last, the king calling all the lords of this house which were of his council before him, it pleased his majesty to shew their lordships what was desired by the Lord Chancellor, demanding their lordships' advice therein.
The lords did not presume to advise his majesty; for that his majesty did suddenly propound such a course as all the world could not advise a better ; which was, that his majesty would speak with him privately,
That yesterday, bis majesty admitting the Lord Chancellor to his presence, bis lordship desired that he might have a particular of those matters wherewith he is charged before the lords of this house ; for that it was not possible for him, who past so many orders and decrees in a year, to remember all things that fell out in them; and that, this being granted, his lordship would desire two requests of his majesty. 1. That, where his answers should be fair and clear to those things objected against him, his lordship might stand upon his innocency. 2. Where his answer should not be so fair and clear, there his lordship might be admitted to the extenuation of the charge; and where the proofs were full, and undeniable, his lordship would ingenuously confess them, and put himself upon the mercy of the lords.
Unto all which his majesty's answer was, he referred him to the lords of this house, and thereof his majesty willed his lordship to make report to their lordships.
It was thereupon ordered, that the Lord Treasurer should signify unto his majesty, that the lords do thankfully acknowledge this his majesty's favour, and hold themselves highly bound unto his majesty for the same.
Jurati in causa Domini Cancellarii :
Moved by the Lord Hunsdon, and ordered by the house, that the Lord Chief Justice do every morning, before the adjournment of the court, cause the names of the Lords' committees, appointed to meet that day in the afternoon, to be read by the clerk.
Moved by the Earl of Arundel, that the three several committees, in cause Domini Cancellarü do make their report to-morrow morning of the examinations by them taken touching the Lord'Chancellor ; and the clerk to produce the examinations in that cause taken in court, to the end their lordships may give the Lord Chancellor such particulars of his charge as their lordships shall judge fit.
Dominus Capitalis Justiciarius, locum tenens Domini Cancellarii, declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem crastinum, videlicet, decimum nonum diem Aprilis, Dominis sic decernentibus.
19th April. Die Jovis, videlicet, 190 die Aprilis, Domini tam spirituales quam temporales, quorum nomina subscribuntur, præsentes fuerunt:
p. Carolus Princeps Walliæ, etc. Archiepus. Cant.
P. Jac. Ley, Miles et Bar. Ds.
Capit. Justic. Locum tenens,
&c. The Earl of Arundel shewed, that (according to the order of the house, 27 Martii) his lordship and the other lords joined is committee with him, have eramined divers, in causa Domini Cancellarii. The wbich examination he deli. vered upto Mr. Baron Denham, who attended the lords of that committee.
The Earl of Huntingdon declared, that his lordship, and the other lords joined in committee with him, had also examined divers touching the same cause; the which examinations bis lordship delivered unto Mr. Šerjeant Crewe, wbo attended the lords of that committee.
The Earl of Southampton declared, that his lordsbip, and the other lords joined in committee with him, had also taken divers examinations touching the same cause; the which his lordship delivered to Mr. Attorney General.
Mr. Baron Denham (coming to the clerk's table) stood and read the examidation taken by the Earl of Arundel, and the lords joined with his lordship, viz. the examinations of
Sir George Hastings, knt. Bevis Thelwall.
Sir Richard Yonge, kot. Sir William Bronker, knt. Mr. Serjeant Crewe, in like manner, read the examinations taken by the Earl of Huntingdon, and the lords joined with his lordship, viz.
The examination of Christopher Awbrey. A letter written by Christopher Awbrey to the Lord Chancellor, dated 22nd Nov. 1619.
One letter written by him to the Lord Chancellor, dated the 21st of June, 1620; and one other letter written by bim to the Lord Chancellor, dated 19th July, 1620.
The examinations of Ralph Merefill, Scrivener, and Tristram Woodward. Mr. Attorney General, in like manner, read first the brief of the examinations taken by the Earl of Southampton, and the lords joined with his lordship; and then the examinations, viz. of Sir Rowland Egerton, kot.
These letters and orders were also read, viz.
One letter, dated the 14th March, 1618, written by the Lord Chancellor to the company of Vintners.
An order made by the Lord Chancellor to relieve the English merchants of Vintners, dated 20th April.
Order of reference by the Lord Chancellor to Sir Thomas Love, dated 9th May, 1619.
Another letter of the Lord Chancellor to the Vintners, dated 9th June, 1619.
These examinations being read, the Earl of Southampton signified, that Sir Thomas Smith, knt. being to be examined in this business of the vintners, is sick of the gout. His lordship also declared, that his lordship, and the lords committees joined with him, have heard a public fame and report, how that the Lord Chancellor, having ordered matters in open court, did afterwards alter and reverse the same orders upon petitions ; that their lordships, in the time of this cessation, being desirous to know the truth thereof, sent for the registers of the Chancery (who then were in the country); and now, upon their return, they have, upon search, found out some such orders, altered and reversed upon petitions, and required a longer time to search for more ; and then the said registers will give their lordships more full satisfaction therein. The which was generally approved of by the house. The clerk read the examinations taken here in open court :
In causa Domini Cancellarii, viz. of
Thomas Mewtas. William Peacock. It was agreed, that, forasmuch as these examinations were taken by three several committees, and some were taken here in the house, and the examinations of the one spake of some of the same things taken by the other; that the three committees do meet together (attended by the King's counsel) to make one brief of all these examinations.
Agreed also, that the three committees, in causa Domini Cancellarii, do continue to receive complaints, and take examinations in the same cause ; and that their lordships meet this afternoon, in the Little Committee Chamber, after the conference with the Commons.
Dominus Capitalis Justiciarius, locum tenens Domini Cancellarii, declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem Martis, videlicet, 24m instantis Aprilis, Dominis sic decernentibus.
To the King. It may please your most excellent majesty,—I think myself infinitely bounden to your majesty, for vouchsafing me access to your royal person, and to touch the hem of your garment. I see your majesty imitateth him that would not break the broken reed, nor quench the smoking fax; and as your majesty imitateth Christ, so I hope assuredly my lords of the upper house will imitate you, and unto your majesty's grace and mercy, and next to my lords, I recommend myself. It is not possible, nor it were not safe, for me to answer particulars till I have my charge ; which when I shall receive, I shall, without fig leaves or disguise, excuse what I can excuse, extenuate what I can extenuate, and ingenuously confess what I can neither clear nor extenuate. And if there be any thing which I might conceive to be no offence, and yet is, I desire to be informed, that I may be twice penitent, once for my fault, and the second time for my error, and so submitting all that I am to your majesty's grace, I rest.
April 20, 1621.
24th April. Die Martis, videlicet, 24° die Aprilis, Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales, quorum nomina subscribuntur, præsentes fuerunt : Præsens Rex.
p. Carolus Princeps Walliæ, &c. p. Archiepus. Cant.
p. Jac. Ley, Miles et Bar. Ds.
Capit. Justic. locum tenens,
&c. The Lords sitting in their robes, and the Lord Chief Justice in the place of the Lord Chancellor, expecting his majesty's coming into the Parliament house, the Earl of Oxon (Lord Great Chamberlain of England) and the Earl of Essex, who carried the sword, coming before, the King entered; and his majesty being placed in his chair, under the cloth of estate, was pleased to make a gracious speech unto their lordships.
As touching the complaints of grievances, his majesty commended the complaint of all public grievances, protesting that he will prefer no person whomsoever before the public good. And his majesty was pleased to put the lords in mind of their ancient orders of this house, in hearing the complaints in the examinations, and their manner to give judgment thereupon; and advised them to entertain nothing (the time being precious), which was not material and weighty.
And whereas many complaints are already made against courts of judicature, which are in examination, and are to be proceeded upon by the lords ; his majesty will add some, which he thinks fit to be also complained of, and redressed, viz. That no orders be made but in public court, and not in cham
that excessive fees be taken away; that no bribery nor money be given for the hearing of any cause. These and many other things his majesty thought fit to be done this session. And his majesty added, that when he hath done this, and all that he can do for the good of his subjects, he confesseth he hath done but the duty whereunto he was born.
Post meridiem.-The Prince his highness signified unto the Lords, that the Lord Chancellor had sent a submission unto their lordships, the which was presently read. It follows, in hæc verba :
“ To the Right Honourable the Lords of Parliament, in the Upper House
assembled. “ The humble Submission and Supplication of the Lord Chancellor.
. It may please your lordships, I shall humbly crave at your lordships' hands a benign interpretation of that which I shall now write. For words that come from wasted spirits, and an oppressed mind, are more safe in being deposited in a noble construction, than in being circled with any reserved caution.
“ This being moved, and, as I hope, obtained, in the nature of a protection to all that I shall say, I shall now make into the rest of that wherewith I shall at this time trouble your lordships a very strange entrance. For, in the midst of a state of as great affliction as I think a mortal man can endure (honour being above life), I shall begin with the professing of gladness in some things.
“ The first is, that hereafter the greatness of a judge or magistrate shall be no sanctuary or protection of guiltiness, which (in few words) is the beginning of a golden world. The next, that, after this example, it is like that judges will fly from any thing that is in the likeness of corruption (though it were at a great distance) as from a serpent; which tendeth to the purging of the courts of justice, and the reducing them to their true honour and splendour. And in these two points, God is my witness, that, though it be my fortune to be the anvil upon which these good effects are beaten and wrought, I take no small comfort.
“ But, to pass from the motions of my heart, whereof God is only judge, to the merits of my cause, whereof your lordships are judges, under God and his lieutenant, I do understand there hath been heretofore expected from me some justification; and therefore I have chosen one only justification instead of all
other, out of the justifications of Job. For, after the clear submission and confession which I shall now make unto your lordships, I hope I may say and justify with Job, in these words : I have not hid my sin as did Adam, nor concealed my faults in my bosom. This is the only justification which I will use.
“ It resteth, therefore, that without fig-leaves, 1 do ingenuously confess and acknowledge that, having understood the particulars of the charge, not formally from the house, but enough to inform my conscience and memory, I find matter sufficient and full, both to move me to desert the defence, and to move your lordships to condemn and censure me. Neither will I trouble your Jordships by singling those particulars, which I think may fall off,
" Quid te exemta juvat spinis de pluribus una ? Neither will I prompt your lordships to observe upon the proofs, where they come not home, or the scruples touching the credits of the witnesses ; neither will I represent unto your lordships how far a defence might, in divers things, extenuate the offence, in respect of the time or manner of the gift, or the like circumstances, but only leave these things to spring out of your own noble thoughts and observations of the evidence and examinations themselves, and charitably to wind about the particulars of the charge here and there, as God shall put into your mind, and so submit myself wholly to your piety and grace.
“ And now that I have spoken to your lordships as judges, I shall say a few words to you as peers and prelates, humbly commending my cause to your noble minds and magnanimous affections.
“ Your lordships are not simple judges, but parliamentary judges ; you have a further extent of arbitrary power than other courts ; and, if your lordships be not tied by the ordinary course of courts or precedents, in points of strictness and severity, much more in points of mercy and mitigation.
“ And yet, if any thing which I shall move might be contrary to your honourable and worthy ends to introduce a reformation, I should not seek it. But herein I beseech your lordships to give me leave to tell you a story: Titus Manlius took his son's life for giving battle against the prohibition of his general ; not many years after, the like severity was pursued by Papirius Cursor, the dictator, against Quintus Maximus, who being upon the point to be sentenced, by the intercession of some principal persons of the senate, was spared ; whereupon Livy maketh this grave and gracious observation : Neque minus firmuta est disciplina militaris periculo Quinti Murimi, quam miserabili supplicio Titi Manlii. The discipline of war was no less established by the questioning of Quintus Maximus, than by the punishment of Titus Manlius : and the same reason is of the reformation of justice ; for the questioning of men of eminent place hath the same terror, though not the same rigour with the punishment.
“ But my case standeth not there. For my humble desire is, that his majesty would take the seal into his hands, which is a great downfall ; and may serve, I hope, in itself for an expiation of my faults. Therefore, if mercy and mitigation be in your power, and do no ways cross your ends, why should I not hope of your lordships' favour and commiseration ?
* Your lordships will be pleased to behold your chief pattern, the King our sovereign, a king of incomparable clemency, and whose heart is inscrutable for wisdom and goodness. Your lordships will remember that there sat not these hundred years before a prince in your house; and never such a prince, whose presence deserveth to be made memorable by records and acts mixed of mercy and justice : yourselves are either nobles (and compassion ever beateth in the veins of noble blood) or reverend prelates, who are tbe servants of Him that would not break the bruised reed, nor quench smoking flax. You all sit upon one high stage; and therefore cannot but be more sensible of the changes of the world, and of the fall of any of high place. Neither will your lordships forget that there are vitia temporis as well as vitia hominis, and that the beginning of reformations hath the contrary power of the pool of Bethesda ; for that had strength to cure only him that was first cast in, and this hath commonly strength to hurt him only that is first cast in; and for my part, I wish it may stay there, and go no further.