Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

cause being a cause for inheritance of good value, was ended by my arbitrament and consent of parties, so a decree passed of course, and some months after the cause was ended, the £100. mentioned in the said article was delivered to me by my servant Hunt.

The fourteenth charge, which was in the cause of Sir Richard Hurdsley, the present was made by Mr. Tobie Matthew. His words are: “I confess and declare that there were two decrees, one, as I remember, for the inheritance, and the other for the goods and chattels, but all upon one bill ; and some good time after the first decree, and before the second, the said £500. was delivered unto me by Mr. Tobie Matthew ; so as I cannot deny but it was, upon the matter, pendente lite.

The sixteenth charge, which was in the cause of Aubrey and Brucker, the present was made by Sir George Hastings and Mr. Jenkins. His words are :

I do confess and declare that the sum was given and received, but the manner of it I leave to witnesses."

In the seventeenth charge, which was in Lord Montagu's cause, the present was made after the decree. His words are : “ I confess and declare there was money given, and, as I remember, to Mr. Bevis Thelwall, to the sum mentioned in the article after the cause was decreed, but I cannot say it was ended ; for there have been many orders since caused by Sir Francis Inglefield's contempts, and I do remember that when Thelwall brought the money, he said that my lord would be yet further thankful if he could once get his quiet, to which speech I gave little regard."

In the eighteenth charge, which was in the cause of Drunck, the present was made by Mr. Thelwall, as it seems after the decree. His words are: “ I cou. fess and declare that it was delivered by Mr. Thelwall to Hatcher, my servant, for me, as I think sometime after the decree, but I cannot precisely inform myself of the time.”

In the nineteenth charge, which was in the cause of Reynell and Pencival, the present of £200. was made by Sir George Reynell, a near relation, before any suit commenced, at his first coming to the seals : a diamond ring, pendente lite, as a new year's gift. His words are : “ I confess and declare, that at my first coming to the seal, when I was at Whitehall, my servant Hunt delivered to me £200. from Sir George Reynell, my near ally, to be bestowed upon furniture of my house; adding, further, that he had received divers former favours from me, and this was, as I verily think, before any suit begun; the ring was certainly received pendente lite, and though it were at New Year's tide, it was of too great a value for a New Year's gift, though, as I take it, nothing near the value mentioned in the charge."

The twentieth charge, which was the cause of Peacock, the present was made, at Lord Bacon's first coming to the seal, and when no suit was pending. His words are: “I confess and declare, that I received of Mr. Peacock £100. at Dorset House, at my first coming to the seal, as a present, at which time no suit was begun; and at the summer after, I sent my then servant Lister to Mr. Rolfe, my good friend and neighbour at St. Albans to use his means with Mr. Peacock, who was accounted a monied man for the borrowing of £500. and after by my servant Hatcher for borrowing of £500. more, which Mr. Rolfe procured; and told me at both times it should be without interest, script, or note, and that I should take my own time for payment of it.”

In the twenty-second charge, which was in the cause of Raswell, the present was made months after the decree, which was made with the assistance of two judges. His words are : “I confess and declare that I received money from my servant Hunt, as from Mr. Raswell, in a purse ; and whereas the sum in the article being indefinite, I confess it to be £300. or £400., and it was about some months after the cause was decreed ; in which decree I was assisted by two of the judges."

In the twenty-third charge, which was in the cause of Barker, the present was made some time after the decree. His words are: “I confess and declare, that the sum mentioned in the article was received from Mr. Barker me time after the decree passed.” VOL. XV.

14

In the twenty-fourth, twenty-fifth, and twenty-sixth charges, which were in a cause between the companies of Grocers and Apothecaries, presents were made by both parties, and after the cause was terminated ; and in this case it is clear it was considered a public act. He admits the several sums to have been received of the three parties, but alleges, “ that he considered those presents as no judicial business, but a concord of composition between the parties : and as he thought they had all three received good, and they were all common purses, he thought it the less matter to receive what they voluntarily presented; for if he had taken it in the nature of a bribe, he knew it could not be concealed, because it must be put to the account of the three several companies.”

Des Cartes. Hence Des Cartes, in his History of England, says: “ Coke was not yet ashamed to accuse Bacon of corruption for what had been done by all his predecessors without reproach. It had been a practice, perhaps from the time that our kings had ceased to take money for the purchase of writs, to sue in their courts, for suitors to make presents to the judges who sat in them, either in New Year's tide, or when their causes were on the point of coming to an hearing : it was a thing of course, not considered in the nature of a bribe, being universally known, and deemed an usual or honorary perquisite. Mr. Alford, one of the most eminent members in the House of Commons observed, “ That in the leiger books of his family there were entries of 30s. paid to a secretary, and £10. to a Lord Chancellor for his pains in hearing a cause, and that this passed from Chancellor to Chancellor : it seems indeed generally allowed that former Chancellors had received the like gratuities as were given to Bacon. A blot is none till it is hit, but it was now made use of to ruin the present Chancellor, who had been charged in rain by Coke as one of the referees of Mompressin's patents whilst he was attorney; but he, not appearing to have been of the number, got clear of that accusation, either for this reason, or because it was not thought proper to prosecute the others.

Proof that it wus the custom of the times for similar presents to be made to other

statesmen.

To Sir Robert Cecil. Sir,-Your honour knoweth my manner is, though it be not the wisest way, yet taking it for the honestest, to do as Alexander did by his physician in drinking the medicine and delivering the advertisement of suspicion ; so I trust on, and yet do not smother what I hear. I do assure you, sir, that by a wise friend of mine, and not factious toward your honour, I was told with assevera. tion, that your honour was bought by Mr. Coventry for 2000 angels; and that you wrought in a contrary spirit to my lord your father. And he said further, that from your servants, from your lady, from some counsellors that have observed you in my business, he knew you wrought under hand against me. The truth of which tale I do not believe; you know the event will show, and God will right. But as I reject this report, (though the strangeness of my case might make me credulous,) so I admit a conceit that the last messenger my lord and yourelf used, dealt ill with your honours; and that word (speculation) which was in the Queen's mouth rebounded from him as a commendation, for I am not ignorant of those little arts. Therefore, I pray, trust not him again in

This was much to write, but I think my fortune will set me at liberty, who am weary of asserviling myself to every man's charity. Thus, I, &c.

By the following letters it appears that similar presents were made to other statesmen :

Foulke Grevill, Esq. to Mr. Francis Bacon. Mr. Francis Bacon,—Saturday was my first coming to the court, from whence I departed again as soon as I had kissed her majesty's hands, because I had a lodging nearer than my uncle's, which is four miles off. This day I cam

my matter.

thither to dinner, and waiting for to speak with the Queen, took occasion to tell how I met you, as I passed through London; and among other speeches, how you lamented your misfortune to me, that remained as a withered branch of her roots, which she had cherished and made to flourish in her service. I added what I thought of your worth, and the expectation for all this, that the world had of her princely goodness towards you ; which it pleased her majesty to confess, that indeed you began to frame very well, insomuch as she saw an amends in those little supposed errors, avowing the respect she carried to the dead, with very exceeding gracious inclination towards you. Some comparisons there fell out besides, which I leave till we meet, which I hope shall be this week. It pleased her withal to tell of the jewel you offered her by Mr. Vice-Chamberlain, which she had refused, yet with exceeding praise. I marvel, that as a prince she should refuse those havings of her poor subjects, because it did include a small sentence of despair ; but either | deceive myself, or she was resolved to take it ; and the conclusion was very kind and gracious. Sure as I will one hundred pounds to fifty pounds that you shall be her solicitor and my friend ; in which mind and for which mind I commend you to God. From the court, this Monday in haste,

Your true friend to be commanded by you, Foulke Grevill.. We cannot tell whether she come to -, or stay here. I am much absent for want of lodging ; wherein my own man hath only been to blame.

Indorsed—17th of June, 1594.

Letter from Lord Salisbury to Mr. Hyckes. Mr. Hycks,- I pray you return to Mr. Owen thanks for that whereof this nieu years gyft is the signe; for though these externall things are welcome to many for themselfs, yet I ptest (protest) to me they are nonly (not unacceptable) because I know they are not sent with opinion to purchass my good will, but to demonstrate theirs ; for otherwise I do take it rather unkindly of friends then otherwise to have any such things given me. For your fine instruments to way (weigh) perl I thank you, and till I see you will end your loving Friend, Mr. Michael Hickes,

Ro. CecyLL. 3 Jan. 1601-2.

Letter from F. Courtney to Mr. Hyckes. Good Mr. Hyckes,-Your well approved faythful kindness hath mad me have boldness towards you to entreate healpe and direction in a late fallen office, what is by the death of Mr. Rycassius, one of the clerks of the sygnet; and for that my Lord Treasurer's furtherance maye muche avayle me, I doe most earnestly entreatt your helpe in the procuringe thereof, only to second the sute, when by some other yf it please him, not the Queen hath moved ; and in my thankfulness I will deliver unto whom he will please to appoint £100. and to yourself 100 angels. And that my office which I have may be no hindrance, you know my attendance in court will be but one month, and my place at Southampton affords a deputie; so as all objection of denyal (if therein it stand) will be taken away. Thus much have I presumed upon you, whereof I entreate your answer, and even so do most heartily salute you, wishing you all happiness. Dytton, this 28th of Apryll.

Ever yours, FRA. COURTENAY. To the worshipful my very good friend,

Mr. Michall Hyckes, at the court.

Letter from Bishop of Durham to Lord Burleigh. Right Honourable,-Your L. having alwaies been an especiall patron to the see of Duresme, wherein it hath now pleased God and her majesty to place me, thoughe unworthie ; and myself reaping the fruite of your L. and extraordinarie furtherance in obtayning the same, I could not without great note of ingratitude (the monster of nature) but yelde your L. some signification of a thankful minde. And seeking by all good means, but contrary to myne expectation, not finding any office or other particular presentlie voyde, either fitt for me to offer your lordship, or sure for your L. to receive at my hande, I have presumed in lieu thereof to present your good lordship with an hundred pounds in golde, which this bringer will deliver to your L. It is no recompense any waie proportionable, I confesse, to your lordship's great goodnesse towards me, but onely a sclender token of my dutie most bounden to your L. and a pledge of my service alwaies to be at your L. commandment afore and above any man alive, which I beseech your lordship to accept in such part as is simply and faithfully meant. And so odesyring the continuance and encrease of your L. honorable opinion and favour, of the which I shall endeavour, by God's grace, your L. shall never repent yourselfe. I most humblie betake your good L. to the blessed tuition of the Almighty. Your Lordship’s most humble and bounden, April, 1595.

TOBIAS DUNELM. To the Right Honorable my singular goode Lorde,

the Lord Burleigh, Lord H. Treasurer of England.

Lansd. 72. Art. 72. Good Mr. Hickes,–With my hastye cominendations, and as many thanks as there ys farthings in twentye pounds, which I have sent ye by this bearer ; and I pray ye be twice as bolde with me in any thing that I can pleasure ye withall. My Lorde Keeper hath preferred me to a greate offyce in this cuntry, that is, to be a collector of the ffyffteenths, which yf my lorde hadd known me very well, what for my ylnes and my unableness to travell, I have no doubte but that he would have pardoned me, but nowe there is no remadye. I must needs follow my collections, which will make me to vysite you this next terme ; and therefore I praye you, if I chance to be behinde hand, I will require your friendshippe to be a meane to my lord to give me some dayes till I may get it up. I have no good thinge presentlie to pleasure you withal, but at my cominge up, if I do know of any good thinge in the country, you shall be sure if it lye in me to gett it to have it. And so I doe ende the 15 daye of Oct. 1592.

Yo, assured friend, MAURICE BERKLY. To the worshipful and assured good friende, Mr. Michael Hyckes, geve theise.

From Mr. Michael Hyckes. Although I had not received your kinde letter of remembrance by this gent. Mr. Buck, or had not been provoked by the cominge downe of so fit a bearer as he is to have written unto you, yet would I neither have forgotten my promise nor your many received friendships, who have nothinge else to requite them withal than an honest true affection towards you, whereof also I can make no other demonstration but in these pety kynde of offices now and then as occasions are offered (which I know are as welcome and acceptable to you as 20 faire angels laid in the hands of us poor bribers here in court). (The remainder of the letter is on the preference of a country to a court life.) To Mr. Manners.

(No signature.)

Justys Younge being onne your ould suter, well hopes you may soune dispach her. Shee hath twyse been sent for, and by the messengers assured that if she will give the sum you knowe of, her sute shall presentlie be dispached, but she refused to hearken to it, restynge upon ine.

Wherefore, I pray you, sende me worde what you will doe. If you will dispach it, what I said shall be performed ; if not give her liberty to seeke other, which I wish she should not neede. I pray you to write me worde whether my lorde to the court before the remove. Your loving friend,

GEORGE CUMBERLAND. To my very loving friend, Mr. Hyckes,

Secretary to my L. Treasurer.

This letter seems to involve Mr. Secretary Hicks in a suspicion of bribery. In which case it is strange that it should exist, unless it be argued that its preservation is rather a token of Mr. Hicks's innocence. But even his master was attacked in this manner. See the Duke of Wirtemburg's letter, No. 68. It is to be hoped that there the blame was altogether with him that sent the gyft.-Note by Mr. Douce, of the British Museum. 72 Lansd.

Sir,-Considering with myself the absolute disposition of my L. I hold it under your allowance very material to your better successe, that after you shall have spoken with Sir Thomas, who will offer the occasion if he meet with you, that you let my lorde understande of his inclination to give over, giving your motion to him as for one whom my L. affecting so as that Sir Thomas may seem rather to resolve of resignation from my L. his likinge than first desire my lorde to like of his particular resignation.

Sir, I am bould to present you with a very little mullet of sack, the which I will send to-morrow to Rucholles, noe waie I protest unto you as a recompense for your kindnesse, but as an obligation of my thankful disposition, the which, I know, you only regardinge, will receive with the same hande I give it, with the which likewise I presume to promise you fortie pounds either in golde or plate at your choyce, at my beinge possessed of the place with your good likinge and favor of my lorde your most honorable friend, neither will my thankfulnesse end in that and the interest in me in the worde of an honeste man shall for ever (continue) and howsoever it shall fall out, my ever respectes and thanks shall be in your good likinge: and so cravinge pardon for my boldnesse, I humbly take my leave, and rest your very lovinge and thankful friend to dispose of,

Ro. KAYLE. My howse at Radcliffe, the 25 of Feb. 1604. To the Right Worshipful Sir Michael Hickes,

knight in Austen Friere.

[MS. Lansdown. Mus. Brit. vol. 76. art. 68. original.]

Frederick, Duke of Wirtemberg, to Lord Burghley. Monsieur,-Je ne doubte que vous ne soyez aduertij de ce que j'ay par cij deuant, comme mesmes auec ceste commodite, escrit et demande humblement a La Serenissime Royne d'Angleterre et de me laisser passer environ 1000 pieces de trap hors le renommé royaulme d’Icelle, librement et sans aulcun peage, et pource que je scay, que vous pourrez beaucoup en cest affaire. Je vous prye bien fort, vous ij employer. Affin que je puisse auoir vne bonne et brefue respounce, telle comme je le desire et demande, dont mon commis le present porteur a charge, vous je present de ma part vne chaine d'or pov, vos peines. Laquelle accepterez : s'il vous plaist de bon cueur. En tous lieux la on j'auray moyen de recognoistre cela en vre endroict j'en suis content de vous grattiffer a vre contentement, de telle volunte, comme apres mes affectionnees recommendatione. Prye dieu vous auoir.

en sa sainte digne garde. De Stuctgart ce 12me de De bre, 1594. Vre bien affectionné,

FRIDERICH. A Monseigneur Monseigneur le Grandt

Tresorier dengleterre.

Bishop Williams. The following is from Weldon :- This Williams, though he wanted much of his predecessor's abilities for the law, yet did he equal him for learning and pride, and beyond him in the way of bribery : this man answering by petitions, in which his servants had one part, himself another, and was so calculated to be worth to him and his servants £3000 per annum, by a new way never found out before.--Weldon, 450.

The explanation of this will be found in the following extracts from Hackett's Life of Bishop Williams :

« VorigeDoorgaan »