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Secondly, the attorney-general sorteth not so well | Besides, the remove of my lord Coke to a place of with his present place, being a man timid and scru- less profit, though it be with his will, yet will be pulous both in parliament and other business, and thought abroad a kind of discipline to him for one, that in a word was made fit for the late lord opposing himself in the king's causes; the example treasurer's bent, which was to do little with much whereof will contain others in more awe. formality and protestation : whereas the now solici- Lastly, whereas now it is voiced abroad touching tor going more roundly to work, and being of a | the supply of places, as if it were a matter of labour, quicker and more earnest temper, and more effectual and canvass, and money; and other persons are in that he dealeth in; is like to recover that strength chiefly spoken of to be the men, and the great to the king's prerogative, which it hath had in times suitors ; this will appear to be the king's own act, past, and which is due unto it. And for that pur- and is a course so natural and regular, as it is withpose there must be brought in to be solicitor some out all suspicion of these by-courses, to the king's man of courage and speech, and a grounded lawyer; infinite honour. For men say now, the king can make which done, his Majesty will speedily find a mar- good second judges, as he hath done lately;* but vellous change in his business. For it is not to that is no mastery, because men sue to be kept from purpose for the judges to stand well-disposed, except these places. But now is the trial in those great the king's council, which is the active and moving places, how his Majesty can hold good, where there part, put the judges well to it; for in a weapon, is great suit and means. what is a back without an edge ?
Thirdly, the king shall continue and add reputation to the attorney's and solicitor's place, by this orderly advancement of them; which two places
TO THE KING. are the champion's places for his rights and pre
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, rogative; and being stripped of their expectations and successions to great place, will wax vile; and We have, with all possible care and diligence, then his Majesty's prerogative goeth down the wind. considered Cotton's † cause, the former and the
* Sir John Dodderidge was made judge of the king's to trial on the 3d of May, 1619, for writing that and another bench, November 25, 1612, and Sir Augustin Nichols of the book entitled Speculum Regale; in both of which he had precommon pleas the day following.
suined to prophesy, that the king would die in 1621, ground+ The case of this gentleman will render the detail of iting this prediction on the prophecy of Daniel, where the prophet necessary for the illustration of this letter; and the circum- speaks of time and times, and half a time. He farther asstances of it, not known in our history, may be thought to de-firmed, that antichrist will be revealed when sin shall be at serve the reader's attention. He was a native of the West of the highest; and then the end is nigh: that such is our time; England, and a recusant, against whom a proclamation was sin is now at the highest; ergo that the land is the abominaissued in June 1613, charging him with high treason against tion of desolation mentioned by Daniel, and the habitation of the king and state for having published a very scandalous and devils, and the antimark of Christ's church. Williams's railing book against his Majesty, under the title of Balaam's defence was, 1. That what he had written was not with any Ass, which was dropped in the gallery at Whitehall. Just at malice or disloyalty of heart towards the king, but purely the time of publishing this proclamation, he happened to cross from affection, and by way of caution and admonition, that the Thames, and inquiring of the watermen what news ? they, his Majesty might avoid the mischiefs likely to befall him; not knowing him, told him of the proclamation. At landing, having added in his book, when he delivered the threats of he muffled himself up in his cloak, to avoid being known; judgınent and destruction, which God avert, or such words, but had not gone many paces, when one Mr. Maine, a friend 2. That the matter rested only in opinion and thought, and of his, meeting and discovering him, warned him of his danger; contained no overt act; no rebellion, treason, or other misand being asked what he would advise him to do, recom- chief following it. 3. That he had enclosed his book in a box mended it to him to surrender himself; which he did to the sealed up, and secretly conveyed it to the king, without ever earl of Southampton. He denied himself to be the author of publishing it. But the court was unanimously of opinion, that the libel : but his study being searched, among his papers he was guilty of high treason; and that the words contained in were found many parts of the book, together with relies of the libel, as cited above, imported the end and destruction of those persons who had been executed for the gun-powder the king and his realm; and that antichristianism and false treason, as one of Sir Everard Digby's fingers, a toe of Thomas religion were maintained in the said realm; which was a moPercy, some other part of Catesby or Rookewood, and a piece tive to the people to commit treasons, to raise rebellions, &r. of one of Peter Lambert's ribs. He was kept prisoner in the and that the writing of the book was a publication. Reports Tower till March 1618, when the true author of the libel was of Henry Rolle, serjeant at law, part II. p. 88. In conse discovered to be John Williams, Esq. a barrister of the Middle quence of this judgment he had a sentence of death passed Temple, who had been expelled the house of commons on ac- upon him, which was executed over-against Charing Cross count of his being a papist. The discovery was owing to this two days after. MS. letters of Mr. Thomas Lorkin to Sir accident: a pursuivant in want of money, and desirous to get Thomas Puekering, Bart. dated at London, June the 24th some by his employment, waited at the Spanish ambassador's and 30th, 1613, and March the 16th, 1618-9, and May the 4th door, to see if he could light upon any prey. At last came out and 5th, 1619, among the Harleian MSS. Vol. 7002. At his Mr. Williams, unknown to the pursuivant; but carrying, in death he adhered to his profession of the Roman catholic his conceit, the countenance of a priest. The pursuivant, religion, and died with great resolution. He prayed for the therefore, followed him to his inn, where Williams, having king and prince; and said, that he was sorry for having yritmounted' his horse, the pursuivant came to him, and told him, ten so saucily and irreverently; but pretended that he had an that he must speak a word or two with him. “Marry, with inward warrant and particular illumination to understand all my heart,” said Williains; "what is your pleasure ?" certain hard passages of Daniel and the Revelation, which “ You must light," answered the pursuivant ; " for you are made him adventure so far. MS, letter of John Chambera priest.” “A priest ? ” replied Williams; “I have a good lain, Esq. to Sir Dudley Carleton, dated at London, May 8, warrant to the contrary, for I have a wife and children." 1619. Being, however, obliged to dismount, the pursuivant searched This case was urged against the seven bishops at their trial him; and in his pocket was found a bundle of papers sealed in king James II.'s reign by Sir William Williams, then saup; which the pursuivant going to open, Williams made some licitor-general, who observed, Trial, p. 76, that it had been resistance, pretending they were evidences of a gentleman made use of by Mr. Solicitor-general Finch on the trial of Col whose law-businesses be transacted. The pursuivant insisting Sidney, and was the great case relied upon, and that guided upon opening the papers, among them was found Balaam's and governed that case; though there is nothing of this, Ass, with new annotations; of which, upon examination, that appears in the printed trial of Sidney. Williams confessed himself to be the author. He was brought It is but justice to the memory of our great antiquary, Sin latter, touching the book and the letter in the gilt seal of justice, nor no prejudice to Killegrew's farm, apple, and have advisedly perused and weighed all nor to the duty of money paid to the chief justice. the examinations and collections which were form- Whether this may require your presence, as you erly taken; wherein we might attribute a good write, that yourself can best judge. But of this deal of worthy industry and watchful inquiry to my more, when we have received the judges' answer. lord of Canterbury. We thought fit also to take It is my duty, as much as in me is, to procure my some new examinations; which was the cause we master to be obeyed. I ever rest certified no sooner. Upon the whole matter, we
Your friend and assured find the cause of his imprisonment just, and the January 21, 1614.
FR. BACON. suspicions and presumptions many and great ;
I pray deliver the enclosed letter to his Majesty. which we little need to mention, because your Majesty did relate and inforced them to us in better To his very good friend Mr. John Murray, of his perfection, than we can express them. But, never
Majesty's bed-chamber. theless, the proofs seem to us to amount to this, that it was possible he should be the man; and that it was probable, likewise, he was the man: but no convieting proofs, that may satisfy a jury of life and
TO MR. MURRAY. death, or that may make us take it upon our conscience, or to think it agreeable to your Majesty's
MR. MURRAY, honour, which next our conscience to God, is the My Lord Chancellor, yesterday in my presence, dearest thing to us on earth, to bring it upon the had before him the judges of the common pleas, stage ; which notwithstanding we, in all humbleness, and hath performed his Majesty's royal command submit to your Majesty's better judgment. For his in a very worthy fashion, such as was fit for our liberty, and the manner of his delivery, he having so master's greatness; and because the king may many notes of a dangerous man, we leave it to your know it, I send you the enclosed. This seemeth to princely wisdom. And so commending your Ma- have wrought the effect desired ; for presently I jesty to God's precious custody, we rest
sent for Sir Richard Cox,f and willed him to present Your Majesty's most humble and bounden himself to my lord Hobart, and signify his readiness servants,
to attend. He came back to me, and told me, all FR. BACON. things went on. I know not what afterwards may be; H. MONTAGUE. but I think this long chase is at an end. I ever rest
Yours assured, H. YELVERTON. 22 Jan. 1613,
January 25, 1614.
TO JOHN MURRAY OF THE BED-CHAMBER
TO MR. MURRAY.
I PRAY deliver the enclosed to his Majesty, and I keep the same measure in a proportion with have care of the letter afterwards. I have written uy master and with my friend; which is, that I also to his Majesty about your reference to this purFill never deceive them in any thing, which is in pose, that if you can get power over the whole by power ; and when my power faileth my will, i title, it may be safe for his Majesty to assent, that
you may try the right upon the deed. This is the Monday is the day appointed for performing his farthest I can go. I ever rest Majesty's commandment. Till then I cannot tell
Yours assured, what to advise you farther, except it should be this,
February 28, 1614.
FR. BACON. that in case the judges should refuse to take order in it themselves, then you must think of some warrapt to Mr. Secretary, who is your friend, and constant in the businesses, that he see forth with his
TO THE KING. Majesty's commandment executed, touching the double lock; and, if need be, repair to the place, and
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, see by view the manner of keeping the seal ; and I SEND your Majesty enclosed, a copy of our last take order, that there be no stay for working of the examination of Peacham,ş taken the 10th of this Robert Cotton, Bart, to remark here a mistake of Dr. Thomas + This, and the three following letters, are printed from Sath in his life of Sir Robert, p. 26, prefixed to his catalogue Harl. MSS. Vol. 6986. of the Cottonian library, where he has confounded the Cotton, He was one of the masters of the green cloth, and had mentioned in the beginning of this
note, with Sir Robert Cot- had a quarrel at court during the Christmas holy-days of the Won, and erroneously supposed, that the suspicion of having year 1614, with Sir Thomas Erskine; which quarrel was made
up by the lords of the marshal's court, Sir Richard being * He was created viscount of Annan in Scotland, in Au-obliged to put up with very foul words. Ms. letter of Mr. er et 10:22. Negotiations of Sir Thomas Roe, in his Embassy Chain berlain to Sir Dudley Carleton, January 12, 1614-5. 19 the Ottoman Porte, p. 93. In April, 1624, the lord Annan § Edmund Peacham, a minister in Somersetshire. (MS. letwas created earl of Annandale in Scotland. Ibid. p. 250. ter of Mr. Chamberlain, dated January 5, 1614-15.) I find one
present; whereby your Majesty may perceive, that this miscreant wretch goeth back from all, and de- Supplement of two passages omitted in the edition nieth his hand and all. No doubt, being fully of of Sir Francis Bacon's speech in the King's belief, that he should go presently down to his Bench, against Owen, as printed in his works. trial, he meant now to repeat his part, which he After the words [it is bottomless] in the parapurposed to play in the country, which was to deny graph beginning [For the reason itself, which is all. But your Majesty in your wisdom perceiveth, the second point &c.] add, that this denial of his hand, being not possible to be counterfeited, and to be sworn by Adams, and so [I said in the beginning, that this treason in oft by himself formerly confessed and admitted, the nature of it was old. It is not of the treasons could not mend his case before any jury in the whereof it may be said from the beginning it was world, but rather aggravateth it by his notorious not so. You are indicted, Owen, not upon any staimpudency and falsehood, and will make him more tute made against the pope's supremacy, or other odious. He never deceived me; for when others matters, that have reference to religion ; but merely had hopes of discovery, and thought time well spent upon that law, which was born with the kingdom,
I told your Majesty pereuntibus mille and was law even in superstitious times, when the figuræ ; and that he now did but turn himself into pope was received. The compassing and imagining divers shapes, to save or delay his punishment. And of the king's death was treason. The statute of the therefore submitting myself to your Majesty's high 25th of Edward III. which was but declaratory, wisdom, I think myself bound in conscience to put begins with this article, as the capital of capitals in your Majesty in remembrance, whether Sir John treason, and of all others the most odious and the Sydenham * shall be detained upon this man's im- most perilous.] And so the civil law, &c. peaching, in whom there is no truth. Notwith- At the conclusion of his speech, after the words standing, that farther inquiry be made of this other [the duke of Anjou, and the papists] add, Peacham, and that information and light be taken [As for subjects, I see not, or ever could discern, from Mr. Poulet † and his servants, I hold it, as but that by infallible consequence, it is the case of things are, necessary. God preserve your Majesty. all subjects and people, as well as of kings; for it Your Majesty's most humble and devoted subject nication of a private man, may give his lands and
is all one reason, that a bishop, upon an excommuand servant,
goods in spoil, or cause him to be slaughtered, as
FR. BACON. for the pope to do it towards a king; and for a biMarch 12, 1614.
shop to absolve the son from duty to the father, as for the pope to absolve the subject from his allegiance to his king. And this is not my inference, but the very affirmative of pope Urban the second, who in a brief to Godfrey, bishop of Luca, hath these very words, which cardinal Baronius reciteth in his Annals, tom. xi. p. 802.“ Non illos homicidas arbitramur, qui adversus excommunicatos zelo
of both his names, who was instituted into the vicarage of prosecute the trial.” The event of this trial, which was on Ridge in Hertfordshire, July 22, 1581, and resigned it in the 7th of August, appears from Mr. Chamberlain's letter 1587. (Newcourt, Repertor. Vol. I. p. 864.] Mr. Peach- of the 14th of that month, wherein it is said, that “ seven am was committed to the Tower for inserting several treason. knights were taken from the bench, and appointed to be of able passages in a sermon never preached, nor, as Mr. Jus- the jury. He defended himself very simply, but obstinately tice Croke remarks in his Reports during the reign of king and doggedly enough. But his offence was so foul and scanCharles I. p. 125, ever intended to be preached. Mr. Cham- dalous, that he was condemned of high treason ; yet not berlain, in a letter of the 9th of February, 1614-15, to Sir Dud- hitherto executed, nor perhaps shall be, if he have the grace ley Carleton, mentions Mr. Peacham's having been “stretch- to submit himself, and show some remorse."
He died, as aped already, though he be an old man, and they say, much pears from another letter of the 27th of March, 1616, in the above threescore: but they could wring nothing out of him jail at Taunton, where he was said to have left behind a more than they had at first in his papers. Yet the king most wicked and desperate writing, worse than that he was is extremely incensed against him, and will have him convicted for." prosecuted to the uttermost.” In another letter dated Feb- • He had been confronted about the end of February, or ruary 23, we are informed, that the king, since his coming beginning of March, 1614-15, with Mr. Peacham, about cer. to London on the 15th, had had " the opinion of the judges tain speeches, which had formerly passed between them. severally in Peacham's case; and it is said, that most of MS. letter of Mr. Chamberlain to Sir Dudley Carleton, from thein concur to find it treason; yet my lord chief justice London, March 2, 1614-15. (Coke) is for the contrary; and if the lord Hobart, that rides † John Poulet, Esq. knight of the shire for the county of the western circuit, can be drawn to jump with his colleague, Somerset in the parliament, which met April 5, 1614. He the chief baron, (Tanfield,) it is thought he shall be sent down was created lord Poulet of Henton St. George, June 23, 1627. to be tried, and trussed up in Somersetshire.” In a letter of I He was of the family of that name at Godstow in Oxfordthe 2nd of March, 1614-15, Mr. Chamberlain writes, “Peach- shire. (Camdeni Annales Regis Jacobi I. p. 12.] He was a am's trial at the western assizes is put off, and his journey young man who had been in Spain; and was condemned at stayed, though Sir Randall Crew, the king's serjeant, and Sír the king's bench, on Wednesday, May 17, 1615, “ for divers Henry Yelverton, the solicitor, were ready to go to horse to most vile and traitorous speeches confessed and subscribed have waited on him there." Peacham, the minister,” adds with his own hand; as, among others, that it was as lawful for he in a letter, of the 13th of July 1615, " that hath been this any man to kill a king excommunicated, as for the hangman twelvemonth in the Tower, is sent down to be tried for trea- lo execute a condemned person. He could say little for himson in Somersetshire before the lord chief baron and Sir self
, or in maintenance of his desperate positions, but only that Henry Montagu the recorder. The lord Hobart gave over he meant it not by the king, and he holds him not excommuthat círcuit the last assizes. Sir Randall Crew, and Sir Henry nicate.” MS. letter of Mr. Chamberlain to Sir Dudley Yelverton, the king's serjeant and solicitor, are sent down to Carleton, from London, May 20, 1615.
catholicæ matris ardentes eorum quoslibet trucidare and to a house of such merit and reputation, as the contigeret," speaking generally of all excommuni- lord Norris is come from. And even so I remain, cations. ]
Your lordship's very loving friend,
TO MR. MURRAY. *
TO THE KING.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY, signified unto me, we have attended my lord chan- I RECEIVED this very day, in the forenoon, your cellor, my lord treasurer, ț and Mr. Chancellor of Majesty's several directions touching your cause the eschequer, s concerning Sir Gilbert Houghton's prosecuted by my lord Hunsdon ** as your farmer. patent stayed at the seal; and we have acquainted Your first direction was by Sir Christopher Parkins, them with the grounds and state of the suit, to jus- that the day appointed for the judicial sentence tify them, that it was just and beneficial to his Ma- should hold : and if my lord chief justice, upon my jesty. And for any thing we could perceive by any repair to him, should let me know, that he could objection or reply they made, we left them in good not be present, then my lord chancellor should proopinion of the same, with this, that because my lord ceed, calling to him my lord Hobart, except he chancellor, by the advice as it seemeth of the other should be excepted to; and then some other judge two, had acquainted the council-table, for so many by consent. For the latter part of this your direcas were then present, with that suit amongst others, tion, I suppose, there would have been no difficulty they thought fit to stay till his Majesty's coming to in admitting my lord Hobart; for after he had astown, being at hand, to understand his farther plea- sisted at so many hearings, it would have been too sure. We purpose upon his Majesty's coming, to late to except to him. But then your Majesty's attend his Majesty, to give him a more particular second and later direction, which was delivered unto account of this business, and some other. Mean- me from the earl of Arundel, as by word of mouth, while, finding his Majesty to have care of the mat- but so as he had set down a remembrance thereof ter, we thought it our duty to return this answer to in writing freshly after the signification of his pleayou in discharge of his Majesty's direction. We sure, was to this effect, that before any proceeding remain,
in the chancery, there should be a conference had Your assured friends,
between my lord chancellor, my lord chief justice,
and myself, how your Majesty's interest might be FRANCIS BACON.
secured. This later direction I acquainted my lord HENRY YELVERTON.
chancellor with ; and finding an impossibility, that July 6th, 1615.
this conference should be had before to-morrow, my lord thought good, that the day be put over, taking no occasion thereof other than this, that in a cause
of so great weight it was fit for him to confer with SIR FRANCIS BACON, TO LORD NORRIS, IN his assistants, before he gave any decree or final orANSWER TO HIM.||
der. After such time as I have conferred with my lords, according to your commandment, I will give
your Majesty account with speed of the conclusion I am sorry of your misfortune ; and for any of that conference. thing, that is within mine own command, your lord- Farther, I think fi to let your Majesty know, ship may expect no other than the respects of him, that in my opinion I hold it a fit time to proceed that forgetteth not your lordship is to him a near in the business of the Rege inconsulto, which is apalls, and an ancient acquaintance, client, and friend. pointed for Monday, I did think these greater For that, which may concern my place, which go- causes would have come to period or pause sooner: verneth me, and not I it; if any thing be demanded but now they are in the height, and to have so at my hands or directed, or that I am ex officio to great a matter as this of the Rege inconsulto handled, do any thing; if, I say, it come to any of these when men do aliud agere, I think it no proper time. three ; for as yet I am a stranger to the business; Besides, your Majesty in your great wisdom knowyet saving my duties, which I will never live to eth, that this business of Mr. Murray's is somewhat violate, your lordship shall find, that I will observe against the stream of the judges' inclination : and it those degrees and limitations of proceeding, which is no part of a skilful mariner to sail on against a belongeth to him, that knoweth well he serveth a tide, when the tide is at strongest. If your Majesty clement and merciful master, and that in his own be pleased to write to my lord Coke, that you would nature shall ever incline to the more benign part; have the business of the Rege inconsulto receive a and that knoweth also what belongeth to nobility, hearing, when he should be animo sedato et libero,
• Harl. MSS. Vol. 6986.
| Ellesmere. Thomas Howard, earl of Suffolk,
Sir Folk Grevile, advanced to that post October 1, 1614, in the room of Sir Julius Cæsar, made master of the rolls.
| From the collections of the late Robert Stephens, Esq. * Harl. MSS. Vol. 6986. ** John Carey, Baron of Hunsdon. He died in April, 1617.
and not in the midst of his assiduous and incessant | 6. Against the In this he prevaileth ; and this cares and industries in other practices, I think your court of re- but lately brought in question. Majesty shall do your service right. Howsoever, quests. I will be provided against the day.
7. Against the In this his Majesty hath made Thus praying God for your happy preservation, chancery for an establishment : and he hath whereof God giveth you so many great pledges, decrees after not prevailed, but made a great
I rest your Majesty's most humble and devoted judgment. noise and trouble. subject and servant,
Præmunire This his Majesty hath also
FR. BACON. for suits in the established, being a strange atNovember 17, 1615.
chancery. tempt to make the chancellor sit
under a hatchet, instead of the king's
9. Disputed in Innovations introduced into the laws and govern
This was but a bravery, and
the common dieth of itself, especially the aument.
pleas whether thority of the chancery by his 1. The ecclesi- In this he prevailed, and the that court Majesty's late proceedings being astical
commission was pared, and name- may grant a so well established. mission. ly, the point of alimony left out, prohibition to
whereby wives are left wholly to stay suits in
en to search restored to the commission.
prece2. Against the In this he prevailed in such dents.
provincial sort, as the precedents are con- 10. Against the This in good time was overcouncils. tinually suitors for the enlarge- new boroughs ruled by the voice of eight judges
ment of the instructions, some- in Ireland. of ten, after they had heard your times in one point, sometimes in
attorney. And had it prevailed, another; and the jurisdictions
it had overthrown the parliament grow into contempt, and more
of Ireland, which would have been would, if the lord chancellor did
imputed to a fear in this state to not strengthen them by injunc
have proceeded; and so his Mations, where they exceed not their
jesty's authority and reputation instructions.
lost in that kingdom. 3. Against the In this he was overruled by 11. Against the This is yet sub judice: but if it
star-chamber the sentence of the court; but he writs Dom. should prevail, it maketh the for levying bent all his strength and wits to Rege incon- judges absolute over the patents of damages. have prevailed: and so did the sulto.
the king, be they of power and other judges by long and labori
profit, contrary to the ancient and ous arguments: and if they had
ever continued law of the crown; prevailed, the authority of the
which doth call those causes before court had been overthrown. But
the king himself, as he is reprethe plurality of the court took
sented in chancery. more regard to their own prece- 12. Against con- In this he prevailed, and gave
dents, than to the judges' opinion. tribution, that opinion, that the king by his great 4. Against the In this he prevaileth, for pro
it was not law seal could not so much as move admiralty. hibitions fly continually ; and neither to levy any his subjects for benevolence.
many times are cause of long it, nor to move But this he retracted after in the suits, to the discontent of foreign for it.
star-chamber; but it marred the ambassadors, and the king's dis
benevolence in the mean time. honour and trouble by their re- 13. Peacham's In this, for as much as in him monstrances.
was, and in the court of king's 5. Against the This is new, and would be
bench, he prevailed, though it was court of the forthwith restrained, and the
holpen by the good service of duchy of Lan- others settled.
others. But the opinion, which caster prohi
he held, amounted in effect to this, bitions go;
that no word of scandal or defamaand the like
tion, importing that the king was may do to the
utterly unable or unworthy to court of wards
govern, were treason, except they and exche
disabled his title, &c. quer.
14. Owen's case.
In this we prevailed with him * This paper was evidently designed against the lord chief
to give opinion it was treason : justice Coke.
but then it was upon a conceit of