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which is the chief, cor unum et viam unam; hop- | Argus's eyes. ing, that your Majesty will do as your superior doth; that is, finding my heart upright, you will bear with my other imperfections. And lastly, your Majesty shall have the best of my time, which, I assure myself, I shall conclude in your favour, and survive in your remembrance. And that is my prayer for myself. The rest shall be in prayers for your Majesty.



I HAVE showed your letter of thanks to his Majesty, who saith there are too many thanks in it for 80 small a favour; which he holdeth too little to encourage so well a deserving servant. For myself, I shall ever rejoice at the manifestation of his Majesty's favour towards you, and will contribute all, that is in me, to the increasing of his good opinion; ever resting

Your lordship's faithful friend and servant,

Speech of the Lord Viscount ST. ALBAN, Lord Chancellor, to the Parliament, January 30, 1620.


You have heard the king's speech; and it makes me call to mind what Solomon saith, who was also a king: "The words of the wise are as nails and pins, driven in and fastened by the masters of assemblies." The king is the master of this assembly; and though his words, in regard of the sweetness of them, do not prick; yet, in regard of the weight and wisdom of them, I know they pierce through and through; that is, both into your memories, and into your affections; and there I leave them.

As the king himself hath declared unto you the causes of the convoking of this parliament; so he hath commanded me to set before you the true institution and use of a parliament, that thereby you may take your aim, and govern yourselves the better in parliament matters: for then are all things in best state, when they are preserved in their primitive institution; for otherwise ye know the principle of philosophy to be, that the corruption or degeneration of the best things is the worst.

The kings of this realm have used to summon their parliaments or estates for three ends or purposes; for advice, for assent, and for aid.

For advice, it is no doubt great surety for kings to take advice and information from their parliament. It is advice, that proceedeth out of experience; it is not speculative or abstract. It is a well-tried advice, and that passeth many revenues, and hath

Harl. MSS. Vol. 7000.

On Monday the 5th of March, 1620-1, the house of lords received a message from the commons, desiring a conference aching certain grievances, principally concerning Sir Giles Mompesson. See Journal of the House of Lords.

It is an advice, that commonly is free from private and particular ends, which is the bane of counsel. For although some particular members of parliament may have their private ends; yet one man sets another upright; so that the resultate of their counsels is, for the most part, direct and sincere. But this advice is to be given with distinction of the subjects: they are to tender and offer their advice by bill or petition, as the case requires. But in those things, that are Arcana Imperii, and reserved points of sovereignty, as making of war and peace, or the like, there they are to apply their advice to that, which shall be communicated unto them by the king, without pressing farther within the veil, or reaching forth to the forbidden fruit of knowledge. In these things the rule holds, "tantum permissum quantum commissum."



WITH due thanks to your last visit, this day is a play day for me. But I will wait on your lordship,

if it be necessary.

I do hear from divers of judgment, that to-morrow's conference + is like to pass in a calm, as to the referees. Sir Lionel Cranfield, who hath been formerly the trumpet, said yesterday, that he did now incline to Sir John Walter's opinion and motion, not to have the referees meddled with otherwise than to discount it from the king; and so not to look back, but to the future. And I do hear almost all men of judgment in the house wish now that way. I woo nobody: I do but listen, and I have doubt only of Sir Edward Coke, who, I wish, had some round caveat given him from the king; for your lordship hath no great power with him; but I think a word from the king mates him.

If things be carried fair by the committees of the lower house, I am in some doubt, whether there will be occasion for your lordship to speak to-morrow; though, I confess, I incline to wish you did, chiefly because you are fortunate in that kind; and, to be plain also, for our better countenance, when your lordship, according to your noble proposition, shall show more regard of the fraternity you have with great counsellors, than of the interest of your natural brother.

Always, good my lord, let us think of times out of parliament, as well as the present time in parliament, and let us not all be put es pourpoint. Fair and moderate courses are ever best in causes of estate the rather, because I wish this parliament, by the sweet and united passages thereof, may increase the king's reputation with foreigners, who may make a far other judgment than we mean, of a beginning to question great counsellors and officers of the crown, by courts, or assemblies of estates.

Those, to whom the king referred the petitions, to consider, whether they were fit to be granted or no. This explanation of the word referees, I owe to a note in a MS. letter, written to the celebrated Mr. Joseph Mead, of Christ's College, Cambridge.

But the reflection upon my particular in this makes
me more sparing, than perhaps, as a counsellor, I
ought to be.
God ever preserve and prosper you.
Your lordship's true servant all and ever,
March 7, the day I received the seal, 1620.




I RECEIVED your Majesty's letter about midnight and because it was stronger than the ancient summons of the exchequer, which is sicut teipsum et omnia tua diligis; whereas this was sicut me diligis; I used all possible care to effect your Majesty's good will and pleasure.



YOUR lordship spoke of purgatory. I am now in it; but my mind is in a calm; for my fortune is not my felicity. I know I have clean hands, and a clean heart; and, I hope, a clean house for friends or servants. But Job himself, or whosoever was the justest judge, by such hunting for matters against him, as hath been used against me, may for a time seem foul, especially in a time, when greatness is the mark, and accusation is the game. And if this be to be a chancellor, I think, if the great seal lay upon Hounslow Heath, nobody would take it up. But the king and your lordship will, I hope, put an end to these my straits one way or other. And in troth that, which I fear most, is, lest continual attendance and business, together with these cares, and want of time to do my weak body right this spring by diet and physic, will cast me down; and that it will be thought feigning, or fainting. But I hope in God I shall hold out. God prosper you.

I sent early to the prince, and to my lord treasurer and we attended his highness soon after seven of the clock, at Whitehall, to avoid farther note. We agreed, that, if the message came, we would put the lords into this way, that the answer should be, that we understood they came prepared both with examination and precedent; and we likewise desired to be alike prepared, that the conference might be TO THE CHANCELLOR OF THE DUCHY, SIR with more fruit.

I did farther speak with my lord of Canterbury, when I came to the house, not letting him know any part of the business, that he would go on with a motion, which he had told me of the day before, that the lords house might not sit Wednesday and Friday, because they were convocation-days; and so was the former custom of parliament.

As good luck was, the house read two bills, and had no other business at all: whereupon my lord of Canterbury made his motion; and I adjourned the house till Saturday. It was no sooner done, but came the message from the lower house. But the consummatum est was past, though I perceived a great willingness, in many of the lords, to have recalled it, if it might have been.



THERE will come, upon Friday, before you a pa

tent of his Majesty's for the separation of the company of apothecaries from the company of grocers, and their survey, and the erecting them into a corporation of themselves under the survey of the physicians. It is, as I conceive, a fair business both for law and conveniency, and a work, which the king made his own, and did, and, as I hear, doth take much to heart. It is in favorem vite, where the other part is in favorem lucri. You may perhaps think me partial to apothecaries, that have been ever puddering in physic all my life. But there is a circumstance, that touches upon me but

So with my best prayers for your Majesty's pre-post diem, for it is comprehended in the charge and servation, I rest

Your Majesty's most bounden and most devoted


FR. ST. ALBAN, CANC. Thursday, at eleven of our forenoon [March 8, 1620].

The date of this letter is determined to be the 8th of March 1620-1, from the circumstance of its being mentioned to have been written on that Thursday, on which the house of lords adjourned to the Saturday following. It appears from the journal of that house, that on the 8th of March 1620, the said house, at which were present the prince of Wales and marquis of Buckingham, was adjourned to Saturday the 10th, on which day a conference of both houses was held relating to the complaint of that of the commons against Sir Giles Mompesson. Of this conference the lord chancellor made report on Monday, March 12, to the house of lords, remarking, that "the inducement to this conference was to clear the king's honour, touching grants to Sir Giles, and the passages in procuring the same.' After this report of the conference, the lord chamberlain, William earl of Pembroke, complained to the house, that two great lords, meaning the lord chancellor, and the lord treasurer, the lord viscount Mandeville, had, in that conference, spake in their own defence, not being allowed to do so when the committees were named. Upon which both the lords acknowledged their error, and begged pardon of the house.

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sentence passed upon me. It is true, that after I had put the seal to the patent, the apothecaries presented me with a hundred pounds. It was no judicial affair. But howsoever, as it may not be de fended, so I would be glad it were not raked up

This letter seems to have been written soon after lord St Alban began to be accused of abuses in his office of chancellor

The patent for incorporating the apothecaries by therr. selves, by the appellation of " The masters, wardens, an society of the art and mystery of apothecaries of London, was dated December 6, 1617. They had been incorporate>: with the company of grocers, April 9, 1606.

§ His lordship being charged by the house of commonthat he had received 1007. of the new company of apothecar ries, that stood against the grocers, as likewise a taster gold worth between 400 and 5007. with a present of ambergrise from the apothecaries that stood with the grocers, and 200 of the grocers; he admits the several sums to have been re ceived of the three parties, but alleges, that he considere those presents as no judicial business, but a concord of cou position between the parties; and as he thought they had a three received good, and they were all common purses, l thought it the less matter to receive what they voluntaril presented; for if he had taken it in the nature of a bribe, h knew it could not be concealed, because it must be put to th account of the three several companies.

wholly to his grace and mercy, and to be governed both in my cause and fortunes by his direction, knowing that his heart is inscrutable for good. Only I may express myself thus far, that my desire is, that the thread, or line, of my life, may be no longer than the thread, or line, of my service: I mean, that I may be of use to your Majesty in one kind or other.

more than needs. I doubt only the chair because | find favour in his eyes; and that I submit myself I hear he useth names sharply; and besides, it may be, he hath a tooth at me yet, which is not fallen out with age. But the best is, as one saith," satis est lapsos non erigere; urgere vero jacentes, aut præcipitantes impellere, certe est inhumanum." Mr. Chancellor, if you will be nobly pleased to grace me upon this occasion, by showing tenderness of my name, and commiseration of my fortune, there is no man in that assembly, from whose mouth I had rather it should come. I hope it will be no dishonour to you. It will oblige me much, and be a worthy fruit of our last reintegration of friendship. I rest

Your faithful friend to do you service.


Memoranda of what the LORD CHANCELLOR intended to deliver to the KING, April 16, 1621,† upon first access to his Majesty, after his troubles. THAT howsoever it goeth with me, I think myself infinitely bound to his Majesty for admitting me to touch the hem of his garment; and that, according to my faith, so be it unto me.

That I ought also humbly to thank his Majesty for that, in that excellent speech of his which is printed, that speech of so great maturity, wherein the elements are so well mingled, by kindling affection, by washing away aspersion, by establishing of opinion, and yet giving way to opinion, I do find some passages, which I do construe to my advantage. And lastly, I have heard from my friends, that, notwithstanding these waves of information, his Majesty mentions my name with grace and favour.

In the next place, I am to make an oblation of myself into his Majesty's hands, that, as I wrote to him, I am as clay in his hands, his Majesty may make a vessel of honour or dishonour of me, as I

Sir Robert Philips was chairman of the committee of the house of commons for inquiring into the abuses of the courts of justice. He was son of Sir Edward Philips, Master of the Rolls, who died September 11, 1614, being succeeded by Sir Julius Cæsar, to whom the king had given, January 16, lo10-11, under the great seal, the reversion of that post.

† A committee of the house of commons had been appointed about the 12th of March, 1620-1, to inspect the abuses of the carts of justice, of which Sir Edward Sackville was named the chairman, but by reason of some indisposition, Sir Robert Philips was chosen in his room. The first thing they fell upon was bribery and corruption, of which the lord chancellor was accused by Mr. Christopher Aubrey and Mr. Edward Egerton; who affirmed, that they had procured money to be given to his lordship to promote their causes depending before him. This charge being corroborated by some circumstances, a report of it was made from the committee to the house, on Thursday, the 15th of March; and a second on the 17th, of ther matters of the same nature, charged upon his lordship. The heads of the accusation having been drawn up were presented by the commons to the lords, in a conference, on Monday, the 19th of the same month. The subject of this conference being reported, the next day, to the house of lords, by the lord treasurer, the marquis of Buckingham presented to their lordships a letter to them from the lord chancellor, dated that day. Upon this letter, answer was sent from the lords to fae lord chancellor, on the 20th, that they had received his letter and intended to proceed in his cause, now before them, according to the rule of justice, desiring his lordship to prole for his just defence. The next day, March 21, the commons sent to the lords a farther charge against the lord chancelor; and their lordships, in the mean time, examined the Complaints against him, and witnesses in the house, and appated a select committee of themselves to take examinations Likewise. Towards the latter end of March the session was

Now for any farther speech, I would humbly pray his Majesty, that whatsoever the law of nature shall teach me to speak for my own preservation, your Majesty will understand it to be in such sort, as I do nevertheless depend wholly upon your will and pleasure. And under this submission, if your Majesty will graciously give me the hearing, I will open my heart unto you, both touching my fault,

and fortune.

For the former of these, I shall deal ingenuously with your Majesty, without seeking fig-leaves or subterfuges.

There be three degrees, or cases, as I conceive, of gifts and rewards given to a judge:

The first is of bargain, contract, or promise of reward, pendente lite. And this is properly called "venalis sententia," or "baratria," or 66 corruptelæ munerum.” And of this my heart tells me, I am innocent, that I had no bribe or reward in my eye or thought, when I pronounced any sentence or order.

The second is a neglect in the judge to inform himself whether the cause be fully at an end or no, what time he receives the gift; but takes it upon the credit of the party, that all is done; or otherwise omits to inquire.

And the third is, when it is received sine fraude, after the cause ended; which, it seems by the opinion of the civilians, is no offence. Look into the case of simony, &c.

discontinued for some time, in hopes, as it was imagined, of softening the lord chancellor's fall; but upon the re-assembling of the parliament, more complaints being daily represented, on Wednesday, April 24, the prince signified unto the lords, that his lordship had sent a submission, dated the 22nd. Which the lords having considered and heard the collection of corruptions charged on him, and the proofs read, they sent a copy of the same, without the proofs, to him, by baron Denham and Mr. Attorney-general, with this message, that his lordship's confession was not fully set down by him; and that they had therefore sent him the particular charge, and expected his answer to it with all convenient expedition. To which he answered, that he would return their lordships an answer with speed. On the 25th of April, the lords considered of this said answer, and sent a second message by the same persons, that having received a doubtful answer to their message, sent him the day before, they now sent to him again, to know directly and presently, whether his lordship would make his confession, or stand upon his defence. His answer, returned by the same messengers, was, that he would make no manner of defence, but meant to acknowledge corruption, and to make a particular confession to every point, and after that an humble submission; but humbly craved liberty, that where the charge was more full than he finds the truth of the fact, he may make declaration of the truth in such particulars, the charge being brief, and containing not all circumstances. The lords sent the same messengers, to let him know, that they granted him time to do this till the Monday following; when he sent his confession and submission; which being avowed by him to several lords, sent to him, the lords resolved, on the 2nd of May, to proceed to sentence him the next morning, and summoned him to attend; which he excusing on account of being confined to his bed by sickness, they gave judgment accordingly on the 3d of May, 1621.

Draught of another paper to the same purpose.

THERE be three degrees, or cases, of bribery, charged or supposed, in a judge:

The first, of bargain, or contract, for reward to pervert justice.

The second, where the judge conceives the cause to be at an end, by the information of the party, or otherwise, useth not such diligence, as he ought, to inquire of it. And the third, when the cause is really ended, and it is sine fraude, without relation to any precedent promise.

Now if I might see the particulars of my charge, I should deal plainly with your Majesty, in whether of these degrees every particular case falls.

But for the first of them, I take myself to be as innocent, as any born upon St. Innocents' day, in my heart.

ation of the state were frustrated, and the city of Ghent, in foreign parts, lost.

3. And his setting the seal to pardons for murders, and other enormous crimes.

The judgment was imprisonment, fine, and ransom, and restitution to the king, but no disablement, nor making him uncapable, no degrading in honour mentioned in the judgment; but contrariwise, in the clause, that restitution should be made and levied out of his lands and goods, it is expressly said, that because his honour of earl was not taken from him, therefore his 20l. per annum creation money should not be meddled with.

Observations upon THORPE's Case.

24. Edw. 3. His offence was taking of money from five several persons, that were felons, for staying their process of exigent; for that it made him a For the second, I doubt in some particulars I kind of accessary of felony, and touched upon matter may be faulty.


And for the last, I conceived it to be no fault; but The judgment was the judgment of felony: but the therein I desire to be better informed, that I may proceeding had made things strong and new; first, be twice penitent, once for the fact, and again for the the proceeding was by commission of oyer and terFor I had rather be a briber, than a de-miner, and by jury; and not by parliament. fender of bribes.


I must likewise confess to your Majesty, that at new-year's tides, and likewise at my first coming in, which was, as it were, my wedding, I did not so precisely, as perhaps I ought, examine whether those, that presented me, had causes before me, yea or no.

And this is simply all, that I can say for the present, concerning my charge, until I may receive it more particularly. And all this 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 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.

Notes upon MICHAEL DE LA POLE'S Case.*

10 Rich. 2. THE offences were of three natures: 1. Deceits to the king.

2. Misgovernance in point of estate, whereby the ordinances made by ten commissioners for reform

This paper was probably drawn up on occasion of the proceedings and judgment passed upon the lord viscount St. Alban, by the house of lords, May 3, 1621.

The judgment is recited to be given in the king's high and sovereign power.

It is recited likewise, that the king, when he made him chief justice, and increased his wages, did ore tenus say to him, in the presence of his council, that now if he bribed he would hang him: unto which penance, for so the record called it, he submitted himself. So it was a judgment by contract.

His oath likewise, which was devised some few years before, which is very strict in words, that he shall take no reward, neither before nor after, is chiefly insisted upon. And that, which is more to be observed, there is a precise proviso, that the judgment and proceeding shall not be drawn into example against any, and specially not against any who have not taken the like oath: which the lord chancellor, lord treasurer, master of the wards, &c. take not, but only the judges of both benches, and baron of the exchequer.

The king pardoned him presently after, doubting, as it seems, that the judgment was erroneous, both in matter and form of proceeding; brought it before the lords of parliament, who affirmed the judgment, and gave authority to the king in the like cases, for the time to come, to call to him what lords it pleased him, and to adjudge them.

Notes upon Sir JOHN LEE'S Case, Steward of the King's Household.

44 Edw. 3. His offences were, great oppressions in usurpation of authority, in attacking and imprisoning in the Tower, and other prisons, numbers of the king's subjects, for causes no ways appertaining to his jurisdiction; and for discharging an appellant of felony without warrant, and for deceit of the king, and extortions.

His judgment was only imprisonment in the

Tower, until he had made a fine and ransom at the king's will; and no more.

Notes upon Lord LATIMER'S Case.

50 Edw. 3. His offences were very high and heinous, drawing upon high treason: as the extortious taking of victuals at Bretagne, to a great value, without paying any thing; and for ransoming divers parishes there to the sum of 83,000l. contrary to the articles of truce proclaimed by the king; for suffering his deputies and lieutenants in Bretagne to exact, upon the towns and countries there, divers sums of money, to the sum of 150,000 crowns; for sharing with Richard Lyons in his deceit of the king; for enlarging, by his own authority, divers felons; and divers other exorbitant offences.

Notwithstanding all this, his judgment was only to be committed to the Marshalsea, and to make fine and ransom at the king's will.

But after, at the suit of the commons, in regard of those horrible and treasonable offences, he was displaced from his office, and disabled to be of the king's council; but his honours not touched, and he was presently bailed by some of the lords, and suffered to go at large.


50 Edw. 3. His offences were, the not supplying the full number of the soldiers in Bretagne, according to the allowance of the king's pay. And the second was for buying certain debts, due from the king, to his own lucre, and giving the parties small recompence, and specially in a case of the lady Ravensholme.

And it was prayed by the commons, that he might be put out of office about the king: but there was no judgment given upon that prayer, but only of restitution to the lady, and a general clause of being punished according to his demerits.


ILLUSTRISSIMO DOMINO LEGATO, AMORUM illustrissimæ Dominationis tuæ erga me, ejusque et fervorem et candorem, tam in prosperis rebus, quam in adversis, equabili tenore constantem perspexi. Quo nomine tibi meritas et debitas gratias ago. Me vero jam vocat et ætas, et fortuna, atque etiam genius meus, cui adhuc satis morose satisfeci, ut excedens e theatro rerum civilium literis me dedam, et ipsos actores instruam, et posteri

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ILLUSTRISSIMO ET EXCELLENTISSIMO DOMINO, PERSPEXI et agnosco providentiam divinam, quod in tanta solitudine mihi tanquam cœlitus suscitaverit talem amicum, qui tantis implicatus negotiis, et in tantis temporis angustiis, curam mei habuerit, idque pro me effecerit, quod alii amici mei aut non ausi sint tentare, aut obtinere non potuerint. que illustrissimæ Dominationi tuæ reddent fructum proprium et perpetuum mores tui tam generosi, et erga omnia officia humanitatis et honoris propensi; neque erit fortasse inter opera tua hoc minimum, quod me, qui et aliquis fui apud vivos, neque omnino intermoriar apud posteros, ope et gratia tua erexeris, confirmaris. Ego quid possum ? Ero tandem tuus, si minus usufructu, at saltem affectu, voto. Sub cineribus fortunæ vivi erunt semper ignes amoris. Te igitur humillime saluto, tibi valedico, omnia prospera exopto, gratitudinem testor, observantiam polliceor.

Illustrissimo et excellentissimo Do. Do. Didaco Sarmiento de Acunna, Comiti de Gondomar, Legato Regis Hispaniarum extraordinario in Anglia.



I HUMBLY thank your lordship for the grace and favour which you did both to the message and messenger, in bringing Mr. Meautys to kiss his Majesty's hands, and to receive his pleasure. My riches in my adversity hath been, that I have had a good master, a good friend, and a good servant.

Perceiving, by Mr. Meautys, his Majesty's inclination, it shall be, as it hath ever used to be to me, instead of a direction; and therefore I purpose to go forthwith to Gorhambury, humbly thanking his Majesty nevertheless, that he was graciously pleased to have acquainted my lords with my desire, if it had stood me so much upon. But his Majesty knoweth best the times and seasons; and to his grace I submit myself, desiring his Majesty and your lordship to take my letters from the Tower, as written de profundis, and those I continue to write to be ex aquis salsis.

[June 22, 1621.]


tati serviam. Id mihi fortasse honori erit, et degam To Lord Buckingham, upon bringing Mr. Meautys tanquam in atriis vitæ melioris.

In the "Letters, Memoirs, &c. of the lord chancellor Bacon," published by Mr. Stephens, in 1736, p. 517, is a Spanish letter to him from count Gondomar, dated at London, June 14, 1621.

to him to kiss the king's hands.

This letter is reprinted here, because it differs, in some respects, from that published in "Letters, Memoirs, Parliamentary Affairs, State Papers," &c. by Robert Stephens, Esq. p. 151. Edit. London, 1736, 4to.

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