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TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
I HAVE written, as I thought it decent in me to do, to his Majesty, the letter I send enclosed. I have great faith, that your lordship, now nobly and like yourself, will effect with his Majesty. In this the king is of himself, and it hath no relation to parliament. I have written also, as your lordship advised me, only touching that point of means. I have lived hitherto upon the scraps of my former fortunes; and I shall not be able to hold out longer. Therefore I hope your lordship will now, according to the loving promises and hopes given, settle my poor fortunes, or rather my being. I am much fallen in love with a private life; but yet I shall so spend my time, as shall not decay my abilities for use. God preserve and prosper your lordship. [Sept. 5, 1621.]
TO THE PRINCE.
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR HIGHNESS,
I CANNOT too oft acknowledge your highness's favour in my troubles; but acknowledgment now is but begging of new favour. Yet even that is not inconvenient; for thanksgiving and petition go well together, even to God himself. My humble suit to your highness, that I may be thought on for means to subsist; and to that purpose, that your highness will join with my noble friend to the king. That done, I shall ever be ready, either at God's call, or his Majesty's, and as happy, to my thinking, as a man can be, that must leave to serve such a king. God preserve and prosper your highness.
On the back of the draughts of the three preceding
Lord chamberlain,|| to thank him for his kind remembrance by you; and though in this private fortune I shall have use of few friends, yet I cannot but acknowledge the moderation and affection his lordship showed in my business, and desire, that of those few his lordship will still be one for my comfort, in whatsoever may cross his way, for the fartherance of my private life and fortune.
Mr. John Murray. If there be any thing that may concern me, that is fit for him to speak, and me to know, that I may receive it by you.
Mr. Maxwell. That I am sorry, that so soon as I came to know him, and to be beholden to him, I wanted power to be of use to him.
Lord of Kelly; and to acquaint him with that part touching the confinement.
TO THE KING.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,
Now that your Majesty hath passed the recreation of your progress, there is nevertheless one kind of recreation, which, I know, remaineth with your Majesty all the year, which is to do good, and to exercise your clemency and beneficence. I shall never measure my poor service by the merit, which perhaps is small, but by the acceptation, which hath been always favourably great. I have served your Majesty now seventeen years; and since my first service, which was in the commission of the union, I received from your Majesty never chiding or rebuke, but always sweetness and thanks. Neither was I, in these seventeen years, ever chargeable to your Majesty, but got my means in an honourable sweat of my labour, save that of late your Majesty was graciously pleased to bestow upon me the pension of twelve hundred pounds for a few years. For in that other poor prop of my estate, which is the farming of the petty writs, I improved your Majesty's revenue by four hundred pounds the year. And likewise, when I received the seal, I left both the attorney's place, which was a gainful place, and the clerkship of the star-chamber, which was queen Elizabeth's favour, and was worth twelve hundred pounds by the year, which would have been a good commendam. The honours which your Majesty hath done me, have put me above the means to get my living; and the misery I am fallen into hath put me below the means to subsist as I am. I hope my courses shall be such, for this little end of my thread which remaineth, as your Majesty, in doing me good, may do good to many, both that live now, and shall be born hereafter. I have been the keeper of your seal, and now am your beadsman. Let your own royal heart, and my noble friend, speak the rest. God preserve and prosper your Majesty.
Your Majesty's faithful poor servant and
So, being freed from civil business, I lay forth my poor talent upon those things which may be perpetual, still having relation to do you honour with those powers I have left.
I have therefore chosen to write the reign of king Henry the VIIth, who was in a sort your forerunner, and whose spirit, as well as his blood, is doubled upon your Majesty.
I durst not have presumed to entreat your Majesty to look over the book, and correct it, or at least to signify what you would have amended. But since you are pleased to send for the book, I will hope for it.
[God knoweth, whether ever I shall see you again, but I will pray for you to the last gasp, resting *] The same, your true beadsman,
October 8, 1621.
FR. ST. ALBAN.
me to add the least affliction, or discontentment, unto your lordship's present fortune. May it therefore please your lordship to suspend the passing of this pardon, until the next assembly be over and dissolved; and I will be then as ready to seal it as your lordship to accept of it; and, in the mean time, undertake, that the king and my lord admiral shall interpret this short delay as a service and respect issuing wholly from your lordship; and rest, in all other offices whatsoever,
Your lordship's faithful servant,
JO. LINCOLN, ELECT. CUSTOS SIGILLI. Westminster-College, October 18, 1621.
To the right honourable his very good lord, the lord viscount St. Alban.
Grant of Pardon to the Viscount St. Alban, under the privy seal.+
A SPECIAL pardon granted unto Francis, Viscount St. Alban, for all felonies done and committed against the common laws and statutes of this realm; and for all offences of præmunire; and for all misprisions, riots, &c. with the restitution of all his lands and goods forfeited by reason of any of the premises; except out of the same pardon all treasons, murders, rapes, incest; and except also all fines, imprisonments, penalties, and forfeitures, adjudged against the said Viscount St. Alban, by a sentence lately made in the parliament. Teste Rege apud Westm. 17 die Octob. anno Regni sui 19. Per lettre de privato sigillo.
DR. WILLIAMS, BISHOP OF LINCOLN ELECT, AND LORD KEEPER OF THE GREAT SEAL, TO THE VISCOUNT ST. ALBAN.
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
HAVING perused a privy seal, containing a pardon
TO THE LORD KEEPER.
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
I KNOW the reasons must appear to your lordship many and weighty, which should move you to stop the king's grace, or to dissuade it; and somewhat the more in respect of my person, being, I hope, no unfit subject for noble dealing. The message I received by Mr. Meautys did import inconvenience, in the form of the pardon; your lordship's last letter, in the time: for, as for the matter, it lay so fair for his Majesty's and my lord of Buckingham's own knowledge, as I conceive your lordship doth not aim at that. My affliction hath made me understand myself better, and not worse; yet loving advice, I know, helps well. Therefore I sent Mr. Meautys to your lordship, that I might reap so much fruit of your lordship's professed good affection, as to know in some more particular fashion, what it is that your lordship doubteth, or disliketh,§ that I may the better endeavour your satisfaction, or acquiescence, if there be cause. So I rest
Your lordship's to do you service,
October 18, 1621.
for your lordship, and thought seriously thereupon, Petition of the Lord Viscount St. Alban, intended
I find, that the passing of the same, the assembly in parliament so near approaching, cannot but be much prejudicial to the service of the king, to the honour of my lord of Buckingham, to that commiseration which otherwise would be had of your lordship's present estate, and especially to my judgment and fidelity. I have ever affectionately loved your lordship's many and most excellent good parts and endowments; nor had ever cause to disaffect your lordship's person. So as no respect in the world, beside the former considerations, could have drawn
This passage has a line drawn over it.
+ Cotton Library, Titus Book VII.
It met November 24, 1621; and was dissolved February 8, 1621-2.
The lord keeper, in a letter to the marquis of Buckingham, dated October 27, 1621, printed in the Cabala, p. 60. Edit.
for the House of Lords.
MY RIGHT HONOURABLE VERY GOOD Lords, In all humbleness, acknowledging your lordships' justice, I do now in like manner crave and implore your grace and compassion. I am old, weak, ruined, in want, a very subject of pity. My only suit to your lordships is, to show me your noble favour towards the release of my confinement, so every confinement is, and to me, I protest, worse than the Tower. There I could have had company, phyLondon, 1654, gives his reasons, why he hesitated to seal that pardon.
He had been committed to the Tower, in May, 1621, and discharged after two days' confinement there, according to Camden, Annales Regis Jac. I. p. 71. There is a letter of his lordship to the marquis of Buckingham, dated from the
sicians, conference with my creditors and friends about my debts, and the necessities of my estate, helps for my studies and the writings I have in hand. Here I live upon the sword-point of a sharp air, endangered if I go abroad, dulled if I stay within, solitary and comfortless without company, banished from all opportunities to treat with any to do myself good, and to help out any wrecks; and that, which is one of my greatest griefs, my wife, that hath been no partaker of my offending, must be partaker of this misery of my restraint.
May it please your lordships, therefore, since there is a time for justice, and a time for mercy, to think with compassion upon that which I have already suffered, which is not little; and to recommend this my humble, and as I hope, modest suit to his most excellent Majesty, the fountain of grace, of whose mercy, for so much as concerns himself merely, I have already tasted, and likewise of his favour of this very kind, by some small temporary dispensations.
TO JOHN LORD DIGBY.*
RECEIVING, by Mr. Johnson, your loving salutations, it made me call to mind many of your lordship's tokens, yea and pledges, of good and hearty affection in both my fortunes; for which I shall be ever yours. I pray, my lord, if occasion serve, give me your good word to the king, for the release of my confinement, which is to me a very strait kind of imprisonment. I am no Jesuit, nor no leper, but one that served his Majesty these sixteen years, even from the commission of the union till this last parliament, and ever had many thanks of his Majesty, and was never chidden. This his Majesty, I know, will remember, at one time or other; for I am his man still.
God keep your lordship.
Your lordship's most affectionate to do you service,
FR. ST. ALBAN. Gorhambury, this last of December, 1621.
Tower, May 31, 1621, desiring his lordship to procure his discharge that day.
Created so in November, 1618, and in September, 1622, earl of Bristol. + Harl. MSS. Vol. 7000.
TO THE LORD VISCOUNT ST. ALBAN.↑
I HAVE received your lordship's letter, and have been long thinking upon it, and the longer, the less able to make answer unto it. Therefore if your lordship will be pleased to send any understanding man unto me, to whom I may, in discourse, open myself, I will, by that means, so discover my heart with all freedom, which were too long to do by letter, especially in this time of parliament business, that your lordship shall receive satisfaction. In the mean time I rest
Your lordship's faithful servant, Royston, Dec. 16 . G. BUCKINGHAM.
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
THE reason why I was so desirous to have had conference with your lordship at London, was indeed to save you the trouble of writing; I mean, the reason in the second place; for the chief was to see your lordship. But since you are pleased to give me the liberty to send to your lordship one, to whom you will deliver your mind, I take that in so good part, as I think myself tied the more to use that liberty modestly. Wherefore, if your lordship will vouchsafe to send me one of your own, except I might have leave to come to London, either Mr. Packer, my ancient friend, or Mr. Aylesbury, ‡ of whose good affection towards me I have heard report; to me it shall be indifferent. But if your lordship will have one of my nomination, if I might presume so far, I would name before all others, my lord of Falkland. But because perhaps it may cost him a journey, which I may not in good manners desire, I have thought of Sir Edward Sackville, Sir Robert Mansel, my brother, Mr. Solicitor-general,§ who, though he be almost a stranger to me, yet, as my case now is, I had rather employ a man of good nature than a friend, and Sir Arthur Ingram, notwithstanding he be great with my lord treasurer. Of these, if your lordship will be pleased to prick one, I hope well I shall entreat him to attend your lordship, and to be sorry never a whit of the employment. Your lordship may take your own time to signify your will, in regard of the present business of parliament. But my time was confined, by due respect, to write a present answer to a letter, which I construed to be a kind letter, and such as giveth me yet hope to show myself to your lordship, Your lordship's most obliged friend, and faithful servant,
FR. ST. ALBAN.
To the lord of Buckingham, in answer to his of the 16th of December.
Thomas Aylesbury, Esq. secretary to the Marquis of Buckingham as lord high admiral. He was created a baronet in 1627. Lord chancellor Clarendon married his daughter Frances.
§ Sir Robert Heath, made solicitor in January, 1620-1.
A Memorial of Conference, when the Lord Viscount ST. ALBAN expected the Marquis of BUCKINGHAM.
MY LORD MARQUIS,
Inducement.] AFFLICTIONS are truly called trials; trials of a man's self, and trials of friends. For the first, I am not guilty to myself of any unworthiness, except perhaps too much softness in the beginning of my troubles. But since, I praise God, I have not lived like a drone, nor like a mal-content, nor like a man confused. But though the world hath taken her talent from me, yet God's talent I put to use.
For trial of friends, he cannot have many friends, that hath chosen to rely upon one. So that is in a small room, ending in yourself. My suit therefore to you is, that you would now, upon this vouchsafed conference, open yourself to me, whether I stand in your favour and affection, as I have done; and if there be an alteration, what is the cause; and, if none, what effects I may expect for the future of your friendship and favour, my state being not unknown to you.
Reasons of doubting.] The reasons, why I should doubt of your lordship's coolness towards me, or falling from me, are either out of judgment and discourse, or out of experience, and somewhat that I find. My judgment telleth, that when a man is out of sight and out of use, it is a nobleness somewhat above this age to continue a constant friend: that some, that are thought to have your ear, or more, love me not, and may either disvalue me, or distaste your lordship with me. Besides, your lordship hath now so many, either new-purchased friends, or reconciled enemies, as there is scarce room for an old friend specially set aside. And lastly, I may doubt, that that, for which I was fittest, which was to carry things suavibus modis, and not to bristle, or undertake, or give venturous counsels, is out of fashion and request.
As for that, I find your lordship knoweth, as well as I, what promises you made me, and iterated them back by message, and from your mouth, consisting of three things: the pardon of the whole sentence; some help for my debts; and an annual pension, which your lordship did set at 2000l. as obtained, and 3000/. in hope. Of these being promises undesired, as well as favours undeserved, there is effected only the remission of the fine, and the pardon now stayed. From me I know there hath proceeded nothing, that may cause the change. These I lay before you, desiring to know what I may hope for; for hopes are racks, and your lordship, that would not condemn me to the Tower, I know will not condemn me to the rack.
The pardon stayed.] I have, though it be a thing trivial, and that at a coronation one might have it for five marks, and after a parliament for nothing,
He had been secretary to the lord viscount St. Alban, while his lordship had the great seal, and was afterwards clerk of the council, and knighted. He succeeded his patron in the manor of Gorhambury, which, after the death of Sir Thomas, came to his cousin and heir, Sir Thomas Meautys, who married Anne, daughter of Sir Nathaniel Bacon of Culford-Hall, in Suffolk, knight; which lady married a second husband, Sir Harbottle Grimstone, baronet, and master of
yet have great reason to desire it, specially being now stirred: chiefly, first, because I have been so sifted; and now it is time there were an end. Secondly, because I mean to live a retired life; and so cannot be at hand to shake off any clamour.
For any offence the parliament should take, it is rather honour, that in a thing wherein the king is absolute, yet he will not interpose in that, which the parliament hath handled; and the king hath already restored judicature, after a long intermission: but for matter of his grace, his Majesty shall have reason to keep it entire.
I do not think any, except a Turk or Tartar, would wish to have another chop out of me. But the best is, it will be found there is a time for envy, and a time for pity; and cold fragments will not serve, if the stomach be on edge. For me, if they judge by that which is past, they judge of the weather of this year by an almanack of the old year; they rather repent of that they have done, and think they have but served the turns of a few.
THOMAS MEAUTYS, ESQ.* TO THE LORD VISCOUNT ST. ALBAN.
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR LORDSHIP,
As soon as I came to London, I repaired to Sir Edward Sackville,† whom I find very zealous, as I told your lordship. I left him to do you service, in any particular you shall command him, to my lord marquis, though it were with some adventure; and withal he imparted to me what advice he had given to my lady this afternoon, upon his visiting of her at York-house, when Mr. Packer also, as it fell out, was come, at the same time, to see my lady, and seemed to concur with Sir Edward Sackville in the same ways; which were, for my lady to become a suitor to my lady Buckingham,‡ and my lady marchioness,§ to work my lord marquis for obtaining of the king some bounty towards your lordship; and in particular, that of the thousand pounds for the small writs. If I may speak my opinion to your lordship, it is not amiss to begin any way, or with any particular, though but small game at first, only to set a rusty clock a going, and then haply it may go right for a time, enough to bring on the rest of your lordship's requests. Yet because your lordship directed me to wish my lady, from you, by no means, to act any thing, but only to open her mind, in discourse unto friends, until she should receive your farther direction; it became not me to be too forward in putting it on too fast with Sir Edward; and my lady was pleased to tell me since, that she hath written to your lordship at large.
I inquired, even now, of Benbow, whether the proclamation for dissolving the parliament were comthe rolls; who purchased the reversion of Gorhambury, from Sir Hercules Meautys, nephew of the second Sir Thomas.
Afterwards earl of Dorset, well known for his duel in 1613, with the lord Kinloss, in which the latter was killed.
Mary, countess of Buckingham, mother of the marquis. Catharine, marchioness of Buckingham, wife of the marquis, and only daughter and heir of Francis, earl of Rutland.
a way by the prince, if your lordship advise it.
ing forth. He tells me he knows no more certainty | Edward Sackville, who is forward to make my lady of it than that Mr. Secretary commanded him yesterday to be ready for despatching of the writs, when he should be called for; but since then he hears it sticks, and endures some qualms; but they speak it still loud at court, that the king is resolved of it.
Benbow tells me likewise, that he hath attended, these two days, upon a committee of the lords, with the book of the commission of peace; and that their work is to empty the commission in some counties by the score, and many of them parliament-men : which course sure helps to ring the passing-bell to the parliament.
Mr. Borough tells me, he is at this present fain to attend some service for the king; but about Saturday he hopes to be at liberty to wait upon your lordship. I humbly rest
Your lordship's for ever to honour and serve,
January 3, 1621.
There are packets newly come out of Spain: and the king, they say, seems well pleased with the contents; wherein there is an absolute promise, and undertaking, for restitution of the Palatinate; the dispensation returned already from the pope, and the match hastened on their parts. My lord Digby goes shortly; and Mr. Matthew tells me, before his going, to write by him to your lordship.
The king goes not till Wednesday, and the prince certainly goes with him. My lord marquis, in person, christens my lord of Falkland's child tomorrow, at his house by Watford.
Mr. Murray tells me, the king hath given your book || to my lord Brooke, and enjoined him to read it, recommending it much to him: and then my lord Brooke is to return it to your lordship; and so it may go to the press, when your lordship pleases, with such amendments as the king hath made, which I have seen, and are very few, and those
To the Right Honourable my most honoured Lord, rather words, as epidemic, and mild instead of dethe Lord Viscount St. Alban.
TO THE LORD VISCOUNT ST. ALBAN. MAY IT PLEASE YOUR LORDSHIP, THIS afternoon my lady found access to my lord marquis, procured for her by my lord of Montgomery† and Sir Edward Sackville, who seemed to contend which of them should show most patience in waiting, which they did a whole afternoon, the opportunity to bring my lord to his chamber, where my lady attended him. But when he was come, she found time enough to speak at large: and though my lord spake so loud, as that what passed was no secret to me and some others, that were within hearing; yet, because my lady told me she purposeth to write to your lordship the whole passage, it becomes not me to anticipate, by these, any part of her ladyship's relation.
I send your lordship herewith the proclamation for dissolving the parliament; wherein there is nothing forgotten, that we have done amiss: but for most of those things, that we have well done, we must be fain, I see, to commend ourselves.
bonnaire, &c. Only that of persons attainted, enabled to serve in parliament by a bare reversal of their attainder, the king by all means will have left out. I met with my lord Brooke, and told him, that Mr. Murray had directed me to wait upon him for the book, when he had done with it. He desired to be spared this week, as being to him a week of much business, and the next week I should have it: and he ended in a compliment, that care should be taken, by all means, for good ink and paper to print it in; for that the book deserveth it.
I beg leave to kiss your lordship's hands.
I delivered your lordship's to my lord of Montgo-pected, and yet so certainly true, as that, howsoever mery, and Mr. Matthew, who was even then come to York-house to visit my lady, when I received the letter; and, as soon as he had read it, he said, that he had rather your lordship had sent him a challenge; and that it had been easier to answer, than so noble and kind a letter. He intends to see your lordship some time this week; and so doth Sir
John Borough, educated in common law at Gray's-Inn, keeper of the Records of the Tower of London, secretary to the earl marshal, in 1623 made Norroy; in July the year following knighted, and on the 23d of December, the same year, made garter king at arms in the place of Sir William Segar. He died October 21, 1643.
+ Philip, afterwards earl of Pembroke.
Mr. Meautys was member, in this parliament, for the
I had much ado, at first, to desire the relater to
tioned above in the letter of 21 January, 1614, or Thomas
"The History of the Reign of King Henry the Seventh." Fulk Grevile. ** January 6, 1621-2. Camdeni Annales Regis Jacobi I. ++ Camden, ubi supra, says, "that the earl was ordered to
town of Cambridge.
Either John Murray of the king's bed-chamber, men