« VorigeDoorgaan »
authority and strengthening of your prerogative not to be worthy to be card-holder, or candle-holder, according to the true rules of monarchy.
will make profit of this accident as a thing of God's Now to reconcile and accommodate these two sending. advices, which seem almost opposite; first, your Lastly, I may not forget to represent to your Majesty may not see it, though I confess it to be Majesty, that there is no thinking of arraignments suspicious, that my lord Coke was any way aforehand until these things be somewhat accommodated, and privy to that which was done ; or that he did set it some outward and superficial reconciliation at least or animate it, but only took the matter as it came made between my lord chancellor and my lord chief before him; and that his error was only, that at such justice; for this accident is a banquet to all the dea time he did not divert it in some good manner. linquent's friends. But this is a thing that falleth
Secondly, if it be true, as is reported, that any of out naturally of itself, in respect of the judges going the puisne judges did stir this business; or that they circuit, and my lord chancellor's infirmity with hope did openly revile and menace the jury for doing of recovery : and although this protraction of time their conscience, as they did honestly and truly, I may breed some doubt of mutability, yet I have lately think that judge is worthy to lose his place. And, learned out of an excellent letter of a certain king, to be plain with your Majesty, I do not think there that the sun showeth sometimes watry to our eyes, is any thing a greater polychreston, or ad multu utile but when the cloud is gone, the sun is as before. to your affairs, than upon a just and fit occasion to God ever preserve your Majesty. make some example against the presumption of a
Your Majesty's most humble subject and judge in causes that concern your Majesty, whereby
bounden servant, the whole body of those magistrates may be con
FR. BACON. tained the better in awe; and it may be this will
Feb. 21, 1615. light upon no unfit subject of a person, that is rude, and that no man cares for.
Thirdly, if there be no one so much in fault, which I cannot yet affirm either way, and there must
CXXXII. TO THE KING, ON THE BREACH be a just ground, God forbid else, yet I should think,
OF THE NEW COMPANY. * that the very presumption of going so far, in so high a cause, deserveth to have that done which was IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, done in this very case upon the indictment of ser- Your privy council have wisely and truly discerned jeant Heale in queen Elizabeth's time; that the of the orders and demands of the new company, that judges should answer it upon their knees before your they are unlawful and unjust; and themselves have Majesty or your council, and receive a sharp admo- now acknowledged the work impossible without nition : at which time also, my lord Wray, being them, by their petition in writing now registered in then chief justice, slipt the collar and was forborn. the council book; so as this conclusion of their own
Fourthly, for the persons themselves, Glanville making, is become peremptory and final to themand Allen, which are base fellows and turbulent, I selves; and the impossibility confessed, the practice think there will be discovered and proved against and abuse reserved to the judgment the state shall them, besides the preferring of the bills, such com- make of it. binations and contemptuous speeches and behaviours, This breach then of this great contract is wholly as there will be good ground to call them, and per- on their part, which could not have been if your haps some of their petty counsellors at law, into the Majesty had broken upon the patent; for the patent star-chamber.
was your Majesty's act, the orders are their act; In all this which I have said your Majesty may and in the former case they had not been liable to be pleased to observe, that I do not engage you farther question, now they are. much in the main point of the jurisdiction, for which There rest two things to be considered: the one, I have a great deal of reason, which I now forbear. if they, like Proteus when he is hard held, shall yet But two things I wish to be done: the one, that your again vary their shape; and shall quit their orders Majesty take this occasion to redouble unto all your convinced of injustice, and lay their imposition only judges your ancient and true charge and rule, That upon the trade of whites, whether your Majesty shall you will endure no innovating the point of jurisdic- farther expect : the other, if your Majesty dissolve tion, but will have every court impaled within their them upon this breach on their part, what is farther own precedents, and not assume to themselves new to be done for the setting of the trade again in joint, powers upon conceits and inventions of law; the and for your own honour and profit: in both which other, that in these high causes that touch upon points I will not presume to give opinion, but only state and monarchy, your Majesty give them strait to break the business for your Majesty's better charge, that upon any occasions intervenient here- judgment. after, they do not make the vulgar party to their For the first, I am sorry the occasion was given contestations, by public handling them, before they by my lord Coke's speech at this time of the comhave consulted with your Majesty, to whom the mitment of some of them, that they should seek reglement of those things only appertaineth. omnem movere lapidem to help themselves. Better
To conclude, I am not without hope, that your it had been, if, as my lord Fenton said to me that Majesty managing this business according to your morning very judiciously and with a great deal of great wisdom, unto which I acknowledge myself
* Rawley's Resuscitatio.
foresight, that for that time they should have had a and that the licences, the one, that of 30,000 cloths, bridge made for them to be gone. But my lord which was the old licence; the other that of my Coke floweth according to his own tides, and not lord Cumberland's, which is without stint, my lord according to the tides of business. The thing which of Cumberland receiving satisfaction, be compoundmy lord Coke said was good and too little, but at ed into one entire licence without stint ; and then, this time it was too much ; but that is past. How that they amongst themselves take order for that soever, if they should go back and seek again to profit which hath been offered to your Majesty. entertain your Majesty with new orders or offers, as This is a plain and known way, wherein your Mais said to be intended, your Majesty hath ready two jesty is not an actor ; only it hath this, that the work answers of repulse, if it please your Majesty to use of dyeing and dressing cloths, which hath been so them.
much glorified, seemeth to be wholly relinquished, The one, that this is now the fourth time that if you leave there. The second is, that there be a they have mainly broken with your Majesty, and free trade of cloth, with this difference, that the dyed contradicted themselves. First, they undertook to and dressed pay no custom, and the whites double dye and dress all the cloths of the realm ; soon custom, it being a merchandise prohibited and only after, they wound themselves into the trade of whites, licentiate. This continueth in life and fame the and came down to the proportion contracted. Se- work desired, and will have a popular applause : condly, they ought to have performed that contract but, I do confess, I did ever think that trading in according to their subscription pro rata, without any companies is most agreeable to the English nature, of these orders and impositions ; soon after, they which wanteth that same general vein of a redeserted their subscription, and had recourse to these public which runneth in the Dutch, and serveth to devices of orders. Thirdly, if by order, and not them instead of a company; and therefore I dare by subscription, yet their orders should have laid it not advise to adventure this great trade of the upon the whites; which is an unlawful and pro- | kingdom, which hath been so long under governhibited trade ; nevertheless they would have brought ment, in a free or loose trade. The third is a comin lawful and settled trades, full manufactures, mer- pound way of both, which is, to go on with the trade chandise of all natures, poll-money or brotherhood of whites by the old company restored ; and that money, and I cannot tell what. And now lastly, it your Majesty's profit be raised by order amongst seemeth, they would go back to lay it upon the themselves, rather than by double custom, wherein whites; and therefore whether your Majesty will you must be the actor ; and that nevertheless there any more rest and build this great wheel of your be added a privilege to the same company to carry kingdom upon these broken and brittle pins, and try out cloths dyed, and dressed, custom-free; which experiments farther upon the health and body of will still continue as a glorious beam of your Mayour state, I leave to your princely judgment. jesty's royal design. I hope and wish at least, that
The other answer of repulse is a kind of apposing this which I have written may be of some use to them what they will do after the three years con- your Majesty, to settle, by the advice of the lords tracted for ; which is a point hitherto not much about you, this great business : at the least it is the stirred, though Sir Lionel Cranfield hath ever beaten effect of my care and poor ability, which, if in me upon it in his speech with me; for after the three be any, it is given me to no other end but faithTears they are not tied otherways than as trade fully to serve your Majesty. God ever preserve you. shall give encouragement, of which encouragement Your Majesty's most humble subject and bounden your Majesty hath a bitter taste : and if they should
servant, hold on according to the third year's proportion, and
Feb. 25, 1615.
FR. BACON. not rise on by farther gradation, your Majesty hath not your end. No, I fear, and have long feared, that this feeding of the foreigner may be dangerous; for as we may think to hold up our clothing by vent CXXXIII. TO SIR GEORGE VILLIERS. of whites, till we can dye and dress; so they, I mean the Dutch, will think to hold up their manu
SIR, facture of dyeing and dressing upon our whites, till I HUMBLY pray you not to think me over-hasty they can clothe : so as your Majesty hath the or much in appetite, if I put you in remembrance greatest reason in the world to make the new com- of my motion of strengthening me with the oath and pany to come in and strengthen that part of their trust of a privy counsellor ; not for mine own contract; and they refusing, as it is confidently be strength, for as to that, I thank God, I am armed lieved they will, to make their default more visible within, but for the strength of my service. The to all men.
times I submit to you, who knoweth them best. For the second main part of your Majesty's con- But sure I am, there were never times which did sultation, that is, what shall be done supposing an more require a king's attorney to be well armed, absolute breach, I have had some speech with Mr. and, as I said once to you, to wear a gauntlet and Secretary Lake, and likewise with Sir Lionel Cran- not a glove: the arraignments, when they proceed; field; and, as I conceive, there may be three ways the contention between the chancery and king's taken into consideration : the first is, that the old bench; the great cause of the rege inconsulto, which company be restored, who, no doubt, are in appetite, is so precious to the king's prerogative ; divers and, as I find by Sir Lionel Cranfield, not unprepared ;
* Rawley's Resuscitatio, VOL. II.
other services that concern the king's revenue and silence: the other, that there may be special care the repair of his estate. Besides, it pleaseth his taken for the ordering the evidence, not only for Majesty to accept well of my relations touching his the knitting, but for the list, and to use your Mabusiness, which may seem a kind of interloping, as jesty's own words, the confining of it. This to do, the merchants call it, for one that is no counsellor. if your Majesty vouchsafe to direct it yourself, that But I leave all unto you, thinking myself infinitely is the best ; if not, I humbly pray you to require my bounden unto you for your great favours, the beams lord chancellor, that he, together with my lord chief whereof I see plainly reflect upon me even from justice, will confer with myself and my fellows, that others; so that now I have no greater ambition shall be used for the marshalling and bounding of than this, that as the king showeth himself to you the evidence, that we may have the help of his the best master, so I might be found your best ser- opinion, as well as that of my lord chief justice ; vant. In which wish and vow I shall ever rest, whose great travels as I much commend, yet that Most devoted and affectionate to obey your subject things to a great deal of chance.
same plerophoria, or over-confidence, doth always commands,
There is another business proper for me to crave
FR. BACON. Feb. 27, 1615.
of your Majesty at this time, as one that have in my eye a great deal of service to be done concern
ing your casual revenue ; but considering times and CXXXIV. TO HIS MAJESTY, ABOUT THE persons, I desire to be strengthened by some such EARL OF SOMERSET.*
form of commandment under your royal hand, as I
send you here enclosed. I most humbly pray your IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, Majesty to think, I understand myself right well in Ar my last access to your Majesty, it was fit for this which I desire, and that it tendeth greatly to me to consider the time and your journey, which the good of your service. The warrant I mean not maketh me now trouble your Majesty with a rem- to impart, but upon just occasion; thus thirsty to nant of that I thought then to have said ; besides hear of your Majesty's good health, I restyour cld warrant and commission to me, to advertise 22 Jan. 1615. your Majesty when you are aux champs, of any thing that concerned your service and my place. I know your Majesty is nunquam minus solus, quam cum solus; and I confess, in regard of your great CXXXV. TO HIS MAJESTY, ABOUT THE CHANjudgment, under which nothing ought to be pre
CELLOR'S PLACE. sented but well weighed, I could almost wish that the manner of Tiberius were in use again, of whom
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, Tacitus saith, “ Mos erat quamvis præsentem scripto The last day when it pleased your Majesty to adire;" much more in absence. I said to your Ma-express yourself towards me far above that I can jesty that which I do now repeat, that the evidence deserve or could expect, I was surprised by the upon which my lord of Somerset standeth indicted prince's coming in : I most humbly pray your Mais of a good strong thread, considering impoison- jesty, therefore, to accept these few lines of acknowing is the darkest of offences; but that the thread | ledgment. I never had great thoughts for myself, must be well spun and woven together; for, your farther than to maintain those great thoughts, which, Majesty knoweth, it is one thing to deal with a jury I confess, I have for your service. I know what of Middlesex and Londoners, and another to deal honour is, and I know what the times are ; but, I with the peers: whose objects perhaps will not be thank God, with me my service is the principal; and so much what is before them in the present case, it is far from me, under honourable pretences to which I think is as odious to them as to the vulgar, cover base desires; which I account them to be, but what may be hereafter. Besides, there be two when men refer too much to themselves, especially disadvantages, we that shall give in evidence shall serving such a king. I am afraid of nothing but meet with, somewhat considerable; the one, that the that the master of the horse, your excellent servant, same things often opened lose their freshness, ex- and I shall fall out, who shall hold your stirrup cept there be an aspersion of somewhat that is new; best. But were your Majesty mounted and seated the other is the expectation raised, which makes without difficulties and distastes in your business, as things seem less than they are, because they are I desire and hope to see you; I should ex animo less than opinion. Therefore I were not your at
desire to spend the decline of my years in my torney, nor myself, if I should not be very careful, studies : wherein also I should not forget to do him that in this last part, which is the pinnacle of your honour, who, besides his active and politic virtues, former justice, all things may pass sine offendiculo, is the best pen of kings, and much more, the best subsine scrupulo. Hereupon I did move two things, ject of a pen. God ever preserve your Majesty. which having now more fully explained myself, I
Your Majesty's most humble subject, and more do in all humbleness renew. First, that your Ma
and more obliged servant, jesty will be careful to choose a steward of judgment
FR. BACON. that may be able to moderate the evidence and cut
April 1, 1616. off digressions ; for I may interrupt, but I cannot * Stephens's First Collection, p. 105.
† Rawley's Resuscitatio.
then to take Monday and Tuesday after Trinity CXXXVI. TO SIR GEORGE VILLIERS, ABOUT Sunday, being the Monday and Tuesday before THE EARL OF SOMERSET.*
Now for Sir William Mounson, if it be his Ma. Sir,
jesty's pleasure that my lord chancellor and I shall I Thought it convenient to give his Majesty an proceed to the examination of him, for that of the account of that which his Majesty gave me in charge duke of Lenox differs, in that there is not the like in general, reserving the particulars for his coming; cause as in that of Somerset, then his Majesty may and I find it necessary to know his pleasure in some be pleased to direct his commandment and warrant things ere I could farther proceed.
to my lord chief justice, to deliver unto me the exMy lord chancellor and myself spent Thursday amination he took of Sir William Mounson, that and yesterday, the whole forenoons of both days, in those, joined to the information which we have rethe examination of Sir Robert Cotton; whom we find ceived from Mr. Vice-Chamberlain, may be full hitherto but empty, save only in the great point of instructions unto us for his examination. Farther, the treaty with Spain.
I pray let his Majesty know, that on Thursday in This examination was taken before his Majesty's the evening my lord chief justice and myself attended warrant came to Mr. Vice-Chamberlain, for com- my lord chancellor at his house for the settling that municating unto us the secrets of the pensions ; scruple which his Majesty most justly conceived which warrant I received yesterday morning, being in the examination of the lady Somerset; at which Friday, and a meeting was appointed at my lord time, resting on his Majesty's opinion, that that chancellor's in the evening after council; upon which evidence, as it standeth now uncleared, must conference we find matter of farther examination for cundum leges sanæ conscientiæ" be laid aside; the Sir Robert Cotton, of some new articles whereupon question was, whether we should leave it out, or try to examine Somerset, and of entering into examin- what a re-examination of my lady Somerset would ation of Sir William Mounson.
produce? Whereupon we agreed upon a re-examinWherefore, first for Somerset, being now ready ation of my lady Somerset, which my lord chief to proceed to examine him, we stay only upon the justice and I have appointed for Monday morning. duke of Lenox, who it seemeth is fallen sick and I was bold at that meeting to put my lord chief keepeth in; without whom, we neither think it justice a posing question ; which was, Whether that warranted by his Majesty's direction, nor agreeable opinion which his brethren had given upon the to his intention, that we should proceed; for that whole evidence, and he had reported to his Majesty, will want, which should sweeten the cup of medicine, namely, that it was good evidence, in their opinions, he being his countryman and friend. Herein then to convict my lord of Somerset, was not grounded Ke humbly crave his Majesty's direction with all upon this part of the evidence now to be omitted, as convenient speed, whether we shall expect the duke's well as upon the rest; who answered positively, recovery, or proceed by ourselves; or that his Ma- No; and they never saw the exposition of the jesty will think of some other person, qualified ac- letter, but the letter only. cording to his Majesty's just intention, to be joined The same Thursday evening, before we entered with us. I remember we had speech with his Majesty into this last matter, and in the presence of Mr. of my lord Hay; and I, for my part, can think of Secretary Winwood, who left us when we went to no other, except it should be my lord chancellor of the former business, we had conference concerning Seotland, for my lord Binning may be thought too the frauds and abusive grants passed to the prejudice near allied.
of his Majesty's state of revenue; where my lord I am farther to know his Majesty's pleasure con- chief justice made some relation of his collections ceming the day; for my lord chancellor and I con- which he had made of that kind; of which I will ceived his Majesty to have designed the Monday only say this, that I heard nothing that was new to and Tuesday after St. George's feast; and neverthe. me, and I found my lord chancellor, in divers parless we conceived also, that his Majesty understood ticulars, more ready than I found him. that the examinations of Somerset about this, and to a distribution both of times and of matters, for otherwise touching the Spanish practices, should we agreed what to begin with presently, and what first be put to a point; which will not be possible, should follow, and also we had consideration what as time cometh on, by reason of this accident of the was to be holpen by law, what by equity, and what duke's sickness, and the cause we find of Sir William by parliament; wherein I must confess, that in the Moonson's examination, and that divers of the peers last of these, of which my lord chief justice made are to be sent for from remote places.
most account, I make most doubt. But the conIt may please his Majesty therefore to take into clusion was, that upon this entrance I should advise consideration, whether the days may not well be put and confer at large with my lord chief justice, and off till Wednesday and Thursday after the term, set things in work. The particulars I refer till his which endeth on the Monday, being the Wednesday Majesty's coming. and Thursday before Whitsuntide ; or, if that please The learned counsel have now attended me twice not his Majesty, in respect, it may be, his Majesty at my chamber, to confer upon that which his Mawill be then in town, whereas these arraignments jesty gave us in commandment for our opinion upon have been still in his Majesty's absence from town, the case set down by my lord chancellor, whether • Stephens's First Collection, p. 108.
the statutes extend to it or no; wherein we are
more and more edified and confirmed that they do | put his Majesty in mind at his coming, to appoint not, and shall shortly send our report to his Majesty. some time for us to wait upon him all together, for
Sir, I hope you will bear me witness I have not the delivery in of the same, as we did in our former been idle; but all is nothing to the duty I owe his certificate. Majesty for his singular favours past and present; For the revenue matters, I reserve them to his supplying all with love and prayers, I rest,
Majesty's coming; and in the mean time I doubt Your true friend and devoted servant,
not but Mr. Secretary Winwood will make some kind
of report thereof to his Majesty. FR. BACON.
For the conclusion of your letter concerning my April 13, 1616.
own comfort, I can but say the Psalm of “ Quid retribuam ?” God that giveth me favour in his Ma
jesty's eyes, will strengthen me in his Majesty's CXXXVII. TO SIR GEORGE VILLIERS, ABOUT
service. I ever rest THE EARL OF SOMERSET.
Your true and devoted servant,
FR. BACON. I RECEIVED from you a letter of very brief and clear
April 18, 1616. directions; and I think it a great blessing of God To requite your postscript of excuse for scribupon me and my labours, that my directions come by bling, I pray you excuse that the paper is not gilt, so clear a conduit, as they receive no tincture in the I writing from Westminster-Hall, where we are not passage.
so fine. Yesterday my lord chancellor, the duke of Lenox, and myself, spent the whole afternoon at the Tower, in the examination of Somerset, upon the articles sent from his Majesty, and some other ad-CXXXVIII. A LETTER TO THE KING, WITH ditionals, which were in effect contained in the former, HIS MAJESTY'S OBSERVATIONS UPON IT. † but extended to more particularity, by occasion of somewhat discovered by Cotton's examination and
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, Mr. Vice-Chamberlain's information.
Your Majesty hath put me upon a work of proHe is full of protestations, and would fain keep vidence in this great cause, which is to break and that quarter towards Spain clear: using but this for distinguish future events into present cases ; and so argument, that he had such fortunes from his Ma- to present them to your royal judgment, that, in jesty, as he could not think of bettering his con- this action, which hath been carried with so great ditions from Spain, because, as he said, he was no prudence, justice, and clemency, there may be, for military man. He cometh nothing so far on, for that which remaineth, as little surprise as is posthat which concerneth the treaty, as Cotton, which sible ; but that things duly foreseen may have their doth much aggravate suspicion against him : the remedies and directions in readiness ; wherein I farther particulars I reserve to his Majesty's coming. cannot forget what the poet Martial saith ; “O
In the end, tamquam obiter, but very effectually, quantum est subitis casibus ingenium !” signifying, my lord chancellor put him in mind of the state he that accident is many times more subtle than forestood in for the impoisonment; but he was little sight, and overreacheth expectation; and besides, moved with it, and pretended carelessness of life, I know very well the meanness of my own judgsince ignominy had made him unfit for his Majesty's ment, in comprehending or forecasting what may service. I am of opinion that the fair usage of him, follow. as it was fit for the Spanish examinations, and for It was your Majesty's pleasure also that I should the questions touching the papers and despatches, couple the suppositions with my opinion in every of and all that, so it was no good preparative to make them, which is a harder task; but yet your Mahim descend into himself touching his present danger; jesty's commandment requireth my obedience, and and therefore my lord chancellor and myself thought your trust giveth me assurance. not good to insist upon it at this time.
I will put the case, which I wish ; that Somerset I have received from my lord chief justice the should make a clear confession of his offences, beexamination of Sir William Mounson; with whom fore he be produced to trial. we mean to proceed to farther examination with all In this case it seemeth your Majesty will have a speed.
new consult; the points whereof will be, 1. WheMy lord chief justice is altered touching the re- ther your Majesty will stay the trial, and so save examination of the lady, and desired me that we them both from the stage, and that public ignominy. might stay till he spake with his Majesty, saying it 2. Or whether you will, or may fitly by law, have could be no casting back to the business; which I the trial proceed, and stay or reprieve the judgment,
which saveth the lands from forfeiture, and the Myself with the rest of my fellows, upon due and blood from corruption. 3. Or whether you will mature advice, perfected our report touching the have both trial and judgment proceed, and save the chancery; for the receiving whereof, I pray you blood only, not from corrupting, but from spilling. I * Stephens's First Collection, p. 112. + Ibid. 114. stand with law; and if it cannot, when I shall hear that he REX. I say with A pollo, “Medio tutius itur,” if it may confesseth, I am then to make choice of the first or the last.