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sort, though otherwise I wished it as rising as I
Your lordship's most humble in all duty.
enclosed, because I greatly desire so far forth to preserve my credit with you, as thus: that whereas lately (perhaps out of too much desire, which induceth too much belief) I was bold to say, that I thought it as easy for your majesty to come out of want, as to go forth of your gallery, your majesty would not take me for a dreamer, or a projector. I send your majesty therefore some grounds of my hopes. And for that paper which I have gathered of increasements "sperate:" I beseech you to give me leave to think, that if any of the particulars do fail, it will be rather for want of workmanship in those that shall deal in them, than want of materials in the things themselves. The other paper hath many discarding cards; and
A LETTER TO MR. MATTHEW, UPON SENDING HIS I send it chiefly, that your majesty may be the
BOOK DE SAPIENTIA VETERUM.
I do very heartily thank you for your letter of the 24th of August, from Salamanca; and in recompense thereof, I send you a little work of mine, that hath begun to pass the world. They tell me my Latin is turned into silver, and become current. Had you been here you had been my inquisitor, before it came forth. But I think the greatest inquisitor in Spain will allow it. But one thing you must pardon me, if I make no haste to believe, that the world should be grown to such an ecstasy, as to reject truth in philosophy, because the author dissenteth in religion; no more than they do by Aristotle, or Averrois. My great work goeth forward, and after my manner, I alter even when I add so that nothing is finished till all be finished. This I have written in the midst of a term and parliament, thinking no time so precious, but that I should talk of these matters with so good and dear a friend. And so, with my wonted wishes, I leave you to God's goodness.
From Gray's Inn, Febr. 17, 1610.
A LETTER TO THE KING, TOUCHING MATTER OF
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,
I may remember what Tacitus saith, by occasion that Tiberius was often and long absent from Rome, "in Urbe, et parva et magna negotia imperatorem simul premunt." But saith he, "in Recessu, dimissis rebus minoris momenti, summæ rerum magnarum magis agitantur." This maketh me think, it shall be no incivility to trouble your majesty with business, during your abode from London, knowing your majesty's meditations are the principal wheel of your estate, and being warranted by a former commandment, which I received from you.
A LETTER TO THE KING, TOUCHING THE LORD
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.
Your worthy chancellor, I fear, goeth his last day. God hath hitherto used to weed out such servants as grew not fit for your majesty, but now he hath gathered to himself a true sage or salvia out of your garden; but your majesty's service must not be mortal.
Upon this heavy accident, I pray your majesty, in all humbleness and sincerity, to give me leave to use a few words. I must never forget, when I moved your majesty for the attorney's place, it was your own sole act; more than that, Somerset, when he knew your majesty had resolved it, thrust himself into the business for a fee. And therefore I have no reason to pray to saints.
I shall now again make obligation to your majesty, first, of my heart, then, of my service, thirdly, of my place of attorney, which I think is honestly worth £6000 per annum, and, fourthly, of my place of the Star Chamber, which is worth £1600 per annum ; and with the favour and countenance of a chancellor, much more.
I hope I may be acquitted of presumption, if I think of it, both because my father had the place, which is some civil inducements to my desire; and I pray God your majesty may have twenty no worse years in your greatness, than Queen Elizabeth had in her model, (after my father's placing,) and chiefly, because, if the chancellor's place went to the law, it was ever conferred upon some of the learned counsel, and never upon a judge.
I do now only send your majesty these papers For Audley was raised from king's sergeant, my
and that the waves of their affections flow rather after persons than things. So that acts of this nature (if this were one) do more good than twenty bills of grace.
father from attorney of the wars, Bromley from | hearts by advancing. For I see your people can
If God call my lord, the warrants and commissions which are requisite for the taking the seal, and for the working with it, and for the reviving of warrants under his hand, which die with him, and the like, shall be in readiness. And in this time presseth more, because it is the end of a term, and almost the beginning of the circuits: so that the seal cannot stand still. But this may be done, as heretofore, by commission, till your majesty hath resolved of an officer. God ever preserve your majesty.
Your majesty's most humble subject, and bounden servant.
more, but the chancellor's place requires a whole A LETTER TO THE KING, OF MY LORD CHANCEL
And to have both jurisdictions, spiritual and temporal, in that height, is fit but for a king. For myself, I can only present your majesty with "gloria in obsequio;" yet I dare promise, that if I sit in that place, your business shall not make such short terms upon you, as it doth; but when a direction is once given, it shall be pursued and performed; and your majesty shall only be troubled with the true care of a king, which is to think what you would have done in chief, and not how, for the passages.
I do presume, also, in respect of my father's memory, and that I have been always gracious in the Lower House, I have interest in the gentlemen of England, and shall be able to do some good effect, in rectifying that body of Parliament men, which is "cardo rerum." For, let me tell your majesty, that that part of the chancellor's place, which is to judge in equity, between party and party, that same "regnum judiciale," (which, since my father's time, is but too much enlarged,) concerneth your majesty least, more than the acquitting your conscience for justice. (But it is the other parts of a moderator, amongst your council, of an overseers over your judges, of a planter of fit justices, and governors in the country, that importeth your affairs in these times most.)
I will add also, that I hope, by my care, the inventive part of your council will be strengthened, who now, commonly, do exercise rather their judgments than their inventions: and the inventive part cometh from projectors, and private men, which cannot be so well; in which kind my Lord of Salisbury had a good method, if his ends had been upright.
To conclude, if I were the man I would be, I should hope, that as your majesty hath of late won hearts by depressing, you should in this leese no
LOR'S AMENDMENT, AND THE DIFFERENCE
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY,
And, as I am glad to advertise your majesty of the amendment of your chancellor's person, so I am sorry to accompany it with an advertisement of the sickness of your Chancery Court; though, by the grace of God, that cure will be much easier than the other. It is true, I did lately write to your majesty, that for the matter of "habeas corpora," (which was the third matter in law you had given me in charge,) I did think the communion of service between my lord chancellor, and my lord chief justice, in the great business of examination, would so join them, as they would not square at this time.) But pardon me, I humbly pray your majesty, if I have too rea
Your true and affectionate servant.
Sir, I humbly thank you for your inward letter: I have burned it as you commanded, but the flame it hath kindled in me will never be extinguished.
sonable thoughts. (And yet that which happened you, and long and happily may you serve his the last day of the term concerning certain indict- majesty. ments, in the nature of præmunire, preferred into the King's Bench, but not found, is not so much Feb. 10, 1615. as is noised abroad, though, I must say, it was "omni tempere nimium, et hoc tempore alienum." And, therefore, I beseech your majesty not to give any believing ear to reports, but to receive the truth from me that am your attorney-general, and ought to stand indifferent for jurisdictions of all courts; which, I account, I cannot give your majesty now, because I was then absent, and some are now absent, which are properly and authentically to inform me, touching that which passed. Neither let this any way disjoint your other business; for there is a time for all things, and this very accident may be turned to good; not that I am of opinion that the same cunning maxim of -"separa et impera," which sometimes holdeth in persons, can well take place in jurisdiction; but because some good occasion by this excess may be taken, to settle that which would have been more dangerous, if it had gone on, by little and little. God preserve your majesty.
Your majesty's most humble subject,
I received this morning from you two letters by the same bearer, the one written before the other, both after his majesty had received my last. In this difference between the two courts of Chancery and King's Bench, (for so I had rather take it at this time, than between the persons of my lord chancellor, and my lord chief justice,) I marvel not, if rumour get way of true relation; for I know fame hath swift wings, especially that which hath black feathers; but within these two days (for sooner I cannot be ready) I will write to his majesty both the narrative truly, and my opinion sincerely, taking much comfort, that I serve such a king, as hath God's property, in discerning truly of men's hearts. I purpose to speak with my lord chancellor this day, and so to exhibit that cordial of his majesty's grace, as I hope this other accident will rather rouse and raise his spirits, than deject him, or incline him to a relapse; mean while, I commend the wit of a mean man, that said this other day, well, (saith he,) next term you shall have an old man come with a besom of wormwood in his hand, that will sweep away all this. For it is my lord chancelJor's fashion, especially towards the summer, to carry a posy of wormwood. I write this letter in naste, to return the messenger with it. God keep
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, CONCERNING
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST Excellent Majesty,
I will now (as your majesty requireth) give you a true relation of that which passed; neither will I decline your royal commandment, for delivering my opinion also; though it be a tender subject to write on. But I, that account my being but an accident to my service, will neglect no duty upon self-safety. First, it is necessary I let your majesty know the ground of the difference between the two courts, that your majesty may the better understand the narrative.
There was a statute made 27 Ed. 3, 27 E. 3. Cap. 1, which (no doubt) in the prinCap. 1. cipal intention thereof, was ordained against those that sued to Rome, wherein there are words somewhat general, against any that questioneth or impeacheth any judgment given in the king's courts, in any other courts. these doubtful words (other courts) the controversy groweth; (for the sounder interpretation taketh them to be meant of those courts which, though locally they were not held at Rome, or where the pope's chair was, but here within the realm, yet in their jurisdiction had their dependency upon the court of Rome; as were the court of the legate here, and the courts of the archbishops and bishops, which were then but subordinate judgment seats, to that high tribunal of Rome.
And, for this construction, the opposition of the words, (if they be well observed) between the king's courts and other courts, maketh very much; for it importeth as if those other courts were not
the king's courts. Also the main scope of the statute fortifieth the same; and, lastly, the practice of many ages. (The other interpretation, which cleaveth to the letter, expoundeth the king's courts to be the courts of law only, and other courts to be courts of equity, as the Chancery, Exchequer Chamber, Duchy, etc., though this also flieth indeed from the letter; for that all these are the king's courts.
4 H. 4. Cap. 23.
(There is also another statute, which is but a simple prohibition, and not with a penalty of præmunire, as the other is, that after judgments given in the king's court, the parties shall be in peace, except the judgments be undone, by error, or attaint, which is a legal form of reversal. And of this also, I hold the sounder interpretation to be, to settle possessions against disturbances, and not to take away remedy in equity, where those judgments are obtained"ex rigore juris," and against good conscience.
(But upon these two statutes, there hath been a late conceit in some, that if a judgment pass at the common law against any, he may not after sue for relief in Chancery; and if he do, both he and his counsel, and his solicitor, yea, and the judge, in equity, himself, are within the danger of those statutes. There your majesty hath the true state of the question, which I was necessarily to show you first, because your majesty calleth for this relation, not as news, but as business) Now to the historical part; it is the course of the King's Bench, that they give in charge to the grand jury offences of all natures to be presented within Middlesex, where the said court is; and the manner is to enumerate them, as it were in articles. This was done by Justice Crooke, the Wednesday before the term ended: and that article, "if any man after a judgment given had drawn the said judgment to a new examination in any other court," was by him especially given in charge, which had not used to be given in charge before.) It is true, it was not solemnly dwelt upon, but, as it were, thrown in amongst the rest. The last day of the term (and that which all men condemn, the supposed last day of my lord chancellor's life) there were two indictments preferred of præmunire," for suing in Chaneery after judgment at common law; The one by Richard Glandvile, the other by William Allen; the former against Courtney, the party in Chancery, Gibb, the counsellor, and Deurst, the clerk. The latter against Alderman Bowles, and Humfrey Smith, parties in Chancery, Serjeant Moore, the counsellor, Elias Wood, solicitor in the cause, and Sir John Tyndal, master of the Chancery, and an assessor to my lord chancellor. For the cases themselves, it were too long to trouble your majesty with them; but this I will say, if they were set on that preferred them, they were the worst
workmen that ever were that set them on; for, there could not have been chosen two such causes, to the honour and advantage of the Chancery, for the justness of the decrees, and the foulness and scandal, both of fact and person, in those that impeach the decrees.
The grand jury, consisting (as it seemeth) of very substantial and intelligent persons, would not find the bills, notwithstanding that they were much clamoured by the parties, and twice sent back by the court; and, in conclusion, resolutely 17 of 19 found an "Ignoramus;" wherein, for that time, I think "Ignoramus" was wiser than those that knew too much.
Your majesty will pardon me, if I be sparing in delivering to you some other circumstances of aggravation, and concurrences of some like matters the same day, as if it had been some fatal constellation. They be not things so sufficiently tried, as I dare put them into your ear.
For my opinion, I cannot but begin with this preface, that I am infinitely sorry that your majesty is thus to put to salve and cure, not only accidents of time, but errors of servants. (For I V account this a kind of sickness of my Lord Coke's that comes almost in as ill a time, as the sickness of my lord chancellor. And as I think it was one of the wisest parts that ever he played, when he went down to your majesty to Royston, and desired to have my lord chancellor joined with him; so this was one of the weakest parts that ever he played, to make all the world perceive that my lord chancellor is severed from him at this time.
But for that which may concern your service, which is my end, (leaving other men to their own ways:) (First, my opinion is plainly, that my Lord Coke, at this time, is not to be disgraced, both because he is so well habituated for that which remaineth of these capital causes, and also for that which I find is in his breast touching your finances, and matter of repair of your estate. And (if I might speak it) as I think it were good his hopes were at an end in some kind, so I could wish they were raised in some other. On the other side, this great and public affront, not only to the reverend and well-deserving person of your chancellor, (and at a time when he was thought to lie a dying, which was barbarous,) but to your high court of Chancery, (which is the court of your absolute power,) may not (in my opinion) pass lightly, nor end only in some formal atonement; but use is to be made thereof, for the settling of your authority, and strengthening of your prerogative, according to the rules of monarchy. Now to accommodate and reconcile these advices, which seem almost opposite.
First, your majesty may nct see it (though 1 confess it be suspicious) that my Lord Coke was any way aforehand privy to that which was done, or that he did set it or animate it, but only took
the matter as it came before him, and that his error was only that at such a time he did not divert it in some good manner.
Second, if it be true (as is reported) that any of the puisne judges did stir this business, or that they did openly revile and menace the jury for doing their conscience, (as they did honestly and truly,) I think that judge is worthy to lose his place. And, to be plain with your majesty, I do not think there is any thing, a greater "Polycreston, ad multa utile" to your affairs, than, upon a just and fit occasion, to make some example against the presumption of a judge, in causes that concern your majesty; whereby the whole body of those magistrates may be contained to better awe; and it may be, this will light upon no unfit subject, of a person that is rude, and that no man cares for.
card-holder or candle-holder, will make profit of this accident, as a thing of God's sending.
Lastly, I may not forget to represent to your majesty, that there is no thinking of arraignment until these things be somewhat accommodated, and some outward and superficial reconciliation. at least, made between my lord chancellor and my lord chief justice; for this accident is a banquet to all Somerset's friends. But this is a thing that falleth out naturally of itself, in respect of the judges going circuit, and my lord chancellor's infirmity, with hope of recovery. And although this protraction of time may breed some doubt of mutability, yet I have lately learned, out of an excellent letter of a certain king, that the sun showeth sometimes watery to our eyes, but when the cloud is gone, the sun is as before. God preserve your majesty.
Your majesty's most humble subject, and most bounden servant.
Febr. 21, 1617.
Your majesty's commandment speaketh for pardon of so long a letter; which yet I wish may have a short continuance, and be punished with fire.
Thirdly, if there be no one so much in fault, (which I cannot yet affirm, either way, and there must be a just ground, God forbid else,) yet I should think, that the very presumption of going so far in so high a cause deserveth to have that done, which was done in this very case, upon the indictment of Serjeant Heale, in Queen Elizabeth's time, that the judges should answer it upon their knees before your majesty, or your council, and receive a sharp admonition; at which time also, SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, UPON SOME my Lord Wrey, being then chief justice, slipped the collar, and was forborne.
Fourthly, for the persons themselves, Glanvile and Allen, which are base fellows, and turbulent, I think there will be discovered and proved against them (besides the preferring of the bill) such combination and contemptuous speeches and behaviour as there will be good ground to call them, and perhaps some of their petty counsellors at law, into their the Star Chamber
INCLINATION OF HIS MAJESTY, SIGNIFIED TO
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY,
The last day when it pleased your majesty to express yourself towards me in favour, far above that I can deserve, or could expect, I was surprised by the prince's coming in; I most humbly pray your majesty, therefore, to accept these few lines of acknowledgment.
(I never had great thoughts for myself, farther than to maintain those great thoughts which I confess I have for your service. I know what honour is, and I know what the times are; but I thank God with me my service is the principal, and it is far from me, under honourable pretences, to cover base desires, which I account them to be," when men refer too much to themselves, especially serving such a king, I am afraid of nothing, but that the master of the horse, your excellent servant, and myself, shall fall out about this, who shall hold your stirrup best; but were your majesty mounted, and seated without difficulties and distaste in your business, as I desire and hope to see you, I should "ex animo" desire to spend the decline of my years in my studies, wherein also I should not forget to do him honour, who, besides his active and politic virtues, is the best pen of kings, and much more the best subject of God ever preserve your majesty. Your majesty's most humble subject, and more and more obliged servant.
In all this which I have said, your majesty may be pleased to observe, that I do not engage you I now forbear. But two things I wish to be done; the one, that your majesty take this occasion much in the main point of the jurisdiction, for which I have a great deal of reason, which to redouble unto all your judges your ancient and true charge and rule; that you will endure no innovating in the point of jurisdiction: but will have every court impaled within their own presidents, and not assume to themselves new powers, upon conceits and inventions of law: the other that in these high causes, that touch upon state and monarchy, your majesty give them straight charge, that upon any occasions intervenient, hereafter, they do not make the vulgar party to their contestations, by public handling them before they have consulted with your majesty, to whom the reglement of those things appertaineth.) To conclude, I am not without hope, that your majesty's managing this ousiness, according to your great wisdom, unto which I acknow.edge myself not worthy to be April 1, 1616.