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Your sacred majesty's, in most humble obedience and devotion, FR. BACON.
From Huntingdon, this 20th of July, 1594.
MR. FRANCIS BACON TO HIS BROTHER ANTONY.*
My GOOD BROTHER,
miles off. This day I came thither to dinner, which may import the same, as I made my lord and waiting for to speak with the queen, took keeper acquainted before my going. So, leaving occasion to tell how I met you, as I passed it to God to make a good end of a hard beginthrough London; and among other speeches, ning, and most humbly craving your majesty's how you lamented your misfortune to me, that pardon for presuming to trouble you, I recomremained as a withered branch of her roots, mend your sacred majesty to God's tenderest which she had cherished and made to flourish in preservation. her service. I added what I thought of your worth, and the expectation for all this, that the world had of her princely goodness towards you: which it pleased her majesty to confess, that indeed you began to frame very well, insomuch as she saw an amends in those little supposed errors, avowing the respect she carried to the dead, with very exceeding gracious inclination towards you. Some comparisons there fell out besides, which I leave till we meet, which I hope shall be this week. It pleased her withal to tell of the jewel you offered her by Mr. ViceChamberlain, which she had refused, yet with exceeding praise. I marvel, that as a prince she should refuse those havings of her poor subjects, because it did include a small sentence of despair; but either I deceive myself, or she was resolved to take it; and the conclusion was very kind and gracious. Sure as I will one hundred pounds to fifty pounds that you shall be her solicitor, and my friend; in which mind and for which mind I commend you to God. From the court, this Monday in haste, Your true friend to be commanded by you, FOULKE GREVILL.
We cannot tell whether she comes to
or stay here. I am much absent for want of lodging; wherein my own man hath only been to blame.
Endorsed, 17th of June, 1591.
MR. FRANCIS BACON TO THE QUEEN.*
MOST GRACIOUS AND ADMIRABLE Sovereign,
As I do acknowledge a providence of God towards me, that findeth it expedient for me tolerare jugum in juventute meâ; so this present arrest of mine by his divine majesty from your majesty's service is not the least affliction, that I have proved; and I hope your majesty doth conceive, that nothing under mere impossibility could have detained me from earning so gracious a veil, as it pleased your majesty to give me. But your majesty's service by the grace of God shall take no lack thereby; and, thanks to God, it hath lighted upon him that may be the best spared. Only the discomfort is mine, who nevertheless have the private comfort, that in the time I have been made acquainted with this service, it hath been my hap to stumble upon somewhat unseen,
* Among the papers of Antony Bacon, Esq., vol. iv. fol. 141, and 156, in the Lambeth Library.
One day draweth on another; and I am well pleased in my being here; for methinks solitariness collecteth the mind, as shutting the eye doth the sight. I pray you, therefore, advertise me what you find, by my Lord of Essex, (who, I am sure, hath been with you,) was done last Sunday; and what he conceiveth of the matter. I hold in one secret, and therefore you may trust your servant. I would be glad to receive my parsonage rent as soon as it cometh. So leave I you to God's good preservation.
Your ever loving brother,
FR. BACON. From Twickenham Park, this Tuesday morning, 1594. Endorsed, 16 Oct. 1594.
EARL OF ESSEX TO MR. FRANCIS BACON.†
SIR-I will be to-morrow night at London. I purpose to hear your argument the next day. I pray you send me word by this bearer of the hour and place where it is. Of your own cause I shall give better account when I see you, than I can do now; for that which will be done, will be this afternoon or to-morrow.
I am fast unto you, as you can be to yourself,
MR. FRANCIS BACON TO IIIS BROTHER ANTONY.‡
Since I saw you this hath passed. Tuesday, though sent for, I saw not the queen. Her majesty alleged she was then to resolve with the council upon her places of law. But this resolution was ut supra; and note the rest of the counsellors were persuaded she came rather forwards than otherwise; for against me she is never pe
Among the papers of Antony Bacon, Esq., vol. iv. fol. 197 in the Lambeth Library.
Ibid. fol. 195.
remptory but to my lord of Essex. I missed a line of my Lord Keeper's; but thus much I hear otherwise. The queen seemeth to apprehend my travel. Whereupon I was sent for by Sir Robert Cecil in sort as from her majesty; himself having of purpose immediately gone to London to speak with me; and not finding me there, he wrote to me. Whereupon I came to the court, and upon his relation to me of her majesty's speeches, I desired leave to answer it in writing; not, I said, that I mistrusted his report, but mine own wit; the copy of which answer I send. We parted in kindness, secundum exterius. This copy you must needs return, for I have no other; and I wrote this by memory after the original was sent away. The queen's speech is after this sort. Why? I have made no solicitor. Hath any body carried a solicitor with him in his pocket? But he must have it in his own time, (as if it were but yesterday's nomination,) or else I must be thought to cast him away. Then her majesty sweareth thus: "If I continue this manner, she will seek all England for a solicitor rather than take me. Yea, she will send for Heuston and Coventry* to-morrow next," as if she would swear them both. Again she entereth into it, that she never deals so with any as with me (in hoc erratum non est) she hath pulled me over the bar (note the words, for they cannot be her
then, as to the proper opportunity; so now that I see such delay in mine own placing, I wish ex animo it should not expect.
I pray you let me know what mine uncle Killigrew will do ;* for I must be more careful of my credit than ever, since I receive so little thence where I deserved best. And, to be plain with you, I mean even to make the best of those small things I have with as much expedition, as may be without loss; and so sing a mass of requiem, I hope, abroad. For I know her majesty's nature, that she neither careth though the whole surname of Bacons travelled, nor of the Cecils neither.
I have here an idle pen or two, specially one, that was cozened, thinking to have got some money this term. I pray send me somewhat else for them to write out besides your Irish collection, which is almost done. There is a collection of King James, of foreign states, largeliest of Flanders; which, though it be no great matter, yet I would be glad to have it. Thus I commend you to God's good protection.
Your entire loving brother,
From my lodging, at Twickenham Park,
CECIL; A COPY OF WHICH WAS SENT WITH
own) she hath used me in her greatest causes. LETTER OF MR. FRANCIS BACON TO SIR ROBERT But this is Essex, and she is more angry with him than with me." And such like speeches, so strange, as I should lose myself in it, but that I have cast off the care of it. My conceit is, that I am the least part of mine own matter. But her majesty would have a delay, and yet would not bear it herself. Therefore she giveth no way to me, and she perceiveth her council giveth no way to others; and so it sticketh as she would have it. But what the secret of it is, oculus aquilæ non penetravit. My lord continueth on kindly and wisely a course worthy to obtain a better effect than a delay, which to me is the most unwelcome condition.
Now, to return to you the part of a brother, and to render you the like kindness, advise you, whether it were not a good time to set in strongly with the queen to draw her to honour your travels. For in the course I am like to take, it will be a great and necessary stay to me, besides the natural comfort I shall receive. And if you will have me deal with my Lord of Essex, or otherwise break it by mean to the queen, as that, which shall give me full contentment, I will do it as effectually, and with as much good discretion as I can. Wherein if you aid me with your direction, I shall observe it. This, as I did ever account it sure and certain to be accomplished, in case myself had been placed, and therefore deferred it till Thomas Coventry, afterwards one of the justices of the Common Peas, and father of the Lord Keeper Coventry. + Essex
SIR-Your honour may remember, that upon relation of her majesty's speech concerning my travel, I asked leave to make answer in writing; not but I knew then what was true, but because I was careful to express it without doing myself wrong. And it is true, I had then opinion to have written to her majesty: but, since weighing with myself, that her majesty gave no ear to the motion made by yourself, that I might answer by mine own attendance, I began to doubt the second degree, whether it might not be taken for presumption in me to write to her majesty; and so resolved, that it was best for me to follow her majesty's own way in committing it to your report.
It may please your honour to deliver to her majesty, first, that it is an exceeding grief to me, that any not motion (for it was not a motion) but mention, that should come from me, should offend her majesty, whom for these one-and-twenty years (for so long it is, that I kissed her majesty's hands upon my journey into France) I have used the best of my wits to please.
Next, mine answer standing upon two points, the one, that this mention of travel to my lord of Essex was no present motion, suit, or request;
Mr. Antony Bacon had written to Sir Henry Killigrew on the 14th of January, 1594-5, to desire the loan of two hundred pounds for six months. Vol. iv. fol. 4.
Among the papers of Antony Bacon, Esq., vol. iv. fol. 31.
And now, my lord, I pray you right humbly, that you will vouchsafe your honourable license and patience, that I may express to you, what in a doubtful liberty I have thought fit, partly by way of praying your help, and partly by way of offering my good will; partly again by way of preoccupating your conceit, lest you may in some things mistake.
but casting the worst of my fortune with an ho- | lordship best knows. Which your two honouranourable friend, that had long used me privately, ble friendships I esteem so much [in so great I told his lordship of this purpose of mine to tra- sort] as your countenance and favour in my pracvel, accompanying it with these very words, that tice, which are somewhat to my poverty; yet I upon her majesty's rejecting me with such cir- count them not the best [greatest] part of the cumstance, though my heart might be good, yet obligation wherein I stand bound to you. mine eyes would be sore, that I should take no pleasure to look upon my friends; for that I was not an impudent man, that could face out a disgrace; and that I hoped her majesty would not be offended, that, not able to endure the sun, I fled into the shade. The other, that it was more than this; for I did expressly and particularly, (for so much wit God then lent me,) by way of caveat, restrain my lord's good affection, that he should in no wise utter or mention this matter till her majesty had made a solicitor; wherewith (now since my looking upon your letter) I did in a dutiful manner challenge my lord, who very honourably acknowledged it, seeing he did it for the best; and therefore I leave his lordship to answer for himself. All this my Lord of Essex can testify to be true: and I report me to yourself, whether at the first, when I desired deliberation to answer, yet nevertheless said, I would to you privately declare what had passed, I said not in effect so much. The conclusion shall be, that wheresoever God and her majesty shall appoint me to live, I shall truly pray for her majesty's preservation and felicity. And so I humbly commend me to you. Your poor kinsman to do you service,
Endorsed, January, 1594.
TO SIR THOMAS EGERTON, LORD KEEPER OF THE
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR HONOURABLE GOOD LORDSHIP,
My estate, to confess a truth to your lordship, is weak and indebted, and needeth comfort; for both my father, though I think I had greatest part in his love to all his children, yet in his wisdom served me in as a last comer; and myself, in mine own industry, have rather referred and aspired to virtue than to gain: whereof, I am not yet wise enough to repent me. But the while, whereas, Solomon speaketh that "want cometh first like a wayfaring man,” and after like "an armed man," I must acknowledge to your lordship myself to [be] in primo gradu; for it stealeth upon me. But, for the second, that it should not be able to be resisted, I hope in God I am not in that case; for the preventing whereof, as I do depend upon God's providence all in all, so in the same his providence I see opened unto me three not unlikely expectations of help: the one my practice, the other some proceeding in the queen's service, the third [the] place I have in reversion; which, as it standeth now unto me, is but like another man's ground reaching upon my house, which may mend my prospect, but it doth not fill my barn.
For my practice, it presupposeth my health, which, if I should judge of as a man that judgeth of a fair morrow by a fair evening, I might have reason to value well. But, myself having this error of mind, that I am apter to conclude in every thing of change from the present tense than of a continuance, do make no such appointment. Besides, I am not so far deceived in myself but that I know very well, and I think your lordship is major corde, and in your wisdom you note it more deeply than I can in myself, that in practising the law, I play not all my best game, which maketh me accept it with a nisi quod potius, as the best of my fortune, and a thing agreeable to better gifts than mine, but not to mine.
For my placing, your lordship best knows, that when I was much dejected with her majesty's strange dealing towards me, it pleased you, of your singular favour, so far to comfort and encourage me, as to hold me worthy to be excited to think of succeeding your lordship in your second place ;* signifying in your plainness, that
*From the original draught in the library of Queen's College, Oxford, Arch. D. 2, the copy of which was communicated to me by Thomas Tyrwhitt, Esq., clerk of the honourable House of Commons. Sir William Dugdale, in his Baronage of England, vol. ii. p. 438, has given two short passages of The mastership of the rolls; which office the lord keeper this letter, transcribed by him from the unpublished original. | held till the Lord Bruce was advanced to it, May 18, 1603.
no man should better content yourself: which | Attorney of the Wards,* for the one's remove to your exceeding favour you have not since varied the rolls, and the other to be drawn to his place. from, both in pleading the like signification into Which, to be plain with your lordship, I do the hands of some of my best friends, and also in apprehend much. For, first, I know Mr. Attorneyan honourable and answerable nomination and General, whatsoever he pretendeth or protesteth commendation of me to her majesty. Wherein to your lordship, or any other, doth seek it; and I hope your lordship, if it please you to call to I perceive well by his dealing towards his best mind, did find me neither overweening in presum- friends, to whom he oweth most, how perfectly ing too much upon it, nor much deceived in my he hath conned the adage of proximus egomet opinion of the event for the continuing it still in mihi; and then I see no man ripened for the place yourself, nor sleepy in doing some good offices to of the rolls in competition with Mr. Attorneythe same purpose. General. And lastly, Mr. Attorney of the Wards being noted for a pregnant and stirring man, the objection of any hurt her majesty's business may receive in her causes by the drawing up of Mr.
theless, if it may please your lordship to pardon me so to say, of the second of those placings I think with some scorn; only I commend the knowledge hereof to your lordship's wisdom, as a matter not to be neglected.
Now upon this matter I am to make your lordship three humble requests, which had need be very reasonable, coming so many together. First, that your lordship will hold and make good your Attorney-General will wax cold. And yet, neverwishes towards me in your own time, for no other I mean it, and in thankfulness thereof, I will present your lordship with the fairest flower of my estate, though it yet bear no fruit, and that is the poor reversion, which of her majesty's gift I hold; in the which I shall be no less willing Mr. John Egerton,* if it seem good to you, should succeed me in that, than I would be willing to succeed your lordship in the other place.
My next humble request is, that your lordship would believe a protestation, which is, that if there be now against the next term, or hereafter, for a little bought knowledge of the court teacheth me to foresee these things, any heaving or palting at that place upon my honesty and troth, my spirit is not in, nor with it; I for my part, being resolutely resolved not to proceed one pace or degree in this matter but with your lordship's foreknowledge and approbation. The truth of which protestation will best appear, if by any accident, which I look not for, I shall receive any further strength. For, as I now am, your lordship may impute it only to policy alone in me, that being without present hope myself, I would be content the matter sleep.
My third humble petition to your lordship is, that you would believe an intelligence, and not take it for a fiction in court; of which manner I like Cicero's speech well, who, writing to Appius Claudius, saith; Sin autem quæ tibi ipsi in mentem veniant, ea aliis tribuere soles, inducis genus sermonis in amicitiam minime liberale. But I do assure your lordship, it is both true and fresh, and from a person of that sort, as having some glimpse of it before, I now rest fully confirmed in it; and it is this, that there should be a plot laid of some strength between Mr. Attorney-General,† and Mr.
*Second son of the lord keeper, whose eldest son, Sir Thomas, knighted at Cadiz upon the taking it in 1596 by the Earl of Essex, died in Ireland, whither he attended that earl in 1599,
as Mr. John Egerton likewise did, and was knighted by his
lordship, and at the coronation of King James, was made
knight of the bath. He succeeded his father in the titles of Baron of Ellesmere and Viscount Brackley, and, on the 17th of May, was created Earl of Bridgewater.
And now, lastly, my honourable good lord, for my third poor help, I account [it] will do me small good, except there be a heave; and that is this place of the Star Chamber. I do confess ingenuously to your lordship, out of my love to the public, besides my particular, that I am of opinion, that rules without examples will do little good, at least not to coutinue; but that there is such a concordance between the time to come and the time passed, as there will be no reforming the one without informing of the other. And I will not, as the proverb is, spit against the wind, but yield so far to a general opinion, as there was never a more or particular example. But I submit it wholly to your honourable grave consideration; only I humbly pray you to conceive that it is not any money that I have borrowed of Mr. Mills, nor any gratification I receive for my aid, that makes me show myself any ways in it, but simply a desire to preserve the rights of the office, as far as is meet and incorrupt; and secondly his importunity, who, nevertheless, as far as I see, taketh a course to bring this matter in question to his farther disadvantage, and to be principal in his own harm. But if it be true that I have heard of more than one or two, that besides this forerunning in taking of fees, there are other deep corruptions, which in an ordinary course are intended to be proved against him; surely, for my part, I am not superstitious, as I will not take any shadow of it, nor labour to stop it, since it is a thing medicinable for the office of the realm. And then, if the place by such an occasion or otherwise should come in possession, the better to testify my affection to your lordship, I shall be glad, as I offered it to your lordship by way of [surrender], so in this case to offer it by way of
* Probably Sir Thomas Heskett, who died 15th of October, 1605, and has a monument erected to his memory in Westminister Abbey.
joint-patency, in nature of a reversion, which, as | between his lordship and me, he may have reit is now, there wanteth no good will in me to ceived both of your lordship's high love and good offer, but that both, in that condition it is not opinion towards his lordship, verified in many worth the offering; and, besides, I know not and singular offices, whereof now the realm, whether my necessity may enforce me to sell it | away; which, if it were locked in by any reversion or joint-patency, I were disabled to do for my relief.
Thus your lordship may perceive how assured a persuasion I have of your love towards me, and care of me; which hath made me so freely to communicate of my poor state with your lordship, as I could have done to my honourable father, if he had lived: which I most humbly pray your lordship may be private to yourself, to whom I commit it to be used to such purpose as, in your wisdom and honourable love and favour, should | seem good. And so, humbly craving your pardon, I commend your lordship to the divine pre
rather than himself, is like to reap the fruit; and
Your lordship's ever deepliest bounden,
May 10, 1596.
MR. FRANCIS BACON TO THE EARL OF ESSEX,*
THE EARL OF ESSEX TO MR. FRANCIS BACON.*
SIR, I have thought the contemplation of the
ON HIS LORDSHIP'S GOING ON THE EXPEDITION art military harder than the execution. But now
MY SINGULAR GOOD Lord,
I see where the number is great, compounded of sea and land forces, the most tyrones, and almost I have no other argument to write on to your all voluntaries, the officers equal almost in age, good lordship, but upon demonstration of my quality, and standing in the wars, it is hard for deepest and most bounden duty, in fulness where- any man to approve himself a good commander. of I mourn for your lordship's absence, though I So great is my zeal to omit nothing, and so short mitigate it as much as I can with the hope of my sufficiency to perform all, as, besides my your happy success, the greatest part whereof, be charge, myself doth afflict myself. For I cannot it never so great, will be the safety of your most follow the precedents of our dissolute armies, and honourable person; for the which in the first my helpers are a little amazed with me, when place, and then for the prosperity of your enter- they are come from governing a little troop to a prise, I frequently pray. And as in so great dis-great; and from to all the great spirits comfort it hath pleased God someways to regard of our state. And sometimes I am as much my desolateness, by raising me so great and so worthy a friend in your absence, as the new placed lord keeper,† in whose placing as it hath pleased God to establish mightily one of the chief pillars of this estate, that is, the justice of the land, which began to shake and sink, and for that purpose no doubt gave her majesty strength of heart of herself to do that in six days, which the deepest judgment thought would be the work of many months; so, for my particular, I do find in an extraordinary manner, that his lordship doth succeed my father almost in his fatherly care of me, and love towards me, as much as he pro
fesseth to follow him in his honourable and sound courses of justice and estate; of which so special favour, the open and apparent reason I can ascribe to nothing more than the impression, which, upon many conferences of long time used
Among the papers of Antony Bacon, Esq., vol. xi. fol. 69, in the Lambeth Library.
troubled with them, as with all the troops. But though these be warrants for my seldom writing, yet they shall be no excuse for my fainting industry. I have written to my lord keeper and some other friends to have care of you in my absence. And so, commending you to God's happy and heavenly protection, I rest
Your true friend,
Plymouth, this 17th of May, 1596.
MR. FRANCIS BACON TO HIS BROTHER ANTONY.
GOOD BROTHER,-Yesternight Sir John Fortescu‡ told me he had not many hours before imparted to the queen your advertisements, and
* Among the papers of Antony Bacon, Esq., vol. xi. fo! 139, in the Lambeth Library. + Ibid. fol. 29. Chancellor of the Exchequer. $ 2