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communicate them with the council table. But | For the third, we do humbly advise, that such now since, I, the chancellor, received his majesty's pleasure by Secretary Calvert, that we should first present them to his majesty with some advice thereupon provisionally, and as we are capable, and thereupon know his majesty's pleasure before they be brought to the table, which is the work of this despatch.
And hereupon his majesty may be likewise pleased to call to mind, that we then said, and do now also humbly make remonstrance to his majesty, that in this we do not so much express the sense of our own minds or judgments upon the particulars, as we do personate the Lower House, and cast with ourselves what is like to be stirred there. And, therefore, if there be any thing, either in respect of the matter, or the persons, that stands not so well with his majesty's good liking, that his majesty would be graciously pleased not to impute it unto us; and withal to consider, that it is to this good end, that his majesty may either remove such of them, as in his own princely judgment, or with the advice of his council, he shall think fit to be removed; or be the better provided to carry through such of them as he shall think fit to be maintained, in case they should be moved, and so the less surprised.
First, therefore, to begin with the patents, we find three sorts of patents, and those somewhat frequent, since the session of 7mo, which in genere we conceive may be most subject to exception of grievance; patents of old debts, patents of concealments, and patents of monopolies, and forfeitures for dispensations of penal laws, together with some other particulars, which fall not so properly under any one head.
of them as his majesty shall give way to have called in, may be questioned before the council table, either as granted contrary to his majesty's book of bounty, or found since to have been abused in the execution, or otherwise by experience discovered to be burdensome to the country.
But herein we shall add this farther humble advice, that it be not done as matter of preparation to a Parliament; but that occasion be taken, partly upon revising of the book of bounty, and partly upon the fresh examples in Sir Henry Yelverton's case of abuse and surreption in obtaining of patents; and likewise, that it be but as a continuance in conformity of the council's former diligence and vigilancy, which hath already stayed and revoked divers patents of like nature, whereof we are ready to show the examples. Thus, we conceive, his majesty shall keep his greatness, and somewhat shall be done in Parliament, and somewhat out of Parliament, as the nature of the subject and business require.
We have sent his majesty herewith a schedule of the particulars of these three kinds; wherein, for the first two, we have set down all that we could at this time discover: but in the latter, we have chosen out but some, that are most in speech, and do most tend, either to the vexation of the common people, or the discountenancing of our gentlemen and justices, the one being the original, the other the representative of the commons.
There being many more of like nature, but not of like weight, nor so much rumoured, which, to take away now in a blaze, will give more scandal, that such things were granted, than thanks, that they be now revoked.
And because all things may appear to his majesty in the true light, we have set down, as well the suitors as the grants, and not only those in whose names the patents were taken, but those whom they concern, as far as comes to our knowledge.
In these three heads, we do humbly advise several courses to be taken; for the first two, of old debts and concealments, for that they are in a sort legal, though there may be found out some point in law to overthrow them; yet it would be a long business by course of law, and a matter unusual by act of council, to call them in. that that moves us chiefly, to avoid the ques- For proclamations and commissions, they are tioning them at the council table is, because if tender things; and we are willing to meddle with they shall be taken away by the king's act, it them sparingly. For as for such as do but wait may let in upon him a flood of suitors for recom- upon patents, (wherein his majesty, as we conpense; whereas, if they be taken away at the ceived, gave some approbation to have them suit of the Parliament, and a law thereupon made, taken away,) it is better they fall away, by it frees the king, and leaves him to give recom- taking away the patent itself, than otherwise; pense only where he shall be pleased to intend for a proclamation cannot be revoked but by prograce. Wherefore we conceive the most convenient way will be, if some grave and discreet For those commonwealth bills, which his magentlemen of the country, such as have lost rela- jesty approved to be put in readiness, and some tion to the court, make, at fit times, some modest other things, there will be time enough hereafter motion touching the same; and that his majesty to give his majesty account, and amongst them, would be graciously pleased to permit some law of the extent of his majesty's pardon, which, if to pass, (for the time past only, no ways touching his subjects do their part, as we hope they will, his majesty's regal power,) to free the subjects we do wish may be more liberal than of later from the same; and so his majesty, after due times, a pardon being the ancient remuneration in consultation, to give way unto it.
clamation, which we avoid.
Thus, hoping his majesty, out of his gracious and accustomed benignity, will accept of our faithful endeavours, and supply the rest by his own princely wisdom and direction; and also humbly praying his majesty, that when he hath himself considered of our humble propositions, he will give us leave to impart them all, or as much as he shall think fit, to the lords of his council, for the better strength of his service, we conclude with our prayers for his majesty's happy preservation, and always rest, &c.
The lord chancellor and the two chief justices to the king concerning Parliament business.
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO KING JAMES.*
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY,
I perceive by the Bishop of Bath and Wells, that although it seemeth he hath dealt in an effectual manner with Peacham, yet he prevaileth little hitherto; for he hath gotten of him no new names, neither doth Peacham alter in his tale touching Sir John Sydenham.
that it should not be treason; that it be given out constantly, and yet as it were a secret, and so a fame to slide, that the doubt was only upon the publication, in that it was never published, for that (if your majesty marketh it) taketh away, or least qualifies the danger of the example; for that will be no man's case.
This is all I can do to thridd your majesty's business with a continual and settled care, turning and returning, not with any thing in the world, save only the occasions themselves, and your majesty's good pleasure.
I had no time to report to your majesty, at your being here, the business referred, touching Mr. John Murray. I find a shrewd ground of a title against your majesty and the patentees of these lands, by the coheir of Thomas, Earl of Northumberland; for I see a fair deed, I find a reasonable consideration for the making the said deed, being for the advancement of his daughters; for that all the possessions of the earldom were entailed upon his brother; I find it was made four years before his rebellion; and I see some probable cause why it hath slept so long. But Mr. Murray's petition speaketh only of the moiety of one of the coheirs, whereunto if your
Peacham standeth off in two material points majesty should give way, you might be prejude novo.
The one, he will not yet discover into whose hands he did put his papers touching the consistory villanies. They were not found with the other bundles upon the search; neither did he ever say that he had burned or defaced them. Therefore it is like they are in some person's hands; and it is like again, that that person that he hath trusted with those papers, he likewise trusted with these others of the treasons, I mean with the sight of them.
The other, that he taketh time to answer, when he is asked, whether he heard not from Mr. Paulet some such words, as, he saith, he heard from Sir John Sydenham, or in some lighter
I hold it fit, that myself, and my fellows, go to the Tower, and so I purpose to examine him upon these points, and some others; at least, that the world may take notice that the business is followed as heretofore, and that the stay of the trial is upon farther discovery, according to that we give out.
I think also it were not amiss to make a false fire, as if all things were ready for his going down to his trial, and that he were upon the very point of being carried down, to see what that will work with him.
Lastly, I do think it most necessary, and a point principally to be regarded, that because we live in an age wherein no counsel is kept, and that it is true there is some bruit abroad, that the judges of the King's Bench do doubt of the case, Sir David Dalrymple's Memorials and Letters, p. 29.
diced in the other moiety. Therefore, if Mr. Murray can get power of the whole, then it may be safe for your majesty to give way to the trial of the right; when the whole shall be submitted to you.
Mr. Murray is my dear friend; but I must cut even in these things, and so I know he would himself wish no other. God preserve your majesty.
Your majesty's most humble and
Feb. the 28, 1614.
TRANSLATION OF A LETTER TO THE COUNT GONDOMAR, AMBASSADOR FROM THE COURT OF SPAIN.
MOST ILLUSTRIOUS LORD AMBASSADOR,
Your lordship's love to me, both in its warmth and purity, hath, I am well assured, been ever equal and unalterable in prosperity as in adversity; in which regard I offer you the thanks so worthily and justly claimed. Now that at once my age, my fortunes, and my genius, to which I have hitherto done but scanty justice, call me from the stage of active life, I shall devote myself to letters, instruct the actors on it and serve posterity. In such a course I shall, perhaps, find honour. And I shall thus pass my life as within the verge of a better.
God preserve your lordship in safety and prosperity. Your servant, FR. ST. ALBAN
June 6th, 1621.
TRANSLATION OF A LETTER TO COUNT GON-
MOST ILLUSTRIOUS AND EXCELLENT LORD,
I see and acknowledge the divine providence in raising up for me under my utter desertion, such a friend, sent as it were from heaven, who, involved in such great concerns, and with time so very limited, has yet taken an interest in my fortunes, and has effected that for me, which other friends either dared not attempt or could not have obtained.
by repulses, nor on the other hand been completely fulfilled, it would seem from this as if the divine providence intended that the work of rescuing me from my misery was to be yours in its end, as in its beginning. Thirdly, because those two stars which have ever been propitious to me, the greater and the less are now shining in your city, and thus by the assisting and benignant rays of your friendship, they may acquire an influence on my fortunes, which shall restore me to a place in the scale of favour, not unbeYour lordship will enjoy the suitable and last-fitting my former elevation. Fourthly, because ing fruit of such dealing in your own noble cha- I learn from the letters you have lately written racter, so prone to all the offices of sympathy and to my intimate friend, Sir Toby Matthew, that honour. Nor will this, perhaps, be the least you cherish a lively and warm remembrance of among your good deeds, that by your assistance and favour you have raised and strengthened me once one among the living, and who shall not altogether die to posterity. What return can I make? I shall at least ever be yours, if not in useful service, at least in heart and good wishes. The fire of my love for you will remain quick under the ashes of my fortune; wherefore, I most humbly greet you, bid you farewell, wish you all prosperity, call heaven to witness my gratitude, promise all faithful observance.
TRANSLATION OF A LETTER TO COUNT GON-
MOST ILLUSTRIOUS COUNT,
me, which has neither been overwhelmed nor
My Lord St. Alban's first letter to Gondomar into
THE COMMON LAWS OF ENGLAND,
BRANCHED INTO A DOUBLE TRACT:
CONTAINING A COLLECTION OF SOME PRINCIPAL RULES AND MAXIMs of the COMMON LAW, WITH THEIR LATITUDE AND EXTENT;
EXPLICATED FOR THE MORE FACILE INTRODUCTION OF SUCH AS ARE STUDIOUSLY ADDICTED
THE OTHER, THE USE OF THE COMMON LAW, FOR THE PRESERVATION OF OUR PERSONS, GOODS, AND GOOD NAMES,
ACCORDING TO THE LAWS AND CUSTOMS OF THIS LAND.
TO HER SACRED MAJESTY.
I Do here most humbly present and dedicate to your sacred majesty a sheaf and cluster of fruit of the good and favourable season, which, by the influence of your happy government, we enjoy; for if it be true, that silent leges inter arma, it is also as true, that your majesty is, in a double respect, the life of our laws; once, because without your authority they are but litera mortua; and again, because you are the life of our peace, without which laws are put to silence. And as the vital spirits do not only maintain and move the body, but also contend to perfect and renew it, so your sacred majesty, who is anima legis, doth not only give unto your laws force and vigour, but also hath been careful of their amendment and reforming; wherein your majesty's proceeding may be compared, as in that part of your government, (for if your government be considered in all the parts, it is incomparable,) with the former doings of the most excellent princes that ever have reigned, whose study altogether hath been always to adorn and honour times of peace with the amendment of the policy of their laws. Of this proceeding in Augustus Caesar the testimony yet remains.
Pace data terris, animum ad civilia vertit
Jura suum; legesque tulit justissimus auctor.
Phil. i. c. 7
Hence was collected the difference between gesta in armis and acta in toga, whereof he disputeth thus: Ecquid est, quod tam propriè dici potest actum ejus qui togatus in republica cum potestate imperioque versatus sit quam lex? quære acta Gracchi? leges Sempronii proferantur. Quære Syllæ: Cornelia? Quid? Cn. Pom. tertius consulatus in quibus actis consistet? nempe in legibus: à Cæsare ipso si quæreres quidnam egisset in urbe, et in toga: leges multas se responderet, et præclaras tulisse. The same desire long after did spring in the Emperor Justinian, being rightly called ultimus impe ratorum Romanorum, who, having peace in the heart of his empire, and making his wars prosper ously in the remote places of his dominions by his lieutenants, chose it for a monument and honour of his government, to revise the Roman laws, from infinite volumes and much repugnancy, into one competent and uniform corps of law; of which matter himself doth speak gloriously, and yet aptly. calling it, proprium et sanctissimum templum justitiæ consecratum: a work of great excellency indeed, as may well appear, in that France, Italy, and Spain, which have long since shaken off the yoke of the Roman empire, do yet, nevertheless, continue to use the policy of that law: but more excellent had the work been, save that the more ignorant and obscure time undertook to correct the more learned and flourishing time. To conclude with the domestical example of one of your majesty's royal ancestors: King Edward I., your majesty's famous progenitor, and the principal lawgiver of