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obtain some enlargement. This rigour of proceeding (to tell your lordship and the rest, as my good friends, my opinion plainly) tendeth not to strengthen authority, which is best supported by love and fear intermixed; but rather to make people discontented and servile; especially, when such punishment is inflicted for words, not by rule of law, but by a jurisdiction of discretion, which would evermore be moderately used. And I pray God, whereas, Mr. Recorder, when I was with you, did well and wisely put you in mind of the admonitions you often received from my lords that you should bridle unruly tongues; that those kind of speeches and rumours whereunto those admonitions do refer, which are concerning the state and honour thereof, do not pass too licentiously in the city unpunished; while these words which concern your particular are so straightly inquired into, and punished with such extremity. But these things, your own wisdom (first or last) will best represent unto you. My writing unto you at this time is, to the end, that howsoever I do take it somewhat unkindly, that my mediation prevailed no more; yet I might preserve that further respect that I am willing to use unto such a state, in delivering my opinion unto you freely, before I would be of counsel, or move any thing that should cross your proceedings; which, notwithstanding, (in case my client can receive no relief at your hands,) I must and will do. Continuing, nevertheless, in other things, my wonted good affection to yourselves, and your occasions.
should be so much troubled with this matter of Peacham's, whose raging devil seemeth to be turned into a dumb devil. But although we are driven to make our way through questions, (which I wish were otherwise,) yet I hope well the end will be good. But then every man must put to his helping hand; for else I must say to your majesty, in this and the like cases, as St. Paul said to the centurion, when some of the mariners had an eye to the cock-boat, "except these stay in the ship, ye cannot be safe." I find in my lords great and worthy care of the business. And, for my part, I hold my opinion and am strengthened in it, by some records that I have found. God preserve your majesty.
Your majesty's most humble, and devoted subject and servant.
A LETTER TO THE KING, TOUCHING PEACHAM'S CAUSE, JANUARY 27, 1614.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY, This day, in the afternoon, was read, your majesty's letters of direction touching Peacham; which, because it concerneth properly the duty of my place, I thought it fit for me to give your majesty both a speedy and private account thereof; that your majesty, knowing things clearly how they pass, may have the true fruit of your own wisdom and clear-seeing judgment in governing the business.
First, for the regularity which your majesty (as a master in business of estate) doth prudently pre
A LETTER TO MY LORD TREASURER SALISBURY, Scribe in examining, and taking examinations, I
UPON A NEW YEAR'S TIDE.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDship,
I would entreat the new year to answer for the old, in my humble thanks to your lordship; both for many your favours, and chiefly that, upon the occasion of Mr. Attorney's infirmity, I found your lordship even as I could wish. This doth increase a desire in me to express my thankful mind to your lordship; hoping that though I find age, and decays grow upon me, yet I may have a flash or two of spirit left to do you service. And I do protest before God, without compliment or any light vanity of mind, that if I knew in what course of life to do you best service, I would take it, and make my thoughts, which now fly to many pieces, to be reduced to that centre. But all this, is no more than I am, which is not much; but yet the entire of nim, that is, etc.
A LETTER TO HIS MAJESTY, CONCERNING
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY,
It grieveth me exceedingly, that your majesty
subscribe to it; only I will say for myself, that I was not at this time the principal examiner.
commandeth, for the feeling of the judges of the For the course your majesty directeth and King's Bench, their several opinions by distributing ourselves and enjoining secrecy, we did first find an encounter in the opinion of my Lord Coke; who seemed to affirm, that such particular and (as he called it) auricular taking of opinions, was not according to the custom of this realm; and seemed to divine that his brethren would never do it. But when I replied, that it was our duty to pursue your majesty's directions; and it were not amiss for his lordship to leave his brethren to their own answers, it was so concluded;) and his lordship did desire, that I might confer with himself; and Mr. Serjeant Montague was named to speak with Justice Crooke; Mr. Serjeant Crew with Justice Houghton; and Mr. Solicitor with Justice Dodderidge. This done, I took my fellows aside, and advised that they should presently speak with the three judges, before I could speak with my Lord Coke for doubt of infusion; and (that they should not in any case make any doubt to the judges, as if they
mistr mistrusted, they would not deliver any opinion | sion without the premises, and by haste hindereth. apart, but speak resolutely to them,) and only It is my lord treasurer and the exchequer must help make their coming to be, to know what time they it, if it be holpen. I have heard more ways than would appoint to be attended with the papers. one, of an offer of 20,000l. per annum, for farmThis sorted not amiss; for Mr. Solicitor came to ing the penalties of recusants, not including any me this evening and related to me, that he had offence, capital or of premunire; wherein I will found Judge Dodderidge very ready to give opinion presume to say, that my poor endeavours, since I in secret; and fell upon the same reason, which was by your great and sole grace your attorney, upon your majesty's first letter I had used to my have been no small spurs to make them feel your Lord Coke at the council table; which was, that laws, and seek this redemption; wherein must every judge was bound expressly by his oath to also say, my Lord Coke hath done his part: and give your majesty counsel when he was called; I do assure your majesty I know it, somewhat and whether he should do it jointly or severally, inwardly and groundedly, that by the courses we that rested in your majesty's good pleasure, as have taken, they conform daily and in great numyou would require it. And though the ordinary bers; and I would to God, it were as well a concourse was to assemble them, yet there might version as a conformity; but if it should die by intervene cases, wherein the other course was dispensation or dissimulation, then I fear, that more convenient. The like answer made Jus-whereas your majesty hath now so many ill subtice Crook. Justice Houghton, who is a soft man, seemed desirous first to confer; alleging, that the other three judges had all served the crown before they were judges, but that he had not been much acquainted with business of this
We purpose, therefore, forthwith, they shall be made acquainted with the papers; and that if that could be done, as suddenly as this was, I should make small doubt of their opinions; and howsoever, I hope, force of law and precedent, will bind them to the truth: neither am I wholly out of hope, that my Lord Coke himself, when I have in some dark manner put him in doubt that he shall be left alone, will not continue singular.
For Owen; I know not the reason, why there should have been no mention made thereof in the
last advertisement: for I must say for myself, that I have lost no moment of time in it, as my Lord of Canterbury can bear me witness. For having received from my lord an additional of great importance; which was, that Owen of his own accord, after examination, should compare the case of your majesty (if you were excommunicated) to the case of a prisoner condemned at the bar; which additional was subscribed by one witness; but yet I perceived it was spoken aloud, and in the hearing of others, I presently sent down a copy thereof, which is now come up, attested with the hands of three more, lest there should have been any scruple of "singularis testis ;" so as, for this case, I may say "omnia parata ;" and we expect but a direction from your majesty, for the acquainting the judges severally; or the four judges of the King's Bench, as your majesty shall think good.
I forget not, nor forslow not your majesty's commandment touching recusants; of which, when it is ripe, I will give your majesty a true account, and what is possible to be done, and where the impediment is. Mr. Secretary bringeth "bonum voluntatem," but he is not versed much in these things; and sometimes urgeth the concluVOL. III.-6
jects poor and detected, you shall then have them rich and dissembled. And, therefore, I hold this offer very considerable, of so great an increase of revenue; if it can pass the fiery trial of religion and honour, which I wish all projects may pass.
Thus, inasmuch as I have made to your majesty somewhat a naked and particular account of business, I hope your majesty will use it accordingly. God preserve your majesty.
Your majesty's most humble and devoted subject and servant.
A LETTER REPORTING THE STATE OF MY LORD
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY,
Because I know your majesty would be glad to hear how it is with my lord chancellor; and that │it pleased him out of his ancient and great love to me, which many times in sickness appeareth most, to admit me to a great deal of speech with him this afternoon, which, during these three days, he hath scarcely done to any; I thought it might be pleasing to your majesty to certify you how I found him. I found him in bed, but his spirits fresh and good, speaking stoutly, and without being spent or weary, and both willing and beginning of himself to speak, but wholly of your majesty's business. Wherein I cannot forget to relate this particular, that he wished that his sentencing of the I. S. at the day appointed, might be his last work, to conclude his services, and express his affection towards your majesty. 1 told him I knew your majesty would be very desirous of his presence that day, so it might be without prejudice, but otherwise your majesty esteemed a servant more than a service, especially such a servant. Not to trouble your majesty, though good spirits in sickness be uncertain calendars, yet I have very good comfort of him, and I hope by that day, etc.
A LETTER TO THE KING, GIVING HIM AN AC
To which I replied, that questions of estate might
COUNT OF PEACHAM'S BUSINESS, AND SOME concern thousands of lives; and many things
OTHERS, JAN. 31, 1614.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY,
I received this morning, by Mr. Murray, a message from your majesty of some warrant and confidence, that I should advertise your majesty of your business, wherein I had part. Wherein, I am first humbly to thank your majesty for your good acceptation of my endeavours and service; which I am not able to furnish with any other quality save faith and diligence.
For Peacham's case, I have, since my last letter, been with my Lord Coke twice; once before Mr. Secretary's going down to your majesty, and once since, which was yesterday; at the former of which times I delivered him Peacham's papers, and at this latter, the precedents which I had with care gathered and selected; for these degrees and order the business required.
At the former I told him that he knew my errand, which stood upon two points; the one, to inform him the particular case of Peacham's treasons, (for I never give it other word to him,) the other to receive his opinion to myself, and in secret, according to my commission from your majesty.)
At the former time, he fell upon the same allegation which he had begun at the council table; that judges were not to give opinion by fractions, but entirely, according to the vote whereupon they should settle upon conference; and that this auricular taking of opinions, single and apart, was new and dangerous; and other words more vehement than I repeat.
I replied in civil and plain terms, that I wished his lordship, in my love to him, to think better of it; for that this, that his lordship was pleased to put into great words, seemed to me and my fellows, when we spake of it amongst ourselves, a reasonable and familiar matter, for a king to consult with his judges, either assembled or selected, or one by one; and then to give him a little outlet, to save his first opinion, (wherewith he is most commonly in love,) I added that judges sometimes might make a suit to be spared for their opinion till they had spoken with their brethren; but if the king, upon his own princely judgment, for reason of estate, should think fit to have it otherwise, and should so demand it, there was no declining; nay, that it touched upon a violation of their oath, which was, to counsel the king without distinction, whether it were jointly or severally. Thereupon, I put him the case of the privy council, as if your majesty should be pleased to command any of them to deliver their opinion apart and in private; whether it were a good answer to deny it, otherwise than if it were propounded at the table. To this he said, that the cases were not alike, because this concerned life.
more precious than the life of a particular; as war and peace, and the like.
To conclude, his lordship, "tanquam exitum quærens," desired me for the time to leave with him the papers, without pressing him to consent to deliver a private opinion till he had perused them. I said I would; and the more willingly, because I thought his lordship, upon due consideration of the papers, would find the case to be so clear a case of treason, as he would make no difficulty to deliver his opinion in private; and so I was persuaded of the rest of the judges of the King's Bench; who, likewise, as I partly understood, made no scruple to deliver their opinion in private. Whereupon, he said, (which I noted well,) that his brethren were wise men, and that they might make a show as if they would give an opinion as was required, but the end would be, that it would come to this, they would say they doubted of it, and so pray advice with the rest. But to this I answered, that I was sorry to hear him say so much, lest, if it came so to pass, some that loved him not might make a construction that that which he had foretold he had wrought. Thus your majesty sees that, as Solomon saith, "gressus nolentis tanquam in sepi spinarum," it catcheth upon every thing.
The latter meeting is yet of more importance; for, then, coming armed with divers precedents, Į thought to set in with the best strength I could and said, that before I descended to the record, I would break the case to him thus: that it was true we were to proceed upon the ancient statute of King Edward the Third, because other temporary statutes were gone, and therefore it must be said in the indictment," imaginatus est, et compassavit, mortem et finalem destructionem domini regis." Then must the particular treasons follow in this manner, viz.: "Et quod, ad perimplendum nefandum propositum suum, composuit, et conscripsit, quendam detestabilem, et venenosum libellum, sive scriptum, in quo inter alia proditoria continetur," etc. And then the principal passages of treason, taken forth of the papers, are to be entered" in hæc verba ;" and with a conclusion in the end, "ad intentionem, quod ligens populus, et veri subditi domini regis, cordialem suum amorem, a domino rege retraherent et ipsum dominum regem relinquerent, et guerram, et insurrectionem, contra eum, levarent, et facerent," etc. I have in this former followed the ancient style of the indictments for brevity's sake, though, when we come to the business itself, we shall enlarge it according to the use of the later times. This I represented to him, (being a thing he is well acquainted with,) that he might perceive the platform of that was intended, without any mistaking or obscurity. But then I fell to the matter itself, to lock him in as much as I could, viz.:
That there be four means or manners, where- | putting off is so notorious; and then the capital by the death of the king is compassed and ima- and the criminal may come together the next gined.
The first, by some particular fact or plot.
The second, by disabling his title; as by affirming that he is not lawful king; or that another ought to be king; or that he is a usurper, or a bastard, or the like.
The third, by subjecting his title to the pope; and thereby making him of an absolute king a conditional king.
The fourth, by disabling his regiment, and making him appear to be incapable, or indign to reign.
These things I relate to your majesty, in sum, as is fit; which when I opened to my lord I did insist a little more upon, with more efficacy and edge, and authority of law and record than I can now express.
Then I placed Peacham's treason within the last division, agreeable to divers precedents, whereof I had the records ready; and concluded, that your majesty's safety, and life, and authority, was thus by law ensconsed and quartered;
I have not been unprofitable in helping to discover and examine within these few days a late patent, by surreption obtained from your majesty, of the greatest forest in England, worth 30,000%., under colour of a defective title, for a matter of 400. The person must be named, because the patent must be questioned. It is a great person, my Lord of Shrewsbury; or rather (as I think) a greater than he, which is my Lady of Shrewsbury. But I humbly pray your majesty, to know this first from my lord treasurer; who, methinks, groweth even studious in your business. God preserve your majesty. Your majesty's most humble and devoted subject and servant.
The rather in regard of Mr. Murray's absence, I humbly pray your majesty to have a little regard to this letter.
and that it was in vain to fortify on three of the A LETTER TO THE KING TOUCHING MY LORD sides, and so leave you open on the fourth.
CHANCELLOR'S AMENDMENT, AND THE PUT-
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY :
My lord chancellor sent for me, to speak with me, this morning, about eight of the clock. I perceive he hath now that signum sanitatis, as to feel better his former weakness. For it is true, I did a little mistrust that it was but a boutade of desire and good spirit, when he promised himself strength for Friday, though I was won and carried with it. But now I find him well inclined, to use (should I say) your liberty, or rather your interdict, signified by Mr. Secretary from your majesty. His lordship showed me also your own letter, whereof he had told me before, but had not showed it me. What shall I say? I do much admire your goodness for writing such a
It is true he heard me in a grave fashion, more than accustomed, and took a pen and took notes of my divisions; and when he read the precedents and records, would say, this you mean falleth within your first or your second division. In the end, I expressly demanded his opinion, as that whereto both he and I was enjoined. But he desired me to leave the precedents with him, that he might advise upon them. I told him, the rest of my fellows would despatch their part, and I should be behind with mine; which, I persuaded myself, your majesty would impute rather to his backwardness than my negligence. He said, as soon as I should understand that the rest were ready, he would not be long after with his opinion. For I. S., your majesty knoweth the day draw-letter at such a time. eth on; and my lord chancellor's recovery, the season and his age promising not to be too hasty. I spake with him on Sunday, at what time I found him in bed, but his spirits strong, and not spent or wearied; and spake wholly of your business leading me from one matter to another. And wished, and seemed to hope, that he might attend the day for I. S., and it were (as he said) to be his last work, to conclude his services and express his affection towards your majesty. I presumed to say to him, that I knew your majesty would be exceeding desirous of his being present that day, so as that it might be without prejudice to his continuance; but that otherwise your majesty esteemed a servant more than a service; especially such a servant. Surely, in mine opinion, your majesty were better put off the day than want his presence, considering the cause of the
He had sent also to my lord treasurer, to desire him to come to him about that time. His lordship came; and, not to trouble your majesty with circumstances, both their lordships concluded, myself present, and concurring, that it could be no prejudice to your majesty's service to put off the day for I. S. till the next term. The rather because there are seven of your privy council, which are at least numerous, and part of the court which are by infirmity like to be absent; that is, my lord chancellor, my lord admiral, my Lord of Shrewsbury, my Lord of Exeter, my Lord Zouch, my Lord Stanhope, and Mr. Chancellor of the Duchy: wherefore they agreed to hold a council to-morrow in the afternoon for that purpose.
It is true, that I was always of opinion, that it was no time lost; and I do think so the rather
because I could be content that the matter of Peacham were first settled and put to a point. For there be, perchance, that would make the example upon I. S. to stand for all. For Peacham, I expect some account from my fellows this day. If it should fall out otherwise, then I hope it may not be left sc. (Your majesty, in your last letter, very wisely, put in a disjunctive that the judges should deliver an opinion privately, either to my lord chancellor or to ourselves, distributed; his sickness, made the latter way to be taken: but the other may be reserved, with some accommodating, when we see the success of the former.
I am appointed, this day, to attend my lord treasurer for a proposition of raising profit and revenue, by enfranchising copy-holders. I am right glad to see the patrimonial part of your revenue well looked into, as well as the fiscal. And I hope it will so be, in other parts as well as this. God preserve your majesty.
that it is needless; I commended my lord's diligence, but withal put it by; and fell upon the other course, (which is the true way ;) that is, that whosoever shall affirm, in diem, or sub-conditione, that your majesty may be destroyed, is a traitor de præsenti; for that he maketh you but tenant for life at the will of another. And I put the Duke of Buckingham's case, who said, that if the king caused him to be arrested of treason, he would stab him; and the case of the impostress, Elizabeth Barton, that said, that if King Henry the Eighth took not his wife again, Katharine Dowager, he should be no longer king; and the like.
It may be these particulars are not worth the relating. But, because I find nothing in the world, so important to your service as to have you thoroughly informed, (the ability of your direction considered,) it maketh me thus to do; most humbly praying your majesty to admonish me, if
Your majesty's most humble and devoted I be over troublesome. subject and servant.
A LETTER TO THE KING OF ACCOUNT OF OWEN'S
CAUSE, ETC. 11 FEBRUARY, 1614.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY, Myself, with the rest of your counsel learned, conferred with my Lord Coke and the rest of the judges of the King's Bench only, being met at my lord's chamber, concerning the business of Owen) For although it be true that your majesty in your letter did mention, that the same course might be held in the taking of opinions apart, in this which was prescribed and used in Peacham's cause; yet both my lords of the council and we, amongst ourselves, holding it, in a case so clear, not needful; but rather that it would import a diffidence in us, and deprive us of the means to debate it with the judges (if cause were) more strongly, (which is somewhat,) we thought best rather to use this form.
The judges desired us to leave the examinations and papers with them, for some little time, to consider (which is a thing they use;) but I conceive there will be no manner of question made of it. (My lord chief justice, to show forwardness, (as I interpret it.) showed us passages of Suarez and others, thereby to prove, that though your majesty stood not excommunicated by particular sentence, yet by the general bulls of Cœna Domini, and others, you were upon the matter excommunicated; and therefore that the treason was, as De præsenti. But I that foresce, that if that course should be held, when it cometh to a public day, to disseminate to the vulgar an opinion that your majesty's case is all one as if you were de facto particularly and expressly excommunicated, it would but increase the danger of your person with those that are desperate Papists; and
For Peacham, the rest of my fellows are ready to make their report to your majesty, at such time, and in such manner, as your majesty shall require it. Myself yesterday, took my Lord Coke aside, after the rest were gone, and told him all the rest were ready, and I was now to require his lordship's opinion, according to my commission. He said, I should have it; and repeated that, twice or thrice, as thinking he had gone too far, in that kind of negative (to deliver any opinion apart) before; and said he would tell it me within a short time, though he were not at that instant ready. I have tossed this business, in omnes partes, whereof I will give your majesty knowledge, when time serveth. God preserve your majesty.
Your majesty's most humble and devoted subject and servant.
A LETTER TO THE KING, REPORTING THE DAY OF HEARING OF I. S. HIS CAUSE, IN THE STAR CHAMBER. 29 APRIL, 1615.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENt Majesty,
I. S.'s day is past, and well past. I hold it to be Janus bifrons; it hath a good aspect to that which is past, and to the future; and doth both satisfy and prepare. All did well: My lord chief justice delivered the law for the benevolence, strongly; I would he had done it timely. Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer spake finely, somewhat after the manner of the late lord privy seal: not all out so sharply, but as elegantly. Sir Thomas Lake (who is also new in that court) did very well, familiarly and counsellor-like. My Lord of Pembroke (who is likewise a stranger there) did extraordinary well, and became himself well, and had an evident applause. I meant well also; and because my information was the