« AnteriorContinuar »
ground, having spoken out of a few heads which I had gathered; (for I seldom do more) I set down, as soon as I came home, cursorily, a frame of that I had said; though I persuade myself I spake it with more life. I have sent it to Mr. Murray, sealed; if your majesty have so much idle time to look upon it, it may give some light of the day's work: but I most humbly pray your majesty to pardon the errors. God preserve you
Your majesty's most humble subject, and devoted servant.
are to have all the Old Company's profit, by the trade of whites; they are again to have upon the proportion of clothes, which they shall vend dyed and dressed, the Fleming's profit upon the teyntour. Now then as I say, as it had been too good husbandry for a king to have taken profit of them if the project could have been effected at once, (as was voiced ;) so on the other side it might be, perchance, too little husbandry and profidence to take nothing of them, for that which is merely lucrative to them, in the mean time. Nay, I say further, this will greatly conduce and be a kind of security to the end desired. For I always feared, and do yet fear, that when men, by condition merchants, though never so honest, have
A LETTER TO THE KING, CONCERNING THE NEW gotten into their hands the trades of whites, and
COMPANY. AUGUST 12, 1615.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, Your majesty shall shortly receive the bill, for the incorporation of the New Company; together with a bill, for the privy seal, being a dependency thereof. For this morning I subscribed and docketed them both. I think it, therefore, now time, to represent to your majesty's high wisdom that which I conceive, and have had long in mind, concerning your majesty's service and honourable profit in this business.
This project, which hath proceeded from a worthy service of the lord treasurer, I have from the beginning constantly affected; as may well appear by my sundry labours from time to time in the same. For I hold it a worthy character of your majesty's reign and times; insomuch, as though your majesty might have at this time (as is spoken) a great annual benefit for the quitting of it, yet, I shall never be the man that should wish your majesty to deprive yourself of that beatitude; "Beatius est dare, quàm accipere," in this cause; but to sacrifice your profit (though, as your majesty's state is, it be precious to you) to so great a good of your kingdom: although this project is not without a profit, immediate unto you, by the increasing of customs upon the materials of days.
But here is the case. The New Company, by this patent and privy seal, are to have two things wholly diverse from the first intention; or rather, ex diametro, opposite unto the same; which, nevertheless, the most of necessity have, or else the work is overthrown. So as may call them, mala necessaria, but yet withal temporary. For as men make war to have peace, so these merchants must have license for whites, to the end to banish whites; and they must have license to use teyntours, to the end to banish teyntours.
This is therefore that I say; your majesty upon these two points may justly, and with honour, and with preservation of your first intention inviolate, demand profit in the interim, as long as these unnatural points continue, and then to cease. For your majesty may be pleased to observe they
the dispensation of teyntour, wherein they shall reap profit for that which they never sowed; but have gotten themselves certainties, in respect of the state's hopes; they are like enough to sleep upon this, as upon a pillow, and to make no haste to go on with the rest. And though it may be said that that is a thing will easily appear to the state, yet (no doubt) means may be devised and found to draw the business in length. So that I conclude that if your majesty take a profit of them, in the interim, (considering you refuse profit from the Old Company,) it will be both spur and bridle to them to make them pace aright to your majesty's end.
This, in all humbleness, according to my avowed care and fidelity, being no man's man but your majesty's, I present, leave, and submit to your majesty's better judgment; and I could wish your majesty would speak with Sir Thomas Lake in it; who, besides his good habit which he hath in business, beareth (methinks) an indifferent hand in this particular; and (if it please your majesty) it may proceed as from yourself, and not as a motion or observation of mine.
Your majesty need not in this to be straitened in time, as if this must be demanded or treated, before you sign their bill; for I, foreseeing this, and foreseeing that many things might fall out which I could not foresee, have handled it so, as with their good contentment there is a power of revocation inserted into their patent. And so, commending your majesty to God's blessed and precious custody, I rest
Your majesty's most humble and devoted subject and servant.
justice upon the commission for the indicting of
Your assured friend and servant.
A LETTER TO THE KING, ADVISING HOW TO
RUARY 3, 1615.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY,
ble to truth and your majesty's service. If this New Company break, it must either be put upon the patent or upon the order made by themselves. For the patent, I satisfied the board that there was no title in it which was not either verbatim in the patent of the Old Company, or by special warrant from the table, inserted. My Lord Coke, with much respect to me, acknowledged, but disliked the old patent itself, and disclaimed his being at the table when the additions were allowed. But in my opinion, (howsoever my Lord Coke, to magnify his science in law, draweth every thing, though sometimes unproperly and unseasonably, to that kind of question,) it is not convenient to break the business upon these points. For, considering they were but clauses that were in the former patents, and in many other patents of companies, and that the additions likewise passed the allowance of the table, it will be but clamoured, and perhaps conceived, that to quarrel them now is but an occasion taken, and that the times are changed rather than the matter. But that which preserveth entire your majesty's honour, and the constancy of your proceedings, is to put the breach upon their orders.
For this light I gave in my report, which the table readily apprehended and much approved; that if the table reject their orders as unlawful and unjust, it doth free you from their contract; for whosoever contracteth, or undertaketh any thing, is always understood to perform it by lawful means; so, as they have plainly abused the state if that which they have undertaken be either impossible or unjust.
excellent faculty of your majesty's judgment, because I think it importeth that future good which may grow to your majesty in the close of this business; that the falling off be without all exception. God have you in his precious custody.
I spake yesternight long with my Lord Coke; and for the " Rege Inconsulto," I conceive by him it will be "an ampliùs deliberandum censeo," (as I thought at first,) so as for the present your majesty shall not need to renew your commandment of stay. I spake with him also about some propositions concerning your majesty's casual revenue, wherein I found him to consent with me fully; assuming, nevertheless, that he had thought of them before; but it is one thing to have the vapour of a thought; another to digest business aright. He, on his part, imparted to me divers things of great weight concerning I am bold to present this consideration to that the reparation of your majesty's means and finances, which I heard gladly; insomuch as he perceiving the same, I think, was the readier to open himself to me in one circumstance, which he did much inculcate. I concur freely with him that they are to be held secret; for I never saw but that business is like a child which is framed invisibly in the womb, and if it come forth too soon it will be abortive. I know in most of them the prosecution must rest much upon myself. But I, that had the power to prevail in the farmer's case of the French wines, A LETTER TO THE KING TOUCHING THE LORD without the help of my Lord Coke, shall be better able to go through these with his help, the ground being no less just. And this I shall ever add of mine own, that I shall ever respect your majesty's honour no less than your profit; and shall also take care, according to my pensive manner, that that which is good for the present have not in it hidden seeds of future inconve
The matter of the New Company was referred to me by the lords of the privy council; wherein, after some private speech with Sir Lionel Cranfield, I made that report which I held most agree
Your majesty's most humble and
CHANCELLOR'S SICKNESS. FEBRUARY 9, 1615.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY,
I am glad to understand by Mr. Murray that your majesty accepteth well of my poor endeavours in opening unto you the passages of your service; that business may come the less crude, and the more prepared to your royal judgment, the perfection whereof, as I cannot expect they should satisfy in every particular, so I hope, through my assiduity, there will result a good total.
My lord chancellor's sickness falleth out "dure tempore." I have always known him a wise
man, and of just elevation for monarchy, but your majesty's service must not be mortal; and if you lose him, as your majesty hath now of late purchased many hearts by depressing the wicked, so God doth minister unto you a counterpart to do the like by raising the honest. God evermore preserve your majesty.
Your majesty's most humble subject and bounden servant.
A LETTER TO SIR GEORGE VILLIERS, TOUCHING A MOTION TO SWEAR HIM COUNCILLOR. FEB. 21, 1615.
SIR, My lord chancellor's health growing with the days, and his resignation being an uncertainty, I would be glad you went on with my first motion, my swearing privy councillor. This I desire, not so much to make myself more sure of the other, and to put it past competition; (for herein, I rest wholly upon the king, and your excellent self) but, because I find hourly, that I need this strength in his majesty's service, both for my better warrant, and satisfaction of my conscience, that I deal not in things above my vocation; and for my better countenance and prevailing where his majesty's service is under any pretext opposed, I would it were despatched. I remember a greater matter than this, was despatched by a letter from Royston; which was, the placing of the archbishop that now is: and I imagine, the king did on purpose, that the act might appear to be his own.
My lord chancellor told me yesterday, in plain terms, that if the king would ask his opinion touching the person that he would commend to succeed him, upon death or disability, he would name me for the fittest man. You may advise whether use may not be made of this offer.
I sent a pretty while since a paper to Mr. John Murray; which was, indeed, a little remembrance of some things past; concerning my honest and faithful services to his majesty, not by way of boasting, (from which I am far,) but as tokens of my studying his service uprightly and carefully. If you be pleased to call for the paper which is with Mr. John Murray, and to find a fit time, that his majesty may cast an eye upon it, I think it will do no hurt: and I have written to Mr. Murray to deliver the paper if you call for it. God keep you in all happiness.
Your truest servant.
A LETTER TO THE KING OF ADVICE, UPON THE
BREACH OF THE NEW COMPANY. FEB. 25, 1615.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, Your privy council have wisely and truly discerned of the orders and demands of the New
Company, that they are unlawful and unjust, and themselves have now acknowledged the work impossible without them by their petition in writing, now registered in the Council Book: so as this conclusion (of their own making) is become peremptory and final to themselves; and the impossibility confessed the practice and abuse, reserved to the judgment the state shall make of it. This breach then of this great contract is wholly on their part; which could not have been, if your majesty had broken upon the patent: for the patent was your majesty's act, the orders are their act; and in the former case they had not been liable to further question, now they are.
There rest two things to be considered: the one if they (like Proteus when he is hard held) shall yet again vary their shape, and shall quit their orders, convinced of injustice, and lay their imposition only upon the trade of whites, whether your majesty shall further expect? The other, if your majesty dissolve them upon this breach on their part, what is further to be done for the setting of the trade again in joint, and for your own honour and profit? In both which points I will not presume to give opinion, but only to break the business for your majesty's better judgment.
For the first, I am sorry the occasion was given, (by my Lord Coke's speech at this time of the commitment of some of them,) that they should seek, "omnem movere lapidem," to help themselves. Better it had been, if (as my Lord Fenton said to me that morning very judiciously, and with a great deal of foresight) that, for that time, they should have had a bridge made for them to be gone. But my Lord Coke floweth according to his own tides, and not according to the tides of business. The thing which my Lord Coke said, was good and too little, but at this time it was too much. But that is past. Howsoever, if they should go back, and seek again to entertain your majesty with new orders or offers, (as is said to be intended,) your majesty hath ready two answers of repulse, if it please your majesty to use them.
The one, that this is now the fourth time that they have mainly broken with your majesty and contradicted themselves. First, They undertook to dye and dress all the cloths of the realm; soon after they wound themselves into the trade of whites, and came down to the proportion contracted. Secondly, They ought to have performed that contract according to their subscription, pro rata, without any of these orders and impositions: soon after they deserted their subscription, and had recourse to these devices of orders. Thirdly, If by order and not by subscription, yet their orders should have laid it upon the whites, which is an unlawful and prohibited trade, nevertheless, they would have brought in lawful and settled trades. full manufactures, merchandise of all natures, poll money or brotherhood money, and I cannot
tell what. And now lastly, it seemeth they would company. And, therefore, I dare not advise to go back to lay it upon the whites: And, therefore, whether your majesty will any more rest and build this great wheel of your kingdom, upon these broken and brittle pins, and try experiments further upon the health and body of your state, I leave to your princely judgment.
adventure this great trade of the kingdom (which hath been so long under government) in a free or loose trade. The third is, a compounded way of both, which is, to go on with the trade of whites by the Old Company restored; and, that your majesty's profit be raised by order amongst themselves, rather than by double custom, wherein you must be the actor: and, that, nevertheless, there be added a privilege to the same company to carry out cloths dyed and dressed custom free; which will still continue as a glorious beam of your majesty's royal design. I hope and wish at least that this, which I have written, may be of some use to your majesty to settle by the advice of the lords about you this great business. At the least it is the effect of my care and poor ability, which if in me be any, it is given me to no other end but faithfully to serve your majesty. God ever preserve you.
The other answer of repulse is a kind of opposing them what they will do after the three years contracted for? Which is a point hitherto not much stirred, though Sir Lionel Cranfield hath ever beaten upon it in his speech with me: for after three years they are not tied, otherways than as trade shall give encouragement; of which encouragement your majesty hath a bitter taste. And if they should hold on according to the third year's proportion, and not rise on by further gradation, your majesty hath not your end. No, I fear, and having long feared that this feeding of the foreigner may be dangerous. For as we may think to hold up our clothing by vent of whites, till we can dye and dress; so they (I mean the Dutch) will think to hold up their manufacture of dying and dressing upon our whites till they can cloth so as your majesty hath the greatest reason in the world to make the New Company to come in and strengthen that part of their conSIR,-I humbly pray you not to think me over tract; and they refusing (as it is confidently believed they will) to make their default more visi-brance of my motion of strengthening me with the hasty or much in appetite, if I put you in remem
ble to all men.
Your majesty's most humble subject, and bounden servant.
ANOTHER LETTER, TO SIR GEORGE VILLIERS,
oath and trust of a privy councillor; not for mine
For the second main part of your majesty's consultation, (that is, what shall be done, supposing an absolute breach,) I have had some speech with Mr. Secretary Lake, and likewise with Sir Lionel Cranfield; and (as I conceive) there may be three ways taken into consideration. The first is, that the Old Company be restored, who (no doubt) are in appetite, and (as I find by Sir Lionel Cranfield) not unprepared; and that the licenses, the one, that of 30,000 cloths, which was the old license; the other, that of my Lord of Cumberland's, which is without stint, (my Lord of Cumberland receiving satisfaction,) be compounded into one entire license without stint; and then that they amongst themselves take order for that profit which hath been offered to your majesty. This is a plain and known way, wherein your majesty is not an actor; only it hath this, that the work of dying and dressing cloths, which hath been so much glorified, seemeth to be wholly relinquished if you leave there. The second is, that there be a free trade of cloth, with this difference; that the dyed and dressed pay no custom, and the whites double custom, it being a merchandise prohibited and only licentiate. This continueth in life and fame the work desired, and will have popular applause. But I do confess I did ever think, that trading in companies is most agree- A LETTER TO SIR GEORGE VILLIERS, TOUCHING
able to the English nature, which wanteth that same general vein of a republic, which runneth in the Dutch; and serveth to them instead of a
HIS SWEARING COUNCILLOR. MAY 30, 1616.
SIR,-The time is, as I should think, now or never, for his majesty to finish his good meaning
towards me; if it please him to consider what is past, and what is to come.
If I would tender my profit, and oblige men unto me by my place and practice, I could have more profit than I could devise, and could oblige all the world and offend none; which is a brave condition for a man's private. But my heart is not on these things. Yet, on the other side, I would be sorry that worthless persons should make a note that I get nothing but pains and enemies; and a little popular reputation, which followeth me whether I will or no. If any thing be to be done for yourself, I should take infinite contentment, that my honour might wait upon yours: But I would be loath it should wait upon any man's else. If you would put your strength to this business it is done; and that done many things more will begin. God keep you ever; I rest,
Your true and devoted servant.
A LETTER TO Sir George VILLIERS, UPON THE
JUNE 3, 1616.
A LETTER TO SIR GEORGE VILLIERS, FOR THE
SIR,-I do think you may do yourself honour, and (that which is more) do a good work, if you will assist and perfect a motion begun (and that upon a good ground, both of submission and conformity) for the restoring of Doctor Burgis to preach; and I wish, likewise, that if Gray's-Inn should think good (after he is free from the state) to choose him for their preacher, his majesty should not be against it; for certainly we should watch him well if he should fly forth; so as he cannot be placed in a more safe auditory. This may seem a trifle, but I do assure you, I do scarce know a particular wherein you may open more honest mouths to speak honour of you than this. And I do extremely desire there may be a full cry from all sorts of people (especially the best) to speak and to trumpet out your commendations. I pray you take it to heart, and do somewhat in it. I rest
Your devoted and bounden servant.
SIR, The king giveth me a noble choice, and you are the man my heart ever told me you were. Ambition would draw me to the latter part of the choice; but in respect of my hearty wishes that my lord chancellor may live long, and the small hopes I have, that I shall live long myself, and above all, because I see his majesty's service daily and instantly bleedeth; towards which I persuade myself (vainly, perhaps, but yet in mine own thoughts firmly and constantly) that I shall give, when I am of the table, some effectual furtherance, (as a poor thread of the labyrinth, which hath no other virtue but a united continuance, without interruption or distraction,) I do accept A LETTER TO THE KING, TOUCHING Sir George of the former, to be councillor for the present, and to give over pleading at bar: let the other matter rest upon my proof and his majesty's pleasure, and the accidents of time. For, to speak plainly I would be loath that my lord chancellor, to whom I owe most after the king and yourself, should be locked to his successor for any advancement or gracing of me. So I ever remain Your true, and most devoted, and obliged servant.
TO HIS VERY HONOURABLE GOOD FRIEND, SIR
OF THE GARTER. JUNE 12, 1616.
SIR,-I send his majesty a draught of the act of council, concerning the judges' letter; penned as near as I could to his majesty's instructions VOL. III.-7
VILLIERS' PATENT FOR BARON OF BLETCHLEY
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST excellent MAJESTY,
It resteth that I express unto your majesty my great joy in your honouring and advancing this gentleman; whom to describe, not with colours, but with true lines, I may say this; your majesty certainly hath found out and chosen a safe nature, a capable man, an honest will, generous and noble affections, and a courage well lodged; and one, that I know, loveth your majesty