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Notes upon MICHAEL DE LA POLE'S Case. (a)

10 Rich. 2. THE offences were of three natures: 1. Deceits to the king.

2. Misgovernance in point of estate, whereby the ordinances made by ten commissioners for reformation of the state were frustrated, and the city of Ghent, in foreign parts, lost.

3. And his setting the seal to pardons for murders, and other enormous crimes.

The judgment was imprisonment, fine, and ransom, and restitution to the king, but no disablement, nor making him uncapable, no degrading in honour mentioned in the judgment: but contrariwise, in the clause, that restitution should be made and levied out of his lands and goods, it is expressly said, that because his honour of earl was not taken from him, therefore his 201. per annum creation money should not be meddled with.

Observations upon THORPE'S Case.

24 Edw. 3. His offence was taking of money from five several persons, that were felons, for staying their process of exigent; for that it made him a kind of accessary of felony, and touched upon matter capital.

The judgment was the judgment of felony: but the proceeding had many things strong and new; first, the proceeding was by commission of oyer and terminer, and by jury; and not by parliament.

The judgment is recited to be given in the king's high and sovereign power.

It is recited likewise, that the king, when he made him chief justice, and increased his wages, did ore

(a) This paper was probably drawn up on occasion of the proceedings and judgment passed upon the lord viscount St. Alban by the house of lords, May 3, 1621.

tenus say to him, in the presence of his council, that now if he bribed he would hang him: unto which penance, for so the record called it, he submitted h mself. So it was a judgment by a contract.

His oath likewise, which was devised some few years before, which is very strict in words, that he shall take no reward, neither before nor after, is chiefly insisted upon. And that, which is more to be observed, there is a precise proviso, that the judgment and proceeding shall not be drawn into example against any, and specially not against any who have not taken the like oath which the lord chancellor, lord treasurer, master of the wards, &c. take not, but only the judges of both benches, and baron of the exchequer.

The king pardoned him presently after, doubting, as it seems, that the judgment was erroneous, both in matter and form of proceeding; brought it before the lords of parliament, who affirmed the judgment, and gave authority to the king in the like cases, for the time to come, to call to him what lords it pleased him, and to adjudge them.


44 Edw. 3. His offences were, great oppressions in usurpation of authority, in attacking and imprisoning in the Tower, and other prisons, numbers of the king's subjects, for causes no ways appertaining to his jurisdiction; and for discharging an appellant of felony without warrant, and for deceit of the king, and extortions.

His judgment was only imprisonment in the Tower, until he had made a fine and ransom at the king's will; and no more.


50 Edw. 3. His offences were very high and hainous, drawing upon high treason: as the extortious taking of victuals in Bretagne, to a great value, without paying any thing; and for ransoming divers parishes there to the sum of 83,000l. contrary to the articles of truce proclaimed by the king; for suffering his deputies and lieutenants in Bretagne to exact, upon the towns and countries there, divers sums of money, to the sum of 150,000 crowns; for sharing with Richard Lyons in his deceit of the king; for enlarging, by his own authority, divers felons: and divers other exorbitant offences.

Notwithstanding all this, his judgment was only to be committed to the Marshalsea, and to make fine and ransom at the king's will.

But after, at the suit of the commons, in regard of those horrible and treasonable offences, he was displaced from his office, and disabled to be of the king's council; but his honours not touched, and he was presently bailed by some of the lords, and suffered to go at large.


50 Edw. 3. His offences were, the not supplying the full number of the soldiers in Bretagne, according to the allowance of the king's pay. And the second was for buying certain debts, due from the king, to his own lucre, and giving the parties small recompence, and specially in a case of the lady Ravensholme.

And it was prayed by the commons, that he might be put out of office about the king: but there was no judgment given upon that prayer, but only of restitution to the lady, and a general clause of being punished according to his demerits.


Illustrissime Domine Legate,

AMOREM illustrissimæ Dominationis tuæ erga me, ejusque et fervorem et candorem, tam in prosperis rebus, quam in adversis, æquabili tenore constantem perspexi. Quo nomine tibi meritas et debitas gratias ago. Me vero jam vocat et ætas, et fortuna, atque etiam genius meus, cui adhuc satis morose satisfeci, ut excedens e theatro rerum civilium literis me dedam, et ipsos actores instruam, et posteritati serviam. Id mihi fortasse honori erit, et degam tanquam in atriis vitæ melioris.

Deus illustrissimam Dominationem tuam incolumem servet et prosperam.

Junii 6, 1621.

Servus tuus,



Illustrissime et excellentissime Domine,

PERSPEXI et agnosco providentiam divinam, quod in tanta solitudine mihi tanquam cœlitus suscitaverit talem amicum, qui tantis implicatus negotiis, et in tantis temporis angustiis, curam mei habuerit, idque pro me effecerit, quod alii amici mei aut non ausi sint tentare, aut obtinere non potuerint. Atque illustrissimæ Dominationi tuæ reddent fructum proprium et perpetuum mores tui tam generosi, et erga omnia officia humanitatis et honoris propensi; neque erit fortasse inter opera tua hoc minimum, quod me, qui et aliquis fui apud vivos, neque omnino intermo

(a) In the letters, memoirs, &c. of the lord chancellor Bacon, published by Mr. Stephens, in 1736, p. 517, is a Spanish letter to him from count Gondomar, dated at London, June 14, 1621.

riar apud posteros, ope et gratia tua erexeris, confirmaris. Ego quid possum? Ero tandem tuus, si minus usufructu, at saltem affectu, voto. Sub cineribus fortunæ vivi erunt semper ignes amoris. Te igitur humillime saluto, tibi valedico, omnia prospera exopto, gratitudinem testor, observantiam polliceor.

Illustrissimo et excellentissimo Do. Do. Didaco Sarmiento de Acunna, Comiti de Gondomar, Legato Regis Hispaniarum extraordinario in Anglia.


My very good Lord,

I HUMBLY thank your lordship for the grace and favour which you did both to the message and messenger, in bringing Mr. Meautys to kiss his majesty's hands, and to receive his pleasure. My riches in my adversity hath been, that I have had a good master, a good friend, and a good servant.

Perceiving, by Mr. Meautys, his majesty's inclination, it shall be, as it hath ever used to be to me, instead of a direction; and therefore I purpose to go forthwith to Gorhambury, humbly thanking his majesty nevertheless, that he was graciously pleased to have acquainted my lords with my desire, if it had stood me so much upon. But his majesty knoweth best the times and seasons; and to his grace I submit myself, desiring his majesty and your lordship to take my letters from the Tower, as written de profundis, and those I continue to write to be er aquis salsis. [June 22, 1621.]


To lord Buckingham, upon bringing Mr. Meautys to kiss the king's hands.

(a) This letter is reprinted here, because it differs, in some respects, from that published in letters, memoirs, parliamentary affairs, state papers, &c. by Robert Stephens, esq. p. 151. Edit. London, 1736, 4to.

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