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TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR.*
MY HONOURABLe Lord,
Understanding that there hath been a long and tedious suit depending in the Chancery between Robert D'Oyley and his wife, plaintiffs, and Leonard Lovace, defendant; which cause hath been heretofore ended by award, but is now revived again, and was, in Michaelmas term last, fully heard before your lordship; at which hearing your lordship did not give your opinion thereof, but were pleased to defer it until breviats were delivered on both sides; which, as I am informed, hath been done accordingly: now my desire unto your lordship is, that you will be pleased to take some time, as speedily as your lordship may, to give your opinion thereof, and so make a final end, as your lordship shall find the same in equity to deserve: for which I will ever rest
Your lordship's faithful friend and servant, G. BUCKINGHAM.
Windsor, 18th of May, 1620.
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
I went to Kew for pleasure, but I met with pain. But neither pleasure nor pain can withdraw my mind from thinking of his majesty's service. And because his majesty shall see how I was occupied at Kew, I send him these papers of rules for the Star Chamber, wherein his majesty shall erect one of the noblest and durablest pillars for the justice of this kingdom in perpetuity, that can be, after, by his own wisdom and the advice of his lords, he shall have revised them and established them. The manner and circumstances I refer to my attending his majesty. The rules are not all set down; but I will do the rest within two or three days. I ever remain Your lordship's most obliged friend and faithful servant, FR. VERULAM, Cane.
June 9, 1620.
TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR.†
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
Such is my haste at this time, that I cannot write so largely to yourself as I would, in the business of the steel, in which once already I sent to your lordship, and in which I only desire the good of the commonwealth, and the service of my master; I, therefore, have sent this bearer, my servant, unto you, and committed the relation of the business to him. And I do entreat your
* Harl. MSS. vol. 7006. + Harl. MSS. vol. 7000.
Amongst the counsels which, since the time I had the honour to be first of your learned, and after of your privy council, I have given your majesty faithfully according to my small ability; I do take comfort in none more, than that I was the first that advised you to come in person into the Star Chamber; knowing very well, that those virtues of your majesty which I saw near hand, would out of that throne, both, as out of a sphere, illustrate your own honour, and, as out of a fountain, water and refresh your whole land. And because your majesty, in that you have already done, hath so well effected that which I foresaw and desired, even beyond my expectation; it is no marvel if I resort still to the branches of that counsel that hath borne so good fruit.
* Harl. MSS. vol. 7000.
This letter appears to have been written after the proceedings against Sir Thomas Lake, and his lady and daughter, in the Star Chamber, in January, 1619-20, and before the resolution of calling the Parliament, which met January 30, 1620-1.
The Star Chamber, in the institutions thereof, hath two uses; the one as a supreme court of judicature, the other as an open council. In the first kind, your majesty hath sat there now twice: the first time, in a cause of force, concerning the duels; the second time, in a cause of fraud, concerning the forgeries and conspiracies against the Lady of Exeter; which two natures of crimes, force and fraud, are the proper objects of that court.
In the second kind, your majesty came the first time of all, when you did set in frame and fabric the several jurisdictions of your courts. There wants a fourth part of the square to make all complete, which is, if your majesty will be pleased to publish certain commonwealth commissions; which, as your majesty hath well begun to do in some things, and to speak of in some others; so, if your majesty will be pleased to make a solemn declaration of them in that place, this will follow :
First, that your majesty shall do yourself an infinite honour, and win the hearts of your people to acknowledge you, as well the most politic king, as the most just.
Secondly, it will oblige your commissioners to a more strict account, when they shall be engaged by such a public charge and commandment. And, thirdly, it will invite and direct any man that finds himself to know any thing concerning those commissions, to bring in their informations. So as I am persuaded it will eternize your name and merit, and that King James's commissions will be spoken of, and put in ure, as long as Britain lasts; at the least, in the reign of all good kings.
For the particulars, besides the two commissions of the navy, and the buildings about London, (wherein your majesty may consider, whether you will have any thing altered or supplied,) I wish these following to be added.
Commission for advancing the clothing of England, as well the old drapery as the new, and all the incidents thereunto.
Commission for staying treasure within the realm, and the reiglement of moneys.
Commission for the provision of the realm with corn and grain, and the government of the exportation and importation thereof; and directing of public granaries, if cause be.
Commission for introducing and nourishing manufactures within the realm, for setting people awork, and the considering of all grants and privileges of that nature.
Commission to prevent the depopulation of towns and houses of husbandry, and for nuisances and highways.
Commission for the recovery of drowned
Commission for the suppression of the grievances of informers.
Commission for the better proceedings in the plantations of Ireland.
Commission for the provision of the realm with all kinds of warlike defence, ordnance. powder, munition, and armour.
Of these you may take and leave, as it shall please you and I wish the articles concerning every one of them (first allowed by your council) to be read openly, and the commissioners'
For the good that comes of particular and select committees and commissions, I need not commonplace, for your majesty hath found the good of them; but nothing to that that will be, when such things are published; because it will vindicate them from neglect, and make many good spirits, that we little think of, co-operate in them. I know very well that the world, that commonly is apt to think, that the care of the commonwealth is but a pretext in matters of state, will perhaps conceive, that this is but a preparative to a Parliament. But let not that hinder your majesty's magnanimity, in opere operato, that is so good; and, besides, that opinion, for many respects, will do no hurt to your affairs.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXcellent Majesty, It being a thing to speak or write, especially to a king, in public, another in private, although I have dedicated a work,† or rather a portion of a work, which, at last, I have overcome to you? majesty by a public epistle, where I speak to you in the hearing of others; yet I thought fit also humbly to seek access for the same, not so much to your person as to your judgment, by these private lines.
The work, in what colours soever it may be set forth, is no more but a new logic, teaching to invent and judge by induction, as finding syllogism
incompetent for sciences of nature; and thereby lordship, whereof the prince hath demanded of me
to make philosophy and sciences both more true and more active.
This tending to enlarge the bounds of reason, and to endow man's estate with new value, was no improper oblation to your majesty, who of men is the greatest master of reason and author of beneficence.
what account is given. And because I cannot
Your lordship's faithful friend and servant,
There be two of your council, and one other
some such work near thirty years; so as I made no haste. And the reason why I have published it now, specially being unperfect, is, to speak plainly, because I number my days, and would have it saved. There is another reason of my so doing, which is to try whether I can get help in one intended part of this work, namely, the compiling of a natural and experimental nistory, which must be the main foundation of a true and active philosophy.
Touching the Register of Wills.
TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR.
MY HONOURABLE Lord,
I desire your lordship to continue your favour to Sir Thomas Gerrard in the business concerning him, wherein I signified his majesty's pleasure to your lordship. And one favour more I am to entreat of your lordship in his behalf, that you will be pleased to speak to one of the assistants of the Chancellor of the Duchy, in whose court he hath a cause depending, as he will more fully inform your lordship himself, to see that he may have a fair proceeding according to justice: for which I will ever rest
Your lordship's faithful friend and servant,
This work is but a new body of clay, whereunto your majesty, by your countenance and protection, may breathe life. And to tell your majesty truly what I think, I account your favour may be to this work as much as a hundred years' time: for I am persuaded the work will gain upon men's minds in ages, but your gracing it may make it take hold more swiftly; which I would be very glad of, it being a work meant, not for praise or glory, but for practice and the good of men. One thing, I confess, I am ambitious of, with hope, which is, Royston, 15th of October, 1620. that after these beginnings, and the wheel once set on going, men shall seek more truth out of Christian pens than hitherto they have done out of heathen. I say with hope, because I hear my former book of the Advancement of Learning, is well tasted in the universities here, and the EngYour lordship desiring to understand what lish colleges abroad: and this is the same argu-hearkeneth, I was in doubt which of the two cometh of the business, after which the prince ment sunk deeper.
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
And so I ever humbly rest in prayers, and all businesses you meant; that of the Duchy, or that other duties,
Your majesty's most bounden
and devoted servant,
York House, this 12th of October, 1620.
TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR.‡
MY HONOURABle Lord,
* Dr. Lancelot Andrews, Bishop of Winchester.
+ Mr. Chamberlain, in a letter to Sir Dudley Carleton, ambassador at Holland, dated at London, October 28th, 1620, mentions, that Mr. Henry Cuffe, who had been secretary to
Robert, Earl of Essex, and executed for being concerned in his treasons, having long since perused this work, gave this censure, that "a fool could not have written such a work, and a wise man would not." And, in another letter, dated February 3, 1620-1, Mr. Chamberlain takes notice, that the king could not forbear, sometimes, in reading that book, to say, that "it was like the peace of God, that passeth all understanding."
Harl. MSS. vol. 7000.
of the Prerogative Court for wills; for both are recommended from the prince. But be it one, or be it the other, no time hath been lost in either; for Mr. Secretary Naunton and I have entered into both. For the duchy, we have already stayed all proceedings to the king's disservice for those manors, which are not already passed under seal. For that which is passed, we have heard the attorney with none or little satisfaction hitherto. The chancellort is not yet come, though sent for. For the other, we have heard Sir John Bennet,‡ and given him leave to acquaint my Lord of Canterbury; and have required the solicitors to come well prepared for the king. So that in neither we can certify yet, and to trouble your
*Sir Henry Yelverton.
+ Sir Humphrey May, made Chancellor of the Duchy. March 9, 1617.
Judge of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. In 1621, he was fined £20,000 for bribery, corruption, and exaction in that office. He died in 1627.
Sir Thomas Coventry.
lordship, while business is but in passage, were the singular comfort which I received by his matime lost. I ever rest
jesty's letter of his own hand, touching my book. And I must also give your lordship of my best thanks for your letter so kindly and affectionately written.
I did even now receive your lordship's letter touching the proclamation, and do approve his majesty's judgment and foresight about mine own.
TO THE KING, THANKING HIS MAJESTY FOR HIS Neither would I have thought of inserting matter
GRACIOUS ACCEPTANCE OF HIS BOOK.
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,
I cannot express how much comfort I received by your last letter of your own royal hand. see your majesty is a star that hath benevolent aspect and gracious influence upon all things that tend to a general good.
Daphni, quid antiquos signorum suspicis artus ?
This work, which is for the bettering of men's bread and wine, which are the characters of temporal blessings and sacraments of eternal, I hope, by God's holy providence, will be ripened by Cæsar's star.
Your majesty shall not only do to myself a singular favour, but to your business a material help, if you will be graciously pleased to open yourself to me in those things wherein you may be unsatisfied. For, though this work, as by position and principal, doth disclaim to be tried by any thing but by experience, and the results of experience in a true way, yet the sharpness and profoundness of your majesty's judgment ought to be an exception to this general rule; and your questions, observations, and admonishments may do infinite good.
This comfortable beginning makes me hope farther that your majesty will be aiding to me in setting men on work for the collecting of a natural and experimental history, which is basis totius negotii, a thing which I assure myself will be from time to time an excellent recreation unto you; I say to that admirable spirit of yours that delighteth in light: and I hope well, that, even in your times, many noble inventions may be discovered for man's use. For who can tell, now this mine of truth is opened, how the veins go; and what lieth higher, and what lieth lower? But let me trouble your majesty no farther at this time. God ever preserve and prosper your majesty.
of state for the vulgar, but that nowadays there is no vulgar, but all statesmen. But, as his majesty doth excellently consider, the time of it is not yet proper. I ever rest
Your lordship's most obliged friend
October 19, 1620.
In answer to his majesty's directions touching the proclamation for a Parliament.
TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR.⭑
AFTER my very hearty commendations I have acquainted his majesty with your letter, who commanded me to tell you that he had been thinking upon the same point whereof you write three or four days ago, being so far from making any question of it that he every day expected when a writ should come down. For at the creation of Prince Henry, the lords of the council and judges assured his majesty of as much as the precedents. mentioned in your letter speak of. And so I rest your lordship's
Very loving friend at command,
Newmarket, the 24th of November, 1620
Showing his majesty is satisfied with precedents, touching the prince's summons to Parliament.
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM. MY VERY GOOD LORD,
Your lordship may find, that in the number of patents which we have represented to his majesty, as like to be stirred in the Lower House of Parliament, we have set down three, which may concern some of your lordship's special friends, which I account as my own friends; and so showed my self when they were in suit. The one, that to Sir Giles Mompesson, touching the inns; the second, to Mr. Christopher Villiers and Mr. Maule, toucning the recognisances for ale-houses; the third, to Mr. Lieutenant of the Tower, touching the cask. These in duty could not be omitted, for that, spe
Harl. MSS. vol. 7000.
cially the two first of them, are more rumoured,
And as an old truant in the commission of the
November 29, 1620.
As soon as I had written this letter I received your lordship's letter, touching my lord chief justice, which redoubled my comfort, to see how his majesty's thoughts and mine, his poor servant's, and your lordship's, meet.
I send enclosed names for the speaker; and if his majesty, or your lordship, demand our opinion, which of them, my lord chief justice will tell you. It were well it were despatched; for else I will not dine with the speaker; for his drink will not be laid in time enough.
I beseech your lordship, care may be taken that our general letter may be kept secret, whereof my lord chief justice will tell you the reason.
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM
MY VERY GOOD Lord,
I was so full of cold, as I could not attend his majesty to-day. Yesterday I despatched the proclamation with the council. There was a motion to have sharpened it; but better none, than over sharp at first. I moved the council also for supplying the committee for drawing of bills and some other matters, in regard of my Lord Hobart's* sickness, who I think will hardly escape: which, though it be happiness for him, yet it is loss for us.
Meanwhile, as I propounded to the king, which he allowed well, I have broken the main of the Parliament into questions and parts, which I send. It may be, it is an over diligence; but still methinks there is a middle thing between art and chance: I think they call it providence, or some such thing, which good servants owe to their sovereign, specially in cases of importance And those huffing and straits of occasions. elections, and general license of speech ought to make us the better provided. The way will be, if his majesty be pleased, to peruse these questions advisedly, and give me leave to wait on him; and then refer it to some few of the council, a little to advise upon it. I ever rest Your lordship's most obliged friend and faithful servant,
December 23, 1620.
FR. VERULAM, Canc
TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR.†
MY HONOURABLE Lord,
I have been entreated to recommend unto your lordship the distressed case of the Lady Martin, widow of Sir Richard Martin, deceased, who hath a cause to be heard before your lordship in the Chancery, at your first sitting in the next term, between her and one Archer, and others, upon an ancient statute, due long since unto her husband; which cause, I am informed, hath received three verdicts for her in the common law, a decree in
* Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas.
+ Harl. MSS. vol. 7000