« AnteriorContinuar »
the Exchequer Chamber, and a dismission before your lordship: which I was the more willing to do, because I have seen a letter of his majesty to the said Sir Richard Martin, acknowledging the good service that he did him in this kingdom, at the time of his majesty's being in Scotland. And therefore I desire your lordship, that you would give her a full and fair hearing of her cause, and a speedy despatch thereof, her poverty being such, that having nothing to live on but her husband's debts, if her suit long depend, she shall be enforced to lose her cause for want of means to follow it: wherein I will acknowledge your lordship's favour, and rest
Your lordship's faithful
friend and servant,
Whitehall, the 13th of January, 1620.
TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR.*
MY HONOURAble Lord,
His majesty hath commanded me to signify his pleasure unto you, that you give present order to the clerk of the crown to draw a bill to be signed by his majesty for Robert Heath, late recorder of London, to be his majesty's solicitorgeneral. So I rest your lordship's
friend and servant,
Theobalds, 20th of January, 1620.
TO THE KING.†
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,
I thank God I number days, both in thankfulness to him, and in warning to myself. I should likewise number your majesty's benefits, which, as to take them in all kinds, they are without number; so even in this kind of steps and degrees of advancement, they are in greater number than scarcely any other of your subjects can say. For this is now the eighth time that your majesty hath raised me.
jesty could raise me no higher, it was your grace to illustrate me with beams of honour, first maxing me Baron Verulam, and now Viscount St. Alban. So, this is the eighth rise or reach, a diapason in music, even a good number, and an accord for a close. And so I may without superstition be buried in St. Alban's habit or vest ment.
Besides the number, the obligation is increased by three notes or marks: first, that they proceed from such a king; for honours from some kings are but great chancels, or counters, set high; but from your majesty, they are indeed dignities by the co-operation of your grace. Secondly, in respect of the continuance of your majesty's favour, which proceedeth as the divine favour, from grace to grace. And, thirdly, these splendours of honour are like your freest patents, absque aliquid inde reddendo. Offices have burdens of cares and labours; but honours have no burden but thankfulness, which doth rather raise men's spirits than accable them, or press them down.
Then I must say, quid retribuam? I have nothing of mine own. That that God hath given me I shall present unto your majesty; which is care and diligence, and assiduous endeavour, and that which is the chief, cor unum et viam unam ; hoping that your majesty will do, as your superior doth; that is, finding my heart upright, you will bear with my other imperfections. lastly, your majesty shall have the best of my time, which I assure myself I shall conclude in your favour, and survive in your remembrance. And that is my prayer for myself; the rest shall be in prayers for your majesty.
TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR.*
MY NOBLE LORD,
I have showed your letter of thanks to his majesty, who saith there are too many thanks in it for so small a favour; which he holdeth too little to encourage so well a deserving servant. For You formed me of the learned council extraor-myself, I shall ever rejoice at the manifestation of his majesty's favour toward you, and will rɔndinary, without patent or fee, a kind of indivi-| tribute all that is in me, to the increasing of his duum vagum. You established me, and brought| me into ordinary; soon after you placed me soli- good opinion; ever resting citor, where I served seven years: then your majesty made me your attorney, or procurator general; then privy counsellor, while I was attorney; a kind of miracle of your favour, that had not been in many ages: thence keeper of your seal; and because that was a kind of planet, and not fixed, chancellor: and when your ma
Your lordship's faithful friend and servant,
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
With due thanks for your last visit, this day is a play-day for me. But I will wait on your lordship, if it be necessary.
*Harl. MSS. vol. 7000.
I do hear from divers of judgment, that to-mor- summons of the exchequer, which is, sicut teipsun tow's conference* is like to pass in a calm, as to et omnia tua diligis; whereas this was sicut me the referees. Sir Lionel Cranfield, who hath diligis; I used all possible care to effect your been formerly the trumpet, said yesterday, that he majesty's good will and pleasure. did now incline to Sir John Walter's opinion and motion, not to have the referrees meddled with otherwise, than to discount it from the king; and so not to look back, but to the future. And I do hear almost all men of judgment in the House wish now that way. I woo nobody: I do but listen, and I have doubt only of Sir Edward Coke, who, I wish, had some round caveat given him from the king; for your lordship hath no great power with him: but I think a word from the king mates him.
If things be carried fair by the committees of the Lower House, I am in some doubt, whether there will be occasion for your lordship to speak to-morrow; though, I confess, I incline to wish you did, chiefly because you are fortunate in that kind; and, to be plain also, for our better countenance, when your lordship, according to your noble proposition, shall show more regard of the fraternity you have with great counsellors, than of the interest of your natural brother.
Always, good my lord, let us think of times out of Parliament, as well as the present time in Parliament; and let us not all be put es pourpoint. Fair and moderate courses are ever best in causes of estate; the rather, because I wish this Parliament, by the sweet and united passages thereof, may increase the king's reputation with foreigners, who may make a far other judgment than we mean, of a beginning to question great counsellors and officers of the crown, by courts or assemblies of estates. But the reflection upon my particular in this makes me more sparing than perhaps, as a counsellor, I ought to be.
God ever preserve and prosper you.
TO THE KING.‡
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY.
I received your majesty's letter about midnight; and because it was stronger than the ancient
* On Monday the 5th of March, 1620-21, the House of Lords received a message from the Commons, desiring a conference touching certain grievances, principally concerning Sir Giles Mompesson. See Journal of the House of Lords.
I sent early to the prince, and to my lord treasurer; and we attended his highness soon after seven of the clock, at Whitehall, to avoid farther note. We agreed, that if the message came, we would put the lords into this way, that the answer should be that we understood they came prepared both with examination and precedent; and we likewise desired to be alike prepared, that the conference might be with more fruit.
I did farther speak with my Lord of Canterbury, when I came to the House, not letting him know any part of the business, that he would go on with a motion which he had told me of the day before, that the Lords' House might not sit Wednesday and Friday, because they were convocation-days; and so was the former custom of Parliament.
As good luck was, the house read two bills, and had no other business at all; whereupon my Lord of Canterbury made his motion; and I adjourned the House till Saturday. It was no sooner done, but came the message from the Lower House But the consummatum est was past, though I per ceived a great willingness in many of the lords to have recalled it, if it might have been. So, with my best prayers for your majesty's preservation, I rest
Your majesty's most bounden,
and most devoted servant, FR. ST. ALBAN, Canc. Thursday, at eleven of our forenoon, March 8, 1620.
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.*
Your lordship spoke of purgatory. I am now in it; but my mind is in a calm; for my fortune is not my felicity. I know I have clean hands, and a clean heart; and I hope a clean house
1620, the said House, at which were present the Prince of
Wales and Marquis of Buckingham, was adjourned to Satur day the 10th, on which day a conference of both Houses was held relating to the complaint of that of the Commons against Sir Giles Mompesson. Of this conference the lord chancellor made report on Monday, March 12, to the House of Lords, remarking, that "the inducement to this conference was to clear the king's honour, touching grants to Sir Giles, and the passages in procuring the same." After this report of the conference, the lord chamberlain, William, Earl of Pembroke, complained to the House, that two great lords, mean
Those to whom the king referred the petitions, to consider whether they were fit to be granted or not. This explanation of the word referees, I owe to a note in a MS. leting the lord chancellor and the lord treasurer, the Lord ter, written to the celebrated Mr. Joseph Mead, of Christ's College, Cambridge.
The date of this letter is determined to be the 8th of March, 1620-1, from the circumstance of its being mentioned to have been written on that Thursday, on which the House of Lords adjourned to the Saturday following. It appears from the journal of that House, that, on the 8th of March,
Viscount Mandeville, had, in that conference, spake in their own defence, not being allowed to do so when the committees mere named. Upon which both the lords acknowledged their error, and begged pardon of the House.
This letter seems to have been written soon after Lord St. Alban began to be accused of abuses in his office of chancellor.
manum. Mr. Chancellor, if you will be nobly pleased to grace me upon this occasion, by showing tenderness of my name, and commiseration of my fortune, there is no man in that assembly from whose mouth I had rather it should come. I hope it will be no dishonour to you. It will oblige me much, and be a worthy fruit of our last reintegration of friendship. I rest
for friends or servants. But Job himself, or saith, satis est lapsos non erigere; urgere vero whosoever was the justest judge, by such hunt- jacentes, aut præcipitantis impellere, certe est inhuing for matters against him, as hath been used against me, may for a time seem foul, especially in a time when greatness is the mark, and accusation is the game. And if this be to be a chancellor, I think, if the great seal lay upon Hounslow Heath, nobody would take it up. But the king and your lordship will I hope put an end to these my straits one way or other. And, in troth, that which I fear most, is, lest continual attendance and business, together with these cares, and want of time to do my weak body right this spring by diet and physic, will cast me down; and that it will be thought feigning, or fainting. But I hope in God I shall hold out. God prosper
Your faithful friend to do you service.
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.*
I humbly thank your lordship for the grace favour which you did both to the message and messenger, in bringing Mr. Meautys to kiss his
TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR OF THE DUCHY, SIR majesty's hands, and to receive his pleasure. My
GOOD MR. CHANCELLOR,
ously 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 ex aquis salsis.
riches in my adversity have been, that I have had a good master, a good friend, and a good servant. There will come, upon Friday, before you a Perceiving, by Mr. Meautys, his majesty's in> patent* of his majesty's for the separation of clination, it shall be, as it hath ever used to be to the company of apothecaries from the company me, instead of a direction; and, therefore, I purgrocers, and their survey, and the erecting them pose to go forthwith to Gorhambury, humbly thankinto a corporation of themselves under the surveying his majesty, nevertheless, that he was graciof the physicians. It is, as I conceive, a fair business both for law and conveniency, and a work which the king made his own, and did, and as I hear doth take much to heart. It is in favorem vita, where the other part is in favorem lucri. You may perhaps think me partial to apothecaries, that have been ever puddering in physic all my life. But there is a circumstance that touches upon me but post diem, for it is comprehended in the charge and sentence passed upon me. It is true, that after I had put the seal to the patent, the apothecariest presented me with a hundred pounds. It was no judicial affair. But, howsoever, as it may not be defended, so I would be glad it were not raked up more than needs. I doubt only the chair, because I hear he useth names sharply; and, besides, it may be, he hath a tooth at me yet, which is not fallen out with age. But the best is, as one
The patent for incorporating the apothecaries by them selves, by the appellation of "The Masters, Wardens, and Society of the Art and Mystery of Apothecaries of London," was dated December 6, 1617. They had been incorporated
with the company of grocers, April 9, 1606.
+ His lordship being charged by the House of Commons, that he had received one hundred pounds of the new company of apothecaries, that stood against the grocers, as, likewise, a taster of gold worth between four and five hundred pounds, with a present of ambergrise, from the apothecaries that stood with the grocers; and two hundred pounds of the grocers; he admits the several sums to have been received of the three parties, but alleges, "that he considered those presents as no judicial business, but a concord of composition between the parties: and, as he thought they had all three received good, and they were all common purses, he thought it the less matter to receive what they voluntarily presented; for if had taken it in the nature of a bribe, he knew it could not be concealed, because it must be put to 'he account of the three several companies."
June 22, 1621.
To Lord Buckingham, upon bringing Mr. Meautys to kiss the king's hands.
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
I have written, as I thought it decent in me to do, to his majesty the letter I send enclosed. I have great faith that your lordship, now nobly and like yourself, will effect with his majesty. In this the king is of himself, and it hath no relation to Parliament. I have written also, as your lordship advised me, only touching that point of means. I have lived hitherto upon the scraps of my former fortunes; and I shall not be able to hold out longer. Therefore, I hope your lordship will now, according to the loving promises and hopes given, settle my poor fortunes, or rather my being. I am much fallen in love with a private life; but
*This letter is reprinted here, because it differs in some respects from that published in Letters, Memoirs, Parliameptary Affairs, State Papers, &c. by Robert Stephens, Esq., p 151, Edit. London, 1736, 4to.
yet I shall so spend my time, as shall not decay | acceptation, which hath been always favourably iny abilities for use.
God preserve and prosper your lordship.
September 5, 1621.
TO THE PRINCE.
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR HIGHNESS,
I cannot too oft acknowledge your highness's favour in my troubles; but acknowledgment now is but begging of new favour. Yet, even that is not inconvenient; for thanksgiving and petition go well together, even to God himself. My humble suit to your highness, that I may be thought on for means to subsist; and to that pose, that your highness will join with my noble friend to the king. That done, I shall ever be ready either at God's call or his majesty's, and as happy to my thinking as a man can be, that must leave to serve such a king.
God preserve and prosper your highness.
On the back of the draughts of the three preceding letters were written the following memoranda. Bishops Winchester,* Durham,† London.‡ Lord Duke, Lord Hunsdon.
Lord Chamberlain,|| to thank him for his kind remembrance by you; and though in this private fortune I shall have use of few friends, yet, I cannot but acknowledge the moderation and affection his lordship showed in my business, and desire, that of those few his lordship will still be one for my comfort, in whatsoever may cross his way, for the furtherance of my private life and fortune.
Mr. John Murray. If there be any thing that may concern me, that is fit for him to speak, and me to know, that I may receive it by you.
Mr. Maxwell. That I am sorry, that so soon as I came to know him, and to be beholding to him, I wanted power to be of use for him.
Lord of Kelly; and to acquaint him with that part touching the confinement.
great. I have served your majesty now seventeen years; and since my first service, (which was in the commission of the union,) I received from your majesty never chiding or rebuke, but always sweetness and thanks. Neither was I in these seventeen years ever chargeable to your majesty, but got my means in an honourable sweat of my labour, save that of late your majesty was graciously pleased to bestow upon me the pension of twelve hundred pounds for a few years. For in that other poor prop of my estate, which is the farming of the petty writs, I improved your majesty's revenue by four hundred pounds the year. And, likewise, when I received the seal, Í left both the attorney's place, which was a gainful place, and the clerkship of the Star Chamber, which was Queen Elizabeth's favour, and was worth twelve hundred pounds by the year, which would have been a good commendam. honours which your majesty hath done me have put me above the means to get my living; and the misery I am fallen into hath put me below shall be such, for this little end of my thread the means to subsist as I am. I hope my courses which remaineth, as your majesty in doing me good may do good to many, both that live now, and shall be born hereafter. I have been the keeper of your seal, and now am your beadsman. Let your own royal heart, and my noble friend, speak the rest.
God preserve and prosper your majesty.
September 5, 1621.
poor servant and beadsman, FR. ST. ALBAN.
Cardinal Wolsey said, that if he had pleased God as he pleased the king, he had not been ruined. My conscience saith no such thing; for I know not but in serving you, I have served God in one. But it may be, if I had pleased God, as I had pleased you, it would have been better with me.
TO THE KING.
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, I do very humbly thank your majesty for your gracious remission of my fine. I can now, I thank God and you, die, and make a will.
I desire to do, for the little time God shall send me life, like the merchants of London, which, when they give over trade, lay out their money upon land. So, being freed from civil business, lay forth my poor talent upon those things which. may be perpetual, still having relation to do you honour with those powers I have left.
I have, therefore, chosen to write the reign of King Henry the VIIth, who was in a sort your forerunner, and whose spirit, as well as his blood, is doubled upon your majesty.
[*God knoweth whether ever I shall see you again; but I will pray for you to the last gasp, resting]
I durst not have presumed to entreat your ma- | The message I received by Mr. Meautys aid imjesty to look over the book, and correct it, or at port inconvenience, in the form of the pardon; least to signify what you would have amended. your lordship's last letter, in the time: for, as for But since you are pleased to send for the book, I the matter, it lay so fair for his majesty's and my will hope for it. Lord of Buckingham's own knowledge, as I conceive your lordship doth not aim at that. My affliction hath made me understand myself better, and not worse; yet loving advice, I know, helps well. Therefore, I send Mr. Meautys to your lordship, that I might reap so much your fruit of your lordship's professed good affection, as to know in some more particular fashion, what it is that your lordship doubteth, or disliketh, that I may the better endeavour your satisfaction or acquiescence, if there be cause. So I rest Your lordship's to do you service, FR. ST. ALBAN.
October 8, 1621.
The same, your true beadsman,
DR. WILLIAMS, bishop of lincOLN ELECT, AND
VISCOUNT ST. ALBAN.
MY VERY GOOD Lord,
October 18, 1621.
INTENDED FOR THE HOUSE OF LORDS.
My right honourable VERY GOOD LORDS,
Having perused a privy seal, containing a pardon for your lordship, and thought seriously thereupon, I find, that the passing of the same (the assembly in Parliament so near approaching) | PETITION OF THE LORD VISCOUNT st. alban, cannot but be much prejudicial to the service of the king, to the honour of my Lord of Buckingham, to that commiseration, which otherwise In all humbleness, acknowledging your lordwould be had of your lordship's present estate, ships' justice, I do now, in like manner, crave and especially to my judgment and fidelity. I and implore your grace and compassion. I am have ever affectionately loved your lordship's old, weak, ruined, in want, a very subject of pity. many and most excelling good parts and endow- My only suit to your lordships is to show me ments; nor had ever canse to disaffect your lord-your noble favour towards the release of my conship's person: so as no respect in the world, finement, (so every confinement is,) and to me, I beside the former considerations, could have protest, worse than the Tower. There I could drawn me to add the least affliction or discon- have had company, physicians, conference with tentment unto your lordship's present fortune. May it, therefore, please your lordship to suspend the passing of this pardon, until the next assembly be over and dissolved; and I will be then as ready to seal it as your lordship to accept of it: and, in the mean time, undertake that the king and my lord admiral shall interpret this short delay as a service and respect issuing wholly from your lordship; and rest, in all other offices what
Your lordship's faithful servant,
Jo. LINCOLN, elect. Custos Sigilli. Westminster College, October 18, 1621.
my creditors and friends about my debts, and the necessities of my estate, helps for my studies, anc the writings I have in hand. Here, I live upon the sword point of a sharp air, endangered if I go abroad, dulled if I stay within, solitary and comfortless without company, banished from all opportunities to treat with any to do myself goo, and to help out any wrecks; and that, which is one of my greatest griefs, my wife, that hath been no partaker of my offending, must be partaker of this misery of my restraint.
May it please your lordships, therefore, since there is a time for justice, and a time for misery,
To the right honourable, his very good lord, the to think with compassion upon that which I have Lord Viscount St. Alban.
TO THE LORD KEEPER.
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
I know the reasons must appear to your lordship many and weighty which should move you to stop the king's grace, or to dissuade it; and somewhat the more in respect of my person, being, I hope, no unfit subject for noble dealing.
already suffered, which is not little, and to recommend this my humble, and, as I hope, modest suit to his most excellent majesty, the fountain of grace, of whose mercy, for so much as concerns himself merely, I have already tasted, and likewise of his favour of this very kind, by some small temporary dispensations.
Herein your lordships shall do a work of charity and nobility; you shall do me good; you
* He had been committed to the Tower in May, 1621, and discharged after two days' confinement there, according to Camden.-Annales Regis Jacobi I., p. 71. There is a letter of his lordship to the Marquis of Buckingham, dated from the + It met November 21, 1621, and was dissolved February Tower, May 31, 1621, desiring his lordship to procure his dis
This passage has a line drawn over it.
charge that day.