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the king's courts. Also the main scope of the
4 H. 4. Cap. 23.
There is also another statute, which is but a simple prohibition, and not with a penalty of præmunire, as the other is, that after judgments given in the king's court, the parties shall be in peace, except the judgments be undone, by error, or attaint, which is a legal form of reversal. And of this also, I hold the sounder interpretation to be, to settle possessions against disturbances, and not to take away remedy in equity, where those judgments are obtained "ex rigore juris," and against good conscience.
workmen that ever were that set them on; for, there could not have been chosen two such causes, to the honour and advantage of the Chancery, for the justness of the decrees, and the foulness and scandal, both of fact and person, in those that impeach the decrees.
The grand jury, consisting (as it seemeth) of very substantial and intelligent persons, would not find the bills, notwithstanding that they were much clamoured by the parties, and twice sent back by the court; and, in conclusion, resolutely 17 of 19 found an "Ignoramus;" wherein, for that time, I think "Ignoramus" was wiser than those that knew too much.
Your majesty will pardon me, if I be sparing in delivering to you some other circumstances of aggravation, and concurrences of some like matters the same day, as if it had been some fatal constellation. They be not things so sufficiently tried, as I dare put them into your ear.
For my opinion, I cannot but begin with this preface, that I am infinitely sorry that your majesty is thus to put to salve and cure, not only accidents of time, but errors of servants. For I account this a kind of sickness of my Lord Coke's that comes almost in as ill a time, as the sickness of my lord chancellor. And as I think it was one of the wisest parts that ever he played, when he went down to your majesty to Royston, and desired to have my lord chancellor joined with him; so this was one of the weakest parts that ever he played, to make all the world perceive that my lord chancellor is severed from him at this time.
But upon these two statutes, there hath been a late conceit in some, that if a judgment pass at the common law against any, he may not after sue for relief in Chancery; and if he do, both he and his counsel, and his solicitor, yea, and the judge, in equity, himself, are within the danger of those statutes. There your majesty hath the true state of the question, which I was necessarily to show you first, because your majesty calleth for this relation, not as news, but as business. Now to the historical part; it is the course of the King's Bench, that they give in charge to the grand jury offences of all natures to be presented But for that which may concern your service, within Middlesex, where the said court is; and which is my end, (leaving other men to their own the manner is to enumerate them, as it were in ways:) First, my opinion is plainly, that my articles. This was done by Justice Crooke, the Lord Coke, at this time, is not to be disgraced, Wednesday before the term ended: and that both because he is so well habituated for that which article, "if any man after a judgment given had remaineth of these capital causes, and also for drawn the said judgment to a new examination in that which I find is in his breast touching your any other court," was by him especially given in finances, and matter of repair of your estate. charge, which had not used to be given in charge And (if I might speak it) as I think it were before. It is true, it was not solemnly dwelt good his hopes were at an end in some kind, upon, but, as it were, thrown in amongst the rest. so I could wish they were raised in some other. The last day of the term (and that which all On the other side, this great and public affront, men condemn, the supposed last day of my lord not only to the reverend and well-deserving person chancellor's life) there were two indictments pre- of your chancellor, (and at a time when he was ferred of præmunire," for suing in Chancery thought to lie a dying, which was barbarous,) but after judgment at common law; The one by to your high court of Chancery, (which is the Richard Glandvile, the other by William Allen; court of your absolute power,) may not (in my the former against Courtney, the party in Chan- opinion) pass lightly, nor end only in some formal cery, Gibb, the counsellor, and Deurst, the clerk. atonement; but use is to be made thereof, for the The latter against Alderman Bowles, and Hum-settling of your authority, and strengthening frey Smith, parties in Chancery, Serjeant Moore, of your prerogative, according to the rules of the counsellor, Elias Wood, solicitor in the cause, monarchy. Now to accommodate and reconcile and Sir John Tyndal, master of the Chancery, and these advices, which seem alınust opposite. an assessor to my lord chancellor. For the cases themselves, it were too long to trouble your majesty with them; but this I will say, if they were set on that preferred them, they were the worst
First, your majesty may not see it (though 1 confess it be suspicious) that my Lord Coke was any way aforehand privy to that which was done, or that he did set it or animate it, but only took
the matter as it came before him, and that his error was only that at such a time he did not divert it in some good manner.
Second, if it be true (as is reported) that any of the puisne judges did stir this business, or that they did openly revile and menace the jury for doing their conscience, (as they did honestly and truly,) I think that judge is worthy to lose his place. And, to be plain with your majesty, I do not think there is any thing, a greater" Polycreston, ad multa utile" to your affairs, than, upon a just and fit occasion, to make some example against the presumption of a judge, in causes that concern your majesty; whereby the whole body of those magistrates may be contained to better awe; and it may be, this will light upon no unfit subject, of a person that is rude, and that no man cares for.
card-holder or candle-holder, will make profit of this accident, as a thing of God's sending.
Lastly, I may not forget to represent to your majesty, that there is no thinking of arraignment until these things be somewhat accommodated, and some outward and superficial reconciliation. at least, made between my lord chancellor and my lord chief justice; for this accident is a banquet to all Somerset's friends. But this is a thing that falleth out naturally of itself, in respect of the judges going circuit, and my lord chancellor's infirmity, with hope of recovery. And although this protraction of time may breed some doubt of mutability, yet I have lately learned, out of an excellent letter of a certain king, that the sun showeth sometimes watery to our eyes, but when the cloud is gone, the sun is as before. God preserve your majesty.
Your majesty's most humble subject, and most bounden servant.
Febr. 21, 1617.
Your majesty's commandment speaketh for pardon of so long a letter; which yet I wish may have a short continuance, and be punished with fire.
Thirdly, if there be no one so much in fault, (which I cannot yet affirm, either way, and there must be a just ground, God forbid else,) yet I should think, that the very presumption of going so far in so high a cause deserveth to have that done, which was done in this very case, upon the indictment of Serjeant Heale, in Queen Elizabeth's time, that the judges should answer it upon their knees before your majesty, or your council, and receive a sharp admonition; at which time also, SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, UPON SOME my Lord Wrey, being then chief justice, slipped the collar, and was forborne.
In all this which I have said, your majesty may be pleased to observe, that I do not engage you I now forbear. But two things I wish to be done;
INCLINATION OF HIS MAJESTY, SIGNIFIED TO
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY,
The last day when it pleased your majesty to express yourself towards me in favour, far above that I can deserve, or could expect, I was surprised by the prince's coming in; I most humbly pray your majesty, therefore, to accept these few lines of acknowledgment.
I never had great thoughts for myself, farther than to maintain those great thoughts which I confess I have for your service. I know what honour is, and I know what the times are; but I thank God with me my service is the principal, and it is far from me, under honourable pretences, to cover base desires, which I account them to be, when men refer too much to themselves, especially serving such a king, I am afraid of nothing, but that the master of the horse, your excellent servant, and myself, shall fall out about this, who shall hold your stirrup best; but were your ma jesty mounted, and seated without difficulties and distaste in your business, as I desire and hope to see you, I should "ex animo" desire to spend the decline of my years in my studies, wherein also I should not forget to do him honour, who, besides his active and politic virtues, is the best pen of kings, and much more the best subject of a pen. God ever preserve your majesty. Your majesty's most humble subject, and more and more obliged servant.
the one, that your majesty take this occasion much
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO SIR GEORGE VILLIERS, and happy, for the weeding out of Popery, with OF ADVICE CONCERNING IRELAND, FROM GOR-out using the temporal sword; so that I think I
HAMBURY TO WINDSOR.
Because I am uncertain whether his majesty will put to a point some resolutions touching Ireland, now at Windsor: I thought it my duty to attend his majesty by my letter, and thereby to supply my absence, for the renewing of some former commissions for Ireland, and the framing of a new commission for the wards, and the alienations, which appertain properly to me, as his majesty's attorney, and have been accordingly referred by the lords, I will undertake that they are prepared with a greater care, and better application to his majesty's service, in that kingdom, than heretofore they have been; and therefore of that I say no more. And for the instructions of the new deputy, they have been set down by the two secretaries, and read to the board, and being things of an ordinary nature, I do not see but they may pass. But there have been three propositions and councils which have been stirred, which seem to me of very great importance, wherein I think myself bound to deliver to his majesty my advice, and opinion, if they should now come in question. The first is touching the recusant magistrates of the towns of Ireland, and the commonalties themselves, and their electors, what shall be done; which consultation ariseth from the late advertisements from the two lord justices, upon the instance of the two towns, Limerick and Kilkenny; in which advertisements, they represent the danger only without giving any light for the remedy, rather warily for themselves, than agreeable to their duties and places. In this point, I humbly pray his majesty to remember, that the refusal is not of the oath of allegiance, (which is not exacted in Ireland,) but of the oath of supremacy, which cutteth deeper into matter of
Also that his majesty, will out of the depth of his excellent wisdom and providence, think, and as it were calculate with himself, whether time will make more for the cause of religion in Ireland, and be still more and more propitious, or whether differing remedies will not make the case more difficult. For if time give his majesty the advantage, what needeth precipitation of extreme remedies; but if the time will make the case more desperate, then his majesty cannot begin too Now, in my opinion, time will open and facilitate things for reformation of religion there, and not shut up or lock out the same. For, first, the plantations going on, and being principally of Protestants, cannot but mate the other party in time. Also his majesty's care in placing good bishops, and good divines; in amplifying the college there, and looking to the education of wards, and such like; as they are the most natural means, so are they like to be the most effectual
may truly conclude, that the ripeness of time is not yet come.
Therefore my advice is, in all humbleness, that this hazardous course of proceeding to tender the oath to the magistrates of towns, proceed not, but die by degrees. And yet to preserve the authority and reputation of the former council, I would have somewhat done, which is, that there be a proceeding to seizure of liberties, but not by any act of power, but by “quo warranto,” or “scire facias," which is a legal course, and will be the work of three or four terms; by which time the matter will be somewhat cool.
But I would not (in no case) that the proceeding should be with both the towns which stand now in contempt, but with one of them only, choosing that which shall be most fit. For, if his majesty proceed with both, then all the towns that are in the like case will think it a common cause, and that it is but their case to-day, and their own to-morrow. But if his majesty proceed but with one, the apprehension and terror will not be so strong; for, they may think, it may be their case to be spared, as well as prosecuted. And this is the best advice that I can give to his majesty, in this strait; and of this opinion seemed my lord chancellor to be.
The second proposition is this, it may be, his majesty will be moved to reduce the number of his council of Ireland (which is now almost fifty) to twenty, or the like number, in respect that the greatness of the number doth both imbase the authority of the council, and divulge the business. Nevertheless, I hold this proposition to be rather specious, and solemn, than needful at this time; for certainly it will fill the state full of discontentment, which, in a growing and unsettled state, ought not to be. This I could wish, that his majesty would appoint a select number of counsellors there, which might deal in the improvement of his revenue, (being a thing not to pass through too many hands;) and the said selected number should have days of sitting by themselves, at which the rest of the council should not be present; which being once settled, then other principal business of state may be handled at these sittings; and so the rest begin to be disused, and yet retain their countenance, without murmur, or disgrace.
The third proposition, as it is moved, seemeth to be pretty, if it can keep promise; for it is this, that a means may be found to reinforce his majesty's army by five hundred, or a thousand men, and that without any penny increase of charge. And the means should be, that there should be a commandment of a local removing, and transferring some companies from one province to another, whereupon it is supposed, that many that are planted in house and lands, will rather lose their
entertainment, than remove; and thereby new chiefest worldly comfort is, to think, that since men may have their pay, yet, the old be mingled in the country, for the strength thereof. In this proposition two things may be feared; the one, discontent of those that shall be put off; the other, that the companies should be stuffed with novices, (tirones) instead of "veterani." I wish, therefore, that this proposition be well debated, before it be admitted. Thus having performed that which duty binds me to, I commend you to God's best preservation.
Your most devoted and bounden servant. July 5, 1616.
the time I had the first vote of the Lower House of Parliament for commissioner of the union; until the time that I was this Parliament chosen by both Houses, for their messenger to your majesty in the petition of religion, (which two, were my first and last services,) I was evermore so happy, as to have my poor services graciously accepted by your majesty, and likewise not to have had any of them miscarry in my hands. Neither of which points I can any ways take to myself, but ascribe the former to your majesty's goodness, and the latter to your prudent directions, which I was ever careful to have, and keep. For, as I have often said to your majesty, I was
SIR FRANCIS BACON, TO THE EARL OF NORTHUM- towards you but as a bucket, and a cistern to
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR LORDSHIP,
I would not have lost this journey; and yet, I have not that I went for: for I have had no private conference to purpose with the king, no more hath almost any other English; for the speech of his majesty admitteth with some nobleman, is rather matter of grace, than matter of business: with the attorney he spake, urged by the Treasurer of Scotland, but no more than needs must. After I had received his majesty's first welcome, and was promised private access, yet, not knowing what matter of service your lordship's letter carried, for I saw it not, and knowing that primeness in advertisement is much, I chose rather to deliver it to Sir Thomas Hoskins, than to let it cool in my hands, upon expectation of access. Your lordship shall find a prince the farthest from vainglory that may be, and rather like a prince of the ancient form than of the latter time; his speeches swift and cursory, and in the full dialect of his nation, and in speech of business short, in speech of discourse large; he affecteth popularity by gracing them that are popular, and not by any fashions of his own; he is thought somewhat general in his favours; and his virtue of access is rather because he is much abroad, and in press, than he giveth easy audience: he hasteneth to a mixture of both kingdoms and nations, faster perhaps than policy will well bear. I told your lordship once before my cpinion, that methought his majesty rather asked counsel of the time past, than of the time to come. But it is yet early to ground any settled opinion. For other particularities I refer to conference, having in these generals gone farther in these tender arguments than I would have done, were not the bearer hereof so assured. So I continue your, etc.
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING.
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, In the midst of my misery, which is rather assuaged by remembrance, than by hope, my
draw forth, and conserve, and yourself was the fountain. Unto this comfort of nineteen years prosperity, there succeeded a comfort even in my greatest adversity, somewhat of the same nature, which is, that in those offences wherewith I was charged, there was not any one that had special relation to your majesty, or any your particular commandments. For, as towards Almighty God, there are offences against the first and second table, and yet all against God; so with the servants of kings, there are offences more immediate against the sovereign, although all offences against law are also against the king. Unto which comfort there is added this circumstance, that as my faults were not against your majesty otherwise than as all faults are, so my fall is not your majesty's act, otherwise than as all acts of justice are yours. This I write not to insinuate with your majesty, but as a most humble appeal to your majesty's gracious remembrance, how honest and direct you have ever found me in your service, whereby I have an assured belief, that there is in your majesty's princely thoughts, a great deal of serenity and clearness to me, your majesty's now prostrate, and cast down servant.
Neither (my most gracious sovereign) do I, by this mentioning of my services, lay claim to your princely grace and bounty, though the privilege of calamity do bear that form of petition. I know well, had they been much more, they had been but my bounden duty; nay, I must also confess, that they were, from time to time, far above my merit, super-rewarded by your majesty's benefits, which you heaped upon me. Your majesty was, and is, that man to me, that raised and advanced me nine times, thrice in dignity, and six times in office. The places indeed were the painfullest of all your service, but then they had both honour and profit, and the then profits might have maintained my now honour, if I had been wise. Neither was your majesty's immediate liberality wanting towards me, in some gifts, if I may hold them. All this I do most thankfully acknowledge, and do herewith conclude, that for any thing arising from myself, to move your eye of pity
towards me, there is much more in my present misery than in my past services; save that the same your majesty's goodness, that may give relief to the one, may give value to the other.
And, indeed, if it may please your majesty, this theme of my misery is so plentiful, as it need not be coupled with any thing else. I have been somebody, by your majesty's singular and undeserved favour, even the prime officer of your kingdom. Your majesty's arm hath been often over mine in council, when you presided at the table, so near I was. I have borne your majesty's image in metal, much more in heart. I was never, in nineteen years' service, chidden by your majesty, but, contrariwise, often overjoyed, when your majesty would sometimes say; "I was a good husband for you, though none for myself;" sometimes, "That I had a way to deal in business, suavibus modis,' which was the way which was most according to your own heart;" and other most gracious speeches of affection and trust, which I feed on till this day. But why should I speak of these things, which are now vanished, but only the better to express my downfall.
which your sacred hand hath been so oft for new ornaments and additions. Unto this degree of compassion, I hope God above (of whose mercy towards me, both in my prosperity, and adversity, I have had great testimonies and pledges, though mine own manifold and wretched unthankfulness might have averted them) will dispose your princely heart, already prepared to all piety. And why should I not think, but that thrice noble prince, who would have pulled me out of the fire of a sentence, will help to pull me (if I may use that homely phrase) out of the mire of an abject and sordid condition in my last days? And that excellent favourite of yours (the goodness of whose nature contendeth with the greatness of his fortune, and who counteth it a prize, a second prize, to be a good friend, after that prize which he carrieth to be a good servant) will kiss your hands with joy, for any work of piety you shall do for me? And as all commiserating persons (specially such as find their hearts void of malice) are apt to think, that all men pity them; I assure myself, that the lords of the council (who out of their wisdom and nobleness cannot but be sensible of human events) will, in this way which I go for the relief of my estate, further and advance your majesty's goodness towards me. For there is a kind of fraternity between great men that are, and those that have been, being but the several tenses of one verb; nay, I do farther presume, that both Houses of Parliament will love their justice the better if it end not in my ruin. For I have been often told by many of my lords, (as it were, in excusing the severity of the sentence,) that they knew they left me in good hands. And your majesty knoweth well, I have been all my life long acceptable to those assemblies, not by flattery, but by moderation, and by honest expressSo as, to conclude, I must pouring of a desire to have all things go fairly and out my misery before your majesty, so far as to well. say, "Si deseris tu, perimus.”
For now it is thus with me; I am a year and a half old in misery, though (I must ever acknowledge) not without some mixture of your majesty's grace and mercy. For I do not think it possible, that any you once loved should be totally miserable. My own ineans, through mine own improvidence, are poor and weak, little better than my father left me. The poor things which I have had from your majesty, are either in question, or at courtesy: my dignities remain marks of your past favour, but yet burdens withal of my present fortune. The poor remnants which I had of my former fortunes, in plate or jewels, I have spread upon poor men, unto whom I owed, scarce leaving myself bread.
But as I can offer to your majesty's compassion, little arising from myself to move you, except it be my extreme misery, which I have truly laid open; so looking up to your majesty yourself, I should think I committed Cain's fault, if I should despair: your majesty is a king, whose heart is as unscrutable, for secret motions of goodness, as for depth of wisdom. You are creator-like, factive, and not destructive; you are a prince in whom I have ever noted an aversion against any thing that savoured of a hard heart; as, on the other side, your princely eye was wont to meet with any motion that was made on the relieving part. Therefore, as one that hath had happiness to know your majesty near hand I have (most gracious sovereign) faith enough for a miracle, much more for a grace: that your majesty will not suffer your poor creature to be utterly defaced, nor blot that name quite out of your book, upon VOL. III.-3
But (if it may please your majesty) for saints, I shall give them reverence, but no adoration. My address is to your majesty, the fountain of goodness: your majesty shall, by the grace of God, not feel that in gift, which I shall extremely feel in help; for my desires are moderate, and my courses measured to a life orderly and reserved; hoping still to do your majesty honour in my way. Only I most humbly beseech your majesty, to give me leave to conclude with those words which necessity speaketh; help me, dear sovereign lord and master, and pity me so far, as I, that have borne a bag, be not now, in my age, forced in effect, to bear a wallet; nor I, that desire to live to study, may not be driven to study to live. I most humbly crave pardon of a long letter, after a long silence. God of heaven ever bless, preserve. and prosper your majesty.
Your majesty's poor ancient servant and beadsman, FR. ST. ALBAN