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I would (as I wrote to the duke in Spain) I Could do your highness's journey any honour with my pen. It began like a fable of the poets; but it deserveth all in a piece a worthy narration.
TO THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM. EXCELLENT LORD,
I desire in this, which I now presume to write to your grace, to be understood, that my bow carrieth not so high, as to aim to advise touching any of the great affairs now on foot, and so to pass it to his majesty through your hands; though it be true, that my good affection towards his majesty and the prince and the public is that which will last die in me; and though I think also his majesty would take it but well, if, having been that man I have been, my honest and loyal mind should sometimes feed upon those thoughts. But my level is no farther, but to do the part of a true friend in advising yourself for your own greatness and safety; although, even in this also, I assure myself I perform a good duty to the public service, unto which I reckon your standing and power to be a firm and sound pillar of support.
First, therefore, my lord, call to mind oft, and consider duly, how infinitely your grace is bound to God in this one point, which I find to be a most rare piece, and wherein, either of ancient or late times, there are few examples; that is, that you are beloved so dearly, both by the king and the prince. You are not as a Lerma, or an Olivares, and many others the like, who have insinuated themselves into the favours of young princes, during the kings', their fathers, time, against the bent and inclination of the kings: but, contrariwise, the king himself hath knit the knot of trust and favour between the prince and your grace, wherein you are not so much to take comfort in that you may seem to have two lives in your own greatness, as in this, that hereby you are enabled to be a noble instrument for the service, contentment, and heart's ease, both of father and son. For where there is so loving and indulgent a father, and so respective and obedient a son, and a faithful and worthy servant, interested in both their favours upon all occasions, it cannot be but a comfortable house. This point your grace is principally to acknowledge and cherish. Next, that, which I should have placed first, save that the laying open of God's benefits is a good preparation to religion and godliness, your grace is to maintain yourself firm and constant in the way you have begun; which is, in being and showing yourself to be a true and sound Protestant. This is your soul's health. This is that you owe to God above, for his singular favours: and this is that which hath brought you into the good opinion and good will of the realin in general. So that, as your case differeth VOL. III.-20
(as I said) from the case of other favourites, in that you have both king and prince; so in this, that you have also now the hearts of the best subjects, (for I do not love the word people,) your case differeth from your own, as it stood before. And because I would have your reputation in this point complete, let me advise you, that the name of Puritans in a Papist's mouth, do not make you to withdraw your favour from such as are honest and religious men; so that they be not so turbulent and factious spirits, or adverse to the government of the church, though they be traduced by that name. For of this kind is the greatest part of the body of the subjects; and, besides, (which is not to be forgotten,) it is safest for the king and his service, that such men have their dependence upon your grace, who are entirely the king's, rather than upon any other subject.
For the Papists, it is not unknown to your grace, that you are not, at this time, much in their books. But be you like yourself; and far be it from you, under a king and prince of that clemency, to be inclined to rigour or persecution.
But three things must be looked unto: the first, that they be suppressed in any insolency, which may tend either to disquiet the civil estate, or scandalize our church in fact, for, otherwise, all their doctrine doth it in opinion. The second, that there be an end, or limit, of those graces which shall be thought fit for them, and that there be not every day new demands hearkened to. The third, that for those cases and graces, which they have received, or shall receive of the state, the thanks go the right way; that is, to the king and prince, and not to any foreigner. For this is certain, that if they acknowledge them from the state, they may perhaps sit down when they are well. But if they have a dependence upon a foreigner, there will be no end of their growing desires and hopes. And in this point also, your lordship's wisdom and moderation may do much good.
For the match with Spain, it is too great and dark a business for me to judge of. But as it hath relation to concern yourself, I will, as in the rest, deal freely with your grace.
My lord, you owe, in this matter, two debts to the king; the one, that, if in your conscience and judgment you be persuaded it be dangerous and prejudicial to him and his kingdoms, you deliver your soul, and in the freedom of a faithful counsellor, joined with the humbleness of a dutiful servant, you declare yourself accordingly, and show your reasons. The other, that if the king in his high judgment, or the prince in his settled affection, be resolved to have it go on; that then you move in their orb, as far as they shall lay it upon you. But, meanwhile, let me tell your grace, that I am not of the general opinion abroad, that the match must break, c else my
Lord of Buckingham's fortune must break.
For that excellent lady, whose fortune is so
It is open to every man's discourse, that there are but two ways for the restitution of the palatinate, treaty and arms. It is good, therefore, to consider of the middle acts, which may make either of these ways desperate, to the end they may be avoided in that way which shall be chosen. If no match, either this with Spain, or perhaps some other with Austria, no restitution by treaty. If the Dutch either be ruined, or grow to a peace of themselves with Spain, no restitution by war.
TO THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.*
There is a suit, whereunto I may, as it were, claim kindred, and which may be of credit and profit unto me; and it is an old arrear which is called upon, from Sir Nicolas Bacon, my eldest brother. It may be worth to me perhaps two thousand pounds; and yet I may deal kindly with my brother, and also reward liberally (as I mean to do) the officers of the Exchequer, which have brought it to light. Good my lord obtain it of the king, and be earnest in it for me. It will acquit the king somewhat of his promise, that he would have care of my wants; for hitherto, since my misfortunes, I have tasted of his majesty's mercy, but not of his bounty. But your lordship may be pleased in this, to clear the coast with my lord treasurer; else there it will have a stop. 1 am almost at last cast for means; and yet it grieveth me most, that at such a time as this, I should not be rather serviceable to your grace, than troublesome.
God preserve and prosper your grace.
This 23d of January, 1623.
FR. ST. ALBAN.
TO THE EARL OF OXFORD.+
Let me be an humble suitor to your lordship, for your noble favour. I would be glad to receive my writ this Parliament, that I may not die in dishonour; but by no means, except it should be with the love and consent of my lords to readmit me, if their lordships vouchsafe to think me worthy of their company; or if they think that which I have suffered now these three years, in loss of place, in loss of means, and in loss of liberty for a great time, to be a sufficient expiation for my faults, whereby I may now seem in their eyes to be a fit subject of their grace, as 1 have been before of their justice. My good lord, the good, which the commonwealth might reap of my suffering, is already inned. Justice is done; an example is made for reformation; the authority of the House for judicature is established. There can be no farther use of my misery; perhaps some little may be of my service; for, I hope I shall be found a man humbled as a Christian, though not dejected as a worldling. I have great opinion of your lordship's power, and great hope, for many reasons, of your favour; which,
But these things your grace understandeth far better than myself. And, as I said before, the points of state I aim not at farther, than they may concern your grace, to whom, while I live, and shall find it acceptable t. you, I shall ever be ready to give the tribute of a true friend and servant, and shall always think my counsels given you happy, if you shall pardon them the 28th of January, 1623, is printed in Lord Bacon's works. when they are free; and follow them when they are good
* The duke's answer to this letter, dated at Newmarket,
+ Henry Vere, who died in 1625. He was Lord Great Chamberlain of England.
God preserve and prosper you.
That met February 19, 1623, and was prorogued May 29
if I may obtain, I can say no more, but nobleness is ever requited in itself; and God, whose special favour in my afflictions I have manifestly found to my comfort, will, I trust, be my paymaster of that which cannot be requited by Your lordship's affectionate
humble servant, &c. Endorsed, February 2, 1623.
TO SIR FRANCIS BARNHAM.*
Upon a little searching, made touching the patents of the survey of coals, I find matter not only to acquit myself, but likewise to do myself much right.
Any reference to me, or any certificate of mine, I find not. Neither is it very likely I made any; for that, when it came to the great seal, I stayed it. I did not only stay it, but brought it before the council table, as not willing to pass it, except their lordships allowed it. The lords gave hearing to the business, I remember, two several days; and in the end disallowed it, and commended my care and circumspection, and ordered, that it should continue stayed; and so it did all my time.
About a twelvemonth since, my Lord Duke of Lenox, now deceased,† wrote to me to have the privy seal; which, though I respected his lordship much, I refused to deliver to him, but was content to put it into the right hand; that is, to send it to my lord keeper,‡ giving knowledge how it had been stayed. My lord keeper received it by mine own servant, writeth back to me, acknowledging the receipt, and adding, that he would lay it aside until his lordship heard farther from my lord steward,§ and the rest of the lords. Whether this first privy seal went to the great seal, or that it went about again, I know not: but all my part is, that I have related. I ever rest Your faithful friend and cousin, FR. ST. ALBAN.
March 14, 1623,
TO THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.
MY LORD,—I am now full three years old in misery; neither hath there been any thing done for me, whereby I might either die out of ignominy, or live out of want. But now, that your grace (God's name be praised for it) hath re
He appears to be a relation of his lordship's lady, who was daughter of Benedict Barnham, Esq., alderman of the city of London. Sir Francis was appointed, by his lordship, one of the executors of his last will.
covered your health, and are come to the court, and the Parliament business hath also intermission, I firmly hope your grace will deal with his majesty, that as I have tasted of his mercy, I may also taste of his bounty. Your grace, I know, for a business of a private man, cannot win yourself more honour; and I hope I shall yet live to do you service. For my fortune hath (I thank God) made no alteration in my mind, but to the better. I ever rest humbly
Your grace's most obliged
If I may know by two or three words from your grace, that you will set in for me, I will propound somewhat that shall be modest, and leave it to your grace, whether you will move his majesty yourself, or recommend it by some of your lordship's friends, that wish me well; [as my Lord of Arundel, or Secretary Conway, or Mr. James Maxwell.*]
TO THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM
I understand by Sir John Suckling, that he attended yesterday at Greenwich, hoping, according to your grace's appointment, to have found you there, and to have received your grace's pleasure touching my suit, but missed of you: and this day he sitteth upon the subsidy at Brentford, and shall not be at court this week: which causeth me to use these few lines to hear from your grace, I hope, to my comfort; humbly praying pardon, if I number thus the days, and that misery should exceed modesty. I ever rest Your grace's most faithful and obliged servant, FR. ST. ALBAN.
June 30, 1624.
TO SIR RICHARD WESTON, CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER.
MR. CHANCELLOR,-This way, by Mr. Myn, besides a number of little difficulties it hath, amounteth to this, that I shall pay interest for mine own money. Besides, I must confess, I cannot bow my mind to be a suitor, much less a shifter, for that means which I enjoy by his majesty's grace and bounty. And, therefore, I am rather ashamed of that I have done, than minded to go forward. So that I leave it to yourself what you think fit to be done in your honour and my case, resting
Your very loving friend,
London, this 7th of July, 1624.
FR. ST. ALBAN.
The words included in brackets have a line drawn after
+ He died suddenly, February 12, 1623-4.
See his letter to Lord St. Alban, of February 7, 1622. James, Marquis of Hamilton, who died March 2, 1621-5.
TO THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM. EXCELLENT LORD,
Now that your grace hath the king private, and at better leisure, the noise of soldiers, ambassadors, parliaments, a little ceasing, I hope you will remember your servant; for at so good a time, and after so long a time, to forget him, were almost to forsake him. But, howsoever, I shall still remain
Your grace's most obliged and faithful servant, FR. ST. ALBAN.
I am bold to put into my good friend, Sir Tobie Matthew's hand, a copy of my petition, which your gra had sent to Sir John Suckling. Endorsed, August, 1624.
near at hand, which I thought would have been a longer matter; and I imagine there is a gratiastitium till he come. I do not doubt but you shall find his grace nobly disposed. The last time that you spake with him about me, I remember you sent me word, he thanked you for being so forward for me. Yet, I could wish that you took some occasion to speak with him, generally to my advantage, before you move to him any particular suit; and to let me know how you find him.
My lord treasurer sent me a good answer touch
ing my moneys. I pray you continue to quicken him, that the king may once clear with me. And fire of old wood needeth no blowing; but old men do. I ever rest
Yours to do you service.
TO THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM. EXCELLENT LORD,
I am infinitely bound to your grace for your late favours. I send your grace a copy of your letter, signifying his majesty's pleasure, and of the petition. The course, I take it, must be, to make a warrant for the execution of the same, by way of reference to Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Mr. Attorney.† I most humbly pray your Frace likewise, to prostrate me at his majesty's feet, with most humble thanks for the grant of my petition, whose sweet presence since I discontinued, methinks, I am neither amongst the living, nor amongst the dead.
I cannot but likewise gratulate his majesty on the extreme prosperous success of his business, since this time twelvemonth. I know I speak it in a dangerous time; because the die of the Low Countries is upon the throw. But yet that is all one. For, if it should be a blow, (which I hope in God it shall not,) yet it would have been ten times worse, if former courses had not been taken. But this is the raving of a hot ague.
God evermore bless his majesty's person and designs, and likewise make your grace a spectacle of prosperity, as you have hitherto been. Your grace's most faithful and obliged, and by you revived servant, FR. ST. ALBAN.
Gray's Inn, 9th of October, 1024.
This gentleman, the bearer hereof, Mr. Colles by name, is my neighbour. He is commended for a civil young man. I think he wanteth no metal, but he is peaceable. It was his hap to fall out with Mr. Matthew Francis, sergeant at arms, about a toy; the one affirming, that a hare was fair killed, and the other, foul. Words multiplied, and some blows passed on either side. But since the first falling out, the serjeant hath used towards him diverse threats and affronts, and, which is a point of danger, sent to him a letter of challenge: but Mr. Colles, doubting the contents of the
Sir James, Lord Ley, advanced from the post of Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench, on the 20th of December,
1624, to that of lord treasurer; and created Earl of Marlbo rough on the 5th of February, 1625-6.
His lordship had not been always in that disposition towards the Lord Viscount St. Alban; for the latter has, among the letters printed in his works, one to this lord treasurer, severely expostulating with him about his unkindness and injustice.
Sir Edward Sackville succeeded to that title on the death of his brother Richard, March 28, 1624.
letter, refused to receive it. Motions have been made also of reconcilement, or of reference to some gentlemen of the country not partial: but the serjeant hath refused all, and now, at last, sueth him in the Earl Marshal's Court. The gentleman saith, he distrusteth not his cause upon the hearing; but would be glad to avoid restraint, or long and chargeable attendance. Let me, therefore, pray your good lordship to move the noble earl in that kind, to carry a favourable hand towards him, such as may stand with justice and the order of that court. I ever rest
Your lordship's faithful friend and servant.
I received from your lordship two letters, the one of the 23d, the other of the 28th of this month. To the former, I do assure your lordship I have not heard any thing of any suits or motion, either touching the reversion of your honours or the rent of your farm of petty writs; and, if I had heard any thing thereof, I would not have been unmindful of that caveat, which heretofore you gave in by former letters, nor slack to do you the best service I might.
The debt of Sir Nicolas Bacon resteth as it did; for in the latter end of King James's time, it exhibited a quo warranto in the Exchequer, touching that liberty, against Sr. Nicolas, which abated by his death; then another against Sir Edmund, which, by the demise of the king, and by reason of the adjournment of the late term, hath had no farther proceeding, but that day is given to plead. Concerning your other letter, I humbly thank your lordship for your favourable and good wishes to me; though I, knowing my own unaptness to so great an employment,† should be most heartily glad, if his majesty had, or yet would choose, a man of more merit. But, if otherwise, humbleness and submission becomes the servant, and to stand in that station where his majesty will have him. But as for the request you make for your servant, though I protest I am not yet engaged by promise to any, because I hold it too much boldness towards my master, and discourtesy towards my lord keeper,‡ to dispose of places, while he had the seal: yet, in respect I have
Arundel, Earl Marshal.
+ Bishop Williams, who had resigned the great seal on the 25th of October, 1625, to Sir John Suckling, who brought his majesty's warrant to receive it, dated at Salisbury, on the 23d of that month.
That of the great seal, of which Sir Thomas Coventry was three days after made lord keeper, on the 1st of November, 1625.
some servants, and some of my kindred, apt for the place you write of, and have been already so much importuned by noble persons, when I lately was with his majesty at Salisbury, as it will be hard to me to give them all denial; I am not able to discern, how I can accommodate your servant; though for your sake, and in respect of the former knowledge myself have had of the merit and worth of the gentleman, I should be most ready and willing to perform your desire, if it were in my power. And so, with remembrance of my service to your lordship, I remain
At your lordship's commandment,
Kingsbury, Oct. 29, 1625.
To the right honourable, and my very good lord, the Viscount St. Alban.
TO MR. ROGER PALMER.
GOOD MR. Roger Palmer,
I thank God, by means of the sweet air of the country, I have obtained some degree of health. Sending to the court, I thought I would salute you and I would be glad, in this solitary time and place, to hear a little from you how the world goeth, according to your friendly manner heretofore,
Fare ye well most heartily.
Your very affectionate and assured friend,
Gorhambury, Oct. 29, 1625.
TO THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.
I could not but signify unto your grace my rejoicing, that God hath sent your grace a son and heir, and that you are fortunate as well in your house, as in the state of the kingdom. These blessings come from God, as I do not doubt but your grace doth, with all thankfulness, acknowledge, vowing to him your service. Myself, I praise his divine Majesty, have gotten some step into health. My wants are great; but yet I want not a desire to do your grace service; and I marvel, that your grace should think to pull down the monarchy of Spain without my good help. Your grace will give me leave to be merry, however the world goeth with me. I ever rest Your grace's most faithful
and obliged servant, &c.
I wish your grace a good new year.
Born November 17, 1625, and named Charles.-Diary of the Life of Archbishop Laud, published by Mr. Wharton, p 24. This son of the duke died the 16th of March, 1626 7.Ibid., p. 40