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TO MR. CAWFEILDE.*
SIR, I made full account to have seen you here this reading, but your neither coming nor sending the interr., as you undertook, I may perceivet of a wonder. And you know super mirari caperunt philosophari. The redemption of both these consisteth in the vouchsafing of your coming up now, as soon as you conveniently can; for now is the time of conference and counsel. Besides, if the course of the court be held super interrogat. judicis, then must the interr. be ready ere the commission be sealed; and if the commission proceed not forthwith, then will it be caught hold of for further delay. I will not, by way of admittance, desire you to send, with all speed, the interr., because I presume much of your coming, which I hold necessary; and, accordingly, pro more amicitiæ, I desire you earnestly to have regard both of the matter itself, and my so conceiving. And so, &c.
Your friend particularly.
TO MR. TOBIE MATTHEW.
GOOD MR. MATTHEW,
The event of the business whereof you write, is, it may be, for the best: for seeing my lord, of himself, beginneth to come about, quorsum as yet? I could not in my heart suffer my Lord Digby to go hence without my thanks and acknowledgments. I send my letter open, which I pray seal and deliver. touch.
Particulars I would not
TO MY LORD MONTJOYE.‡
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
Finding, by my last going to my lodge at Twickenham, and tossing over my papers, somewhat that I thought might like you, I had neither leisure to perfect them, nor the patience to expect leisure; so desirous I was to make demonstration of my honour and love towards you, and to increase your good love towards me. And I would not have your lordship conceive, though it be my manner and rule to keep state in contemplative matters, si quis venerit nomine suo, eum recipietis, that I think so well of the collection as I seem to do: and yet I dare not take too much from it, because I have chosen to dedicate it to you. To be short, it is the honour I can do to you at this time. And so I commend me to your love and honourable friendship.
From the original draught in the library of Queen's Col
lege, Oxford. Arch. D. 2.
+ Query whether perceive.
TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR, AND THE LORD MANDEVILLE, LORD TREASURER OF ENGLAND.*
MY HONOURABLE Lords,
His majesty is pleased, according to your lordships' certificate, to rely upon your judgments, and hath made choice of Sir Robert Lloyd, knight, to be patentee and master of the office of engrossing the transcripts of all wills and inventories in the prerogative courts, during his highness's pleasure, and to be accountable unto his majesty for such profits as shall arise out of the same office. And his majesty's farther pleasure is, that your lordship forthwith proportion and set down, as well a reasonable rate of fees for the subject to pay for engrossing the said transcripts, as also such fees as your lordship shall conceive fit to be allowed to the said patentee for the charge of clerks and ministers for execution of the said office. And to this effect his majesty hath commanded me to signify his pleasure to his solicitorgeneral, to prepare a book for his majesty's signature. And so, I bid your lordship heartily well to fare, and remain
Your lordships' very loving friend,
Royston, December 17, 1620.
TO THE REV. UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD ‡ AMONGST the gratulations I have received, none are more welcome and agreeable to me than your letters, wherein, the less I acknowledge of those attributes you give me, the more I must acknowledge of your affection, which bindeth me no less to you, that are professors of learning, than mine own dedication doth to learning itself. And, therefore, you have no need to doubt, but I will emulate (as much as in me is) towards you the merits of him that is gone, by how much the more I take myself to have more propriety in the And, for the equality principal motive thereof. you write of, I shall, by the grace of God, (as far as may concern me,) hold the balance as equally between the two universities, as I shall hold the balance of other justice between party and party. And yet, in both cases, I must meet with some inclinations of affection, which, nevertheless, shall not carry me aside. And so. I commend you to God's goodness.
Your most loving and assured friend
Gorhambury, April 12, 1617.
Harl. MSS. vol. 7000.
† Sir Thomas Coventry.
This and the following letter are from the collections of the late Robert Stephens, Esq., historiographer royal, and
From the original draught in the library of Queen's Col- John Locker, Esq., deceased, now in possession of the
lege, Oxford. Arch. D. 2.
TO THE LORD KEEPER BACON
MY LORD,-If your man had been addressed only to me, I should have been careful to have procured him a more speedy despatch; but, now you have found another way of address, I am excused; and since you are grown weary of employing me, I can be no otherwise in being employed. In this business of my brother's, that you over trouble yourself with, I understand from London, by some of my friends, that you have carried yourself with much scorn and neglect, both towards myself and friends; which, if it prove true, I blame not you, but myself, who was ever Your lordship's assured friend, G. BUCKINGHAM.
MY LORD,-I am sorry of your misfortune, and, for any thing that is within mine own command, your lordship may expect no other than the respects of him that forgetteth not your lordship is to him a near ally, and an ancient acquaintance, client, and friend. For that which may concern my place, which governeth me, and not I it; if any thing be demanded at my hands, or directed, or that I am, ex officio, to do any thing; if, I say, it come to any of these three; for, as yet, I am a stranger to the business; yet, saving my duties, which I will never live to violate, your lordship shall find, that I will observe those degrees and limitations of proceeding which belongeth to him that knoweth well he serveth a clement and merciful master, and that, in his own nature, shall ever incline to the more benign part; and that knoweth, also, what belongeth to nobility, and to a house of such merit and réputation as the Lord Norris is come from. And even so I remain Your lordship's very loving friend.
Sept. 20, 1615.
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING.t IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY, According to your majesty's reference signified by Sir Roger Wilbraham, I have considered of the petition of Sir Gilbert Houghton, your majesty's servant, for a license of sole transportation of tallow, butter, and hides, &c., out of your realm of Ireland, and have had conference with the Lord Chichester, late Lord Deputy of Ireland, and likewise with Sir John Davies, your majesty's attorney there. And this is that which I find.
First, That hides and skins may not be meddled withal, being a staple commodity of the
From the collections of the late Robert Stephens, Esq. + Ibid
kingdom, wherein the towns are principally interested.
That for tallow, butter, beef, not understanding it of live cattle, and pipe-staves, for upon these things we fell, although they were not all contained in the petition, but in respect hides were more worth than all the rest, they were thought of by way of some supply; these commodities are such as the kingdom may well spare, and in that respect fit to be transported; wherein, nevertheless, some consideration may be had of the profit, that shall be taken upon the license. Neither do I find, that the farmers of the customs there, of which some of them were before me, did much stand upon it, but seemed rather to give way to it. I find, also, that at this time all these commodities are free to be transported by proclamation, so as no profit can be made of it, except there be first a restraint; which restraint I think fitter to be by some prohibition in the letters patents, than by any new proclamation; and the said letters patents to pass rather here than there, as it was in the license of wines granted to the Lady Arabella; but then those letters patents, to be enrolled in the Chancery of Ireland, whereby exemplifications of them may be taken to be sent to the ports.
All which, nevertheless, I submit to your ma jesty's better judgment.
Your majesty's most humble
June 5, 1616.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR AND TWO CHIEF JUSTICES TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
OUR VERY GOOD LORD,
It may please his majesty to call to mind, that when we gave his majesty our last account of Parliament business in his presence, we went over the grievances of the last Parliament in 7mo,† with our opinion by way of probable conjecture, which of them are like to fall off, and which may perchance stick and be renewed. And we did also then acquaint his majesty, that we thought it no less fit to take into consideration grievances of like nature, which have sprung up since the said last session, which are the more like to be called upon, by how much they are the more fresh, signifying withal, that they were of two kinds; some proclamations and commissions, and trouble his majesty withal in particular; partly, many patents; which, nevertheless, we did not for that we were not then fully prepared, (as being a work of some length,) and partly, for that we then desired and obtained leave of his majesty to
Sir Henry Montagu, of the King's Bench, and Sir Henry Hobart, of the Common Pleas.
That which began February 9, 1609, and was prorogued July 23, 1610.
communicate them with the council table.
And hereupon his majesty may be likewise pleased to call to mind, that we then said, and do now also humbly make remonstrance to his majesty, that in this we do not so much express the sense of our own minds or judgments upon the particulars, as we do personate the Lower House, and cast with ourselves what is like to be stirred there. And, therefore, if there be any thing, either in respect of the matter, or the persons, that stands not so well with his majesty's good liking, that his majesty would be graciously pleased not to impute it unto us; and withal to consider, that it is to this good end, that his majesty may either remove such of them, as in his own princely judgment, or with the advice of his council, he shall think fit to be removed; or be the better provided to carry through such of them as he shall think fit to be maintained, in case they should be moved, and so the less surprised.
First, therefore, to begin with the patents, we find three sorts of patents, and those somewhat frequent, since the session of 7mo, which in genere we conceive may be most subject to exception of grievance; patents of old debts, patents of concealments, and patents of monopolies, and forfeitures for dispensations of penal laws, together with some other particulars, which fall not so properly under any one head.
For the third, we do humbly advise, that such of them as his majesty shall give way to have called in, may be questioned before the council table, either as granted contrary to his majesty's book of bounty, or found since to have been abused in the execution, or otherwise by experience discovered to be burdensome to the country.
But herein we shall add this farther humble advice, that it be not done as matter of preparation to a Parliament; but that occasion be taken, partly upon revising of the book of bounty, and partly upon the fresh examples in Sir Henry Yelverton's case of abuse and surreption in obtaining of patents; and likewise, that it be but as a continuance in conformity of the council's former diligence and vigilancy, which hath already stayed and revoked divers patents of like nature, whereof we are ready to show the examples. Thus, we conceive, his majesty shall keep his greatness, and somewhat shall be done in Parliament, and somewhat out of Parliament, as the nature of the subject and business require.
We have sent his majesty herewith a schedule of the particulars of these three kinds; wherein, for the first two, we have set down all that we could at this time discover: but in the latter, we have chosen out but some, that are most in speech, and do most tend, either to the vexation of the common people, or the discountenancing of our gentlemen and justices, the one being the original, the other the representative of the commons.
There being many more of like nature, but not of like weight, nor so much rumoured, which, to take away now in a blaze, will give more scandal, that such things were granted, than thanks, that they be now revoked.
And because all things may appear to his majesty in the true light, we have set down, as well the suitors as the grants, and not only those in whose names the patents were taken, but those whom they concern, as far as comes to our But knowledge.
For proclamations and commissions, they are tender things; and we are willing to meddle with them sparingly. For as for such as do but wait upon patents, (wherein his majesty, as we conceived, gave some approbation to have them taken away,) it is better they fall away, by taking away the patent itself, than otherwise; for a proclamation cannot be revoked but by proclamation, which we avoid.
In these three heads, we do humbly advise several courses to be taken; for the first two, of old debts and concealments, for that they are in a sort legal, though there may be found out some point in law to overthrow them; yet it would be a long business by course of law, and a matter unusual by act of council, to call them in. that that moves us chiefly, to avoid the questioning them at the council table is, because if they shall be taken away by the king's act, it may let in upon him a flood of suitors for recompense; whereas, if they be taken away at the suit of the Parliament, and a law thereupon made, it frees the king, and leaves him to give reconpense only where he shall be pleased to intend grace. Wherefore we conceive the most conve nient way will be, if some grave and discreet For those commonwealth bills, which his magentlemen of the country, such as have lost rela- jesty approved to be put in readiness, and some tion to the court, make, at fit times, some modest other things, there will be time enough hereafter motion touching the same; and that his majesty to give his majesty account, and amongst them, would be graciously pleased to permit some law of the extent of his majesty's pardon, which, if to pass, (for the time past only, no ways touching his subjects do their part, as we hope they will, his majesty's regal power,) to free the subjects we do wish may be more liberal than of later from the same; and so his majesty, after due times, a pardon being the ancient remuneration in consultation, to give way unto it.
Thus, hoping his majesty, out of his gracious and accustomed benignity, will accept of our faithful endeavours, and supply the rest by his own princely wisdom and direction; and also humbly praying his majesty, that when he hath himself considered of our humble propositions, he will give us leave to impart them all, or as much as he shall think fit, to the lords of his council, for the better strength of his service, we conclude with our prayers for his majesty's happy preservation, and always rest, &c.
The lord chancellor and the two chief justices to the king concerning Parliament business.
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO KING JAMES.* MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY,
I perceive by the Bishop of Bath and Wells, that although it seemeth he hath dealt in an effectual manner with Peacham, yet he prevaileth little hitherto; for he hath gotten of him no new names, neither doth Peacham alter in his tale touching Sir John Sydenham.
Peacham standeth off in two material points de novo.
The one, he will not yet discover into whose hands he did put his papers touching the consistory villanies. They were not found with the other bundles upon the search; neither did he ever say that he had burned or defaced them. Therefore it is like they are in some person's hands; and it is like again, that that person that he hath trusted with those papers, he likewise trusted with these others of the treasons, I mean with the sight of them.
The other, that he taketh time to answer, when he is asked, whether he heard not from Mr. Paulet some such words, as, he saith, he heard from Sir John Sydenham, or in some lighter
that it should not be treason; that it be given out constantly, and yet as it were a secret, and so a fame to slide, that the doubt was only upon the publication, in that it was never published, for that (if your majesty marketh it) taketh away, or least qualifies the danger of the example; for that will be no man's case.
This is all I can do to thridd your majesty's business with a continual and settled care, turning and returning, not with any thing in the world, save only the occasions themselves, and your majesty's good pleasure.
I had no time to report to your majesty, at your being here, the business referred, touching Mr. John Murray. I find a shrewd ground of a title against your majesty and the patentees of these lands, by the coheir of Thomas, Earl of Northumberland; for I see a fair deed, I find a reasonable consideration for the making the said deed, being for the advancement of his daughters; for that all the possessions of the earldom were entailed upon his brother; I find it was made four years before his rebellion; and I see some probable cause why it hath slept so long. But Mr. Murray's petition speaketh only of the I moiety of one of the coheirs, whereunto if your majesty should give way, you might be preju diced in the other moiety. Therefore, if Mr. Murray can get power of the whole, then it may be safe for your majesty to give way to the trial of the right; when the whole shall be submitted to you.
Mr. Murray is my dear friend; but I must cut even in these things, and so I know he would himself wish no other. God preserve your majesty. Your majesty's most humble and devoted subject and servant, FR. BACON.
Feb. the 28, 1614.
TRANSLATION OF A LETTER TO THE COUNT GON-
I hold it fit, that myself, and my fellows, go to
I think also it were not amiss to make a false fire, as if all things were ready for his going down to his trial, and that he were upon the very point of being carried down, to see what that will work with him.
Lastly, I do think it most necessary, and a point principally to be regarded, that because we live in an age wherein no counsel is kept, and that it is true there is some bruit abroad, that the judges of the King's Bench do doubt of the case,
Sir David Dalrymple's Memorials and Letters, p. 29.
Your lordship's love to me, both in its warmth and purity, hath, I am well assured, been ever equal and unalterable in prosperity as in adversity; in which regard I offer you the thanks so worthily and justly claimed. Now that at once my age, my fortunes, and my genius, to which I have hitherto done but scanty justice, call me from the stage of active life, I shall devote myself to letters, instruct the actors on it and serve posterity. In such a course I shall, perhaps, find honour. And I shall thus pass my life as within the verge of a better.
God preserve your lordship in safety and
June 6th, 1621.
TRANSLATION OF A LETTER TO COUNT GON-
MOST ILLUSTRIOUS AND EXCELLENT LORD,
by repulses, nor on the other hand been completely fulfilled, it would seem from this as if the divine providence intended that the work of I see and acknowledge the divine providence rescuing me from my misery was to be yours in in raising up for me under my utter desertion, its end, as in its beginning. Thirdly, because such a friend, sent as it were from heaven, who, those two stars which have ever been propitious involved in such great concerns, and with time to me, the greater and the less are now shining so very limited, has yet taken an interest in my in your city, and thus by the assisting and befortunes, and has effected that for me, which other nignant rays of your friendship, they may acquire friends either dared not attempt or could not have an influence on my fortunes, which shall restore obtained. me to a place in the scale of favour, not unbeYour lordship will enjoy the suitable and last-fitting my former elevation. Fourthly, because ing fruit of such dealing in your own noble cha- I learn from the letters you have lately written ricter, so prone to all the offices of sympathy and to my intimate friend, Sir Toby Matthew, that honour. Nor will this, perhaps, be the least among your good deeds, that by your assistance and favour you have raised and strengthened me once one among the living, and who shall not altogether die to posterity. What return can I make? I shall at least ever be yours, if not in useful service, at least in heart and good wishes. The fire of my love for you will remain quick under the ashes of my fortune; wherefore, I most humbly greet you, bid you farewell, wish you all prosperity, call heaven to witness my gratitude, promise all faithful observance.
To the most illustrious and excellent Lord Didacus Sarmiento de Acuna, Count Gondomar, Ambassador Extraordinary of the King of Spain to England.
TRANSLATION OF A LETTER TO COUNT GON-
MOST ILLUSTRIOUS Count,
Many things inspire me with confidence, and even with cheerful alacrity, in addressing you at this time on the subject of my fortunes, and entreating your friendly offices. First, and principally, that since so close an alliance between our sovereigns may now be regarded as definitively arranged, you are become so much the more powerful advocate; and I shrink not now from owing all my fortunes to so great a man, though not my own countryman, and from confessing the obligation. Secondly, Since that promise of indulgences which your lordship while in this country obtained for me, has not been succeeded
you cherish a lively and warm remembrance of me, which has neither been overwhelmed nor extinguished, under the weight of those high and sublime interests which rest on your lordship. Lastly, too, there is this circumstance that since, by the friendship of the excellent lord marquis, I have been admitted to see and converse with my king, I feel as if I were once more established in favour. The king did not speak to me as a guilty man, but as a man thrown down by a tempest; and withal in his address to me he acknowledged at great length, and, as it seemed, with singular tenderness, my steady and invariable course of industry and integrity. Whence the greater hope springs up within me, that by the continuance of my sovereign's regard, and the extinction of odium by the lapse of time, your excellency's efforts for me will not be made in vain. Meanwhile, I have neither sunk into indolence, nor impertinently mixed myself with affairs, but I live and am absorbed in labours not at all derogatory to the honours I have borne, and which shall perhaps leave no unpleasing memory of my name to posterity. I hope, therefore, that I am no unworthy object, on which to display and signalize at once the influence of your power and friendship: so that it shall be apparent, that you have no less control over the fortunes of a private man, than over public measures. May God preserve your excellency, and crown you with all happiness.
My Lord St. Alban's first letter to Gondomar into