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tentee and master of the office of ingrossing 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 ingrossing 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 solicitor-general (b) to prepare a book for his majesty's signature. And so I bid your lordship heartily well to fare, and remain
Your Lordship's very loving friend,
Royston, December 17, 1620.
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
My very good Lord,
I WAS SO full of cold, as I could not attend his majesty to-day. Yesterday I dispatched the proclamation with the council. There was a motion to have sharpened it but better none, than over sharp at first. I moved the council also for supplying the committee for drawing of bills and some other matters, in regard of my lord Hobart's (c) sickness, who, I think, will hardly escape: which, though it be happiness for him, yet it is loss for us.
Meanwhile, as I propounded to the king, which he allowed well, I have broken the main of the parliament into questions and parts, which I send. It may be, it is an over-diligence; but still methinks there is a middle thing between art and chance: I think they call it providence, or some such thing,
(b) Sir Thomas Coventry.
(c) Lord chief justice of the Common-Pleas.
which good servants, owe to their sovereign, specially in cases of importance and straits of occasions. And those huffing elections, and general licence of speech, ought to make us the better provided. The way will be, if his majesty will be pleased to peruse these questions advisedly, and give me leave to wait on him; and then refer it to some few of the council, a little to advise upon it. I ever rest
Your Lordship's most obliged friend
and faithful servant,
December 23, 1620.
FR. VERULAM, Canc.
TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR (a).
His majesty hath commanded me to signify his pleasure unto your lordship, that Sir Thomas Coventry, now his solicitor-general, be forthwith made his attorney-general and that your lordship give order to the clerk of the crown to draw up a grant of the said place unto him accordingly. And so I rest
Your Lordship's faithful friend and servant, Al Whitehall, 9th of January, 1620.
TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR (b).
My honourable Lord,
I HAVE been intreated to recommend unto your lordship the distressed case of the lady Martin, widow of Sir Richard Martin, deceased, who hath a cause to be heard before your lordship in the chancery, at your first sitting in the next term, between her and one Archer, and others, upon an ancient statute, due long since unto her husband; which cause, I am in
formed, hath received three verdicts for her in the common law, a decree in 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 dispatch thereof, her poverty being such, that having nothing to live on but her husband's debts, if her suit long depend, she shall be inforced 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 (a).
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 solicitor-general. So I rest
Your Lordship's faithful friend and servant, Theobalds, 20th of January, 1620.
TO THE KING (b).
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
(a) Harl. MSS. Vol. 7000.
(b) This seems to have been written by lord St. Albans, just after he was created a viscount by that title, January 27, 1620.
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.
You formed me of the learned council extraordinary, without patent or fee, a kind of individuum vagum. You established me, and brought me into ordinary. Soon after you placed me solicitor, 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 majesty could raise me no higher, it was your grace to illustrate me with beams of honour, first making 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 accord for a close. And so I may, without superstition, be buried in St. Alban's habit or vestment.
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 splendors 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 mens 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. And 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 (a).
I HAVE shewed 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 myself, I shall ever rejoice at the manifestation of his majesty's favour toward you, and will contribute all, that is in me, to the increasing of his good opinion; ever resting
Your Lordship's faithful friend and servant,
Speech of the Lord Viscount St. ALBAN, Lord Chancellor, to the parliament, January 30, 1620.
My Lords and Masters,
You have heard the king's speech; and it makes me call to mind what Solomon saith, who was also a king: The words of the wise are as nails and pins, driven in and fastened by the masters of assemblies. The king is the master of this assembly; and though his words, in regard of the sweetness of them, do not prick; yet, in regard of the weight and wisdom of them, I know they pierce through and through; that is, both into your memories, and into your affections; and there I leave them.