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TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
My very good Lord,
I HAVE written, as I thought it decent in me to do, to his majesty, the letter I send inclosed. 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 yet I shall so spend my time, as shall not decay my abilities for use.
God preserve and prosper your lordship. [Sept. 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 purpose, 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 (a), Durham (b), London (c). Lord Duke (d), Lord Hunsdon.
Lord Chamberlain (e), 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 shewed 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 to him.
Lord of Kelly; and to acquaint him with that part touching the confinement.
TO THE KING.
It may please your Majesty,
Now that your majesty hath passed the recreation of your progress, there is nevertheless one kind of recreation, which, I know, remaineth with your majesty all the year; which is to do good, and to exercise your clemency and beneficence. I shall never measure my poor service by the merit, which perhaps is small, but by the acceptation, which hath been always favourably 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
(a) Dr. Andrews.
(b) Dr. Richard Neile.
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, I 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. The 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 the means to subsist as I am. I hope my courses shall be such, for this little end of my thread 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.
Your Majesty's faithful
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..
It may 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, I 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.
I durst not have presumed to intreat your majesty to look over the book, and correct it, or at least to signify what you would have amended. But since you are pleased to send for the book, I will hope for it.
[(a) God knoweth, whether ever I shall see you again; but I will pray for you to the last gasp, resting]
October 8, 1621.
The same, your true beadsman,
FR. ST. ALBAN.
GRANT OF PARDON TO THE VISCOUNT ST.
ALBAN, UNDER THE PRIVY SEAL (b).
A SPECIAL pardon granted unto Francis, Viscount St. Alban, for all felonies done and committed against the common laws and statutes of this realm; and for all offences of præmunire; and for all misprisions, riots, &c. with the restitution of all his lands and goods forfeited by reason of any of the premises; except out of the same pardon all treasons, murders, rapes, incest; and except also all fines, imprisonments, penalties, and forfeitures, adjudged against the said Viscount St. Alban, by a sentence lately made in the parliament. Teste Rege apud Westm. 17 die Octob. anno Regni sui 19.
Per lettre de privato sigillo.
(a) This passage has a line drawn over it,
(b) Cotton Library, Titus Book VII.
Dr. WILLIAMS, Bishop of Lincoln elect, and Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, to the Viscount ST. ALBAN.
My very good Lord,
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 (a), cannot but be much prejudicial to the service of the king, to the honour of my lord of Buckingham, to that commiseration which otherwise. would be had of your lordship's present estate, and especially to my judgment and fidelity. I have ever affectionately loved your lordship's many and most excellent good parts and endowments; nor had ever cause to disaffect your lordship's person. So as no respect in the world, beside the former considerations, could have drawn me to add the least affliction, or discontentment, 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 whatso
Your Lordship's faithful servant,
JO. LINCOLN, elect. Custos Sigilli.
Westminster-College, October 18, 1621.
To the right honourable his very good lord, the lord viscount St. Alban.
(a) It met November 24, 1621; and was dissolved February 8, 1621-2.