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TO THE LORD KEEPER.
My very good Lord,
I KNOW the reasons must appear to your lordship many and weighty, which should move you to stop the king's grace, or to dissuade it; and somewhat the more in respect of my person, being, I hope, no unfit subject for noble dealing. The message I received by Mr. Meautys did import inconvenience, in the form of the pardon; your lordship's last letter, in the time: for, as for the matter, it lay so fair for his majesty's and my lord of Buckingham's own knowledge, as I conceive your lordship doth not aim at that. My affliction hath made me understand myself better, and not worse; yet loving advice, I know, helps well. Therefore I send Mr. Meautys to your lordship, that I might reap so much fruit of your lordship's professed good affection, as to know in some more particular fashion, what it is that your lordship doubteth, or disliketh (a), that I may the better endeavour your satisfaction, or acquiescence, if there be cause. So I rest
Your Lordship's to do you service,
October 18, 1621.
FR. ST. ALBAN.
Petition of the Lord Viscount ST. ALBAN, intended for the House of Lords.
My right honourable very good Lords,
In all humbleness, acknowledging your lordships justice, I do now in like manner crave and implore your grace and compassion. I am old, weak, ruined, in want, a very subject of pity. My only suit to your lordships is, to shew me your noble favour towards the
(a) The lord keeper, in a letter to the marquis of Buckingham, dated October 27, 1621, printed in the Cabala, p. 60. Edit. London, 1654, gives his reasons, why he hesitated to seal that pardon.
release of my confinement, so every confinement is, and to me, I protest, worse than the Tower (a). There I could have had company, physicians, conference with my creditors and friends about my debts, and the necessities of my estate, helps for my studies and the writings I have in hand. Here I live upon the sword-point of a sharp air, endangered if I go abroad, dulled if stay within, solitary and comfortless without company, banished from all opportunities to treat with any to do myself good, and to help out any wrecks; and that, which is one of my greatest griefs, my wife, that hath been no partaker of my offending, must be partaker of this misery of my restraint.
May it please your lordships, therefore, since there is a time for justice, and a time for mercy, to think with compassion upon that which I have already suffered, which is not little; and to recommend this my humble, and, as I hope, modest suit to his most excellent majesty, the fountain of grace, of whose mercy, for so much as concerns himself merely, I have already tasted, and likewise of his favour of this very kind, by some small temporary dispensations.
Herein your lordships shall do a work of charity and nobility: you shall do me good; you shall do my creditors good; and, it may be, you shall do posterity good, if out of the carcase of dead and rotten greatness, as out of Samson's lion, there may be honey gathered for the use of future times.
God bless your persons and counsels.
Your Lordships' supplicant and servant,
FR. ST. ALBAN.
Copy of the petition intended for the house of p
(a) He had been committed to the Tower, in May, 1621, and discharged after two days' confinement there, according to Camden, Annales Regis Jacobi I. p. 71. There is a letter of his lordship to the marquis of Buckingham, dated from the Tower, May 31, 1621, desiring his lordship to procure his discharge that day.
RECEIVING, by Mr. Johnson, your loving salutations, it made me call to mind many of your lordship's tokens, yea and pledges, of good and hearty affection in both my fortunes; for which I shall be ever yours. I pray, my lord, if occasion serve, give me your good word to the king, for the release of my confinement, which is to me a very strait kind of imprisonment. I am no Jesuit, nor no leper, but one that served his majesty these sixteen years, even from the commission of the union till this last parliament, and ever had many thanks of his majesty, and was never chidden. This his majesty, I know, will remember, at one time or other; for I am his man still.
God keep your lordship.
Your Lordship's most affectionate to do you service,
Gorhambury, this last
of December, 1621.
FR. ST. ALBAN.
TO THE LORD VISCOUNT ST. ALBAN (b).
My honourable Lord,
I HAVE received your lordship's letter, and have been long thinking upon it, and the longer, the less able to make answer unto it. Therefore if your lordship will be pleased to send any understanding man unto me, to whom I may, in discourse, open myself, I will, by that means, so discover my heart with all freedom, which were too long to do by letter,
(a) Created so in November, 1618, and in September, 1622, earl of Bristol.
(b) Harl. MSS. Vol. 7000,
especially in this time of parliament business, that your lordship shall receive satisfaction. In the mean time I rest
Your Lordship's faithful servant,
Royston, Dec. 16, .
door G. BUCKINGHAM.
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
My very good Lord,
THE reason why I was so desirous to have had conference with your lordship at London, was indeed to save you the trouble of writing; I mean, the reason in the second place; for the chief was to see your lordship. But since you are pleased to give me the liberty to send to your lordship one, to whom you will deliver your mind, I take that in so good part, as I think myself tied the more to use that liberty modestly. Wherefore, if your lordship will vouchsafe to send to me one of your own, except I might have leave to come to London, either Mr. Packer, my ancient friend, or Mr. Aylesbury (a) of whose good affection towards me I have heard report; to me it shall be indifferent. But if your lordship will have one of my nomination, if I might presume so far, I would name before all others, my lord of Falkland. But because perhaps it may cost him a journey, which I may not in good manners desire, I have thought of Sir Edward Sackville, Sir Robert Mansel, my brother, Mr. Solicitor-general (b), who, though he be almost a stranger to me, yet, as my case now is, I had rather employ a man of good nature than a friend, and Sir Arthur Ingram, notwithstanding he be great with my lord treasurer. Of these, if your lordship will be pleased to prick one, I hope well I shall intreat him to
(a) Thomas Aylesbury, Esq. secretary to the marquis of Buckingham as lord high admiral. He was created a baronet in 1627, chancellor Clarendon married his daughter Frances.
(b) Sir Robert Heath, made solicitor in January, 1620-1.
attend your lordship, and to be sorry never a whit of the employment. Your lordship may take your own time to signify your will, in regard of the present business of parliament. But my time was confined, by due respect to write a present answer to a letter, which I construed to be a kind letter, and such as giveth me yet hope to shew myself to your lordship
Your Lordship's most obliged friend
and faithful servant,
FR. ST. ALBAN.
To the lord of Buckingham, in answer to his of the 16th of December.
A Memorial of Conference, when the Lord Viscount St. ALBAN expected the Marquis of BUCKINGHAM.
My Lord Marquis,
Inducement.] AFFLICTIONS are truly called trials; trials of a man's self, and trials of friends. For the first, I am not guilty to myself of any unworthiness, except perhaps, too much softness in the beginning of my troubles. But since, I praise God, I have not lived like a drone, nor like a mal-content, nor like a man confused. But though the world hath taken her talent from me, yet God's talent I put
For trial of friends, he cannot have many friends, that hath chosen to rely upon one. So that is in a small room, ending in yourself. My suit therefore to you is, that you would now, upon this vouchsafed conference, open yourself to me, whether I stand in your favour and affection, as I have done; and if there be an alteration, what is the cause; and, if none, what effects I may expect for the future of your friendship and favour, my state being not unknown to you.