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And I being by his majesty's gracious favour called thereunto, all the exceptions, that could be taken to so many cases in so many books, fell to five, and the most of them too were by passages in general words; all which I offered to explain in such sort, as no shadow should remain against his majesty's prerogative, as in truth there did not; which whether it were related to his majesty, I know not. But thereupon the matter hath slept all this time; and now the matter, after this ever blessed marriage, is revived, and two judges are called by my lord keeper to the former, that were named. My humble suit to your lordship is, that if his majesty shall not be satisfied with my former offer, viz. by advice of the judges to explain and publish as is aforesaid those five points, so as no shadow may remain against his prerogative; that then all the judges of England may be called hereunto. 2. That they may certify also what cases I have published for his majesty's prerogative and benefit, for the good of the Church, and quieting of mens inheritances, and good of the common-wealth; for which purpose I have drawn a minute of a letter to the judges, which I assure myself your lordship will judge reasonable; and so reposing myself upon your lordship's protection I shall ever remain
To the right honourable his singular good lord the earl her, 1617. of Buckingham, of his majesty's privy council.
Note by Mr. Stephens.
THE LETTER TO THE JUDGES.
WHEREAS in the time of the late lord chancellor intimation was given unto us, that divers cases were published in Sir Edward Coke's reports, tending to the prejudice of our prerogative royal; whereupon
we caring for nothing more, as by our kingly office we are bounden, than the preservation of prerogative royal, referred the same; and thereupon, as we are informed, the said Sir Edward Coke being called thereunto, the objections were reduced to five only, and most of them consisting in general terms; all which Sir Edward offered, as we are informed, to explain and publish, so as no shadow might remain against our prerogative. And whereas of late two other judges are called to the others formerly named. Now our pleasure and intention being to be informed of the whole truth, and that right be done to all, do think it fit, that all the judges of England, and barons of the Exchequer, who have principal care of our prerogative and benefit, do assemble together concerning the discussing of that, which, as is aforesaid, was formerly referred; and also what cases Sir Edward Coke hath published to the maintenance of our prerogative and benefit, for the safety and increase of the revenues of the Church, and for the quieting of mens inheritances, and the general good of the commonwealth: in all which we require your advice and careful considerations; and that before you make any certificate to us, you confer with the said Sir Edward, so as all things may be the better cleared.
To all the judges of England, and barons of the Exchequer.
FRANCIS BACON, VISCOUNT ST. ALBAN.
FIRST, I bequeath my soul and body into the hands & Regr.
For my name and memory, I leave it to mens cha-
Also, whereas I have made up two register-books, the one of my orations or speeches, the other of my epistles or letters, whereof there may be use; and yet because they touch upon business of state, they are not fit to be put into the hands but of some counsellor, I
do devise and bequeath them to the right honourable my very good lord bishop of Lincoln, and the chancellor of his majesty's duchy of Lancaster. Also I desire my executors, especially my brother Constable, and also Mr. Bosvile, presently after my decease, to take into their hands all my papers whatsoever, which are either in cabinets, boxes, or presses, and them to seal up until they may at their leisure peruse them.
I give and bequeath unto the poor of the parishes where I have at any time rested in my pilgrimage, some little relief according to my poor means to the poor of St. Martin in the Fields, where I was born, and lived in my first and last days, forty pounds; to the poor of St. Michael's near St. Alban's; where I desire to be buried, because the day of death is better than the day of birth, fifty pounds; to the poor of St. Andrew's, in Holborn, in respect of my long abode in Gray's-Inn, thirty pounds; to the poor of the abbey church parish in St. Alban's, twenty pounds; to the poor of St. Peter's there, twenty pounds; to the poor of St. Stephen's there, twenty pounds; to the poor of Redborn, twenty pounds; to the poor of Hemstead, where I heard sermons and prayers to my comfort in the time of the former great plague, twenty pounds; to the poor of Twickenham, where I lived some time at Twickenham Park, twenty pounds. I intreat Mr. Shute, of Lombard Street, to preach my funeral sermon, and to him in that respect I give twenty pounds; or if he cannot be had, Mr. Peterson, my late chaplain, or his brother.
Devises and legacies to my wife: I give grant and confirm to my loving wife, by this my last will, whatsoever hath been assured to her, or mentioned or intended to be assured to her by any former deed, be it either my lands in Hertfordshire, or the farm of the seal, or the gift of goods, in accomplishment of my covenants of marriage; and I give her also the ordinary stuff at Gorhambury, as wainscot tables, stools, bedding, and the like (always reserving and excepting the rich hangings with their covers, the table-car
pets, and the long cushions, and all other stuff which was or is used in the long gallery; and also a rich chair, which was my niece Cæsar's gift, and also the armour, and also all tables of marble and towch). I give also to my wife my four coach geldings, and my best caroache, and her own coach mares and caroache; I give also and grant to my wife the one half of the rent which was reserved upon Read's lease for her life; which rent although I intended to her merely for her better maintenance while she lived at her own charge, and not to continue after my death; yet because she has begun to receive it, I am content to continue it to her; and I conceive by this advancement, which first and last I have left her, besides her own inheritance, I have made her of competent abilities to maintain the estate of a viscountess, and give sufficient tokens of my love and liberality towards her; for I do reckon, and that with the least, that Gorhambury and my lands in Hertfordshire, will be worth unto her seven hundred pounds per annum, besides woodfells, and the leases of the houses, whereof five hundred pounds per annum only I was tied unto by covenants upon marriage; so as the two hundred pounds and better was mere benevolence; the six hundred pounds per annum upon the farm of the writs, was likewise mere benevolence; her own inheritance also, with that she purchased with part of her portion, is two hundred pounds per annum and better, besides the wealth she hath in jewels, plate, or otherwise, wherein I was never strait-handed. All which I here set down, not because I think it too much, but because others may not think it less than it is.
Legacies to my friends: I give unto the right honourable my worthy friend the marquis Fiatt, late lord ambassador of France, my books of orizons or psalms curiously rhymed; I give unto the right honourable my noble friend Edward earl of Dorset, my ring, with the crushed diamond, which the king that now is gave me when he was prince; I give unto my right honourable friend the lord Cavendish, my castingbottle of gold; I give to my brother Constable all