« AnteriorContinuar »
fied to me, hoping that your L. will pardon me that they come not precisely at the hour. The Book is long, and full of difficulty, and in a business such as this is, I do not much trust to servants or precedents.
I found it more convenient to put one payment more upon the privy seal than your L. directed, and to take it from the rent; because else the grant must have been for ten years and an half, which is not formal. So I most humbly leave and rest
Your Ls, most humble
If we could know the dates at which the several parts and rudi. ments of the Instauratio Magna were composed, we should probably find that this vacation was one of its most fruitful seasons. But of those writings which can be referred with certainty to the summer of 1698, the most important to posterity is the Latin treatise In felicem memoriam Elizabethæ. It is an accident that enables us to date it, but the evidence is, I think, conclusive. Chamberlain,
. writing to Carleton on the 16th of December, 1608, mentions it as a new thing which he has just been reading; and from the letter which comes next we learn that it was written “this last summer vacation.”
The severe laws passed by the Parliament of 1606 against the Roman Catholics, which were the natural consequence of the Gunpowder Plot, had, by a consequence no less natural, provoked vehement remonstrances and recriminations on their part, and given rise to a great war of the pen. The Pope had issued his Breves forbidding the faithful to take the proposed oath of allegiance. The King had written a book in vindication of it. Other pamphleteers, great and small, had entered into the controversy ; and all old scandals against Protestant Princes and Parliaments had been revived and brought into action. Ainong the rest there appeared at Paris in 1607 a book entitled “Examen Catholicum Edicti Anglicani, quod contra Catholicos est latum, auctoritate Parliamenti Anglie, Anno Domini M. D. C. VII. Auctore Stanislao Cristanovic. I. Cto.,” five or six pages of which in the introductory part are occupied with a Fr. Bacon wo Solic gñall ” have been written by a later hand, apparently to verify an autograph ; the body of the letter and the signature having been separated, and the same note (“w" Sol. gen.”) written on each.
collection of all the evil that had ever been uttered against Queen Elizabeth ; with additions of the writer's own, gathered during a visit to England the year before. This, or some other book of the same kind, suggested to Bacon the expediency of setting down in some permanent form his own impressions of her character and government. He knew that the falsehood of a story will not prevent it from keeping its place in history, if it once get admitted with a good introduction and without audible protest. And as so eminent a man as the President De Thou was known to be engaged in writing a history of his own times-(a portion of it had been printed at Paris three or four years before)-it was very desirable that he should be supplied with true information about Elizabeth, and thereby guarded against impressions derived from the floating literature of Paris, and such anecdotes as this Parisian Jurisconsult was ready to accept for historical. Accordingly, without noticing the particular calumnies which he meant to explode (for so the very repetition of them would have kept their memory alive), he took for his ground the conspicuous and indisputable fact that Elizabeth reigned full 4+ years in difficult times, without any reverse or decline of fortune; and by way of indirect retort to the Pope's description of her as misera fæmina, proceeded to number up the particulars in which her life and government were to be regarded as remarkable for felicity; taking occasion at the same time to correct by anticipation or by implication such misconceptions of her character as had obtained currency in respectable quarters; and with regard to the Roman Catholics especially, entering into a formal and detailed vindication of her policy and proceedings ;-a vindication which was indeed substantially a repetition of what he had twice before taken pains to put forward : first, in the letter addressed by Walsingham to a Secretary of France, in 1589; and afterwards, in bis Observations on a Libel, in 1592. The correction of these misconceptions being more wanted abroad than at home, he now wrote in Latin : but though he thought well enough of the work to name it in one of his wills as a thing which he particularly wished to be published, he contented himself for the present with circulating manuscript copies among his personal acquaintance. One of these he sent to Sir George Cary, then ambassador at Paris, with a letter which sufficiently explains his purposes and wishes.
The memorial itself—a grave and weighty testimonial, deserving the serious consideration of every one who wishes to understand Elizabeth; for Bacon had particularly good neans of knowing the truth of what he tells, and no motive in telling it except a desire to
· See Vol. I. pp. 97, 177.
bear witness to the truth,—will be found in the first volume of the Literary and Professional Works, p. 283, with a translation, and a preface in which I have told what I know about it.
The letter comes from Bacon's own collection.
To Sir George Cary, IN FRANCE, UPON SENDING HIM HIS
WRITING “IN FELICEM MEMORIAM ELIZABETHÆ.” 1
My very good Lord,
Being asked the question by this bearer, an old servant of my brother Anthony Bacon, whether I would command him any service into France, and being at better leisure than I would, in regard of sickness, I began to remember that neither your business nor mine (though great and continual) can be upon an exact account any just occasion why so much good will as hath passed between us should be so much discontinued as it hath becn. And therefore, because one must begin, I thought to provoke your remembrance of me by my letter. And thinking how to fit? it with somewhat besides salutations, it came to my mind that this last summer vacation, by occasion of a factious book that endeavoured to verify Misera Fæmina, (the addition of the Pope's Bull,) upon Queen Elizabeth, I did write a few lines in her memorial, which I thought you would be well pleased to read, both for the argument, and because you were wont to bear affection to my pen. Verum, ut aliud ex alio, if it came handsomely to pass, I would be glad the President De Thou, (who hath written a history, as you know, of that fame and diligence,) saw it; chiefly because I know not whether it may not serve him for some use in his story; wherein I would be glad he did right to the truth, and to the memory of that Lady, as I perceive by that he hath already written he is well inclined to do. I would be glad also it were some occasion (such as absence may permit) of some acquaintance or mutual notice between us. For though he hath many ways the precedence, (chiefly in worth,) yet this is
( common to us both, that we serve our sovereigns in places of law eminent: and not ourselves only, but that our fathers did so before us; and lastly, that both of us love learning and liberal sciences, which was ever a bond of friendship in the greatest distances of places. But of this I make no further re| Addit. MSS. 5503, fo. 41 b.
? fitt in MS.
quest than your own occasions and respects (to me unknown) may further or limit; my principal purpose being to salute you, and to send you this token : whereunto I will add my very kind commendations to my Lady; and so commit you both to God's holy protection.
To the end of this same year 1608 must be referred another work which also retains its interest for us,—the rather because the problem it deals with is one which has not yet been satisfactorily solved; -I mean the paper entitled "Certain Considerations touching the Plantation in Ireland."
We have seen that upon the news of the flight of Tyrone and Tyrconnell in the autumn of 1607, Bacon saw the beginning of better or worse, but thought it was first a tender of the better, and worse followed but upon refusal or default.” Whether he was satisfied with the measures that were first taken-whether he thought that the offer of the better had been promptly enough entertained and improved—I cannot say. Sir Arthur Chichester, then Lord Lieutenant, seems to have fully apprehended the importance of seizing the occasion boldly and trying the effect of a generous policy without loss of time. But whatever may have been the design of the Government, the execution of it was inevitably interrupted by a new rebellion breaking out from the ashes of the old, which it took some months to extinguish ; and it was not till July 1608 that the final overthrow of Neil Garve and O'Dogharty, who had endearoured to set themselves up in the place of the fugitive Earls, left the field fairly open for the Government to build upon. Armed resistance being then at an end, the first thing to be done was to ascertain how far the legal authority of the Crown extended in disposing of the land in Ulster. And I presume it was with this view and at this time that the Chief Baron of the Exchequer in Ireland sent over to England the questions which are answered in the following paper. For though it has no date, and the arranger of our State Papers had for some reason placed it at the end of those belonging to the year 1617,-yet as it contains the joint opinion of Hobart, Bacon and Doderidge, the presumption is that the questions had been referred to them as the King's Learned Counsel ; therefore not later than November 1612, when Doderidge was raised to the Bench; and why not as carly as 1608? By the style and the position of the signatures I should judge that it was drawn up by Bacon himself.
ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS SENT into ENGLAND FROM THE
LORD CHIEF BARON OF THE EXCHEQUER IN IRELAND. Because the questions are propounded somewhat doubtfully, we have thought good so to answer as may give satisfaction as well to the questions that are propounded as to other doubts about the same, or of the like nature.
1. To the first case therefore, when any man is attainted of treason, be it according to the common law or by Act of Parliament, and then it be found by office that he was seised of any land, the King is thereby adjudged and is indeed in actual possession of the land, and if any other had estate or right to the land, he hath no remedy to recover it from the King but by petition. Inasmuch as the statute of 2 Ed. VI. that allows travers and monstraris de droit in like cases, is not (as we understand) in force in Ireland. And though the King having lands by such title grant them away in fee or fee farm, that changes not the case, but that the Patentee ought to hold and continue the possession, and he that pretends title must sue by petition and not otherwise, as if the lands were still in the King's hands with a scire fac. thereupon against the Patentee.
In this suit of petition there are many delays, as by writs of search and the like, yet because they be favours allowed by law to the King or his Patentee, they cannot be denied him being part of his defence.
If the Patentee be nevertheless holden out of possession, he may
take any course by entry or suit in law to recover the same and damages for the wrongful occupation : in which suits the defendants though they have right cannot relieve themselves thereby; but must of force be overthrown, inasmuch as their right is bound by the double matter of record that is against them, till they have by their petition undone it.
And so likewise if the King hath granted away the lands in fee farm, though the Patentee be holden out of the possession, the King's rent must still be answered ; and therefore the ordinary courses are to be taken for the same by extent, seizure, or
· State Papers, James I. Ireland, 234. No date or docket, original.
That is, by inquisition made ex officio. See Cowell. 3 The words "and he .... otherwise” are interlined in the MS.