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vantage upon the last clause in the instructions (of exceptions of wards concealed) to practise delays and misfinding of offices, which is a thing most dangerous.
Thirdly, in particular it behoveth to peruse and review the bargains made, and to consider the rates (men's estates being things which for the most part cannot be hid) and thereby to discern what improvement and good husbandry hath been used, and how much the King hath more now when the whole benefit is supposed to go to him, than he had when three parts of the benefit went to the committee.
Fourthly, it is requisite to take consideration what commissions have been granted for copyholds for lives, which are excepted by the instructions from being leased, and what profit hath been raised thereby.
Thus much for the time past, and upon view of these accounts, res dabit consilium for furder order to be taken.
For the time to come, first it is fit that the master of the wards, being a meaner person, be usually present as well at the treaty and beating of the bargain, as at the concluding, and that he take not the business by report.
Secondly, when suit is made, the information by survey and commission is but one image; but the way were by private diligence to be really informed: neither is it hard for a person that liveth in an inn of court, where there be understanding men of every county of England, to obtain by care certain information.
Thirdly, this kind of promise of preferring the next akin doth much obscure the information, which before by competition of divers did better appear; and therefore it may be necessary for the master of the wards sometimes to direct letters to some persons near the ward living, and to take certificate from them: it being always intended the subject be not racked too high, and that the nearest friends that be sound in religion, and like to give the ward good education, be preferred.
Fourthly, that it be examined carefully whether the ward's revenues consist of copyholds for lives, which are not to be comprised in the lease, and that there be no neglect to grant commissions for the same, and that the master take order to be certified of the profits of former courts held by the ward's ancestor, that it may be a precedent and direction for the commissioners.
Fifthly, that the master make account every six months (the state appoints one in the year) to his Majesty; and that when he bringeth the bill of grants of the body for his Majesty's signature, he bring a schedule of the truth of the state of every one of them (as it hath appeared to him by information) and acquaint his Majesty both with the rates and states.
Thus much concerning the improvement of the King's profit, which concerneth the King as pater familias; now as pater patriæ.
First for the wards themselves, that there be special care taken in the choice of the committee, that he be sound in religion, his house and family not dissolute, no greedy person, no step-mother, nor the like.
Further, that there be letters written once every year to certain principal gentlemen of credit in every county, to take view not only of the person of the wards in every county and their education, but of their houses, woods, grounds, and estate, and the same to certify; that the committees may be held in some awe, and that the blessing of the poor orphans and the pupils may come upon his Majesty and his children.
Secondly, for the suitors, that there be a strait examination concerning the raising and multiplication of fees in that court, which is much scandalized with opinion thereof, and all exacted fees put down.
Thirdly, for the subjects at large, that the vexation of escheators and feodaries be repressed, which (upon no substantial ground of record) vex the country with inquisitions and other extortions and for that purpose that there be one set day at the end of every term appointed for examining the abuses of such inferior officers, and that the master of wards take special care to receive private information from gentlemen of quality and conscience in every shire touching the same.
These were no doubt the "Notes for the Wards" of which (as we shall find in a letter of later date) the King was pleased to say that they were no tricks nor novelties, but true passages of business :" and which were used accordingly, though not exactly in the way which Bacon had anticipated. For they were handed over to another man. "On Saturday," writes Chamberlain again on the 17th of June,
"Sir George Carey was nominated Master of the Wards; and yesterday he made his entrance with a formal oration. There were three lawyers and three gentlemen in special consideration for the place. The lawyers were the Attorney, the Solicitor, and Serjeant Nicholls; the others were Sir George More, Sir Charles Cornwallis, and this man, who hath lighted upon it by his wife's grace with the Queen, as is thought, or rather, as others say, by the Lord Rochester. The place is much limited and hath but 500l. a year of certainty; and perhaps as much more by the ordinary fees of judicature: and withal he is but temporary and hath his commission but till the 7th of next month." 991
An undated paper, docketed" Discourse of the Court of Wards,"2 -evidently the address of a new Master to the Court, the first part of which is the foregoing declaration with a few verbal variations, and the latter part indicates that the speaker was not a lawyer,—is no doubt Sir George Carey's oration.
It was about this time, and in the middle of some serious quarrels between the Scotch and English which the King had had much trouble in pacifying, that it became his duty to put the law in force against a Scotch nobleman who had procured the murder of an English fencing master. On the 11th of May a fencing master, named Turner, while drinking with two Scotchmen, servants of Lord Sanquhar, was shot dead by one of them. The man who fired the shot got away, but the other was taken, and being examined let out enough to raise a suspicion that their master had been an accessary. Whereupon a proclamation was immediately issued, offering large rewards for the apprehension both of the master and the man. Sanquhar in the mean time, either trusting to his rank, or thinking that no evidence could be produced to connect him with the deed because his dealings had only been with the man who had escaped, gave himself up and stood upon his innocency. But he had cast up his account too soon. Another of his servants who had undertaken the deed, but lost heart and fled, was still in England, and being caught before he could get away, gave evidence which left no doubt of his master's complicity: and shortly after the actual murderer was taken in Scotland and brought up to London. After this it was useless to persist in denials, and Sanquhar confessed everything. The motive of the murder was resentment for a bodily injury inFor the original see S. P. Dom. James I., vol. 2 S. P. Dom. James I., vol. 69, No. 69.
1 C. and T. of James I., i. 174. 69, No. 71.
flicted by accident five years before. Turner, in fencing with Sanquhar, had unluckily put out one of his eyes. It does not appear that, at the time, any charge was made or any suspicion entertained of unfair play. But after recovering from the wound and travelling in France (where I suppose he found that the disfigurement told as a disgrace), Sanquhar returned to England with a deliberate purpose of revenge. To kill Turner with his own hand appears to have been his first intention; but having sought in vain for an opportunity to do it himself without risk of detection, he accepted the offer of two of his countrymen who undertook to do it for him; and in the mean time took the precaution, for his own safety, of crossing the Channel again, and waiting to hear what happened. Finding after a while that his friends had failed him, he returned again to England, and resorted to his servants; two of whom jointly undertook the work. And when again one of these thought better and fled, the other offered to do it alone. And so at last it was done.
It would be difficult to imagine a case of a murder more deliberate or more cowardly, or in which the privilege of anger and hot blood could be pleaded with less justice. How it can be supposed that he believed himself to be acting in accordance with the laws of honour, even as interpreted in that duelling age by courts of honour, I cannot understand. At any rate the "honour" which required or allowed the deliberate murder in cold blood, behind the back, and by another man's hand, of one who had meant to do no injury, was a kind of honour with which King James had no sympathy; and though Sanquhar was a Scotchman and a nobleman, and likely enough to find sympathizers among his countrymen after the fact, as he had found accomplices before, he was at once handed over to the King's Bench as a man charged with procuring murder. He was indicted on the 27th of June, pleaded guilty, and made a full confession. After which, according to the practice in such cases, and before the passing of sentence, something was said by the counsel for the prosecution as to the nature of the case. And of what Bacon said on this occasion we have the following report. It was first printed, I believe, in the supplement to the Cabala in 1663, (p. 368) and I have not met with a more original copy. A few obvious corrections, which we owe to the diligence of some preceding editor, (I do not know whom2), I have admitted into the text, remit
1 "Some of the chief Lords were suitors to the King for his life and that he might be but banished; but it was refused as an unreasonable request." Chamberlain to Carleton, 25 June, 1612. S. P. Dom. James I., vol. 69, no. 75.
2 Not Blackbourne; who appears to have had a bad copy, which his editor has taken no pains to correct.
ting the original to the footnotes. But the copy appears to be an unusually correct one, wherever it came from.
THE LORD SANQUHAR'S CASE.
In this cause of1 life and death, the jury's part is in effect discharged; for after a frank and formal confession, their labour is at an end so that what hath been said by Mr. Attorney, or shall be said by myself, is rather convenient than necessary.
My Lord Sanquhar, your fault is great; it cannot be extenuated, and it need2 not be aggravated; and if it needed, you have made so full an anatomy of it out of your own feeling, as it cannot be matched by myself, or any man else, out of conceit; so as that part of aggravation I leave.
Nay more, this Christian and penitent course of yours draws me thus far, that I will agree in some sort to extenuate it: for certainly, as even in extreme evils there are degrees, so this particular of your offence is such, as though it be foul spilling of blood, yet there are more foul: for if you had sought to take away a man's life for his vineyard, as Ahab did; or for envy, as Cain did; or to possess his bed, as David did; surely the murder had been more odious.
Your temptation was revenge, which the more natural it was to man, the more have laws both divine and human sought to repress it; Mihi vindicta. But in one thing you and I shall never agree; that generous spirits (you say) are hard to forgive: no, contrariwise, generous and magnanimous minds are readiest to forgive, and it is a weakness and impotency of mind to be unable to forgive;
Corpora magnanimo satis est prostrasse leoni.
But howsoever murther may arise from several motives, less or more odious, yet the law both of God and man involves them in one degree; and therefore you may read that in Joab's case, which was a murther upon revenge, and matcheth with your3 case; he for a dear brother, and you for a dear part of your own body; yet there was a severe charge given, that it should not be unpunished.
And certainly the circumstance of time is heavy upon you: