Imágenes de páginas

the granting of such a request; his services during the three preceding years having amply deserved it.

"Mr. Murray, of the King's bedchamber," to whom it is addressed, was not one of the gentlemen about the Scotch Court to whom Bacon commended his fortunes at the King's entrance: it is probable, therefore, that he had made his acquaintance since. He appears to have been an early and constant favourite with James, and a sensible man; for though enjoying a large share both of confidence and bounty, he never incurred popular envy, but grew rich quietly, and died Earl of Annandale, in 1640.


Mr. Murray,

It is very true, that his Majesty most graciously at my humble request knighted the last Sunday my brother-in-law, a towardly young gentleman; for which favour I think myself more bound to his Majesty, than for the benefit of ten knights. And to tell you truly, my meaning was not that the suit of this other gentleman, Mr. Temple, should have been moved in my name. For I should have been unwilling to have moved his Majesty for more than one at once, though many times in his Majesty's courts of justice, if we move once for our friends, we are allowed to move again for our fee.

But indeed my purpose was, that you might have been pleased to have moved it as for yourself."

Nevertheless, since it is so far gone, and that the gentleman's friends are in some expectation of success, I leave it to your kind regard what is further to be done, as willing to give satisfaction to those which have put me in trust, and loth on the other side to press above good manners. And so with my loving commendations I remain

Yours, etc.

This Mr. Temple, for whom Bacon had endeavoured to obtain the honour of knighthood through the influence of Murray, is supposed by Birch to have been "Mr. William Temple, who had been educated in King's College, Cambridge; then Master of the Free School at Lincoln; next successively secretary to Sir Philip Sidney, Secretary Davison, and the Earl of Essex; made Provost of Dublin College 'Remains,' p. 78. Tanner MSS. 82, p. 241. 2 So Tanner MS. "Myself" in the ‘Remains.'

in 1609; and at last knighted, and appointed one of the Masters in Chancery in Ireland; and died about 1626, at the age of seventy-two." But I doubt whether he had any reason for thinking so, more than that he was a man whom Bacon was likely to have known and taken an interest in.

The small difficulty which I mentioned as remaining to be explained, is merely that Bacon says his brother-in-law was knighted on a Sunday, and the 5th of October, 1607, when Sir John Constable was knighted, was a Monday. But a mistake of a day in such a matter might easily be made, either through misinformation or misrecollection.


The reduction of Ireland to obedience and civilization had been proceeding slowly, through many difficulties; and though Bacon had not yet found occasion to offer any further advice or help in the work, the two next letters show that he continued to watch the progress of it with interest. The date and occasion of that which I place first is uncertain; except that, being written after Cecil was created Earl of Salisbury, it cannot be placed earlier than the 5th of May, 1605; at which time Sir Arthur Chichester was Lord Deputy of Ireland and as no question of importance depends upon the date, it is scarcely worth while to seek further for means of fixing it more exactly.

The second letter was printed by Birch "from the MS. collections of Robert Stephens, Esq., deceased," who found it probably in the same collection from which the letter to Mr. Murray came; there being copies of both lying near together in the Tanner MSS., in the Bodleian Library. The date which it bears leaves no doubt as to the occasion to which it relates. The "new accident" concerning which Sir John Davies had sent Bacon a discourse," can have been no other than the flight of Tyrone and Tyrconnell from Ireland, which had taken place on the 5th of September.


The immediate occasion of their flight seems to have been a summons to appear in London, where a question arising out of a complaint made against Tyrone for some arbitrary proceeding against a

1 Note in Birch's edition of Bacon's Works.

Nicholls (Progr. ii. p. 154) says he was knighted on the 7th, which was a Wednesday. But he gives no authority, and his own is of course inferior to that of the MS. in the Herald's College; for a note of which I am indebted to T. W. King, Esq., York Herald.

3 It cannot, I think, have been taken from the ' Remains,' where it first appeared in print (p. 76). For besides that the date is wanting there, the printer's or transcriber's errors are of such a kind that the correct text could hardly have been obtained by any ingenuity in conjecturing.

neighbour chief was to be tried before the King; but the main cause was the determination of the Government to bring the chiefs under obedience to the law. "It is certain," says Sir John Davies, writing to Lord Chancellor Ellesmere on the 12th of September, 1607,1 "that Tyrone in his heart doth repine at the English Government in his country, where, until his last submission (as well before his rebellion as in the time of his rebellion), he ever lived like a free prince, or rather like an absolute tyrant there. But now the law of England and the ministers thereof were shackles and handlocks unto him, and the garrisons planted in his country were as pricks in his side. Besides, to evict any part of that land from him, which he hath heretofore held after the Irish manner, making all the tenants thereof his villains (though the troth be that for one moiety of his country at least, he was either a disseisor of the BBs. of Armagh and Clogher, or an intruder upon the King's possession), this was as grievous unto him as to pinch away the quick flesh from his body. These things doubtless have bred discontentment in him: and now his age and his burthened conscience, which no absolution can make altogether clear, have of late increased his melancholy, so as he was grown very pensive and passionate, and the friars and priests perceiving it have wrought mightily upon his passion. Therefore it may be he hath hearkened to some project of treason, which he feareth is discovered, and that fear hath transported him into Spain. For it hath been told my Lord Deputy that as he now passed through his country, he said to some of his followers that if he went into England he should either be perpetual prisoner in the Tower, or else lose his head and his members, meaning (as I take it) he should have the judgment of a traitor. . . . As for us that are here, we are glad to see the day wherein the countenance and majesty of the law and civil government hath banished Tyrone out of Ireland, · which the best army in Europe and the expence of two millions of sterling pounds did not bring to pass. And we hope his Majesty's happy government will work a greater miracle in this kingdom than ever St. Patrick did; for St. Patrick did only banish the poisonous worms, but suffered the men full of poison to inhabit the land still; but his Majesty's blessed genius will banish all those generations of vipers out of it, and make it ere it be long a right fortunate island."

"Since the date of these letters (he adds in a postscript), I was commanded by the Lord Deputy to draw an instrument of association to be sworn and subscribed unto by the noblemen and gentlemen of this kingdom. It is done in that form, as I dare boldly say no man would have refused to swear and subscribe unto it; but in 1 Egerton Papers, p. 413.




regard of the novelty of it, some were of opinion that the safest way was to transmit it into England first, and to have warrant from thence to offer it to this people; the copy whereof I send unto your Lp. enclosed."

The discourse which Davis sent to Bacon has not been preserved with the letter; but being written so near the same time, we may presume that it related to this subject, and was conceived in the same spirit. What Bacon had to say upon the use to be made of the occasion, we shall see hereafter.


Mr. Perce,

I am glad to hear of you as I do, and for my part you shall find me ready to take any occasion to further your credit and preferment, and I dare assure you (though I am no undertaker) to prepare your way with my Lord of Salisbury for any good fortune which may befall you. You teach me to complain of business, whereby I write the more briefly, and yet I am so unjust, as that which I allege for my own excuse I cannot admit for yours. For I must by expecting exact your letters, with this fruit of your sufficiency, as to understand how things pass in that kingdom. And therefore having begun I pray you continue. This is not merely curiosity, for I have ever (I know not by what instinct) wished well to that unpolished part of this crown. And so with my very loving commendations I remain.


Mr. Attorney,

I thank you for your letter, and the discourse you sent of this new accident, as things then appeared. I see manifestly the beginning of better or worse: but me thinketh it is first a tender of the better, and worse followeth but upon refusal or default. I would have been glad to see you here; but I hope occasion reserveth our meeting for a vacation, when we may have

2 Bacon's Works, edited by Birch, 1763.

1 Add. MSS. 5503. 3" This occurrent . . . doth cross my coming over the next term, by interrupting the business wherein I should have been employed." Letter to Ellesmere, above quoted. The business was no doubt Tyrone's cause, which was to have been heard in London.

more fruit of conference. To requite your proclamation, which, in my judgment, is wisely and seriously penned, I send you another with us, which happened to be in my hands when yours came. I would be glad to hear often from you, and to be advertised how things pass, whereby to have some occasion to think some good thoughts; though I can do little. At the least it will be a continuance in exercise of our friendship, which on my part remaineth increased by that I hear of your service, and the good respects I find towards myself. And so in Tormour's haste,1 I continue

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Though the King's bounty flowed much more freely to those about him, where he could see and share the pleasure it gave, than to those who were doing his heavy work in their chambers or in the Courts, yet the working men came in for some of the crumbs. Near the end of a list of "fees granted by his Majesty" before the 5th of August, 1607, I find the following entries:


A Baron of the Exchequer increased
"A Judge of the King's Bench increased
"A Judge of the Common Pleas increased
"Sir Francis Bacon

1131 6 8d

1881 6 gd

1881 68 8d 10012

But it was one thing to obtain a grant of the money, and another to obtain the money itself. For the King himself must get it before he can give it, and the royallest mind of bounty cannot make it come forth from the place where it is not. The Exchequer not being able to answer all such demands, questions necessarily arose which should be answered first, and these would naturally lead to disputes with the officers. It was probably this grant of £100, or some other grant of the same kind, that led to the "letter of expostulation" which comes next, and which gives us an opportunity of seeing Bacon a little out of temper.

Sir Vincent Skinner was an officer of the receipts of the Exchequer,3 whose duty, I suppose, it was to pay out of those receipts such


1 In the 'Remains,' the words "in Tormour's haste" are omitted. "Tormour," suppose, is a misreading, but what the word was it seems impossible to guess. 2 Lansdown MSS. 156. f. 123.

3 Rymer, xvi. p. 497. See also a letter from him to Sir Julius Cæsar, 25 July 1607. Lansd. MS. 156. f. 116.

« AnteriorContinuar »