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that he hath this just mercy in store for me. God
Your honour's ever most obliged
by the notice they gave me of some intentions | foreign princes. My king is wise, and I hope and advices of your honour, which you have been pleased to impart to others of my friends, with a meaning, that they should acquaint me with them; whereof they have entirely failed. And, therefore, if still it should import me to understand what they were, I must be enforced to beg the knowledge of them from yourself. Your honour hath by this short letter delivered me otherwise from a great deal of laborious suspense; for, besides the great hope you give me of being so shortly able to do you reverence, I am come to know, that by the diligence of your favour towards me, my Lord of Canterbury hath been drawn to give way, and the master of the horse hath been induced to move. That motion, I trust, will be granted, howsoever; but I should be out of fear thereof, if, when he moves the king, your honour would cast to be present; that if his majesty should make any difficulty, some such reply as is wont to come from you in such cases may have power to discharge it.
Antwerp, this first of Sept., stylo novo, 1616.
This letter goes by Mr. Robert Garret, to whom I am many ways beholden, for making me the best present that ever I received, by delivering me your honour's last letter.
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING.
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY, Because I have ever found, that in business the consideration of persons, who are instrumenta animata, is no less weighty than of matters, I humbly pray your majesty to peruse this enclosed paper, containing a diligence which I have used in omnem eventum. If Towerson,* as a passionate man, have overcome himself in his opinion, so it is. But if his company make this good, then I am very glad to see in the case wherein we now stand, there is this hope left, and your majesty's honour preserved in the entier. God have your majesty in his divine protection.
Your majesty's most devoted
and most bounden servant, &c.
This is a secret to all men but my lord chancellor; and we go on this day with the new company without discouraging them at all. September 18, 1616.
I have been told rather confidently than credibly, (for in truth I am hardly drawn to believe it,) that Sir Henry Goodere should underhand (upon the reason of certain accounts that run between him and me, wherein I might justly lose my right, if I had so little wit as to trouble your honour's infinite business by a particular relation thereof) oppose himself to my return, and perform ill offices, in conformity of that unkind affection which he is said to bear me; but, as I said, I cannot absolutely believe it, though yet I could not so far despise the information, as not to acquaint your honour with what I heard. I offer it not as a ruled case, but only as a query, as I have also done to Mr. Secretary Lake, in this letter, which I humbly pray your honour may be given him, together with your best advice, how my business is to be carried in this conjuncture of his majesty's drawing near to London, at which time I shall receive my sentence. I have learned from your honour to be confident, that it will be pronounced in my favour: but, if the will of God should be otherwise, I shall yet frame for myself a good proportion of contentment; since, howsoever, I was so unfortunate, as that I might not enjoy my country, yet, withal, I was so happy, as that my return thither was desired and negotiated by the affection, which such a person as yourself When his majesty shall be moved, if he chance to make difficulty about my return, and offer to impose any condition, which it is known I cannot draw myself to di-English merchants executed by the Dutch at Amboyna, in 1623. gest, I desire it may be remembered, that my + Born about 1570, entered a commoner of Broad-gate's case is common with many of his subjects, who breathe in the air of their country, and that my case is not common with many, since I have lived so long abroad with disgrace at home; and yet have ever been free, not only from suspicion of practice, but from the least dependence upon
vouchsafed to bear me.
To the king, upon Towerson's propositions about
the cloth business.
RICHARD MARTIN, ESQ.† TO SIR FRANCIS BACON.
By attendance at court two days (in vain, considering the end of my journey,) was no loss
* Whose brother, Captain Gabriel Towerson, was one of the
Hall, now Pembroke College, Oxford, in 1585, whence he reserved for the borough of Barnstable in Devon; and in the moved to the Middle Temple. In the Parliament of 1601, he first Parliament of King James I. he served for Cirencester in Gloucestershire. He was chosen recorder of London in September, 1618; but died in the last day of the following month. He was much esteemed by the men of learning and genius of that age.
Your faithful servant,
To the Right Honourable Sir Francis Bacon, knight, one of his majesty's privy council, and his attorney-general.
SIR EDMUND BACON TO SIR FRANCIS BACON,
unto me, seeing thereby I made the gain of the | so full instruction from his majesty, that there is overture and assurance of your honour's affection. nothing left for me to add in the business. And These comforts have given new life and strength to so I rest my hopes, which before began to faint. I know what your honour promiseth you will undertake, and what you undertake, you seldom fail to com- Royston, the 13th of October, 1616. pass; for such proof of your prudence and industry your honour hath of late times given to the swaying world. There is, to my understanding, no great intricacy in my affair, in which I plainly descry the course to the shore I would land at; to which neither I nor any other can attain without the direction of our great master pilot, who will not stir much without the beloved mate sound the way. Both these, none can so well set awork as yourself, who have not only their ear, but their affection, and that with good right, as I hope in time, to good and public porpose. It is fit likewise that your honour know all my advantages. The present incumbent is tied to me by firm promise, which gives an impediment to the competitors, whereof one already, according to the heaviness of his name and nature, petit deorsum. And though I be a bad courtier, yet I know the style of gratitude, and shall learn as I am instructed; whatsoever your honour shall undertake for me, I will make good; therefore I humbly and earnestly entreat your best endeavour, to assure to yourself and your master a servant, who both can and will, though as yet mistaken, advance his honour and service with advantage. Your love and wisdom is my last address; and on the real nobleness of your nature (whereof there is so good proof) stands my last hope. If I now find a stop, I will resolve it is fatum Carthaginis, and sit down in perpetual peace. In this business I desire all convenient silence; for though I can endure to be refused, yet it would trouble me to have my name blasted. If your honour return not, and you think it requisite, I will attend at court. Meantime, with all humble and hearty wishes for increase of all happiness, I kiss your Redgrave, this 19th of October, 1616 honour's hands.
MY LORD,-I am bold to present unto your hands, by this bearer, whom the law calls up, some salt of wormwood, being uncertain whether the regard of your health makes you still continue the use of that medicine. I could wish it otherwise; for I am persuaded that all diuretics, which carry with them that punctuous nature and caustic quality by calcination, are hurtful to the kidneys, if not enemies to the other principal parts of the body. Wherein, if it shall please you, for your better satisfaction, to call the advice of your learned physicians, and that they shall resolve of any medicine for your health, wherein my poor labour may avail you, you know where your faithful apothecary dwells, who will be ready at your commandment; as I am bound both by your favours to myself, as also by those to my nephew, whom you have brought out of darkness into light, and, by what I hear, have already made him, by your bounty, a subject of emulation to his elder brother. We are all partakers of this your kindness towards him; and, for myself, I shall be ever ready to deserve it by any service that shall lie in the power of
Your lordship's poor nephew,
For the Right Honourable Sir Francis Bacon, knight, his majesty's attorney-general, and one of his most honourable privy counsellors, be these delivered at London.
TO THE KING.†
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY,
Nephew of Sir Francis Bacon, being eldest son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, eldest son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lora Keeper of the Great Seal. Sir Edmund died without issue, April 10, 1649. There are several letters to him from Sır
Henry Wotton, printed among the works of the latter.
His majesty had begun his journey towards Scotland, on the 14th of March, 1616-7.
the adverse party shall attempt to bring it now back again into your lordship's court, you would not retain it there, but let it rest in the place where now it is, that, without more vexation unto him in posting him from one to another, he may have a final hearing and determination thereof. And so I rest Your lordship's ever at command,
G. BUCKINGHAM. My lord, this is a business wherein I spake to my lord chancellor, whereupon he dismissed the suit.
Lincoln, the 4th of April, 1617.
TO THE LORD KEEPER.†
MY HONOURABLE LORD,
Whereas, the late lord chancellor thought it fit to dismiss out of the chancery a cause touching Henry Skipwith, to the common law, where he desireth it should be decided; these are to entreat your lordship in the gentleman's favour, that if
* Additional instructions to Sir John Digby,-[ambassador to the court of Spain:]
Besides your instructions directory to the substance of the main errand, we would have you in the whole carriage and passages of the negotiation, as well with the king himself, as the Duke of Lerma, and council there, intermix discourse
upon fit occasions, that may express ourselves to the effect
That you doubt not, but that both kings, for that which
concerns religion, will proceed sincerely, both being entire and perfect in their own belief and way. But that there are so many noble and excellent effects, which are equally acceptable to both religions, and for the good and happiness of the Christian world, which may arise of this conjunction, as the union of both kings in actions of state, as may make the difference in religion as laid aside, and almost forgotten.
As, first, that it will be a means utterly to extinguish and extirpate pirates, which are the common enemies of mankind,
and do so much infest Europe at this time.
THE LORD KEEPER TO HIS NIECE, TOUCHING HER MARRIAGE.
GOOD NIECE,-Amongst your other virtues, I know there wanteth not in you a mind to hearken to the advice of your friends. And, therefore, you will give me leave to move you again more seriously than before in the match with Mr. Comptroller. The state wherein you now are is to be preferred before marriage, or changed for marriage, not simply the one or the other, but according as, by God's providence, the offers of marriage are more or less fit to be embraced. This gentleman is religious, a person of honour, being counsellor of state, a great officer, and in very good favour with his majesty. He is of years and health fit to be comfortable to you, and to free you of burdensome cares. He is of good means, and a wise and provident man, and of a loving and excellent good nature; and, I find, hath set his affections upon you; so as I foresee you may sooner change your mind, which, as you told me, is not yet towards marriage, than find so happy a choice. I
Also, that it may be a beginning and seed (for the like ac-hear he is willing to visit you before his going tions heretofore have had less beginnings) of a holy war
against the Turk; whereunto it seems the events of time do invite Christian kings, in respect of the great corruption and relaxation of discipline of war in that empire; and much more in respect of the utter ruin and enervation of the Grand
Signor's navy and forces by sea; which openeth a way (with congregating vast armies by land) to suffocate and starve Constantinople, and thereby to put those provinces into mutiny and insurrection.
Also, that by the same conjunction there will be erected a tribunal or prætorian power, to decide the controversies which may arise amongst the princes and estates of Christendom, without effusion of Christian blood; for so much as any estate of Christendom will hardly recede from that which the two kings shall mediate and determine.
Also, that whereas there doth, as it were, creep upon the ground, a disposition, in some places, to make popular estates and leagues to the disadvantage of monarchies, the conjunction of the two kings will be able to stop and impedite the growth of any such evil.
These discourses you shall do well frequently to treat upon, and therewithal to fill up the spaces of the active part of your negotiation; representing that it stands well with the greatness and majesty of the two kings to extend their cogitations and the influence of their government, not only to their own subjects, but to the state of the whole world besides, specially the Christian portion thereof.
+ Harl. MSS. vol. 7006.
This is the first of many letters which the Marquis of Buckingham wrote to Lord Bacon in favour of persons who
into France, which, by the king's commandment, is to be within some ten days: and I could wish you used him kindly, and with respect. His re
turn out of France is intended before Michaelmas. God direct you, and be with you. I rest
Your very loving uncle and assured friend,
Dorset House, this 28th of April, 1617.
had causes depending in, or likely to come into the court of Chancery. And it is not improbable that such recommendations were considered in that age as less extraordinary and irregular than they would appear now. The marquis made the same kind of applications to Lord Bacon's successor, the Lord Keeper Williams, in whose life, by Bishop Hacket, part i. p. 107, we are informed, that "there was not a cause of moment, but, as soon as it came to publication, one of the parties brought letters from this mighty peer, and the Lord Keeper's patron.
* Sir Thomas Edmondes, who had been appointed to that office, December 21, 1616, and January 19, 1617-8, was made treasurer of the household. He had been married to Magdalen, one of the daughters and coheirs of Sir John Wood, knight, clerk of the signet, which lady died at Paris, De cember 31, 1614.
The proposal for a second marriage between him and the lord keeper's niece does not appear to have had success.
TO THE LORD KEEPER.*
MY HONOURABLE LORD,
he can receive no assurance from your lordship of any precedent in that kind, his majesty intend-. eth not so to precipitate the business, as to expose that dignity to censure and contempt, in omitting the solemnities required, and usually belonging unto it.
His majesty, though he were a while troubled with a little pain in his back, which hindered his hunting, is now, God be thanked, very well, and as merry as ever he was; and we have all held out well.
I have acquainted his majesty with your letters, who liked all your proceedings well, saving only the point, for which you have since made amends, in obeying his pleasure touching the proclamation. His majesty would have your lordship go thoroughly about the business of Ireland, whereinto you are so well entered, especially at this time, that the chief justice† is come over, who hath delivered his opinion thereof to his majesty, and hath understood what his majesty conceived I showed his majesty your letter, who taketh of the same; wherewith he will acquaint your very well your care and desire to hear of his lordship, and with his own observation and judg-health. So I commit you to God, and rest ment of the businesses of that country.
I give your lordship hearty thanks for your care to satisfy my Lady of Rutland's‡ desire; and will be as careful, when I come to York, of recommending your suit to the bishop.§ So I rest Your lordship's ever at command, G. BUCKINGHAM.
Newark, the 5th of April, 1617.
Your lordship's most assured friend
Aukland, the 18th of April, 1617.
TO THE LORD KEEPER.||
MY HONOURABLE LORD,
I spake at York with the archbishop,¶ touching the house, which he hath wholly put into your hands to do with it what your lordship shall be pleased.
I have heretofore, since we were in this journey, moved his majesty for a despatch of my Lord Brackley's** business: but, because his majesty never having heard of any precedent in the like case, was of opinion, that this would be of ill consequence in making that dignity as easy as the pulling out of a sword to make a man a knight, and so make it of little esteem, he was desirous to be assured, first, that it was no new course, before he would do it in that fashion. But since
* Harl. MSS. vol. 7006.
Sir John Denham, one of the Lords Justices of Ireland in 1616. He was made one of the Barons of the Exchequer in England, May 2, 1617. He died, January 6, 1638, in the eightieth year of his age. He was the first who set up customs in Ireland, (not but there were laws for the same before;) of which the first year's revenue amounted but to 5001.; but before his death, which was about twenty-two years after, they were let for 54,000l. per annum.-Borlase's Reduction of Ireland to the Crown of England, p. 200. Edit. London, 1675.
Frances, Countess of Rutland, first wife of Francis, Earl of Rutland, and daughter and coheir of Sir Henry Knevet, of
Charleton, in Wiltshire, knight. She had by the earl an only daughter and heir, Catharine, first married to George Marquis, and afterwards Duke of Buckingham; and secondly to Randolph Macdonald, Earl, and afterwards Marquis, of Antrim, in Ireland.
TO THE LORD KEEPER.*
My HONOURABLE Lord,
I send your lordship the warrant for the queen,† signed by his majesty, to whom I have likewise delivered your lordship's letter. And, touching the matter of the pirates, his majesty cannot yet resolve; but within a day or two your lordship shall see a despatch, which he purposeth to send to the lords of his council in general, what his opinion and pleasure is in that point.
I would not omit this opportunity to let your lordship know, that his majesty, God be thanked, is in very good health, and so well pleased with his journey, that I never saw him better nor
So I rest
he is shortly to go into Spain about some other
Your lordship's ever at command,
Endorsed-May 6, 1616.
TO THE LORD KEEPER.*
MY HONOURABle Lord,
I have, by reports, heard that which doth much grieve and trouble me, that your lordship hath, through a pain in one of your legs, been forced to keep your chamber. And, being desirous to understand the true estate of your health, which reports do not always bring, I entreat your lordship to favour me with a word or two from yourself, which, I hope, will bring me the comfort I desire, who cannot but be very sensible of whatsoever happeneth to your lordship, as being Your lordship's most affectionate to do you service,
From Edinburgh, the 3d of June, 1617.
His majesty, God be thanked, is very well, and safely returned from his hunting journey.
When I had written this letter, I received your lordship's letter of the third of this present, wherein your lordship showeth your solicitous care of my health, which did wonderfully comfort me. And it is true, that at this present I am very well, and my supposed gout quite vanished.
I humbly pray you to commend my service, infinite in desire, howsoever limited in ability, to his majesty, to hear of whose health and good disposition is to me the greatest beatitude which I can receive in this world. And I humbly beseech his majesty to pardon me, that I do not now send him my account of council business, and other his royal commands, till within these four days; because the flood of business of justice did hitherto wholly possess me; which, I know, worketh this effect, as it contenteth his subjects, and knitteth their hearts more and more to his majesty, though, I must confess, my mind is upon other matters, as his majesty shall know, by the grace of God, at his return. God ever bless and prosper you.
Your lordship's true and most devoted friend and servant, FR. BACON.
Whitehall, this 8th of June, 1617.
TO THE EARL OF BUCKINGHAM.
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
TO THE LORD KEEPER.
MY HONOURABLE LORD,
Your lordship will understand, by Sir Thomas Lake's letter, his majesty's directions touching the surveyor's deputy of the Court of Wards. And though I assure myself of your lordship's care of the business, which his majesty maketh his own: yet, my respect to Sir Robert Naunton* maketh me add my recommendation thereof to your lordship, whom I desire to give all the furtherance and assistance you can to the business, that no prejudice or imputation may light upon Sir Robert Naunton, through his zealous affection to attend his majesty in this journey.
This day I have made even with the business of the kingdom for common justice; not one cause unheard; the lawyers drawn dry of all the motions they were to make; not one petition unanswered. And this, I think, could not be said in our age before. This I speak, not out of ostentation, but out of gladness, when I have done my duty. I know men think I cannot continue if I should thus oppress myself with business: but that account is made. The duties of life are inore than life; and if I die now, I shall die before the world be weary of me, which, in our times, is somewhat rare. And all this while I have been a little unperfect in my foot. But I have taken pains more like the beast with four legs than like a man with scarce two legs. But if it be a gout, Edinburgh, the 11th of June, 1617. which I do neither acknowledge, nor much disclaim, it is a good-natured gout; for I have no rage of it, and it goeth away quickly. I have hope it is but an accident of changing from a field airt to a Thames air; or rather, I think, it is the distance of the king and your lordship from me, that doth congeal my humours and spirits.
Harl. MSS. vol. 7006. † Gray's Inn.
Dorset House, originally belonging to the Bishops of Salisbury, afterwards the house of Sir Richard Sackville, and then of his son, Sir Thomas, Earl of Dorset, and lord
I will not omit to let you know, that his majesty is very well, and receiveth much contentment in his journey. And with this conclusion I rest Your lordship's most affectionate to do you service,
TO THE LORD VISCOUNT FENTON.
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
I thank your lordship for your courteous letter; and, if I were asked the question, I would always
*Surveyor of the Court of Wards.
+ Sir Thomas Erskine, who, for his service to the king, in the attempt of the Earl of Gowry, was, upon his majesty's accession to the throne of England, made captain of his guard in the room of Sir Walter Ralegh. He was afterwards created Earl of Kelly.