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if I may obtain, I can say no more, but nobleness covered your health, and are come to the court, is ever requited in itself; and God, whose spe- and the Parliament business hath also intermiscial favour in my afflictions I have manifestly sion, I firmly hope your grace will deal with his found to my comfort, will, I trust, be my pay- majesty, that as I have tasted of his mercy, I may master of that which cannot be requited by also taste of his bounty. Your grace, I know, Your lordship's affectionate for a business of a private man, cannot win yourself more honour; and I hope I shall yet live to do you service. For my fortune hath (I thank God) made no alteration in my mind, but to the better. I ever rest humbly

humble servant, &c. Endorsed, February 2, 1623.



Upon a little searching, made touching the patents of the survey of coals, I find matter not only to acquit myself, but likewise to do myself much right.

Any reference to me, or any certificate of mine, I find not. Neither is it very likely I made any; for that, when it came to the great seal, I stayed it. I did not only stay it, but brought it before the council table, as not willing to pass it, except their lordships allowed it. The lords gave hearing to the business, I remember, two several days; and in the end disallowed it, and commended my care and circumspection, and ordered, that it should continue stayed; and so it did all my time.

Your grace's most obliged
and faithful servant,


If I may know by two or three words from your grace, that you will set in for me, I will propound somewhat that shall be modest, and leave it to your grace, whether you will move his majesty yourself, or recommend it by some of your lordship's friends, that wish me well; [as my Lord of Arundel, or Secretary Conway, or Mr. James Maxwell.*]



I understand by Sir John Suckling, that he attended yesterday at Greenwich, hoping, accordAbout a twelvemonth since, my Lord Duke of ing to your grace's appointment, to have found Lenox, now deceased,† wrote to me to have the you there, and to have received your grace's privy seal; which, though I respected his lord-pleasure touching my suit, but missed of you: ship much, I refused to deliver to him, but was and this day he sitteth upon the subsidy at Brentcontent to put it into the right hand; that is, to ford, and shall not be at court this week: which send it to my lord keeper,‡ giving knowledge how causeth me to use these few lines to hear from it had been stayed. My lord keeper received it your grace, I hope, to my comfort; humbly prayby mine own servant, writeth back to me, ac- ing pardon, if I number thus the days, and that knowledging the receipt, and adding, that he misery should exceed modesty. I ever rest would lay it aside until his lordship heard farther Your grace's most faithful from my lord steward,§ and the rest of the lords. and obliged servant, Whether this first privy seal went to the great FR. ST. ALBan. seal, or that it went about again, I know not: but all my part is, that I have related. I ever rest Your faithful friend and cousin, FR. ST. ALBAN.

March 14, 1623.


MY LORD,—I am now full three years old in misery; neither hath there been any thing done for me, whereby I might either die out of ignominy, or live out of want. But now, that your grace (God's name be praised for it) hath re

* He appears to be a relation of his lordship's lady, who was daughter of Benedict Barnham, Esq., alderman of the city of London. Sir Francis was appointed, by his lordsnip, one of the executors of his last will.

June 30, 1624.


MR. CHANCELLOR,-This way, by Mr. Myn,
besides a number of little difficulties it hath.
amounteth to this, that I shall pay interest for
mine own money. Besides, I must confess, I
cannot bow my mind to be a suitor, much less a
shifter, for that means which I enjoy by his ma-
jesty's grace and bounty. And, therefore, I am
rather ashamed of that I have done, than minded
to go forward. So that I leave it to yourself what
think fit to be done in your honour and my
case, resting

Your very loving friend,


London, this 7th of July, 1624.

The words included in brackets have a line drawn after

+ He died suddenly, February 12, 1623-4.

See his letter to Lord St. Alban, of February 7, 1622.
James, Marquis of Hamilton, who died March 2, 1621–5.


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near at hand, which I thought would have been a longer matter; and I imagine there is a gratiastitium till he come. I do not doubt but you shall find his grace nobly disposed. The last time that you spake with him about me, I remember you sent me word, he thanked you for being so forward for me. Yet, I could wish that you took some occasion to speak with him, generally to my advantage, before you move to him any particular suit; and to let me know how you find him.

My lord treasurer sent me a good answer touching my moneys. I pray you continue to quicken fire of old wood needeth no blowing; but old him, that the king may once clear with me. And

men do. I ever rest

Yours to do you service.



I am infinitely bound to your grace for your late favours. I send your grace a copy of your letter, signifying his majesty's pleasure, and of the petition. The course, I take it, must be, to make a warrant for the execution of the same, by way of reference to Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Mr. Attorney.† I most humbly pray your grace likewise, to prostrate me at his majesty's feet, with most humble thanks for the grant of my petition, whose sweet presence since I discontinued, methinks, I am neither amongst the living, nor amongst the dead.

I cannot but likewise gratulate his majesty on the extreme prosperous success of his business, since this time twelvemonth. I know I speak it in a dangerous time; because the die of the Low Countries is upon the throw. But yet that is all one. For, if it should be a blow, (which I hope in God it shall not,) yet it would have been ten times worse, if former courses had not been taken. But this is the raving of a hot ague.

God evermore bless his majesty's person and designs, and likewise make your grace a spectacle of prosperity, as you have hitherto been. Your grace's most faithful and obliged, and by you revived servant, FR. ST. ALBAN.

Gray's Inn, 9th of October, 1024.



I do approve very well your forbearance to



Let me entreat you to despatch that warrant of a petty sum, that it may help to bear my charge of coming up to London. The duke, you know, loveth me, and my lord treasurert standeth now towards me in very good affection and respect. You, that are the third person in these businesses, I assure myself, will not be wanting; for you have professed and showed, ever since I lost the seal, your good will towards me. I rest

Your affectionate and assured friend, etc.


To Sir Robert Pye. Gor. 1625.



This gentleman, the bearer hereof, Mr. Colles by name, is my neighbour. He is commended for a civil young man. I think he wanteth no metal, but he is peaceable. It was his hap to fall out with Mr. Matthew Francis, sergeant at arms, about a toy; the one affirming, that a hare was fair killed, and the other, foul. Words multiplied, and some blows passed on either side. But since the first falling out, the serjeant hath used towards him diverse threats and affronts, and, which is a point of danger, sent to him a letter of challenge: but Mr. Colles, doubting the contents of the

From Gorhambury.

+ Sir James, Lord Ley, advanced from the post of Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench, on the 20th of December,

move my suits, in regard the duke's returns is so 1624, to that of lord treasurer; and created Earl of Marlbo

This seems to refer to the anniversary thanksgiving day for the king's delivery from the Gowry conspiracy, on the 5th of August, 1600.

+ Sir Thomas Coventry.

This letter is endorsed 1625.

From Paris, whither the Duke of Buckingham went in Mav, 1625, to conduct the new queen to England.

rough on the 5th of February, 1625-6.

His lordship had not been always in that disposition towards the Lord Viscount St. Alban; for the latter has, among the letters printed in his works, one to this lord treasurer, severely expostulating with him about his unkindness and injustice.

Sir Edward Sackville succeeded to that title on the death of his brother Richard, March 28, 1624.

letter, refused to receive it. Motions have been | some servants, and some of my kindred, apt for made also of reconcilement, or of reference to the place you write of, and have been already so some gentlemen of the country not partial: but the serjeant hath refused all, and now, at last, sueth him in the Earl Marshal's Court. The gentleman saith, he distrusteth not his cause upon the hearing; but would be glad to avoid restraint, or long and chargeable attendance. Let me, therefore, pray your good lordship to move the noble earl in that kind, to carry a favourable hand towards him, such as may stand with justice and the order of that court. I ever rest

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much importuned by noble persons, when I lately
was with his majesty at Salisbury, as it will be
hard to me to give them all denial; I am not able
to discern, how I can accommodate your servant;
though for your sake, and in respect of the former
knowledge myself have had of the merit and
worth of the gentleman, I should be most ready
and willing to perform your desire, if it were in
my power. And so, with remembrance of my
service to your lordship, I remain

At your lordship's commandment,

Kingsbury, Oct. 29, 1625.

To the right honourable, and my very good lord, the Viscount St. Alban.



I received from your lordship two letters, the one of the 23d, the other of the 28th of this month. To the former, I do assure your lordship I have not heard any thing of any suits or motion, either touching the reversion of your honours or the rent of your farm of petty writs; and, if I had heard any thing thereof, I would not have been unmindful of that caveat, which heretofore you gave in by former letters, nor slack to do you the best service I might.

The debt of Sir Nicolas Bacon resteth as it did; for in the latter end of King James's time, it exhibited a quo warranto in the Exchequer, touching that liberty, against Sr. Nicolas, which abated by his death; then another against Sir Edmund, which, by the demise of the king, and by reason of the adjournment of the late term, hath had no farther proceeding, but that day is given to plead. Concerning your other letter, I humbly thank your lordship for your favourable and good wishes to me; though I, knowing my own unaptness to so great an employment,† should be most heartily glad, if his majesty had, or yet would choose, a man of more merit. But, if otherwise, humbleness and submission becomes the servant, and to stand in that station where his majesty will have him. But as for the request you make for your servant, though I protest I am not yet engaged by promise to any, because I hold it too much boldness towards my master, and discourtesy towards my lord keeper, to dispose of places, while he had the seal: yet, in respect I have

*Arundel, Earl Marshal.

+ Bishop Williams, who had resigned the great seal on the 25th of October, 1625, to Sir John Suckling, who brought his majesty's warrant to receive it, dated at Salisbury, on the 23d of that month.

That of the great seal, of which Sir Thomas Coventry was three days after made lord keeper, on the 1st of November, 1625.



I thank God, by means of the sweet air of the country, I have obtained some degree of health. Sending to the court, I thought I would salute you and I would be glad, in this solitary time and place, to hear a little from you how the world goeth, according to your friendly manner heretofore,

Fare ye well most heartily.

Your very affectionate and assured friend, FR. ST. ALBAN. Gorhambury, Oct. 29, 1625.


Excellent Lord,

I could not but signify unto your grace my rejoicing, that God hath sent your grace a son and heir,* and that you are fortunate as well in your house, as in the state of the kingdom. These blessings come from God, as I do not doubt but your grace doth, with all thankfulness, acknowledge, vowing to him your service. Myself, I praise his divine Majesty, have gotten some step into health. My wants are great; but yet I want not a desire to do your grace service; and I marvel, that your grace should think to pull down the monarchy of Spain without my good help. Your grace will give me leave to be merry, however the world goeth with me. I ever rest Your grace's most faithful

and obliged servant, &c.

I wish your grace a good new year.

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TO SIR HUMPHREY MAY, CHANCELLOR OF THE miration, that those civil acts of sovereignty,


GOOD MR. CHANncellor,

I did wonder what was become of you, and was very glad to hear you were come to court; which, methinks, as the times go, should miss you as well as I.

I send you another letter, which I wrote to you of an old date, to avoid repetition; and I continue my request then to you, to sound the Duke of Buckingham's good affection towards me, before you do move him in the particular petition. Only the present occasion doth invite me to desire, that his grace would procure me a pardon of the king of the whole sentence. My writ for Parliament I have now had twice before the time, and that without any express restraint not to use it. It is true, that I shall not be able, in respect of my health, to attend in Parliament; but yet I might make a proxy. Time hath turned envy to pity; and I have a long cleansing week of five years' expectation and more. Sir John Bennet hath his pardon; and my Lord of Somerset hath his pardon, and, they say, shall sit in Parliament. My Lord of Suffolk cometh to Parliament, though not to council. I hope I deserve not to be the only outcast.

God keep you. I ever rest

Your most affectionate friend,
to do you service.

I wish you a good new year.


To the Chancellor of the Duchy. Gor. 1625.



Vous scavez que le commencement est la moitié du fait. Voyla pourquoy je vous ay escrit ce petit mot de lettre, vous priant de vous souvenir de vostre noble promesse de me mettre en la bonne grâce de nostre très-excellente reyne, et m'en faire recevoir quelque gracieuse demonstration. Vostre excellence prendra aussi, s'il vous plaist, quelque occasion de prescher un peu, à mon advantage en l'oreille du Duc de Buckingham en général. Dieu vous ayt en sa saincte garde.

Vostre très-affectionné et très-humble serviteur, FR. ST. ALBAN.

Jan. 18, 1625.

The following letters, wanting both dates and circumstances to determine such dates, are placed here together.



Thinking often, as I ought, of your majesty's Virtue and fortune, I do observe, not without ad

which are of the greatest merit, and, therefore, of truest glory, are, by the providence of God, manifestly put into your hands, as a chosen vessel to receive from God, and an excellent instrument tc work amongst men the best and noblest things. The highest degree of sovereign honour is to be founder of a kingdom or estate; for as, in the acts of God, the creation is more than the conservation; and as among men the birthday is accounted the chiefest of the days of life; so, to found a kingdom is more worthy than to augment, or to administer the same. And this is an honour that no man can take from your majesty, that the day of your coming to the crown of England was as the birthday of the kingdom entire Britain.

The next degree of sovereign honour, is the plantation of a country or territory, and the reduction of a nation, from waste soil and barbarous manners, to a civil population. And in this kind also your majesty hath made a fair and prosperous beginning in your realm of Ireland. The third eminent act of sovereignty is to be a lawgiver, whereof he speaketh,

Pace datâ terris, animum ad civilia vertit Jura suum, legesque tulit justissimus author. And another saith, " Ecquid est, quod tam propriè dici potest actum ejus, qui togatus in republicâ cum potestate imperioque versatur, quam lex. Quære acta Gracchi; leges Semproniæ proferentur: quære Syllæ, Cornelia quid? Cnei Pompeii tertius consulatus in quibus actis consistit? Nempe legibus. A Cæsare ipso si quæreres quidnam egisset in urbe et toga; leges multas se respondeat et præclaras tulisse."



A full heart is like a full pen; it can hardly make any distinguished work. The more I look upon my own weakness, the more I must magnify your favours; and the more I behold your favours, the more I must consider mine own weakness. This is my hope, that God, who hath moved your heart to favour me, will write your service in my heart. Two things I may promise; for, although they be not mine own, yet they are surer than mine own, because they are God's gifts; that is, integrity and industry. And, therefore, whensoever I shall make my account to you, I shall do it in these words, ecce tibi lucrifeci, and not ecce mihi lucrifeci. And for industry, I shall take to me, in this procuration, not Martha's part, to be busied in many things, but Mary's part, which is, to intend your service; for the less my abilities are, the more they ought to be contracted ad unum. For the present, I humbly pray your majesty to accept my most humble thanks and vows as the

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MY LORD:-I say to myself, that your lordship
hath forsaken me; and I think I am one of the last,
that findeth it, and in nothing more, than that, twice
at London, your lordship would not vouchsafe to
see me, though the latter time I begged it of you.
If your lordship lack any justification about
York House, good my lord, think of it better;
for I assure your lordship, that motion to me was
to me as a second sentence; for I conceived it
sentenced me to the loss of that, which I thought
was saved from the former sentence, which is
But sure it could not be
love and favour.
that pelting matter, but the being out of sight,
out of use, and the ill offices done me, perhaps,
by such as have your ear. Thus I think, and
thus I speak; for I am far enough from any base-
ness or detracting, but shall ever love and honour
you, howsoever I be

Your forsaken friend and freed servant,







It is vain to cure the accidents of a disease.

I thought it my duty to take knowledge to his majesty from your lordship, by the enclosed, except the cause be found and removed. I know that, much to my comfort, I understand his ma- adversity is apprehensive; but I fear it is too jesty doth not forget me nor forsake me, but hath true, that now I have lost honour, power, profit, a gracious inclination to me, and taketh care of and liberty, I have, in the end, lost that which to me; and to thank his majesty for the same. me was more dear than all the rest, which is my perceive, by some speech, that passed between friend. A change there is apparent and great; your lordship and Mr. Meautys, that some and nothing is more sure, than that nothing hath wretched detractor hath told you, that it were proceeded from and since my troubles, either strange I should be in debt; for that I could not towards your lordship or towards the world, but have received a hundred thousand pounds which hath made me unworthy of your undegifts since I had the seal; which is an abomina- served favours or undesired promises. Good my ble falsehood. Such tales as these made St. lord, deal so nobly with me, as to let me know James say, that the tongue is a fire, and itself fired whether I stand upright in your favour, that from hell, whither when these tongues shall re- either I may enjoy my wonted comfort, or see my turn they will beg a drop of water to cool them. I griefs together, that I may the better order them; praise God for it, I never took penny for any be- though, if your lordship should never think nefice or ecclesiastical living; I never took penny more of me, yet your former favours should bind for releasing any thing I stopped at the seal; I never took penny for any commission, or things of that nature; I never shared with any servant for any second or inferior profit. My offences I have myself recorded, wherein I studied, as a good confessant, guiltiness, and not excuse; and, therefore, I hope it leaves me fair to the king's grace, and will turn many men's hearts to me.

As for my debts, I showed them your lordship, when you saw the little house and the farm, besides a little wood or desert, which you saw not. If these things were not true, although the joys of the penitent be sometimes more than the joys of the innocent, I could not be as I am.

God bless you and reward you for your constant love to me I rest, &c.

me to be

Your lordship's most obliged

and faithful servant, FR. ST. ALBAN.



This extreme winter hath turned, with me, a weakness of body into a state that I cannot call health, but rather sickness, and that more danger

Among Lord Bacon's printed letters, is one without a date, in which he complains, as in this, that he, being twice now in London, the marquis did not vouchsafe to see him

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