Page images

kind of security to the end desired. For I always feared, and do yet fear, that when men, by condition merchants, though never so honest, have gotten into their hands the trade of whites, and the dispensation to tenter, wherein they shall reap profit for that which they never sowed; but have gotten themselves certainties, in respect of the state's hopes: they are like enough to sleep upon this as upon a pillow, and to make no haste to go on with the rest. And though it may be said, that this is a thing will easily appear to the state, yet, no doubt, means may be devised and found to draw the business in length. So that I conclude, that if your majesty take a profit of them in the interim, considering you refuse profit from the old company, it will be both spur and bridle to them, to make them pace aright to your majesty's end.

This in all humbleness, according to my vowed care and fidelity, being no man's man but your majesty's, I present, leave, and submit to your majesty's better judgment, and I could wish your majesty would speak with Sir Thomas Lake in it; who, besides his good habit which he hath in business, beareth, methinks, an indifferent hand in this particular; and, if it please your majesty, it may proceed as from yourself, and not as a motion or observation of mine.

Your majesty need not in this to be straitened in time; as if this must be demanded or treated before you sign their bill. For I foreseeing this, and foreseeing that many things might fall out which I could not foresee, have handled it so, as with their good contentment there is a power of revocation inserted into their patent. And so commending your majesty to God's blessing and precious custody, I rest,

Your majesty's most humble

Aug. 12, 1615.

and devoted subject and servant,

Rawley's CXXIII. To Sir GEORGE VILLIERS, about



Roper's place.


Sir David Dalrymple's Memorials and Letters, p. 46.

SENDING to the king upon occasion, I would not fail to salute you by my letter; which, that it may be more than two lines, I add this for news; that as I was sitting by my lord chief justice, upon the commission for the indicting of the great person; one of the judges asked him, whether Roper were dead; he said, he for his part knew not; another of the judges an swered, It should concern you, my lord, to know it. Whereupon he turned his speech to me, and said, No, Mr. Attorney, I will not wrestle now in my latter times. My lord, said I, you speak like a wise man. Well, saith he, they have had no luck with it that have had it. I said again, Those days be past. Here you have the dialogue to make you merry. But in sadness, I was glad to perceive he meant not to contest. I can but honour and love you, and rest Your assured friend and servant, FR. BACON.

Jan. 22, 1615.


It may please your most excellent Majesty, IT pleased your majesty to commit to my care and trust for Westminster-hall three particulars; that of the rege inconsulto, which concerneth Murray; that of the commendams, which concerneth the bishop of Lincoln; and that of the habeas corpus, which concerneth the chancery.

These causes, although I gave them private additions, yet they are merely, or at least chiefly, yours; and the die runneth upon your royal prerogatives diminution, or entire conservation. Of these it is my duty to give your majesty a short account.

For that of the rege inconsulto, I argued the same in the King's-bench on Thursday last. There argued on

the other part Mr. George Crook, the judge's brother, an able book-man, and one that was manned forth with all the furniture that the bar could give him, I will not say the bench, and with the study of a long vacation. I was to answer, which hath a mixture of the sudden; and of myself I will not, nor cannot say any thing, but that my voice served me well for two hours and an half; and that those that understood nothing, could tell me that I lost not one auditor that was present in the beginning, but staid till the latter end. If I should say more, there were too many witnesses, for I never saw the court more full, that mought disprove me.

My lord Coke was pleased to say, that it was a famous argument; but withal, he asked me a politic and tempting question: for, taking occasion by a notable precedent I had cited, where, upon the like writ brought, all the judges in England assembled, and that privately, lest they should seem to dispute the king's commandment, and, upon conference, with one mind agreed, that the writ must be obeyed. Upon this hold, my lord asked me, whether I would have all the rest of the judges called to it. I was not caught but knowing well that the judges of the common pleas were most of all others interested in respect of the prothonotaries, I answered, civilly, that I could advise of it; but that I did not distrust the court; and, besides, I thought the case so clear, as it needed not.

[ocr errors]

Sir, I do perceive, that I have not only stopped, but almost turned the stream: and I see how things. cool by this, that the judges that were wont to call so hotly upon the business, when they had heard, of themselves, took a fortnight day to advise what they will do, by which time the term will be near at an end; and I know they little expected to have the matter so beaten down with book-law, upon which my argument wholly went: so that every mean student was satisfied. Yet, because the times are as they are, I could wish, in all humbleness, that your majesty would remember and renew your former

commandment which you gave my lord chief justice in Michaelmas term, which was, that after he had heard your attorney, which is now done, he should forbear further proceeding till he had spoke with your majesty.

It concerneth your majesty threefold. First, in this particular of Murray; next, in the consequence of fourteen several patents, part in queen Elizabeth's time, some in your majesty's time, which depend upon the like question; but chiefly, because this writ is a mean provided by the ancient law of England, to bring any case that may concern your majesty, in profit or power, from the ordinary benches, to be tried and judged before your chancellor of England, by the ordinary and legal part of his power: and your majesty knoweth your chancellor is ever a principal counsellor, and instrument of monarchy, of immediate dependence upon the king: and therefore like to be a safe and tender guardian of the royal rights.

For the case of the commendams, a matter likewise of great consequence, though nothing near the first, this day I was prepared to have argued it before all the judges; but, by reason of the sickness of the serjeant which was provided to argue on the other side, although I pressed to have had some other day appointed this term; yet it pleased divers of the judges to do me the honour, as to say it was not fit any should argue against me, upon so small time of warning, it is adjourned to the first Saturday

next term.

For the matter of the habeas corpus, I perceive this common employment of my lord chancellor, and my lord chief justice, in these examinations, is such a vinculum, as they will not square while these matters are in hand, so that there is altum silentium of that matter. God ever preserve your majesty. Your majesty's most humble and bounden subject and servant, FR. BACON.

27th Jan. 1615.

CXXV. To the KING, advising him to break off Rawley's with the new company.

It may please your excellent Majesty,

I SPAKE yesternight long with my lord Coke; and for the rege inconsulto, I conceive by him it will be an amplius deliberandum censeo, as I thought at first, so as for the present your majesty shall not need to renew your commandment of stay. I spake with him also about some propositions concerning your majesty's casual revenue; wherein I found him to consent with me fully, assuming, nevertheless, that he had thought of them before; but it is one thing to have the vapour of a thought, another to digest business aright. He, on his part, imparted to me divers things of great weight concerning the reparation of your majesty's means and finances, which I heard gladly; insomuch as he perceiving the same, I think was the readier to open himself to me in one circumstance, which he did much inculcate. I concur fully with him that they are to be held secret; for I never saw but that business is like a child, which is framed invisibly in the womb; and if it come forth too soon, it will be abortive. I know, in most of them, the prosecution must rest much upon myself. But I that had the power to prevail in the farmers case of the French wines, without the help of my lord Coke, shall be better able to go through these with his help, the ground being no less just. And this I shall ever add of mine own, that I shall ever respect your Majesty's honour no less than your profit; and shall also take care, according to my pensive manner, that that which is good for the present, have not in it hidden seeds of future inconveniences.

The matter of the new company was referred to me by the lords of the privy council; wherein, after some private speech with Sir Lionel Cranfield, I made that report which I held most agreeable to truth, and your majesty's service. If this new company break, it must either be put upon the patent, or upon the order made by themselves. For the patent, I satisfied the

[blocks in formation]


« PreviousContinue »