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solemnly dwelt upon, but as it were thrown in amongst the rest.
The last day of the term, and, that which all men condemn, the supposed last day of my lord chancellor's life, there were two indictments preferred of præmu nire, for suing in chancery after judgment in common law; the one by Rich. Glanville, the other by William Allen: the former against Courtney, the party in chaneery, Gibb the counsellor, and Deurst the clerk; the latter against alderman Bowles and Humfrey Smith, parties in chancery; serjeant More the counsellor, Elias Wood solicitor in the cause, and Sir John Tindal, master of the chancery, and an assessor to my lord chancellor.
For the cases themselves, it were too long to trouble your majesty with them; but this I will say, if they were set on that preferred them, they were the worst marks-men that ever were that set them on. For there could not have been chosen two such causes to the honour and advantage of the chancery, for the justness of the decrees, and the foulness and scandal both of fact and person, in those that impeach the decrees.
The grand jury, consisting, as it seemeth, of very substantial and intelligent persons, would not find the bills, notwithstanding they were clamoured by the parties, and twice sent back by the court; and in conclusion, resolutely seventeen of nineteen found an Ignoramus; wherein, for that time, I think Ignoramus was wiser than those that know too much.
Your majesty will pardon me, if I be sparing in delivering to you some other circumstances of aggravation, and of concurrences of some like matters the same day as if it had been some fatal constellation. They be not things so sufficiently tried, as I dare put them into your ear.
For my opinion, I cannot but begin with this preface, that I am infinitely sorry that your majesty is thus put to salve and cure, not only accidents of time, but errors of servants; for I account this a kind of sickness of my lord Coke's, that comes almost in as ill a time as the sickness of my lord chancellor. And as, I think,
it was one of the wisest, parts that ever he played, when he went down to your majesty to Royston, and desired to have my lord chancellor joined with him; so this was one of the weakest parts that ever he played, to make all the world perceive that my lord chancellor is severed from him at this time.
But for that which may concern your service, which is my end, leaving other men to their own ways, first, my opinion is plainly that my lord Coke at this time is not to be disgraced; both because he is so well habituate for that which remaineth of these capital causes, and also for that which I find is in his breast touching your finances and matters of repair of your estate; and, if I might speak it, as I think it were good his hopes were at an end in some kind, so I could wish they were raised in some other.
On the other side, this great and public affront, not only to the reverend and well deserving person of your chancellor, and at a time when he was thought to lie on dying, which was barbarous, but to your high court of chancery, which is the court of your absolute power, may not, in my opinion, pass lightly, nor end only in some formal atonement, but use is to be made thereof for the settling of your authority and strengthening of your prerogative according to the true rules of monarchy.
Now to reconcile and accommodate these two advices, which seem almost opposite; first, your majesty may not see it, though I confess it to be suspicious, that my lord Coke was any way aforehand privy to that which was done; or that he did set it or animate it, but only took the matter as it came before him; and that his error was only, that at such a time he did not divert it in some good manner.
Secondly, if it be true, as is reported, that any of the puisne judges did stir this business; or that they did openly revile and menace the jury for doing their conscience, as they did honestly and truly, I think that judge is worthy to lose his place. And, to be plain with your majesty, I do not think there is any thing a greater polychreston, or ad multa utile to your affairs,
than upon a just and fit occasion to make some exam ple against the presumption of a judge in causes that concern your majesty, whereby the whole body of those magistrates may be contained the better in awe; and it may be this will light upon no unfit subject of a person, that is rude, and that no man cares for.
Thirdly, if there be no one so much in fault, which I cannot yet affirm either way, and there must be a just ground, God forbid else, yet I should think, that the very presumption of going so far, in so high a cause, deserveth to have that done which was done in this very case upon the indictment of serjeant Heale in queen Elizabeth's time; that the judges should answer it upon their knees before your majesty or your council, and receive a sharp admonition: at which time also, my lord Wray, being then chief justice, slipt the collar and was forborn.
Fourthly, for the persons themselves, Glanville and Allen, which are base fellows and turbulent, I think there will be discovered and proved against them, besides the preferring of the bills, such combinations and contemptuous speeches and behaviours, as there will be good ground to call them, and perhaps some of their petty counsellors at law, into the star-chamber.
In all this which I have said your majesty may be pleased to observe, that I do not engage you much in the main point of the jurisdiction, for which I have a great deal of reason, which I now forbear. But two things I wish to be done: the one, that your majesty take this occasion to redouble unto all your judges your ancient and true charge and rule, That you will sendure no innovating the point of jurisdiction, but will thave every court impaled within their own precedents, and not assume to themselves new powers upon conceits and inventions of law; the other, that in these high causes that touch upon state and monarchy, your majesty give them strait charge, that upon any occasions intervenient hereafter, they do not make the vulgar party to their contestations, by public handling them, before they have consulted with your majesty, to whom the reglement of those things only appertaineth.
To conclude, I am not without hope, that your majesty managing this business according to your great wisdom, unto which I acknowledge myself not to be worthy to be card-holder, or a candle-holder, will make profit of this accident as a thing of God's sending.
Lastly, I may not forget to represent to your majesty, that there is no thinking of arraignments until these things be somewhat accommodated, and some outward and superficial reconciliation at least made between my lord chancellor and my lord chief justice; for this accident is a banquet to all the delinquent's friends. But this is a thing that falleth out naturally of itself, in respect of the judges going circuit, and my lord chancellor's infirmity with hope of recovery: and although this protraction of time may breed some doubt of mutability, yet I have lately learned out of an excellent letter of a certain king, that the sun sheweth sometimes watry to our eyes, but when the cloud is gone, the sun is as before. God ever preserve your majesty. Your majesty's most humble subject and bounden servant,
Feb. 21, 1615.
CXXXII. To the KING, on the breach of the Rawley's
It may please your most excellent Majesty,
YOUR privy council have wisely and truly discerned of the orders and demands of the new company, that they are unlawful and unjust; and themselves have now acknowledged the work impossible without them, by their petition in writing now registered in the council book; so as this conclusion of their own making, is become peremptory and final to themselves; and the impossibility confessed, the practice and abuse reserved to the judgment the state shall make of it.
This breach then of this great contract is wholly on their part, which could not have been if your majesty had broken upon the patent; for the patent was your majesty's act, the orders are their act; and in the
former case they had not been liable to farther question, now they are.
There rest two things to be considered: the one, if they, like Proteus when he is hard held, shall yet again vary their shape; and shall quit their orders convinced of injustice, and lay their imposition only upon the trade of whites, whether your majesty shall farther expect the other if your majesty dissolve them upon this breach on their part, what is farther to be done for the setting of the trade again in joint, and for your own honour and profit: in both which points I will not presume to give opinion, but only to break the business for your majesty's better judgment.
For the first, I am sorry the occasion was given by my lord Coke's speech at this time of the commitment of some of them, that they should seek omnem movere lapidem to help themselves. Better it had been, if, as my lord Fenton said to me that morning very judiciously and with a great deal of foresight, that for that time they should have had a bridge made for them to be gone. But my lord Coke floweth according to his own tides, and not according to the tides of business. The thing which my lord Coke said was good and too little, but at this time it was too much; but that is past. Howsoever, if they should go back and seek again to entertain your majesty with new orders or offers, as is said to be intended, your majesty hath ready two answers of repulse, if it please your majesty to use them.
The one, that this is now the fourth time that they have mainly broken with your majesty, and contradicted themselves. First, they undertook to dye and dress all the cloths of the realm; soon after, they wound themselves into the trade of whites, and came down to the proportion contracted. Secondly, they ought to have performed that contract according to their subscription pro rata, without any of these orders and impositions; soon after, they deserted their subscription, and had recourse to these devices of orders. Thirdly, if by order, and not by subscription, yet their orders should have laid it upon the whites; which is an unlawful and pro