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censure and reproof of the contempt passed : for though the judges are a reverend body, yet they are, as all subjects are, corrigible.

Rawley's Resuscita. tio.

CXLVI. To Sir George VILLIERS. SIR, The King giveth me a noble choice; and you are the man my heart ever told me you were. Ambition would draw me to the latter part of choice; but in respect of my hearty wishes, that my lord chancellor may live long; and the small hopes I have, that I shall live long myself; and, above all, because I see his majesty's service daily and instantly bleedeth; towards which, I persuade myself, vainly perhaps, but yet in mine own thoughts firmly and constantly, that I shall give, when I am of the table, some effectual furtherance, as a poor thread of the labyrinth, which hath no other virtue, but an united continuance, without interruption or distraction, I do accept of the former, to be counsellor for the present, and to give over pleading at bar; let the other matter rest upon my proof, and his majesty's pleasure, and the accidents of time. For; to speak plainly, I would be loth that my lord chancellor, to whom I owe most after the King and yourself, should be locked to his successor, for any advancement or gracing of me. So I ever remain

Your true and most devoted

and most obliged servant, June 3, 1616.

FR. BACON

Ibid,

CXLVII. To Sir GEORGE VILLIERS.

SIR,

I SEND his majesty a draught of the act of council concerning the judges letter, penned as néar as I could to his majesty's instructions received in your presence. I then told his majesty my memory was not able to keep way with his; and therefore his majesty will pardon me for any omissions or errors, and be pleased to supply and reform the same. I am preparing some other materials for his majesty's excellent hand, concerning business that is coming on: for since his majesty hath renewed my heart within me, methinks I should double my endeavours. God ever preserve and prosper you. I rest

Your most devoted and bounden servant, June 12, 1616.

FR. BACON.

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CXLVIII. Touching the Commendams. Stephens's L?At Whitehall the sixth of June, Anno 1616. tion, p.149.

Present the KING'S MAJESTY. Lord Archbishop of Cant. Lord Wotton. Lord Chancellor.

Lord Stanhope. Lord Treasurer.

Lord Fenton. Lord Privy-Seal.

Mr. Vice-Chamberlain. Lord Chamberlain. Mr. Secretary Winwood. Duke of Lenox.

Mr. Secretary Lake.
Lord Zouche.

Mr. Chancellor of the Ex-
Bishop of Winton. chequer.
Lord Knollys.

Master of the Rolls.
His majesty having this day given order for meeting
of the council, and that all the judges, being twelve in
ñumber, should be sent for to be present; when the
lords were sat, and the judges ready attending, his ma-
jesty came himself in person to council, and opened to
them the cause of that assembly; which was: That he
had called them together concerning a question that
ħad relation to no private person, but concerned God
and the King, the power of his crown, and the state of
this Church whereof he was protector; and that there
was no fitter place to handle it than at the head of his

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3. It is very clear, that this is the act of council referred to in the preceding letter, and drawn up by Sir Francis Bacon: which, being written in a fair manner, I accidentally bought, and have corrected several errors therein. If any remain, as I believe the reader will think there doth; it is because I had no opportunity to peruse the council-books. Stephens

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1616.

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council-table: that there had been a question pleaded
and argued concerning Commendams; the proceedings
* wherein had either been mis-reported or mis-handled;
for his majesty a year since had received advertisements
concerning the cause in two entrances, by some that
intrenched upon his prerogative royal in the general
power of granting Commendams; and by others, that
the doubt rested only upon a special nature of a Com-
mendam, such as in respect of the incongruity and ex-
orbitant form thereof might be questioned, without im-
peaching or weakening the general power of all.

Whereupon his majesty, willing to know the true *D. Bilson, state thereof, commanded the lord * bishop of WinchesJune 18, ter, and Mr. Secretary Winwood to be present at the

next argument, and to report the state of the question and proceeding to his majesty. But Mr. Secretary "Winwood being'absent by occasion, the lord of Winchester only was present, and made information to his majesty of the particulars thereof, which his majesty commanded him to report to the board. Whereupon the lord of Winchester stood up and said, that serjeant Chiborne, who argued the cause against the Commendams, had maintained divers positions and assertions very prejudicial to his majesty's prerogative royal; as first, that the translation of bishops was against the canon law, and for authority vouched the canons of the council of Sardis; that the King had not power to grant Commendams, but in case of necessity; that there could be no necessity, because there could be no need for augmentation of living, for no man was bound to keep hospitality above his means; besides many other parts of his argument tending to the overthrow of his majesty's prerogative in case of Commendams.

* The lord of Winchester having made his report, his majesty resumed his former narrative, letting the lords I know, that after the lord of Winton had made unto his ? majesty a report of that which passed at the argument of the cause, like in substance unto that which now had been made; his majesty apprehending the matter to be of so high a nature, commanded his attorney-generalto signify his majesty's pleasure unto the lord chief jus,

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tice; That in regard of his majesty's most weighty oc. casions, and for that his majesty held it necessary ypon the lord of Winton's report, that his majesty, be first consulted with, before the judges proceed to argue it; therefore the day appointed for the judges argument

should be put off till they might speak with his majesty; * and this letter of his majesty's attorney was, by his

majesty's commandment, openly read as followeth, in hæc verba.

My Lord, " It is the King's express pleasure, that because his “ majesty's time would not serve to have conferences

with your lordship and his judges, touching the cause mise of Commendams, at his last being in town; in regard

of his majesty's other most weighty occasions; and • for that his majesty holdeth it necessary, upon the

report which my lord of Winchester, who was pre“ sent at the last arguments by his majesty's royal 5.commandment, made to his majesty, that his majesty be first consulted with, ere there be any farther

proceedings by arguments by any of the judges, or “otherwise; therefore that the day appointed for the * farther proceedings by arguments of the judges in " that case, be put off till his majesty's farther pleasure

be known, upon consulting with him; and to that

end, that your lordship forthwith signify his com“ mandment to the rest of the judges: whereof your

lordship may not fail: and so I leave your, lordship

to God's goodness.” IJOS Your Loving friend to command, This Thursday afternoon,

FR. BACON April 25, 1616. est That upon this letter received, the lord chief justice 2 returned word to his majesty's said attorney by his seravant; That it was fit the rest of his brethren should 3 understand his majesty's pleasure immediately by letters n from his said attorney to the judges of the several s benches and accordingly it was dones i wherexipon all o the said judges assembled, and by their letter under pe their hands certified his majesty, that they held those

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letters, importing the signification aforesaid, to be con trary to law, and such as they could not yield to the same by their .oath; and that thereupon they had proceeded at the day, and did now certify his majesty thereof: which letter of the judges his majesty also commanded to be openly read, the tenor whereof followeth, in hæc verba.

Most dread and most gracious Sovereign, is: “ It may please your most excellent majesty to be “ advertised, that this letter here inclosed was delivered "unto me your chief justice on Thursday last in the $6 afternoon, by a servant of your 'majesty's attorney

general ; "and letters of the like effect were on the $ day following 'sent from him by his servant to us your majesty's justices of every of the courts at Westminster

We are and ever will be ready with all “ faithful and true hearts, according to our bounden * duties, to serve and obey your majesty, and think “ourselves most happy to spend our times and abilities $. to do your majesty true and faithful service in this * present case mentioned in this letter. What information hath been made unto you, whereupon Mr, “Attorney doth ground his letter, from the report of

the bishop of Winton, we know not; this we know, « that the true substance of the cause summarily is 4 thùs; it consisteth principally upon the construction $ of two acts of parliament, the one of the twenty-fifth ^ year of K, Edw. III, and the other of the twenty“ fifth year of K. Hen. VIII. whereof nur majesty's ** judges upon their oaths; and according to their best “knowledge and learning, are bound to deliver their $ true understanding faithfully and uprightly; and

the casė between two for private interest and inheri"tance earnestly called on for justice and expedition. * We hold it our duty to inform your majesty, that our

oath is in these express words That in case any letters f come unto us contrary to law, that we do nothing by f! such letters but certify: ryšiur majesty thereof, and go sa forth to do the law, notwithstanding the same letters. • We have advisedly considered of the said letter of

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