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forborn to ask the voices and opinions of his council
G. Cant. Tho. Ellesmere, Canc. Th. Suffolk,
CXLIX. To Sir GEORGE VILLIERS, for the Rawley's restoring to Dr. Burgess the liberty of preach-tie, and
I Do think you may do yourself honour, and, that which is more, do a good work; if you will assist and perfect a motion begun, and that upon a good ground, both of submission and conformity, for the restoring of doctor Burgess to preach3; and I wish likewise, that if Gray's-Inn should think good, after he is free from the state, to choose him for their preacher, his majesty should not be against it: for certainly we should watch him well if he should fly forth; so as he cannot be
3 Soon after this date doctor Burgess was presented to the parsonage of Sutton-Colfield in Warwickshire. In 1620 he attended Sir Horace Vere into the Palatinate, when that noble general conducted thither a gallant regiment, the largest for number, and greatest for quality, being much composed of gentlemen, that had been seen. Stephens.
Stephens's second col. lection,
first collection, p.
placed in a more safe auditory. This may seem a trifle, but I do assure you I do scarce know a particular, wherein you may open more honest mouths to speak honour of you, than this. And I do extremely desire there may be a full cry from all sorts of people, especially the best, to speak, and to trumpet out your commendations. I pray you take it to heart, and do somewhat in it. I rest
Your devoted and bounden servant,
June 12, 1616.
CL. To Sir George Villiers.
THERE is a particular wherein I think you may do yourself honour, which, as I am informed, hath been laboured by my lady of Bedford, and put in good way by the bishop of Bath and Wells, concerning the restoring to preach of a famous preacher, one doctor Burgess; who, though he hath been silenced a great time, yet he hath now made such a submission touching his conformity, as giveth satisfaction. It is much desired also by Gray's-Inn, if he shall be free from the
4 My lady of Bedford, so much celebrated by doctor Donne and Sir William Temple, for the admirable disposition of her garden at Moor Park, was sister and co-heir to the last lord Harrington of Exton; who dying in the entrance of the year 1614, and the 22d of his age, revived in the nation the sense it had of the loss of prince Henry, as being a young nobleman of great hopes and piety. This lady disposed of much of the estate she had from her brother: selling Burley upon the Hill in the county of Rutland to the then marquis of Buckingham, where he afterwards adorned the seat with noble structures, which were destroyed in the time of our civil wars. But this place has now recovered its ancient splendour at the expence, and by the direction of its present lord the earl of Nottingham. Stephens.
5 This bishop was fifth son to Sir Edward Montague, and brother to Edward the first lord Montague of Boughton, a prelate of great learning and eloquence, and very munificent; and by some called king James's ecclesiastical favourite. In 1616 he was translated to Winchester, and dying in two years time, he was buried in the body of the abbey church of Bath, which with great cost and care he had preserved from the ruins, which time and neglect were bringing upon it. Stephens.
state, to choose him for their preacher: and certainly it is safer to place him there, than in another auditory, because he will be well watched, if he should any ways fly forth in his sermons beyond duty. This may seem a trifle, but, I do assure you, in opening this man's mouth to preach, you shall open every man's mouth to speak honour of you; and I confess I would have a full cry of puritans, of papists, of all the world to speak well of you; and, besides, I am persuaded, which is above all earthly glory, you shall do God good service in it. I pray deal with his majesty in it. I rest
Your devoted and bounden servant,
June 13, 1616.
CLI. To Sir GEORGE VILLIERS.
I SEND you inclosed a warrant for my lady of Somerset's pardon, reformed in that main and material point, of inserting a clause [that she was not a principal, but an accessary before the fact, by the instigation of base persons.] Her friends think long to have it dispatched, which I marvel not at, for that in matter of life moments are numbered.
I do more and more take contentment in his majesty's choice of Sir Oliver St. John, for his deputy of Ireland, finding, upon divers conferences with him, his great sufficiency; and I hope the good intelligence, which he purposeth to hold with me by advertisements from time to time, shall work a good effect for his majesty's service.
I am wonderful desirous to see that kingdom flourish, because it is the proper work and glory of his majesty and his times. And his majesty may be pleased to call to mind, that a good while since, when the great rent and divisions were in the parliament of Ireland, I was no unfortunate remembrancer to his majesty's princely wisdom in that business. God ever keep you and prosper you.
Your true and most devoted and bounden servant,
Stephens's second col
Ibid. p. 5.
CLII. To Sir GEORGE VILLIERS.
I THINK I cannot do better service towards the good estate of the kingdom of Ireland than to procure the king to be well served in the eminent places of law and justice; I shall therefore name unto you for the attorney's place there, or for the solicitor's place, if the new solicitor shall go up, a gentleman of mine own breeding and framing, Mr. Edward Wyrthington of Gray's-Inn; he is born to eight hundred pounds a year; he is the eldest son of a most severe justicer, amongst the recusants of Lancashire, and a man most able for law and speech, and by me trained in the king's 'causes. My lord deputy, by my description, is much in love with the man. I hear my Lord of Canterbury, and Sir Thomas Laque, should name one Sir John Beare, and some other mean men. This man I commend upon my credit, for the good of his majesty's service. God ever preserve and prosper you. I rest Your most devoted and most bounden servant, 2 July, 1616. FR. BACON. CLIII. To Sir GEORGE VILLIERS, about Irish Affairs.
BECAUSE I am uncertain whether his majesty will put to a point some resolutions touching Ireland, now at Windsor; I thought it my duty to attend his majesty by my letter, and thereby to supply my absence, for the renewing of some former commissions for Ireland, and the framing of a new commission for the wards and the alienations, which appertain properly to me as his majesty's attorney, and have been accordingly referred by the lords. I will undertake that they are prepared with a greater care, and better application to his majesty's service in that kingdom, than heretofore they have been; and therefore of that I say no more. And for the instructions of the new deputy, they have been set down by the two secretaries, and read to the
board; and being things of an ordinary nature, I do not see but they may pass.
But there have been three propositions and counsels which have been stirred, which seem to me of very great importance; wherein I think myself bound to deliver to his majesty my advice and opinion, if they should now come in question.
The first is, touching the recusant magistrates of the towns of Ireland, and the commonalties themselves their electors, what shall be done? Which consultation ariseth from the late advertisements of the two lords justices, upon the instance of the two towns, Limerick and Kilkenny; in which advertisements they represent the danger only, without giving any light for the remedy; rather warily for them selves, than agreeably to their duties and places.
In this point I humbly pray his majesty to remember, that the refusal is not of the oath of allegiance, which is not enacted in Ireland, but of the oath of supremacy, which cutteth deeper into matter of conscience. Also, that his majesty will, out of the depth of his excellent wisdom and providence, think, and, as it were, calculate with himself, whether time will make more for the cause of religion in Ireland, and be still more and more propitious; or whether deferring remedies will not make the case more difficult. For if time give his majesty advantage, what needeth precipitation to extreme remedies? But if time will make the case more desperate, then his majesty cannot begin too soon. Now, in my opinion, time will open and facilitate things for reformation of religion there, and not shut up and lock out the same. For, first, the plantations going on, and being principally of protestants, cannot but mate the other party in time; also his majesty's care in placing good bishops and divines, in amplifying the college there, and in looking to the education of wards and the like; as they are the most natural means, so are they like to be the most effectual and happy for the weeding out of popery, without using the temporal sword; so that, I think, I may truly conclude, that the ripeness of time is not yet come.