« PreviousContinue »
Therefore my advice in all humbleness is, that this hazardous course of proceeding, to tender the oath to the magistrates of towns, proceed not, but die by degrees. And yet, to preserve the authority and reputation of the former council, I would have somewhat done; which is, that there be a proceeding to seizure of liberties; but not by any act of power, but by Quo warranto, or Scire facias; which is a legal course; and will be the work of three or four terms; by which time the matter will somewhat cool.
But I would not, in any case, that the proceeding should be with both the towns, which stand now in contempt, but with one of them only, choosing that which shall be thought most fit. For if his majesty proceed with both, then all the towns that are in the like case will think it a common cause; and that it is but their case to day, and their own to-morrow. But if his majesty proceed with one, the apprehension and terror will not be so strong; for they will think it may be their case as well to be spared as prosecuted and this is the best advice that I can give to his majesty in this strait; and of this opinion seemed my lord chancellor to be.
The second proposition is this: It may be his majesty will be moved to reduce the number of his council of Ireland, which is now almost fifty, to twenty, or the like number; in respect the greatness of the number doth both embase the authority of the council, and divulge the business. Nevertheless, I do hold this proposition to be rather specious and solemn, than needful at this time; for certainly it will fill the state full of discontentment: which in a growing and unsettled estate ought not to be.
This I could wish; that his majesty would appoint a select number of counsellors there, which might deal in the improvement of his revenue, being a thing not fit to pass through too many hands, and that the said se lected number should have days of sitting by themselves, at which the rest of the council should not be present; which being once settled, then other principal business of state may be handled at those sittings, and
so the rest begin to be disused, and yet retain their countenance without murmur or disgrace.
The third proposition, as it is wound up, seemeth to be pretty, if it can keep promise; for it is this, that a means may be found to reinforce his majesty's army there by 500 or 1000 men; and that without any penny increase of charge. And the means should be, that there should be a commandment of a local removing, and transferring some companies from one province to another; whereupon it is supposed, that many that are planted in house and lands, will rather lose their entertainment, than remove; and thereby new men may have their pay, and yet the old be mingled in the country for the strength thereof.
In this proposition two things may be feared; the one, discontent of those that shall be put off; the other, that the companies shall be stuffed with Tirones, instead of Veterani. I wish therefore that this proposition be well debated ere it be admitted. Thus having performed that which duty binds me to do, I commend you to God's best preservation.
Your most devoted and bounden servant,
Gorhambury, July 5, 1616.
CLIV. To the KING.
It may please your most excellent Majesty,
ACCORDING to your commandment, I send inclosed the preface to the patent of creation of Sir George Villiers. I have not used any glaring terms, but drawn it according to your majesty's instructions, and -the note which thereupon I framed, and your majesty allowed, with some additions which I have inserted. But I hope your majesty will be pleased to correct and perfect it. Your majesty will be also pleased to remember, that, if the creation shall be at Roughford, your pleasure and this draught be speedily returned; for it will ask a sending of the bill for your majesty's signature, and a sending back of the same to pass the
Stephens's second col
lection, p. 9.
seals, and a sending thereupon the patent itself: so it must twice be sent up and down before the day. God evermore preserve your majesty.
28 July, 1616.
Your majesty's most devoted
Stephens's CLV. To Sir GEORGE VILLIERS, on sending his bill for Viscount.
lection, P. 10.
I SEND you the bill for his majesty's signature, reformed according to his majesty's amendments, both in the two places, which, I assure you, were both altered with great judgment, and in the third place, which his majesty termed a question only. But he is an idle body that thinks his majesty asks an idle question; and therefore his majesty's questions are to be answered, by taking away the cause of the question, and not by replying.
For the name, his majesty's will is law in those things; and to speak truth, it is a well-sounding and noble name, both here and abroad; and being your proper name, I will take it for a good sign that you shall give honour to your dignity, and not your dignity to you. Therefore I have made it viscount Villiers: and for your barony, I will keep it for an earldom; for though the other had been more orderly, yet that is as usual, and both alike good in law.
For Roper's place, I would have it by all means
6 Sir John Roper, who had for many years enjoyed the place of the chief clerk for inrolling of pleas in the court of king's bench, esteemed to be worth about 4000l. per annum, being grown old, was prevailed with to surrender it upon being created lord Teynham, with a reservation of the profits thereof to himself during life. Upon which surrender Sir George Villiers was to have the office granted to two of his trustees for their lives, as Carr earl of Somerset was to have had before. But the lord chief justice Coke not being very forward to accept of the surrender, or make a new grant of it upon those terms, he was upon the 3d of October, 1616, commanded to desist from the service of his place, and at last removed from it upon the 15th of November following. His successor Sir Henry Montagu, thrid son of Sir Edward Montagu, of Boughton in Northamptonshire, recorder of London,
dispatched and therefore I marvel it lingereth. It
Aug. 5, one of the happiest days, 1616.
CLVI. To Sir GEORGE VILLIERS, on sending Rawley's
I HAVE sent you now your patent of creation of lord Blechly of Blechly, and of viscount Villiers. Blechly is your own; and I liked the sound of the name better than Whaddon; but the name will be hid, for you will be called viscount Villiers. I have put them both in a patent, after the manner of the patent of arms where baronies are joined: but the chief reason was, because I would avoid double prefaces, which had not been fit: nevertheless the ceremony of robing, and otherwise, must be double. And now,
and king's serjeant, being more complaisant, Sir John Roper resigned towards the latter end of the same month; and Mr. Shute, and Mr. Heath, who was afterwards the king's solicitor-general, being the deputies and trustees of Sir George Villiers, were admitted. Stephens's Introduct. p. 37.
because I am in the country, I will send you some of my country fruits, which with me are good meditations; which, when I am in the city, are choked with business.
After that the king shall have watered your new dignities with his bounty of the lands which he intends you, and that some other things concerning your means, which are now likewise in intention, shall be settled upon you: I do not see but you may think your private fortunes established; and therefore it is now time, that you should refer your actions chiefly to the good of your sovereign and your country. It is the life of an ox or a beast always to eat, and never to exercise; but men are born, especially Christian men, not to cram in their fortunes, but to exercise their virtues; and yet the other have been the unworthy, and sometimes the unlucky humour of great persons in our times; neither will your farther fortune be the farther off: for assure yourself, that fortune is of a woman's nature, that will sooner follow you by slighting than by too much wooing. And in this dedication of yourself to the public, I recommend unto you principally that which I think was never done since Iwas born; and which not done, hath bred almost a wilderness and solitude in the king's service; which is, that you countenance, and encourage, and advance able and virtuous men in all kinds, degrees, and professions. For in the time of some late great counsellors, when they bare the sway, able men were by design and of purpose suppressed; and though now since choice goeth better both in church and commonwealth, yet money, and turn-serving, and cunning canvasses, and importunity prevail too much. And in places of moment, rather make able and honest men yours, than advance those that are otherwise because they are yours. As for cunning and corrupt men, you must, I know, sometimes use them, but keep them at a distance; and let it appear, that you make use of them, rather than that they lead you. Above all, depend wholly, next to God, upon the king; and be ruled, as hitherto you have been, by his instructions; for