Page images

My singular good Lord,

I AM now for five or six days retired to my house in the country: for I think all my lords are willing to do as scholars do, who though they call them holydays, yet they mean them play-days.

We purpose to meet again on Easter-Monday, and go all to the spital sermon for that day, and therein to revive the ancient religious manner, when all the council used to attend those sermons, which some neglect in Queen Elizabeth's time, and his majesty's great devotion in the due hearing of sermons himself with his council at the court, brought into desuetude. But now our attendance upon his majesty, by reason of his absence, cannot be, it is not amiss to revive.

I perceive by a letter your lordship did write some days since to my lord Brackley, that your lordship would have the King satisfied by precedents, that letters patents might be of the dignity of an earldom without delivery of the patent by the King's own hand, or without the ordinary solemnities of a creation. I find precedents somewhat tending to the same purpose, yet not matching fully. But howsoever let me, according to my faithful and free manner of dealing with your lordship, say to you, that since the King means it, I would not have your lordship, for the satisfying a little trembling or panting of the heart in my lord or lady Brackley, to expose your lordship's self, or myself, whose opinion would be thought to be relied upon, or the King our master, to envy with the nobility of this realm; as to have these ceremonies of honour dispensed with, which in conferring honour have used to be observed, like a kind of doctor Bullatus without the ceremony of a commencement: the King and you know I am not ceremonious in nature, and therefore you may think, if it pleasé you, I do it in judgment. God ever preserve you.

Your lordship's most faithful
and devoted friend and servant,

Stephens's first collec

tion, p.196.

[blocks in formation]


second col-
p. 37.

I purpose to send the precedents themselves by my lord of Brackley; but I thought fit to give you some taste of my opinion before.

Gorhambury, Apr. 13, 1617.


My singular good Lord,

I PRAY your good lordship to deliver to his majesty the inclosed.

I send your lordship also the warrant to my lord treasurer and Mr. Chancellor of the exchequer for the * Somer- queen's * house: it is to come again to the king, when set-House. the bill is drawn for the letters patents; for this is only the warrant to be signed by his majesty.

I asked the queen, whether she would write to your lordship about it; her answer was very modest and discreet, that because it proceeded wholly from his majesty's kindness and goodness, who had referred it, it was not so fit for her to write to your lordship for the dispatch of it, but she desired me to thank your lordship for your former care of it, and to desire you to continue it and withal she desireth your lordship not to press his majesty in it, but to take his best times. This answer, because I like it so well, I write to you at large; for other matters I will write by the next. God ever prosper you and preserve you.

Your lordship's most faithful
and devoted friend and servant,

London, 19 Apr. 1617.

Sir Tobie CLXXIV. To Mr. MATTHEW, in reflection upon some astronomers in Italy.



of Letters,

p. 25.


I WRITE to you chiefly now, to the end, that by the continuance of my acquaintance with you by letters, you may perceive how much I desire, and how much I do not despair of the recontinuance of our acquaintance by conversation. In the mean time I

wish you would desire the astronomers of Italy to amuse us less than they do with their fabulous and foolish traditions, and come nearer to the experiments of sense; and tell us, that when all the planets, except the moon, are beyond the line in the other hemisphere for six months together, we must needs have a cold winter, as we saw it was the last year. For understanding that this was general over all these parts of the world; and finding that it was cold weather with all winds, and namely west-wind, I imagined there was some higher cause of this effect; though yet I confess I thought not that ever I should have found that cause so palpable a one as it proved; which yet, when I came quickly afterwards to observe, I found also very clearly, that the summer must needs be cold too; though yet it were generally thought, that the year would make a shift to pay itself, and that we should be sure to have heats for our cold. You see, that though I be full of business, yet I can be glad rather to lay it all aside, than to say nothing to you. But I long much more to be speaking often with you, and I hope I shall not long want my wish.

CLXXV. To the KING, about the Spanish Stephens's match.

It may please your most excellent Majesty,

MR. Vice-Chamberlain hath acquainted myself and the rest of the commissioners for the marriage with Spain, which are here, with your majesty's instructions, signed by your royal hands, touching that point of the suppressing of pirates, as it hath relation to his negotiation; whereupon we met yesterday at my lord admiral's at Chelsea, because we were loth to draw my lord into the air, being but newly upon his recovery.1

Charles lord Howard of Effingham and earl of Nottingham was, as Sir Robert Naunton observes, as goodly a gentleman for person as the times had any; which is confirmed by Mr. Osbourn, although his eyes met not with him, till he was turned towards the point of eighty. He being also brave, faithful, and diligent, commanded the fleet as lord high admiral upon several occasions,

first collection, p.197.

We conceive the parts of the business are four: the charge; the confederations, and who shall be solicited or retained to come in; the forces and the distributions of them; and the enterprise. We had only at this time conference amongst ourselves, and shall appoint, after the holy-days, times for the calling before us such as are fit, and thereupon perform all the parts of your royal commandments.

In this conference I met with somewhat which I must confess was altogether new to me, and opened but darkly neither; whereof I think Mr.Vice-Chamberlain will give your majesty some light, for so we wished. By occasion whereof I hold it my duty, in respect of the great place wherein your majesty hath set me, being only made worthy by your grace, which maketh it decent for me to counsel you ad summas rerum, to intimate or represent to your majesty thus much.

I do foresee, in my simple judgment, much inconvenience to insue, if your majesty proceed to this treaty with Spain, and that your council draw not all one way. I saw the bitter fruits of a divided council the last parliament; I saw no very pleasant fruits thereof in the matter of the cloth. This will be of equal, if not more inconvenience; for wheresoever the opinion of your people is material, as in many cases it is not, there, if your council be united, they shall be able almost to give law to opinion and rumour; but if they be divided, the infusion will not be according to the strength and virtue of the votes of your council, but according to the aptness and inclination of the popular. This I leave to your majesty in your high wisdom to remedy only I could wish that when Sir John Digby's instructions are perfected, and that he is ready to go, your majesty would be pleased to write some formal letter to the body of your council, if it shall be in your absence, signifying to them your resolution in general, to the end, that when deliberation shall be turned into

particularly against the Spanish Armada, 1588. But in the latter end of the year 1618, he surrendered this honourable place to the king, who conferred it upon the marquis of Buckingham, and died in the year 1624, and of his age the 88th. Stephens.

resolution, no man, howsoever he may retain the inwardness of his opinion, may be active in contrarium.

The letters of my lords of the council with your majesty, touching the affairs of Ireland, written largely and articulately, and by your majesty's direction, will much facilitate our labours here; though there will not want matter of consultation thereupon. God ever preserve your majesty safe and happy.

Your majesty's most devoted and obliged servant, London, April 19, 1617.



My singular good Lord,

I SEND your lordship, according to the direction of your letter, a note of the precedents that I find in my lord Brackley's business which do rather come near the case than match it. Your lordship knoweth already my opinion, that I would rather have you constant in the matter, than instant for the time.

I send also inclosed an account of council business by way of remembrance to his majesty, which it may please you to deliver to him.

The queen returneth her thanks to your lordship for the dispatch of the warrant touching her house: I have not yet acquainted the lord treasurer, and chancellor of the exchequer with it; but I purpose to-morrow to deliver them the warrant, and to advise with them for the executing of the same.

I have received the king's letter with another from your lordship, touching the cause of the officers, and Sir Arthur Ingram, whereof I will be very careful to do them justice.

Yesterday I took my place in chancery, which I hold only for the king's grace and favour, and your constant friendship. There was much ado, and a great deal of world; but this matter of pomp, which is heaven to some men, is hell to me, or purgatory at least. It is true, I was glad to see that the king's choice was so generally approved; and that I had so

Stephens's first collection, p.200.

« PreviousContinue »