Page images

nothing ought to be despised in this kind, yet the | when judgment is given, there be a faithful report counsel thereupon I conceive to be most sound made of the reason thereof. and necessary, to avoid future perils.

The accounts of the summer-circuits, as well as that of the lent-circuit, shall be ready against his majesty's coming. (They will also be ready with some account of their labours concerning Sir Edward Coke's Reports: wherein I told them his majesty's meaning was, not to disgrace the person, but to rectify the work, having in his royal contemplation rather posterity than the present.


The cause of the Egertons I have put off, and shall presently enter into the treaty of accord, according to his majesty's commandment, which is well tasted abroad, in respect of his compassion towards those ancient families.

There is an examination taken within these few days, by Mr. Attorney, concerning one Baynton, or Baynham, for his name is not yet certain, attested by two witnesses, that the said Baynton, without any apparent show of being overcome with drink, otherwise than so as might make him less wary to keep secrets, said, that he had been lately with the king, to petition him for reward of service; which was denied him. The two points touching the peace of the middle Whereupon it was twice in his mind to have kill-shires, I have put to a consult with some selected ed his majesty. The man is not yet apprehended, and said by some to be mad, or half-mad; which, in my opinion, is not less dangerous; for such men commonly do most mischief; and the manner of his speaking imported no distraction. But the counsel I would out of my care ground hereupon is, that his majesty would revive the commission for suits, which hath been now for these three years, or more, laid down. For it may prevent any the like wicked cogitations, which the devil may put into the mind of a roarer York House, October 11, 1617. or swaggerer, upon a denial: and, besides, it will free his majesty from much importunity, and save his coffers also. For I am sure when I was a commissioner, in three whole years' space there passed scarce ten suits that were allowed. And I doubt now, upon his majesty's coming home from this journey, he will be much troubled with petitions and suits; which maketh me think this remedy more seasonable. It is not meant, that suits generally should pass that way, but only such suits as his majesty would

be rid on.


September 21, 1617.

To revive the commission of suits. For the




It may please your lordship to let his majesty understand, that I have spoken with all the judges, signifying to them his majesty's pleasure touching the commendams./ They all "una voce" did reaffirm, that his majesty's powers, neither the power of the crown, nor the practised power by the archbishop, as well in the commendam "ad recipiendum," as the commendam ad retinendum," are intended to be touched; but that the judgment is built upon the particular defects and informalities of this commendam now before them) They received with much comfort, that his majesty took so well at their hands the former stay, and were very well content and desirous, that VOL. II.-66

God ever preserve and prosper your lordship, according to the faithful and fervent wishes of Your lordship's true friend and devoted servant, FR. BACON.


I have delivered the judges' advice, touching the middle shires, unto his majesty, who liketh it very well. As for the point of law, his majesty will consider of it at more leisure, and then send

you his opinion thereof. And so I rest
Your lordship's faithful friend and servant,

Hinchinbroke, the 22d of Oct. 1617.



Understanding, that Thomas Hukeley, a merchant of London, of whom I have heard a good report, intendeth to bring before your lordship in chancery a cause depending between him, in right of his wife, daughter of William Austen, and one John Horsmendon, who married another daughter of the said Austen; I have thought fit to desire your lordship to give the said Thomas Hukeley a favourable hearing when his cause shall come before you; and so far to respect him for my sake, as your lordship shall see him grounded upon equity and reason; which is no more than, I as sure myself, your lordship will grant readily, as it is desired by

Your lordship's faithful friend and servant,

Endorsed, November 17, 1617.

[blocks in formation]



me in the cause, to treat of some concord in a reasonable moderation between the ministers and the mayor and the commonalty of London in behalf of the citizens; and to make some pact and transaction between them by consent, if it may be; or otherwise to hear and certify their opinion touching the cause, that thereupon his majesty may take such farther order, by directing of a proceeding in chancery, or by some other course, as to his wisdom shall seem fit.

You will have care to draw the commission

I have heretofore recommended unto your lordship the determination of the cause between Sir Rowland Egerton and Edward Egerton, who, I understand, did both agree, being before your lordship, upon the values of the whole lands. And as your lordship hath already made so good an entrance into the business, I doubt not but you will be as noble in furthering the full agreement between the parties: whereunto, I am informed, Sir Rowland Egerton is very forward, offering on his part that, which to me seemeth very reasonable, either to divide the lands, and his adverse party to choose; or the other to divide, and he to choose. Whereupon my desire to your lordship is, that you would accordingly make a final end between Jan. 19, 1617. them, in making a division, and setting forth the lands, according to the values agreed upon by the parties themselves. Wherein, besides the charitable work your lordship shall do in making an end of a controversy between those, whom name and blood should tie together, and keep in unity, I will acknowledge your favour as unto myself,

and will ever rest

[blocks in formation]

Whereas, there dependeth before me in chancery a great cause of tithes concerning the benefices of London, though in a particular, yet, by consequence, leading to a general; his majesty, out of a great religious care of the state, both of church and city, is graciously pleased, that before any judicial sentence be pronounced in chancery, there be a commission directed unto me, the lord chancellor, the lord treasurer, the lord privy-seal, and the lord chamberlain; and likewise to the lord archbishop, the Lord Bishop of Winchester, and the Bishop of Ely, and also to the master of the rolls, the two lord chief justices,¶ Justice Dodderidge, and Justice Hutton, who formerly assisted

with some preface of honour to his majesty, and likewise to insert in the beginning of the commission, that it was "de advisamento cancellarii," (as it was indeed,) lest it should seem to be taken from the court. So I commit you to God's, etc. FR. BACON, Canc.


My Honourable Lord,

George Tipping, in giving liberty unto him to I thank your lordship for your favour to Sir make his appearance before you after the holydays, at my request; who, as I understand by some friends of mine, who moved me to recommend him to your lordship's favour, is willing to conform himself in performance of the decree made in the chancery by your lordship's predecessor, but that he is persuaded, that presently, upon the performance thereof, his son will make away the land that shall be conveyed unto him: which being come to Sir George from his ancestors, he desireth to preserve to his posterity. I desire your lordship's farther favour therefore unto him, that you will find out some course, how he may be exempted from that fear of the sale of his lands, whereof he is ready to acknowledge a fine to his son, and to his heirs by Anne Pigot; and, they failing, to his son's heirs males, and for want thereof, to any of his son's or brethren's heirs males, and so to the heirs general of his father and himself, by lineal descent, and the remainder to the crown. This offer, which seemeth very reasonable, and for his majesty's advantage, I desire your lordship to take into your consideration, and to show him what favour you may for my sake; which I will readily acknowledge, and ever rest Your lordship's faithful servant,

Sir Francis Bacon had that title given him January 4. + This was one of the causes mentioned in the charge of Newmarket, Jan. 23, 1617. the House of Commons against the Lord Bacon; in his answer to which, he acknowledged, that some days after perfecting his award, which was done with the advice and consent of the Lord Chief Justice Hobart, and publishing it to the parties, he received 300. of Mr. Edward Egerton, by whom, soon after his coming to the seal, he had likewise been presented with 4007. in a purse.

Dr. James Montagu.

Dr. Lancelot Andrews.

Sir Julius Cæsar.

Sir Henry Montagu of the king's bench, and Sir Henry Hobart of the common pleas.




Understanding that there is a suit depending before your lordship, between Sir Rowland Cot

*Harl. MSS. vol. 7006.

+ Harl. MSS. vol. 7006.

ton, plaintiff, and Sir John Gawen, defendant, which is shortly to come to a hearing; and having been likewise informed, that Sir Rowland Cotton hath undertaken it in the behalf of certain poor people; which charitable endeavour of his, I assure myself, will find so good acceptation with your lordship, that there shall be no other use of recommendation; yet, at the earnest request of some friends of mine, I have thought fit to write to your lordship in his behalf, desiring you to show him what favour you lawfully may, and the cause may bear, in the speedy despatch of his business; which I shall be ever ready to acknowledge, and rest

Your lordship's most devoted to serve you, G. BUCKINGHAM. Whitehall, April 20, 1618.


MY HONOURABle good Lord,

Whereas, in Mr. Hansbye's cause, which formerly, by my means, both his majesty and myself recommended to your lordship's favour, your lordship thought good, upon a hearing thereof, to decree some part for the young gentleman, and to refer to some masters of the chancery, for your farther satisfaction, the examination of witnesses to this point; which seemed to your lordship to be the main thing your lordship doubted of, whether or no the leases, conveyed by old Hansbye to young Hansbye by deed, were to be liable to the legacies, which he gave by will; and that now I am credibly informed, that it will appear upon their report, and by the depositions of witnesses, without all exception, that the said leases are no way liable to those legacies; these shall be earnestly to entreat your lordship, that upon consideration of the report of the masters, and depositions of the witnesses, you will, for my sake, show as much favour and expedition to young Mr. Hansbye in this cause, as the justness

A gentleman eminent for his learning, especially in the Hebrew language, in which he had been instructed by the famous Hugh Broughton, who died in 1612. He was son of Mr. William Cotton, citizen and draper of London, and had

an estate at Bellaport in Shropshire, where he resided, till he came to live at London at the request of Sir Allen Cotton, his father's younger brother, who was lord mayor of that city in 1625. Sir Rowland was the first patron of the learned Dr. Lightfoot, and encouraged him in the prosecution of his studies of the Hebrew language and antiquities

+ Harl. MSS. vol. 7006.

This seems to be one of the causes, on account of which

Lord Bacon was afterwards accused by the House of Commons; in answer to whose charge he admits, that in the cause of Sir Ralph Hansbye there being two decrees, one for the inheritance, and the other for goods and chattels; some time after the first decree, and before the second, there was 5001. delivered to him by Mr. Tobie Matthew; nor could his lordship deny, that this was upon the matter "pendente lite."

thereof will permit. And I shall receive it at your lordship's hands as a particular favour. So I take my leave of your lordship, and rest Your lordship's faithful friend and servant, G. BUCKINGHAM.

Greenwich, June 12, 1618.



Understanding, that the cause depending in the chancery between the Lady Vernon and the officers of his majesty's household is now ready for decree; though I doubt not, but, as his majesty hath been satisfied of the equity of the cause on his officers' behalf, who have undergone the business, by his majesty's command, your lordship will also find their cause worthy of your favour: yet, I have thought fit once again to recommend it to your lordship, desiring you to give them a speedy end of it, that both his majesty may be freed from farther importunity, and they from the charge and trouble of following it: which I will be ever ready to acknowledge as a favour done unto myself, and always rest

Your lordship's faithful friend and servant, G. BUCKINGHAM. Greenwich, June 15, 1618.


I wrote unto your lordship lately in the behalf of Sir Rowland Cotton, that then had a suit in dependence before your lordship and the rest of my lords in the Star Chamber. The cause, I understand, hath gone contrary to his expectation; yet, he acknowledges himself much bound to your lordship for the noble and patient hearing he did then receive; and he rests satisfied, and I much beholden to your lordship, for any favour it pleased your lordship to afford him for my cause. It now rests only in your lordship's power for the assessing of costs; which, because, I am certainly informed, Sir Rowland Cotton had just cause of complaint, I hope your lordship will not give any against him. And I do the rather move your lordship to respect him in it, because it concerns him in his reputation, which I know he tenders, and not the money which might be imposed upon him; which can be but a trifle. Thus presuming of your lordship's favour herein, which I shall be ready ever to account to your lordship for, I rest Your lordship's most devoted to serve you, G. BUCKINGHAM.

June 19, 1618.

*Harl. MSS. vol. 7006. + Ibid.



I have been desired by soine friends of mine, in the behalf of Sir Francis Englefyld, to recominend his cause so far unto your lordship, that a peremptory day being given by your lordship's order for the perfecting of his account, and for the assignment of the trust, your lordship would take such course therein, that the gentleman's estate may be redeemed from farther trouble, and secured from all danger, by engaging those, to whom the trust is now transferred by your lordship's order, to the performance of that, whereunto he was tied. And so not doubting but your lordship will do him what lawful favour you may herein, I rest Your lordship's faithful friend and servant, G. BUCKINGHAM.


Received Oct. 14, 1618.


According to your commandment given unto us,
we have, upon divers meetings and conferences,
considered what form and manner of proceeding
against Sir Walter Ralegh might best stand with
your majesty's justice and honour, if you shall be
pleased, that the law shall pass upon him.

of quality be admitted to be present to hear the
whole proceeding, as in like cases hath been used
And after the assembly of all these, that some of
your majesty's counsellors of state, that are best
acquainted with the case, should openly declare,
that this form of proceeding against Sir Walter is
holden, for that he is civilly dead. After this
your majesty's council learned to charge his acts
of hostility, depredation, abuse as well of your
majesty's commission, as of your subjects under
his charge, impostures, attempt of escape, and
other his misdemeanors. But for that, which
concerns the French, wherein he was rather pas-
sive than active, and without which the charge is
complete, we humbly refer to your majesty's con-
sideration, how far that shall be touched. After
which charge so given, the examinations read,
and Sir Walter heard, and some to be confronted
against him, if need be, then he is to be with-
drawn and sent back; for that no sentence is, or
can be, given against him. And after he is gone,
then the lords of the council and judges to give
their advice to your majesty, whether in respect of
these subsequent offences upon the whole matter,
your majesty, if you so please, may not with jus-
tice and honour give warrant for his execution upon
his attainder. And of this whole proceeding
we are of opinion, that a solemn act of council
should be made, with a memorial of the whole pre-
sence. But before this be done, that your majesty
may be pleased to signify your gracious direction
herein to your council of state; and that your coun-
cil learned, before the calling of Sir Walter, should
deliver the heads of the matter, together with the
principal examinations touching the same, where-
with Sir Walter is to be charged, unto them, that
they may be perfectly informed of the true state of
the case, and give their advice accordingly. All
which, nevertheless, we, in all humbleness, pre-
sent and submit to your princely wisdom and
judgment, and shall follow whatsoever it shall
please your majesty to direct us herein, with all
dutiful readiness.

Your majesty's most humble
and faithful servants, etc.

And, first, we are of opinion, that Sir Walter Ralegh being attainted of high treason, which is the highest and last work of law, he cannot be drawn in question judicially for any crime or offence since committed. And, therefore, we humbly present two forms of proceeding to your majesty; the one, that together with the warrant to the lieutenant of the Tower, if your majesty shall so please, for his execution, to publish a narrative in print, of his late crimes and offences: which, albeit your majesty is not bound to give an account of your actions in these cases to any but only to God alone, we humbly offer to your York House, this 18th of October, 1618. majesty's consideration, as well in respect of the great effluxion of time since his attainder, and of his employment by your majesty's commission, as for that his late crimes and offences are not yet publicly known. The other form, whereunto, if your majesty so please, we rather incline, is, that where your majesty is so renowned for your justice, it may have such a proceeding, as is nearest to legal proceeding; which is, that he be called before the whole body of your council of state, and your principal judges, in your council chamber; and that some of the nobility and gentlemen

Harl. MSS. vol. 7006.

Ile was beheaded October 29, 1618, the day of the inauguration of the Lord Mayor of London.


Whereas, there is a cause depending in the court of chancery between one Mr. Francis Foliambe and Francis Hornsby, the which already hath received a decree, and is now to have another hearing before yourself; I have thought fit to desire you to show so much favour therein, seeing it concerns the gentleman's whole estate, as to make a full arbitration and final end, either by taking

* Harl. MSS. vol. 7006.

the pains in ending it yourself, or preferring it to
some other, whom your lordship shall think fit:
which I shall acknowledge as a courtesy from
your lordship; and ever rest

Your lordship's faithful friend and servant,

Hinchinbroke, the 22d of October, 1618.

which I know not how to perform but this way, I
desire your lordship, if there be any place left for
mitigation, your lordship would show him what
favour you may, for my sake, in his desires, which
I shall be ready to acknowledge as a great courtesy
done unto myself; and will ever rest

Your lordship's faithful friend and servant,

Newmarket, the 2d December, 1618.



We have put the Declaration* touching Ra- NOTES OF A SPEECH OF THE LORD CHANCELleigh to the press, with his majesty's additions, which were very material, and fit to proceed from his majesty.


SORRY for the person, being a gentleman that I

For the prisoners, we have taken an account, given a charge, and put some particulars in exa-lived with in Gray's Inn; served with him when mination for punishment and example.

For the pursuivants, we stayed a good while for Sir Edward Coke's health; but he being not yet come abroad, we have entered into it; and we find faults, and mean to select cases for example: but in this swarm of priests and recusants we are careful not to discourage in general. But the punishment of some that are notoriously corrupt, concerned not the good, and will keep in awe those that are but indifferent.

The balance of the king's estate is in hand, whereof I have great care, but no great help. The sub-committees for the several branches of treasure are well chosen and charged.

This matter of the king's estate for means is like a quarry, which digs and works hard; but then, when I consider it buildeth, I think no pains too much; and after term it shall be my chief


For the mint, by my next I will give account; for our day is Wednesday.

November 22, 1618.

Of council business.

I was attorney; joined with him in many services, and one that ever gave me more attributes in public, than I deserved; and, besides, a man of very good parts, which with me is friendship at first sight; much more, joined with so ancient an acquaintance.

But, as a judge, I hold the offence very great, and that without pressing measure; upon which I will only make a few observations, and so leave it.

1. First I observe the danger and consequence of the offence: for if it be suffered, that the learned council shall practise the art of multiplication upon their warrants, the crown will be destroyed in small time. The great seal, the privy seal, signet, are solemn things; but they follow the king's hand. It is the bill drawn by the learned council and the docket, that leads the king's hand.

2. Next I note the nature of the defence. As,✓ first, that it was error in judgment: for this surely, God ever preserve and prosper you. if the offence were small though clear, or great, Your lordship's but doubtful, I should hardly sentence it. For it FR. VERULAM, Canc. is hard to draw a straight line by steadiness of hand; but it could not be the swerving of the hand. And herein I note the wisdom of the law of England, which termeth the highest contempts and excesses of authority "misprisions;" which, if you take the sound and derivation of the words, is but "mistaken:" but if you take the use and acceptation of the word, it is high and heinous contempts and usurpations of authority; whereof the reason I take to be, and the name excellently imposed; for that main mistaking, it is ever joined with contempt; for he that reveres, will not easily mistake; but he that slights, and thinks



I having understood by Dr. Steward, that your lordship hath made a decree against him in the chancery, which he thinks very hard for him to perform; although I know it is unusual to your lordship to make any alterations, when things are so far past; yet, in regard I owe him a good turn,

*Declaration of the Demeanor and Carriage of Sir Walter Raleigh, Knight, as well in his Voyage, as in and since his Return, etc., printed at London, 1618, in quarto. + Harl. MSS. vol. 7006.

He was prosecuted in the Star Chamber, for having passed certain clauses in a charter, lately granted to the city of London, not agreeable to his majesty's warrant, and dero gatory to his honour. But the chief reason of the severity against him was thought to be the Marquis of Buckingham's resentment against him, for having opposed, according to the duty of his office, some oppressive, if not illegal, patents, which the projectors of those times were busy in preparing

« PreviousContinue »