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may be made hereof amongst his majesty's people, | so have ordered and decreed, that the same be not the court hath further ordered and decreed, that only read and published at the next assizes for the said Priest and Wright shall, at the next Surry, at such time as the said Priest and Wright assizes, to be holden in the county of Surry, are to acknowledge their offences as aforesaid; but publicly, in face of the court, the judges sitting, that the same be likewise published and made acknowledge their high contempt and offence known in all shires of this kingdom. And to against God, his majesty, and his laws, and show that end the justices of assizes are required by themselves penitent for the same. this honourable court to cause this decree to be Moreover, the wisdom of this high and honour- solemnly read and published in all the places and able court thought it meet and necessary that all sittings of their several circuits, and in the greatsorts of his majesty's subjects should understand est assembly; to the end, that all his majesty's and take notice of that which hath been said and subjects may take knowledge and understand the handled this day touching this matter, as well by opinion of this honourable court in this case, and his highness's attorney-general, as by the lords in what measure his majesty and this honourjudges, touching the law in such cases. And, able court purposeth to punish such as shall fall therefore, the court hath enjoined Mr. Attorney to into the like contempt and offences hereafter. have special care to the penning of this decree, for Lastly, this honourable court much approving that, the setting forth in the same summarily the matters which the right honourable Sir Edward Coke, and reasons which have been opened and delivered knight, Lord Chief Justice of England, did now by the court touching the same; and, nevertheless, deliver touching the law in this case of duels, also at some time convenient to publish the par- hath enjoined his lordship to report the same ticulars of his speech and declaration, as very in print, as he hath formerly done divers other meet and worthy to be remembered and made cases, that such as understand not the law in known unto the world, as these times are. And that behalf, and all others, may better direct this decree, being in such sort carefully drawn themselves, and prevent the danger thereof hereand penned, the whole court thought it meet, and after.

THE CHARGE GIVEN

BY SIR FRANCIS BACON, KNIGHT,

HIS MAJESTY'S ATTORNEY-GENERAL,

AGAINST

MR. OLIVER SAINT JOHN,

FOR SCANDALIZING AND TRADUCING IN THE PUBLIC SESSIONS, LETTERS SENT FROM THE LORDS OF THE COUNCIL, TOUCHING THE BENEVOLENCE.

MY LORDS,

I shall inform you "ore tenus," against this gentleman, Mr. I. S.; a gentleman, as it seems, of an ancient house and name; but, for the present, I can think of him by no other name, than the name of a great offender. The nature and quality of his offence, in sum, is this: This gentleman hath, upon advice, not suddenly by his pen, nor by the slip of his tongue; not privately, or in a corner, but publicly, as it were, to the face of the king's ministers and justices, slandered and traduced the

king our sovereign, the law of the land, the
parliament, and infinite particulars of his majesty's
worthy and loving subjects. Nay, the slander is
of that nature, that it may seem to interest the
people in grief and discontent against the state;
whence might have ensued matter of murmur and
sedition. So that it is not a simple slander, but a
seditious slander, like to that the poet speaketh
of" Calamosque armare veneno.' A venomous
dart, that hath both iron and poison.
To open to your lordships the true state of this

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offence, I will set before you, first, the occasion | five points: I will number them, because other whereupon Mr. I. S. wrought: then the offence men may note them; and I will but touch them, itself, in his own words: and, lastly, the points of his charge.

My lords, you may remember that there was the last parliament an expectation to have had the king supplied with treasure, although the event failed. Herein it is not fit for me to give opinion of a House of Parliament, but I will give testimony of truth in all places. I served in the Lower House, and I observed somewhat. This I do affirm, that I never could perceive but that there was in that House a general disposition to give, and to give largely. The clocks in the House perchance might differ; some went too fast, some went too slow; but the disposition to give was general: so I think I may truly say, "solo tempore lapsus amor."

because they shall not be drowned or lost in discourse, which I hold worthy the observation, for the honour of the state and confusion of slanderers; whereby it will appear most evidently what care was taken, that that which was then done might not have the effect, no, nor the show, no, nor so much as the shadow of a tax; and that it was so far from breeding or bringing in any ill precedent or example, as, contrariwise, it is a corrective that doth correct and allay the harshness and danger of former examples.

The first is, that what was done was done immediately after such a parliament, as made general profession to give, and was interrupted by accident: so as you may truly and justly esteem it, "tanquam posthuma proles parliamenti," as an

some small measure, of the firm intent of a parliament past. You may take it also, if you will, as an advance or provisional help until a future parliament; or as a gratification simply, without any relation to a parliament; you can no ways take it amiss.

The second is, that it wrought upon example, as a thing not devised or projected, or required; no, nor so much as recommended, until many that were never moved nor dealt with, "ex mero motu," had freely and frankly sent in their presents. So that the letters were rather like letters of news, what was done at London, than otherwise: and we know "exempla ducunt, non trahunt:" examples they do but lead, they do not draw nor drive.

This accident happening thus beside expecta-after-child of the parliament, and in pursuit, in tion, it stirred up and awaked in divers of his majesty's worthy servants and subjects of the clergy, the nobility, the court, and others here near at hand, an affection loving and cheerful, to present the king, some with plate, some with money, as free-will offerings, a thing that God Almighty loves, a cheerful giver : what an evil eye doth I know not. And, my lords, let me speak it plainly unto you: God forbid anybody should be so wretched as to think that the obligation of love and duty, from the subject to the king, should be joint and not several. No, my lords, it is both. The subject petitioneth to the king in parliament. He petitioneth likewise out of parliament. The king on the other side gives graces to the subject in parliament: he gives them likewise, and poureth them upon his people out of parliament; and so, no doubt, the subject may give to the king in parliament, and out of parliament. It is true the parliament is "intercursus magnus," the great intercourse and main current of graces and donatives from the king to the people, from the people to the king: but parliaments are held but at certain times; whereas the passages are always open for particulars; even as you see great rivers have their tides, but particular springs and fountains run continually. To proceed, therefore: As the occasion, which was the failing of supply by parliament, did awake the love and benevolence of those that were at hand to give; so it was apprehended and thought fit by my lords of the council to make a proof, whether the occasion and example both would not awake those in the country of the better sort to follow. Whereupon, their lordships devised and directed letters unto the sheriffs and justices, which declared what was done here above, and wished that the country might be moved, especially men of value.

Now, my lords, I beseech you give me favour and attention to set forth and observe unto you

The third is, that it was not done by commission under the great seal; a thing warranted by a multitude of precedents, both ancient, and of late time, as you shall hear anon, and no doubt warranted by law: so that the commissions be of that style and tenor, as that they be to move and not to levy: but this was done by letters of the council, and no higher hand or form.

The fourth is, that these letters had no manner of show of any binding act of state: for they contain not any special frame or direction how the business should be managed; but were written as upon trust, leaving the matter wholly to the industry and confidence of those in the country; so that it was an "absque computo;" such a form of letters as no man could fitly be called to account upon.

The fifth and last point is, that the whole carriage of the business had no circumstance compulsory. There was no proportion or rate set down, not so much as by way of a wish; there was no menace of any that should deny; no reproof of any that did deny; no certifying of the names of any that had denied. Indeed, if men could not content themselves to deny, but that

they must censure and inveigh, not to excuse themselves, but they must accuse the state, that is another case. But I say, for denying, no man was apprehended, no, nor noted. So that I verily think, that there is none so subtle a disputer in the controversy of "liberum arbitrium," that can with all his distinctions fasten or carp upon the act, but that there was free-will in it.

more sorry they should be passed without severo punishment: “Non tradite factum," as the verse says, altered a little, "aut si traditis, facti quoque tradite pœnam." If any man have a mind to discourse of the fact, let him likewise discourse of the punishment of the fact.

In this writing, my lords, there appears a monster with four heads, of the progeny of him that is the father of lies, and takes his name from slander.

The first is a wicked and seditious slander; or, if I shall use the Scripture phrase, a blaspheming of the king himself; setting him forth for a prince perjured in the great and solemn oath of his coronation, which is as it were the knot of the diadem; a prince that should be a violator and infringer of the liberties, laws, and customs of the kingdom; a mark for a Henry the Fourth; a

I conclude, therefore, my lords, that this was a true and pure benevolence; not an imposition called a benevolence; which the statute speaks of; as you shall hear by one of my fellows. There is a great difference, I tell you, though Pilate would not see it, between "Rex Judæorum" and "se dicens Regem Judæorum." And there is a great difference between a benevolence and an exaction called a benevolence, which the Duke of Buckingham speaks of in his oration to the city; and defineth it to be not what the sub-match for a Richard the Second. ject of his good-will would give, but what the king of his good-will would take. But this, I say, was a benevolence wherein every man had a prince's prerogative, a negative voice; and this word, "excuse moy,' ," was a plea peremptory. And, therefore, I do wonder how Mr. I. S. could foul or trouble so clear a fountain; certainly it was but his own bitterness and unsound humours. Now to the particular charge: Amongst other countries, these letters of the lords came to the justices of D-shire, who signified the contents thereof, and gave directions and appointments for meetings concerning the business, to several towns and places within that county and amongst the rest, notice was given unto the town of A. The Mayor of A. conceiving that this Mr. I. S. being a principal person, and a dweller in that town, was a man likely to give both money and good example, dealt with him to know his mind: he intending, as it seems, to play prizes, would give no answer to the mayor in private, but would take time. The next day then being an appointment of the justices to meet, he takes occasion, or pretends occasion to be absent, because he would bring his papers upon the stage: and thereupon takes pen in hand, and, instead of excusing himself, sits down and contriveth a seditious and libellous accusation against the king and state, which your lordships shall now hear, and sends it to the mayor: and, withal, because the feather of his quill might fly abroad, he gives authority to the mayor to impart it to the justices, if he so thought good. And now, my lords, because I will not mistake or misrepeat, you shall hear the seditious libel in the proper terms and words thereof.

The second is a slander and falsification, and wresting of the law of the land gross and palpable: it is truly said by a civilian, "Tortura legum pessima," the torture of laws is worse than the torture of men.

The third is a slander and false charge of the parliament, that they had denied to give to the king; a point of notorious untruth.

(Here the papers were read.)

My lords, I know this paper offends your ears much, and the ears of any good subject; and sorry I am that the times should produce offences of this nature: but since they do, I would be VOL. II.-39

And the last is a slander and a taunting of an infinite number of the king's loving subjects, that have given towards this benevolence and free contribution; charging them as accessary and coadjutors to the king's perjury. Nay, you leave us not there, but you take upon you a pontifical habit, and couple your slander with a curse; but, thanks be to God, we have learned sufficiently out of the Scripture, that "as the bird flies away, so the causeless curse shall not come."

For the first of these, which concerns the king, I have taken to myself the opening and aggravation thereof; the other three I have distributed to my fellows.

My lords, I cannot but enter into this part with some wonder and astonishment, how it should come into the heart of a subject of England to vapour forth such a wicked and venomous slander against the king, whose goodness and grace is comparable, if not incomparable, unto any of the kings his progenitors. This, therefore, gives me a just and necessary occasion to do two things: The one, to make some representation of his majesty; such as truly he is found to be in his government, which Mr. I. S. chargeth with violation of laws and liberties: The other, to search and open the depth of Mr. I. S. his offence. Both which I will do briefly; because the one, I cannot express sufficiently; and the other, I will not press too far.

My lords, I mean to make no panegyric or laudative; the king delights not in it, neither am I fit for it: but if it were but a counsellor or nobleman, whose name had suffered, and were to 2 c2

receive some kind of reparation in this high court, I would do him that duty as not to pass his merits and just attributes, especially such as are limited with the present case, in silence: for it is fit to burn incense where evil odours have been cast and raised. Is it so that King James shall be said to be a violator of the liberties, laws, and ustoms of his kingdoms? Or is he not rather a noble and constant protector and conservator of them all? I conceive this consisteth in maintaining religion and the true church; in maintaining the laws of the kingdom, which is the subject's birthright: in temperate use of the prerogative; in due and free administration of justice, and conversation of the peace of the land.

For religion, we must ever acknowledge, in the first place, that we have a king that is the principal conservator of true religion through the Christian world. He hath maintained it not only with sceptre and sword, but likewise by his pen; wherein also he is potent.

He hath awaked and re-authorized the whole party of the reformed religion throughout Europe; which, through the insolency and divers artifices and enchantments of the adverse part, was grown a little dull and dejected: He hath summoned the fraternity of kings to enfranchise themselves from the usurpation of the see of Rome: He hath made himself a mark of contradiction for it. Neither can I omit, when I speak of religion, to remember that excellent act of his majesty, which, though it were done in a foreign country, yet the church of God is one, and the contagion of these things will soon pass seas and lands: I mean, in his constant and holy proceeding against the heretic Vorstius, whom, being ready to enter into the chair, and there to have authorized one of the most pestilent and heathenish heresies that ever was begun, his majesty by his constant opposition dismounted and pulled down. And I am persuaded there sits in this court one whom God doth the rather bless for being his majesty's instrument in that service.

I cannot remember religion and the church, but I must think of the seed-plots of the same, which are the universities. His majesty, as, for learning amongst kings, he is incomparable in his person; so likewise hath he been in his government a benign or benevolent planet towards learning: by whose influence those nurseries and gardens of learning, the universities, were never more in flower nor fruit.

For the maintaining of the laws, which is the hedge and fence about the liberty of the subject, I may truly affirm it was never in better repair. He doth concur with the votes of the nobles: "Nolumus leges Angliæ mutare." He is an enemy of innovation. Neither doth the universality of his own knowledge carry him to neglect or pass over the very forms of the laws of the land. Neither was there ever king, I am persuaded, that did consult

so oft with his judges, as my lords that sit here know well. The judges are a kind of council of the king's by oath and ancient institution; but he useth them so indeed: he confers regularly with them upon their returns from their visitations and circuits; he gives them liberty, both to inform him, and to debate matters with him; and in the fall and conclusion commonly relies on their opinions.

As for the use of the prerogative, it runs within the ancient channels and banks: some things that were conceived to be in some proclamations, commissions, and patents, as overflows, have been by his wisdom and care reduced; whereby, no doubt, the main channel of his prerogative is so much the stronger. For evermore overflows do hurt the channel.

As for administration of justice between party and party, I pray observe these points. There is no news of great seal or signet that flies abroad for countenance or delay of causes : protections rarely granted, and only upon great ground, or by consent. My lords here of the council, and the king himself meddle not, as hath been used in former times, with matters of "meum" and "tuum," except they have apparent mixture with matters of estate, but leave them to the king's courts of law or equity. And for mercy and grace, without which there is no standing before justice, we see, the king now hath reigned twelve years in his white robe, without almost any aspersion of the crimson dye of blood. There sits my Lord Hobart, that served attorney seven years. I served with him. We were so happy, as there passed not through our hands any one arraignment for treason; and but one for any capital offence, which was that of the Lord Sanquhar; the noblest piece of justice, one of them, that ever came forth in any king's time.

As for penal laws, which lie as snares upon the subjects, and which were as a "nemo scit" to King Henry VII.; it yields a revenue that will scarce pay for the parchment of the king's records at Westminster.

And, lastly, for peace, we see manifestly his majesty bears some resemblance of that great name, "a prince of peace:" he hath preserved his subjects during his reign in peace, both within and without. For the peace with states abroad, we have it "usque ad satietatem :" and for peace in the lawyers' phrase, which count trespasses, and forces, and riots, to be "contra pacem;" let me give your lordships this token or taste, that this court, where they should appear, had never less to do. And, certainly, there is no better sign of "omnia bene," than when this court is in a still.

But, my lords, this is a sea of matter: and therefore I must give it over, and conclude, that there was never king reigned in this nation that did better keep covenant in preserving the liberties

and procuring the good of his people: so that I upon the block; and that he would sooner have must needs say for the subjects of England,

"O fortunatos nimium sua si boni norint ;" as no doubt they do both know and acknowledge it; whatsoever a few turbulent discoursers may, through the lenity of the time, take boldness to speak.

And as for this particular, touching the benevolence, wherein Mr. I. S. doth assign this breach of covenant, I leave it to others to tell you what the king may do, or what other kings have done: but I have told you what our king and my lords have done which I say and say again, is so far from introducing a new precedent, as it doth rather correct, and mollify, and qualify former precedents.

Now, Mr. I. S., let me tell you your fault in few words: for that I am persuaded you see it already, though I woo no man's repentance; but I shall, as much as in me is, cherish it where I find it. Your offence hath three parts knit together: Your slander, Your menace, and Your comparison.

For your slander, it is no less than that the king is perjured in his coronation oath. No greater offence than perjury; no greater oath than that of a coronation. I leave it: it is too great to aggravate.

Your menace, that if there were a Bullingbroke, or I cannot tell what, there were matter for him, is a very seditious passage. You know well, that howsoever Henry the Fourth's act, by a secret providence of God, prevailed, yet it was but a usurpation; and if it were possible for such a one to be this day, wherewith it seems your dreams are troubled, I do not doubt, his end would be

the ravens sit upon his head at London bridge, than the crown at Westminster. And it is not your interlacing of your "God forbid," that will salve these seditious speeches; neither could it be a forewarning, because the matter was past and not revocable, but a very stirring up and incensing of the people. If I should say to you, for example, "If these times were like some former times, of King Henry VIII., or some other times, (which God forbid!) Mr. I. S., it would cost you your life; I am sure you would not think this to be a gentle warning, but rather that I incensed the court against you.

And for your comparison with Richard II., I see you follow the example of them that brought him upon the stage, and into print, in Queen Elizabeth's time, a most prudent and admirable queen. But let me entreat you, that when you will speak of Queen Elizabeth or King James, you would compare them to King Henry VII., or King Edward I., or some other parallels to which they are alike. And this I would wish both you and all to take heed of, how you speak seditious matter in parables, or by tropes or examples. There is a thing in an indictment called an inuendo; you must beware how you beckon or make signs upon the king in a dangerous sense; but I will contain myself, and press this no farther. I may hold you for turbulent or presumptuous; but I hope you are not disloyal: you are graciously and mercifully dealt with. And, therefore, having now opened to my lords, and, as I think, to your own heart and conscience, the principal part of your offence, which concerns the king, I leave the rest, which concerns the law, parliament, and the subjects that have given, to Mr. Serjeant and Mr Solicitor.

THE CHARGE

OF SIR FRANCIS BACON, KNIGHT,

THE KING'S ATTORNEY-GENERAL,

AGAINST

MR. LUMSDEN, SIR JOHN WENTWORTH, AND SIR JOHN HOLLES,

FOR SCANDAL AND TRADUCING OF THE KING'S JUSTICE IN THE PROCEEDINGS AGAINST WESTON, IN THE STAR CHAMBER, TENTH NOVEMBER, 1615.

THE offence wherewith I shall charge the three offenders at the bar, is a misdemeanor of a high nature, tending to the defacing and scandal of justice in a great cause capital. The particular charge is this:

The king amongst many his princely virtues is known to excel in that proper virtue of the imperial throne, which is justice. It is a royal virtue, which doth employ the other three cardinal virtues in her service: wisdom to discover, and discern

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