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done lately; but that is no mastery, because men | My lord did also give his promise, which your sue to be kept from these places. But now is the trial in those great places, how his majesty can hold good, where there is great suit and means.



majesty shall find in the end of his writing, thus far in a kind of commonplace or thesis, that it was sin for a man to go against his own conscience, though erroneous, except his conscience be first informed and satisfied.

The lord chancellor in the conclusion signified This morning, according to your majesty's to my Lord Coke your majesty's commandment, command, we have had my lord chief justice of that until report made, and your pleasure therethe king's bench before us, we being assisted by upon known, he shall forbear his sitting at Westall our learned council, except Serjeant Crew, minster, etc., not restraining, nevertheless, any who was then gone to attend your majesty. It other exercise of his place of chief justice in private. was delivered unto him that your majesty's pleaThus having performed, to the best of our undersure was, that we should receive an account from standing, your royal commandment, we rest ever him of the performance of a commandment of Your majesty's most faithful, your majesty laid upon him, which was, that he should enter into a view and retraction of such novelties, and errors, and offensive conceits, as were dispersed in his "Reports;" that he had had good time to do it; and we doubted not but he had used good endeavour in it, which we desired now in particular to receive from him.

His speech was, that there were of his "Reports," eleven books, that contained about five hundred cases: that heretofore in other "Reports," as namely, those of Mr. Plowden, which he reverenced much, there hath been found, nevertheless, errors, which the wisdom of time had discovered, and later judgments controlled; and enumerated to us four cases in Plowden, which were erroneous: and thereupon delivered in to us the enclosed paper, wherein your majesty may perceive, that my lord is a happy man, that there should be no more errors in his five hundred cases, than in a few cases of Plowden. Your majesty may also perceive, that your majesty's direction to my lord chancellor and myself, and the travail taken by us and Mr. Solicitor,§ in following and performing your direction, was not altogether lost; for that of those three heads, which we principally respected, which were the rights and liberties of the church, your prerogative, and the jurisdiction of other your courts, my lord hath scarcely fallen upon any, except it be the prince's case, which also yet seemeth to stand but upon the grammatical, of French and Latin.

* Sir John Dodderidge was made judge of the king's bench,

November 25, 1612, and Sir Augustin Nichols of the common pleas, the day following.

+ Sir Edward Coke.

Edmund Plowden, born of an ancient family of that name, preface to the "Reports," in the twentieth year of his age, and the thirtieth of the reign of Henry VIII. anno 1539, began his study of the common law in the Middle Temple. Wood adds, Ath. Oxon. Vol I. col. 219, that he spent three years in the study of arts, philosophy, and physic, at Cambridge, and four at Oxford, where, in November, 1552, he was admitted to practice chirurgery and physic. In 1557 he became summer reader of the Middle Temple, and three years after, Lent reader, having been made serjeant, October 27, 1558. He

at Plowden in Shropshire, who, as he tells us himself in the

died February 6, 1584-5, at the age of sixty-seven, in the pro

fession of the Roman Catholic faith, and lies interred in the Temple church.

Sir Henry Yelverton.

and most bounden servants, etc.


I have acquainted his majesty with my lord
chancellor's and your report, touching my Lord
Coke; as also with your opinion therein; which
his majesty doth dislike for these three reasons:
first, because, that by this course you propound,
the process cannot have a beginning, till after his
majesty's return; which, how long it may last
after, no man knoweth. He therefore thinketh it
too long and uncertain a delay, to keep the bench
so long void from a chief justice. Secondly, al-
though his majesty did use the council's advice in
dealing with the chief justice upon his other mis-
demeanors; yet he would be loath to lessen his
prerogative, in making the council judges, whether
he should be turned out of his place or no, if the
case should so require. Thirdly, for that my Lord
Coke hath sought means to kiss his majesty's
hands, and withal to acquaint him with some
things of great importance to his service; he
holdeth it not fit to admit him to his presence,
before these points be determined, because that
would be a grant of his pardon before he had his
trial. And if those things, wherewith he is to
acquaint his majesty, be of such consequence, it
would be dangerous and prejudicial to his majesty,
to delay him too long. Notwithstanding, if you
shall advise of any other reasons to the contrary,
his majesty would have you, with all the speed
you can, to send them unto him; and in the mean
time to keep back his majesty's letter, which is
herein sent unto you, from my Lord Coke's know-
ledge, until you receive his majesty's further
direction for your proceeding in his business.
And so I rest,

Your ever assured friend at command,

the 3d of October, 1616.

To the Right Honourable Sir Francis Bacon, Knight, His Majesty's Attorney-General, and of his most honourable privy council.


IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, We have considered of the letters, which we received from your majesty, as well that written to us both, as that other written by my Lord Villiers to me, the attorney, which I thought good to acquaint my lord chancellor withal, the better to give your majesty satisfaction. And we most humbly desire your majesty to think, that we are, and ever shall be, ready to perform and obey your majesty's directions; towards which the first degree is to understand them well.

In answer, therefore, to both the said letters, as well concerning matter as concerning time, we shall in all humbleness offer to your majesty's high wisdom the considerations following:


First, we did conceive, that after my Lord Coke was sequestered from the table and his circuits, when your majesty laid upon him your commandment for the expurging of his "Reports," and commanded also our service to look into them, and into other novelties introduced into the government, your majesty had in this your doing two principal ends:

The one to see, if upon so fair an occasion he would make any expiation of his former faults: and also show himself sensible of those things in his "Reports," which he could not but know were the likest to be offensive to your majesty.

The other, to perform "de vero" this right to your crown and succession, and your people also; that those errors and novelties might not run on, and authorize by time, but might be taken away, whether he consented to it or no.

But we did not conceive your majesty would have had him charged with those faults of his book, or those other novelties; but only would have had them represented to you for your better


Now your majesty seeth what he hath done, you can better judge of it than we can. If, upon this probation added to former matters, your majesty think him not fit for your service, we must in all humbleness subscribe to your majesty, and acknowledge that neither his displacing, considering he holdeth his place but during your will and pleasure, nor the choice of a fit man to be put in

his room, are council-table matters, but are to

proceed wholly from your majesty's great wisdom and gracious pleasure. So that, in this course, it is but the signification of your pleasure, and the business is at an end as to him. Only there remaineth the actual expurgation or animadver

sions of the books.

But, if your majesty understand it, that he shall be charged, then, as your majesty best knoweth,

On the 30th of June, 1616. Camdeni Annales Regis Jacobi I. p. 19; and Peck, Desiderata Curiosa, Vol. I. Lib. VI P. 18.

justice requireth, that he be heard and called to his answer, and then your majesty will be pleased to consider, before whom he shall be charged; whether before the body of your council, as formerly he was, or some selected commissioners; for we conceive your majesty will not think it convenient it should be before us two only. Also the manner of his charge is considerable, whether it shall be verbal by your learned council, as it was last; or whether, in respect of the multiplicity of matters, he shall not have the collections we have made in writing, delivered to him. Also the matter of his charge is likewise considerable, whether any of those points of novelty, which by your majesty's commandment we collected, shall be made part of his charge; or only the faults of his books, and the prohibitions and "habeas corpus," collected by my Lord of Canterbury. In all which course we foresee length of time, not so much for your learned council to be prepared, for that is almost done already, but because himself, no doubt, will crave time of advice to peruse his own books, and to see, whether the collections be true, and that he be justly charged; and then to produce his proofs, that those things, which he shall be charged with, were not conceits or singularities of his own, but the acts of court, and other like things, tending to excusation or extenuation; wherein we do not see, how the time of divers days, if not of weeks, can be denied him.

Now, for time, if this last course of charging him be taken, we may only inform your majesty thus much, that the absence of a chief justice, though it should be for a whole term, as it hath been often upon sickness, can be no hindrance to common justice. For the business of the king's bench may be despatched by the rest of the judges: his voice in the Star Chamber may be supplied by any other judge, that my lord chancellor shall call; and the trials by "nisi prius" may be supplied by commission.

But, as for those great matters of discovery, we can say nothing more than this, that either they are old or new. If old, he is to blame for having kept them so long: if new, or whatsoever, he may advertise your majesty of them by letter, or deliver them by word to such counsellor as your majesty will assign.

Thus we hope your majesty will accept of our sincerity, having dealt freely and openly with your majesty, as becometh us: and when we shall receive your pleasure and direction, we shall execute and obey the same in all things; ending with our prayers for your majesty, and resting Your majesty's most faithful, and most bounden servants,

October 6, 1616.


REMEMBRANCES OF HIS MAJESTY'S DECLA- | busying himself in casting fears before his council,

RATION, TOUCHING THE LORD COKE. THAT although the discharging and removing of his majesty's officers and servants, as well as the choice and advancement of men to place, be no council-table matters, but belong to his majesty's princely will and secret judgment; yet, his majesty will do his council this honour, that in his resolutions of that kind, his council shall know them first before others, and shall know them, accompanied by their causes, making as it were a private manifesto, or revealing of himself to them without parables.

Then to have the report of the lords touching the business of the Lord Coke, and the last order of the council read.

That done, his majesty farther to declare, that he might, upon the same three grounds in the order mentioned, of deceit, contempt, and slander of his government, very justly have proceeded then, not only to have put him from his place of chief justice, but to have brought him in question in the Star Chamber, which would have been his utter overthrow; but then his majesty.was pleased for that time only to put him off from the counciltable, and from the public exercise of his place of chief justice, and to take farther time to deliberate.

That, in his majesty's deliberation, besides the present occasion, he had in some things looked back to the Lord Coke's former carriage, and in some things looked forward, to make some farther trial of him.

That for things passed, his majesty had noted in him a perpetual turbulent carriage, first towards the liberties of his church and estate ecclesiastical; towards his prerogative royal, and the branches thereof; and likewise towards all the settled jurisdictions of all his other courts, the high commission, the Star Chamber, the chancery the provincial councils, the admiralty, the duchy, the court of requests, the commission of inquiries, the new boroughs of Ireland; in all which he had

raised troubles and new questions; and, lastly, in that, which might concern the safety of his royal person, by his exposition of the laws in cases of high treason.

That, besides the actions themselves, his majesty in his princely wisdom hath made two special observations of him; the one, that he having in his nature not one part of those things which are popular in men, being neither civil, nor affable, nor magnificent, he hath made himself popular by design only, in pulling down government. The other, that whereas his majesty might have expected a change in him, when he made him his own, by taking him to be of his council, it made no change at all, but to the worse, he holding on all his former channel, and running separate courses from the rest of his council; and rather

concerning what they could not do, than joining his advice what they should do.

That his majesty, desirous yet to make a farther trial of him, had given him the summer's vacation to reform his "Reports," wherein there be many dangerous conceits of his own uttered for law, to the prejudice of his crown, parliament, and subjects; and to see, whether by this he would in any part redeem his fault. But that his majesty hath failed of the redemption he desired, but hath met with another kind of redemption from him, which he little expected. For, as to the "Reports," after three months' time and consideration, he had offered his majesty only five animadversions, being rather a scorn, than a satisfaction to his majesty: whereof one was that in the prince's case he had found out the French statute, which was "filz aisne," whereas the Latin was "primogenitus ;" and so the prince is Duke of Cornwall in French, and not Duke of Cornwall in Latin. And another was, that he had set Montagu to be chief justice in Henry VIII.'s time, when it should have been in Edward VI.'s, and such other stuff; not falling upon any of those things, which he could not but know were offensive.

That hereupon his majesty thought good to refresh his memory, and out of many cases, which his majesty caused to be collated, to require his answer to five, being all such, as were but expatiations of his own, and no judgments; whereunto he returned such an answer, as did either justify himself, or elude the matter, so as his majesty seeth plainly “antiquum obtinet.”

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I send also a warrant to the lord chancellor, for

making forth a writ for a new chief justice, leaving a blank for the name to be supplied by your majesty's presence; for I never received your majesty's express pleasure in it.

If your majesty resolve of Montagu,† as I conceive and wish, it is very material, as these times are, that your majesty have some care, that the recorder succeeding be a temperate and discreet man, and assured to your majesty's service. If continue the place within your own servants, it is your majesty, without too much harshness, can best: if not, the man, upon whom the choice is

Sir Edward Coke was removed from that post on the 15th November, 1616.

+ Sir Henry Montagu, Recorder of London, who was made He was afterwards made lord treasurer, and created Earl of Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench, November 16, 1616. Manchester.

like to fall, which is Coventry, I hold doubtful | justices, and others, that it is a cause most fit for for your service; not but that he is a well learned, and an honest man; but he hath been, as it were, bred by Lord Coke, and seasoned in his ways. God preserve your majesty.

Your majesty's most humble

and bounden servant,

I send not these things, which concern my Lord Coke, by my Lord Villiers, for such reasons as your majesty may conceive.

November 13, at noon, [1616.]


the censure of the court, both for the repressing of duels, and the encouragement of complaints in courts of justice. If your majesty be pleased it shall go on, there resteth but Wednesday for the hearing; for the last day of term is commonly left for orders, though sometimes, upon extraordinary occasion, it hath been set down for the hearing of some great cause.

I send your majesty also Baron Bromley's* report, which your majesty required; whereby your majesty may perceive things go not so well in Cumberland, which is the seat of the party your majesty named to me, as was conceived. And yet, if there were land winds, as there be sea winds, to bind men in, I could wish he were a little windbound, to keep him in the south.

But while your majesty passeth the accounts of IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, judges in circuits, your majesty will give me leave I send your majesty according to your com- to think of the judges here in their upper region. mandment, the warrant for the review of Sir And because Tacitus saith well," opportuni Edward Coke's "Reports." I had prepared it bemagnis conatibus transitus rerum;" now upon fore I received your majesty's pleasure: but I was this change, when he, that letteth, is gone, I shall glad to see it was in your mind, as well as in my endeavour, to the best of my power and skill, that hands. In the nomination, which your majesty there may be a consent and united mind in your made of the judges, to whom it should be direct-judges to serve you, and strengthen your business. ed, your majesty could not name the lord chief justice, that now is, because he was not then declared: but you could not leave him out now, without discountenance.

I send your majesty the state of Lord Darcy's cause in the Star Chamber, set down by Mr. Solicitor, and mentioned in the letters, which your majesty received from the lords. I leave all in humbleness to your majesty's royal judgment: but this is true, that it was the clear opinion of my lord chancellor, and myself, and the two chief

Thomas Coventry, Esq.; afterwards lord keeper of the great seal.

+ Sir Henry Montagu.

This is just mentioned in a letter of Sir Francis Bacon to the Lord Viscount Villiers, printed in his works; but is more particularly stated in the "Reports" of Sir Henry Hobart, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, p. 120, 121, Edit. London, 1658, fol. as follows. The Lord Darcy of the North

sued Gervase Markham, Esq., in the Star Chamber, in 1616,

on this occasion. They had hunted together, and the defendant and a servant of the plaintiff, one Beckwith, fell together by the ears in the field: and Beckwith threw him down, and was upon him cuffing him, when the Lord Darcy took

his servant off, and reproved him. However, Mr. Markham

expressing some anger against his lordship, and charging him with maintaining his man, Lord Darcy answered, that he had used Mr. Markham kindly; for if he had not rescued him

from his man, the latter would have beaten him to rags. Mr.

For I am persuaded there cannot be a sacrifice, from which there may come up to you a sweeter odour of rest, than this effect, whereof I speak.

For this wretched murderer, Bertram,† now gone to his place, I have, perceiving your majesty's good liking of what I propounded, taken order, that there shall be a declaration concerning the cause in the king's bench, by occasion of punishment of the offence of his keeper; and another in chancery, upon the occasion of moving for an order, according to his just and righteous report. And yet withal, I have set on work a good pen, and myself will overlook it, for making some little pamphlet fit to fly abroad in the country.

For your majesty's proclamation touching the wearing of cloth, after I had drawn a form as near as I could to your majesty's direction, I propounded it to the lords, my lord chancellor being then absent; and after their lordships' good approbation, and some points by them altered, I obtained leave of them to confer thereupon with my lord chancellor and some principal judge, which I did this afternoon; so as, it being now perfected, I shall offer it to the board to-morrow, and so send it to your majesty.

So, humbly craving your majesty's pardon for * Edward Bromley, made one of the barons of the exche

Markman, upon this, wrote five or six letters to Lord Darcy,
subscribing them with his name; but did not send them, and
only dispersed them unsealed in the fields; the purport of
them being this: that whereas the Lord Darcy had said, that,
but for him, his servant Beckwith had beaten him to rags, hequer, February 6, 1609-10.
lied and as often as he should speak it, he lied; and that he
would maintain this with his life: adding, that he had dis-
persed those letters, that his lordship might find them, or
somebody else bring them to him; and that if his lordship
were desirous to speak with him, he might send his boy, who
should be well used. For this offence, Mr. Markham was
censured, and fined 5001. by the Star Chamber.
Sir Henry Yelverton.

John Bertram, a grave man, above seventy years of age, and of a clear reputation, according to Camden, Annalis Regis Jacobi I. p. 21. He killed with a pistol, in Lincoln's Inn, on the 12th of November, 1616, Sir John Tyndal, a master in Chancery, for having made a report against him in a cause, wherein the sum contended for did not exceed 2001. He hanged himself in prison on the 17th of that month. + Mr. Trott.

troubling you with so long a letter, specially being | THE KING TO THE LORD KEEPER, IN ANSWER accompanied with other papers, I ever rest

Your majesty's most humble

and bounden servant,

This 21st of November, at

ten at night, [1616.]




I think it now my duty to inform your majesty of the motives that induced the lord chancellor and judges to resolve, that a murder or felony, committed by one Englishman upon another in a foreign kingdom, shall be punished before the constable and marshal here in England.

BURY, OF JULY 25, 1617.


Right trusty and well beloved counsellor, we greet you well.

Although our approach doth now begin to be near London, and that there doth not appear any great necessity of answering your last letter, since we are so shortly to be at home; yet we have thought good to make some observations to you upon the same, that you may not err, by mistaking our meaning.

The first observation we are to make is, that, whereas you would invert the second sense, wherein we took your "magnum in parvo," in accounting it to be made "magnum" by their streperous carriage, that were for the match, we cannot but show you your mistaking therein. For every First, in the book-case, in the 13th year of King wrong must be judged by the first violent and Henry the Fourth, in whose reign the statute was wrongous ground, whereupon it proceeds. And made, it is expressly said, one liegeman was was not the thefteous stealing away of the daughkilled in Scotland by another liegeman; and the ter from her own father* the first ground wherewife of him that was killed, did sue an appeal upon all this great noise hath since proceeded? of murder in the constable's court of England. For the ground of her getting again came upon a "Vide Statutum," saith the book, "de primo lawful and ordinary warrant, subscribed by one Henrici IV. cap. 14. Et contemporanea exposito of our council,† for redress of the former violence: est fortissima in Lege." Stanford, an author and except the father of a child might be proved without exception, saith thus, fol. 65, a.: "By to be either lunatic, or idiot, we never read in any the statute of Henry IV. cap. 14. if any subject kill another subject in a foreign kingdom, the wife of him, that is slain, may have an appeal in England before the constable and marshal; which is a case in terminis terminantibus.' And

when the wife, if the party slain have any, shall have an appeal, there, if he hath no wife, his next

heir shall have it."

law, that either it could be lawful for any creature to steal his child from him; or that it was a matter of noise and streperous carriage for him to hunt for the recovery of his child again.

Our next observation is, that whereas you protest your affection to Buckingham, and thereafter confess, that it is in some sort "parent-like;" yet, after that you have praised his natural parts, we

If any fact be committed out of the kingdom, Lady Hatton had first removed her daughter to Sir Edupon the high sea, the lord admiral shall determine mund Whithipole's house, near Oatlands, without the knowit. If in a foreign kingdom, the cognisance be-ledge of Sir Edward Coke; and from thence, according to a letter of Mr. Chamberlain, dated July 19, 1617, the young lady longeth to the constable, where the jurisdiction was privately conveyed to a house of the Lord of Argyle's pertains to him. by Hampton-Court. "Whence," adds Mr. Chamberlain, "her father, with a warrant from Mr. Secretary [Winwood] fetched her but indeed went farther than his warrant, and brake open divers doors before he got her."

And these authorities being seen by Bromley, chancellor, and the two chief justices, they clearly resolved the case, as before I have certified your majesty.

I humbly desire I may be so happy, as to kiss your majesty's hands, and to my exceeding comfort to see your sacred person; and I shall ever


Your majesty's faithful and loyal subject, EDW. COKE. February 25, 1616-7.

To the king's most excellent majesty.

Sir William, the most ancient writer on the pleas of the crown. He was borne in Middlesex, August 22, 1509, educated in the University of Oxford, studied the law at Gray's Inn, in which he was elected autumn reader in 1545, made serjeant in 1552, the year following queen's serjeant, and, in 1554, one of the justices of the common pleas. He died August 28, 1558.

+ Secretary Winwood, who, as Mr. Chamberlain observes in the letter cited in the note above, was treated with ill language at the council-board by the lord keeper, and threat

ened with a "præmunire," on account of his warrant granted to Sir Edward Coke. His lordship, at the same time, told the Lady Compton, mother of the Earl of Buckingham, that they wished well to her and her sons, and would be ready to serve the earl with all true affection; whereas others did it out of "faction" and "ambition." Which words glancing directly at Secretary Winwood, he alleged, that what he had done was by the direction of the queen and the other parties, and showed a letter of approbation of all his courses from the king, making the whole table judge what "faction or "ambition" appeared in his carriage: to which no answer was returned. The queen, some time after, taking notice of the disgust which the lord keeper had conceived against Secretary Winwood, and asking his lordship, what occasion the secretary had given him to oppose himself so violently against him, his lordship answered, “Madam, I can say no more but he is proud, and I am proud." MS. letter of Mr. Chamberlain, October 11, 1617.

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