Page images
PDF
EPUB

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.

TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR.+

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.

TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR.*

MY HONOURable Lord,

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

1

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

TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR.+ MY HONOURABLE LORD,

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.

TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR.*

MY HONOURABLE Lord,

I have been desired by soine friends of mine, in the behalf of Sir Francis Englefyld, to recommend 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.

Endorsed,

Received Oct. 14, 1618.

TO THE KING, CONCERNING THE FORM AND
MANNER OF PROCEEDING AGAINST SIR WAL-
TER RALEGH.†

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY,
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
But for that, which
other his misdemeanors.
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.

TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR.*
MY HONOURABLE Lord,

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 hear ing 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,
G. BUCKINGHAM.

Hinchinbroke, the 22d of October, 1618.

I

which I know not how to perform but this way,
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,
G. BUCKINGHAM.

Newmarket, the 2d December, 1618.

TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.

MY VERY GOOD LORD,

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.

LOR IN THE STAR CHAMBER, IN THE CAUSE
OF SIR HENRY YELVERTON, ATTORNEY-
GENERAL.*

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

care.

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

November 22, 1618.

Endorsed,

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, if the offence were small though clear, or great, God ever preserve and prosper you. 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 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

TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR.†

MY HONOURABLE LORD,

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.

more of the greatness of his place than of the tained but to play the fool. God ever prosper duty of his place, will soon commit misprisions. you.

Endorsed.

Star Chamber, October 24, 1620. Notes upon Mr.
Attorney's cause.

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

11 Nov. 1620.

FR. VERULAM, Canc.

TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM. MY VERY GOOD Lord,

It may be, your lordship will expect to hear from me what passed yesterday in the Star Chamber, touching Yelverton's cause, though we desired Secretary Calvert to acquaint his majesty

therewith.

To make short, at the motion of the attorney, in person at the bar, and at the motion of my lord steward* in court, the day of proceeding is deferred till the king's pleasure is known. This was against my opinion then declared plain enough; but put to votes, and ruled by the major part, though some concurred with me.

I do not like of this course, in respect that it puts the king in a strait; for either the note of severity must rest upon his majesty, if he go on; or the thanks of clemency is in some part taken away, if his majesty go not on.

I have "cor unum et via una ;" and therefore did my part as a judge and the king's chancellor. What is farther to be done, I will advise the king faithfully, when I see his majesty and your lordship. But before I give advice, I must ask a question first.

God ever preserve and prosper you.
Your lordship's most obliged friend
and faithful servant,
FR. VERULAM, Canc.

October 28, 1620.

TO THE KING.

IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY:

In performance of your royal pleasure, signified by Sir John Suckling, we have at several times considered of the petition of Mr. Christopher Villiers,† and have heard, as well the registers and ministers of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, and their council, as also the council of the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury. And setting aside such other points, as are desired by the petition, we do think, that your majesty may by law, and without inconvenience, appoint an offcer, that shall have the engrossing of the transcripts of all wills to be sealed with the seal of either of the prerogative courts, which shall be proved "in communi forma ;" and likewise of all inventories, to be exhibited in the same courts.

We see it necessary, that all wills, which are not judicially controverted, be engrossed before the probate. Yet, as the law now stands, no officer of those courts can lawfully take any fee or reward for engrossing the said wills and inventories, the statute of the 21st of King Henry the VIIIth restraining them. Wherefore we hold it much more convenient, that it should be done by a lawful officer, to be appointed by your majesty, than in a cause not warrantable by law. Yet, our humble opinion and advice is, that good consideration be had in passing this book, as well touching a moderate proportion of fees to be allowed for the pains and travel of the officer, as for the expedition of the suitor, in such sort, that the subject may find himself in better case than

LORD CHANCELLOR BACON TO THE MARQUIS he is now, and not in worse.

OF BUCKINGHAM.

MY VERY GOOD Lord,

Yesternight we made an end of Sir Henry Yelverton's cause. I have almost killed myself with sitting almost eight hours. But I was resolved to sit it through. He is sentenced to imprisonment in the Tower during the king's pleasure. The fine of 40007. and discharge of his place, by way of opinion of the court, referring it to the king's pleasure. How I stirred the court, I leave it to others to speak; but things passed to his majesty's great honour. I would not for any thing but he had made his defence; for many chief points of the charge were deeper printed by the defence. But yet I like it not in him; the less because he retained Holt, who is ever re

The Duke of Lenox.

[blocks in formation]

TO THE KING.

IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY' According to your commandment, we have heard once more the proctors of the Prerogative Court, what they could say; and find no reason to alter, in any part, our former certificate. Thus much withal we think fit to note to your majesty, that our former certificate, which we now ratify, is principally grounded upon a point in law, upon the statute of 21 Henry VIII., wherein we, the chancellor and treasurer, for our own opinions, do conceive the law is clear; and your solicitor-ge

neral concurs.

Now, whether your majesty will be pleased to rest in our opinions, and so to pass the patents; or give us leave to assist ourselves with the opinion of some principal judges now in town, whereby the law may be the better resolved, to avoid farther question hereafter; we leave it to your majesty's royal pleasure. This we represent the rather, because we discern such a confidence in the proctors, and those upon whom they depend, as, it is not unlike, they will bring it to a legal question.

And so we humbly kiss your majesty's hands, praying for your preservation.

Your majesty's most humble

and obedient servants,

FR. VERULAM, Canc.
HENRY MONTAgu,
ROBERT NAUnton.

York House, December 12, 1620.

NOTES UPON MICHAEL DE LA POLE'S CASE.+ 10 Rich 2. The offences were of three natures: 1. Deceits to the king.

[ocr errors]

2. Misgovernance in point of estate, whereby the ordinances made by ten commissioners for reformation of the state were frustrated, and the city of Ghent, in foreign parts, lost.

3. And his setting the seal to pardons for murders, and other enormous crimes.

The judgment was imprisonment, fine, and ransom, and restitution to the king, but no disablement, nor making him uncapable, no degrading in honour, mentioned in the judgment: but, contrariwise, in the clause, that restitution should be made and levied out of his lands and goods, it is expressly said, that because his honour of earl was not taken from him, therefore his 201. per annum creation money,should not be meddled with.

* Sir Thomas Coventry, who was made attorney-general, January 14, 1620-1.

+ This paper was probably drawn up on occasion of the proceedings and judgment passed upon the Lord Viscount St.

Aiban by the House of Lords, May 3, 1621.

OBSERVATIONS UPON THORPE'S CASE.

24 Edw. 3. His offence was taking of money from five several persons, that were felons, for staying their process of exigent; for that it made him a kind of accessary of felony, and touched upon matter capital.

The judgment was the judgment of felony: but the proceeding had many things strong and new; first, the proceeding was by commission of oyer and terminer, and by jury; and not by parliament.

The judgment is recited to be given in the king's high and sovereign power.

It is recited likewise, that the king, when he made him chief justice, and increased his wages, his council, that now if he bribed he would hang did "ore tenus" say to him, in the presence of him unto which penance, for so the record called it, he submitted himself. So it was a judgment by a contract.

His oath likewise, which was devised some

few years before, which is very strict in words,

that he shall take no reward, neither before nor after, is chiefly insisted upon. And that, which is more to be observed, there is a precise proviso, that the judgment and proceeding shall not be drawn into example against any, and specially not against any who have not taken the like oath: which the lord chancellor, lord treasurer, master of the wards, etc., take not, but only the judges of both benches, and baron of the exchequer.

The king pardoned him presently after, doubting, as it seems, that the judgment was erroneous, both in matter and form of proceeding; brought it before the lords of parliament, who affirmed the like cases, for the time to come, to call to judgment, and gave authority to the king in the him what lords it pleased him, and to adjudge them.

NOTES UPON SIR JOHN LEE'S CASE, STEWARD OF THE KING'S HOUSEHOLD.

44 Edw. 3. His offences were, great oppressions in usurpation of authority, in attacking and imprisoning in the Tower, and other prisons, numbers of the king's subjects, for causes no ways appertaining to his jurisdiction; and for discharging an appellant of felony without warrant, and for deceit of the king, and extortions.

His judgment was only imprisonment in the Tower, until he had made a fine and ransom at the king's will; and no more.

« PreviousContinue »