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second, that Dr. Steward was "a stout man," and "I should be sorry he should make any complaint against you." Upon this, Bacon saw the parties privately, and annulling all the deliberate decisions of the Court, compelled the youth to assent to the ceasing of all proceedings, and to accept the bare £800 without interest. To cover this disgraceful transaction, Bacon awarded a commission appointed by both parties for the further investigation of the disputed points. Of this commission it is said by Mr. Heath (to whom Mr. Spedding intrusted the investigation of the case) "I do not suppose that anything was ever meant by it except to ease the Lord Chancellor of his burden." 1

For all his services and submissions, the Lord Keeper was now about to receive his reward. On 1 January, 1618, the Earl of Buckingham, freshly elevated to be Marquis of Buckingham, gave a great feast at which the Lord Keeper was made Lord Chancellor with a salary fixed for his life, and with an increase of £600 a year above his salary as Lord Keeper. "His Lordship," writes Chamberlain, “hath of late much insinuated into the King's and Marquis's favour." Among other services performed in return for these favours Bacon probably drew up the Declaration justifying the execution of Sir Walter Raleigh. It received additions from the King; and we have no evidence but that of style for supposing that it proceeded from Bacon's pen. That evidence, however, is strong. But whether

he composed it or not, it is probable that he regarded Raleigh as little better than a pirate; and we learn from a letter in the archives of Simancas that on the 22nd of October the Lord


1 For a fuller account of this case see the Introduction, above. Professor Gardiner (National Dictionary of Biography, "Bacon," ii. 345) says that Bacon was exposed to a constant flow of letters from Buckingham, asking him to show favour to this person or that, of course under the reservation that he would do so only so far as was consonant with justice." But Mr. Spedding has admitted that this reservation is not infrequently omitted (vi. 259-260). 2 On the Declaration, see Gardiner, History, iii. 152, 153. "It was founded on the evidence which had been taken, and there is not the smallest reason to suspect that any false statement was intentionally inserted by James or his ministers. But in starting from the theory that the mine was a mere figment of Raleigh's imagination, it left out of sight the fact that he had reason to believe the mine existed, though he certainly had no conclusive evidence on the point." In other words, the Government, using Bacon as its pen, endeavoured to prove Raleigh to be a hypocrite. just as they had endeavoured to prove Essex to be a hypocrite (see above, pp. 75-80). The gold-mine in the case of Raleigh corresponded to the "enemies" in the case of Essex.

Chancellor censured him greatly when he informed him that he must die.

Among other proofs of the devotion of the Lord Chancellor to Villiers, we must reckon the part played by the former in expediting the disgrace of one of the Favourite's most prominent enemies, the Earl of Suffolk, who was then Lord Treasurer. The attack on Suffolk-though justified by the corruption of his wife, if not his own-was but part of a general assault against the Howards, the only obstacle that still remained to Buckingham's ambition. Besides Suffolk himself, who was a Howard, there was his son-in-law, Viscount Wallingford, the Master of the Wards; there was another Howard, the Earl of Nottingham who was Lord High Admiral; and Sir Thomas Lake, Secretary of State, with Sir Henry Yelverton, Attorney-General, were both dependents of this powerful family. The mere fact that they were powerful and did not owe their power to him, would have been sufficient cause for the hostility of the Favourite; but they had also attempted (about the beginning of 1618) to supplant him in the King's affections, by introducing another favourite. Their failure had made Buckingham stronger than ever; the King had bestowed new rewards on him, and publicly professed his desire to advance the house of Villiers above all others: "Of myself," he said, "I have no doubt, for I live to that end; and I hope that my posterity will so far regard their father's commandments and instructions as to advance that house above all others whatever." But the King's increased affection by no means quenched the Favourite's desire for vengeance; and substantial grounds were not long wanting to enable Buckingham to commence a course of retaliation on the Howards. Almost every Crown official in those times derived part of his income from bribes, or presents, or perquisites, universally recognised in practice, but not to be justified in a Court of Law. Suffolk, yielding to the influence of his wife, had transgressed even the recognised limits of irregularity, and had rendered himself peculiarly open to charges of corruption. Accordingly on the day after the first accusation was brought against him, he was deprived (19 July) of the Treasurership, and the Treasury was put into commission.

In vain had the Secretary, Lake, anticipating that he would

share the downfall of his patron Suffolk, thrown himself at Buckingham's feet, and offered him a bribe of £15,000 to be restored to favour. The money probably found its way into the pockets of the Favourite's mother, but the restoration to favour was only temporary. It was said (and with, at least, some grounds) that he had allowed himself to be drawn by a scheming daughter into misuse of his authority for the purpose of supporting her false accusations; and in February, 1619, he was condemned to fine and imprisonment, and compelled to resign his office. Against Wallingford, the Master of the Wards, a man of spotless character, it was impossible to proceed in the same way; but Lady Wallingford had lampooned the faction of Buckingham, and therefore James informed him that he did. not wish to be served by the husband of such a wife. Wallingford courted inquiry, but was at last induced to resign his office on promise of compensation. The Earl of Nottingham was more justly removed from office. The report of the Navy Commission showed extensive abuses; the expenses of the navy were increasing, and its efficiency decreasing, with unexampled rapidity. Already in January, 1618, it had been proposed that Buckingham should take the place of the old and incapable High Admiral, and in the following year Nottingham resigned the post, pensioned by the King, and compensated by Buckingham; and thus at last the Favourite, besides remaining Master of the Horse, became Lord High Admiral of England.

Along with the fall of the Howards there had been proceeding a searching inquiry into administration of the finances. In the Household, the Treasury, the Wardrobe, and the Admiralty, retrenchment and beneficial reforms had been carried out, with the valuable and original aid of Sir Lionel Cranfield, but with the encouragement and co-operation of Buckingham. Their financial efforts were aided by the growing commercial prosperity of the country; and thus, without adding a penny of taxation, the King's revenues from the great customs and the wine duties was raised from £90,000 to £156,000 a year. Although he was still beset by pressing difficulties, it is not surprising that the King was led by these financial improvements to place increased confidence in the Favourite, who had introduced them in despite of his enemies the Howards.

The trial of Suffolk did not come on for hearing till October, 1619. In answer to those who interceded for him, the King replied that a trial was necessary in order to prove that he had been justly deprived of his office. About the guilt of the Countess, who was simultaneously accused, there is no doubt whatever; but it is possible that Suffolk himself may have been merely lax in the permission and extension of recognised official irregularities. In any case he had to do with a Judge who was perhaps even more formidable on the Bench than if he had been prosecuting as Attorney-General. By a strange irony of circumstances Bacon now found himself called to try that same nobleman about whom-in the old days of his plans for advancement-he had jotted down this private note in the Commentarius Solutus: "to make him think how he should be reverenced by a Lord Chancellor, if I were." But he readily adapted himself to the changed position. All his sympathies were naturally with Buckingham, and against the accused. The cause of the Howards was identified with inefficiency, with promotion on the ground of family connections, with corruption, and with financial difficulties. Bacon therefore took up the case for the Crown with the zeal of an advocate. He regularly reports the progress of the trial to the Favourite; he takes credit for refusing to delay the case to allow Suffolk time to obtain witnesses from Ireland; he refuses to stop the proceedings upon Suffolk's offer of submission, or even to forward Suffolk's letter to the King; he describes his care "of this case, in a number of circumstances and discretions, which, though they may seem but small matters, yet they do the business and guide it right." "The evidence," he writes on one occasion, "went well; I will not say I holp it; and again, "This day the evidence went well; and, a little to warm the business when the misemployment of treasure which had relation to Ireland was handled, I spake a word, that he that did draw treasure from Ireland did not emulgere (milk) money but blood." At last (13 November, 1619) the Lord Chancellor is able to report that the goal of his labours is reached, and the Earl of Suffolk sentenced, with his wife, to a fine of £30,000, and imprisonment in the Tower.

Bacon's political and legal labours at this time furnish a

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curious contrast to the philosophical work which he was on the point of publishing. Among other services for the Crown we find him supervising the prosecution of certain Dutch merchants who had been accused of exporting bullion, from whom Bacon secures fines for the King's coffers to the amount of £180,000; suggesting the application of torture to a crack-brained fellow named Peacock, who was said to have attempted to "infatuate the King's judgment by witchcraft "; encouraging the King to pull goose-quills, i.e. to punish pamphleteers; and generally trying every device to relieve the King's poverty, "which," he writes, "if I should now die and were opened, would be found at my heart, as Queen Mary said of Calais."

Yelverton, the Attorney-General, the plain blunt man who had refused to purchase his office by bribes or by flattery-the single friend who had remained staunch and constant to the Lord Keeper Bacon in the hour of his temporary disgrace when the King and Buckingham had set their faces against him and all the courtiers were yelping at his heels-was now the only one of the little group of the Howards and their friends who had not been overthrown; and his turn was soon to come. There were not wanting premonitory symptoms. We find the Lord Chancellor suggesting that "Mr. Attorney " was remiss, first in Suffolk's trial (6 May), and then in the matter of the Dutch merchants (9 Oct.), in which it would seem that the Government had a very weak case, and was behaving in a very arbitrary, not to say oppressive manner. Bacon seems to have had "much ado" in persuading the two Chief Justices to be "firm to the cause and satisfied;" and in spite of the efforts of the three he expresses a fear that "the major part of the votes" may go the other way; "but that which gives me most to think, is the carriage of Mr. Attorney, which sorteth neither with the business nor with himself; for as I hear from divers and partly perceive, he is fallen from earnest to be cool and faint." There is no pretence of impartial justice. When the Dutchmen were fined after the proceeding in the Star Chamber, Buckingham writes back word that "this victory hath so well pleased his Majesty that he giveth thanks to all;" in particular he returns thanks to the Lord Chancellor and would have him

1 The Novum Organum, published in 1620.


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