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derstand that there was a discovery of an infinite transportation of gold and silver out of this realm by the said Dutch merchants, amounting to millions; and that Sir John Britain had made a book thereof, and presented the same to his majesty; and farther, that his majesty had directed him to prosecute the same; and had also given Sir Thomas Vavasor the forfeiture of such ten of them as he should choose.

Hereupon I thought it my duty, as in a matter of great weight, to signify to his majesty by your lordship what I conceive.

The discovery I think very happy. For if it be true, it will be a great benefit to his majesty: it will also content his people much, and it will demonstrate also that Scotland is not the leech, as some discoursers say, but the Netherlanders, that suck the realm of treasure. So that the thing is very good.

But two things I must represent to his majesty; the first, that if I stay merchants from their trading by this writ, I must do it either ex officio, or by special warrant from his majesty.

If ex officio, then I must have more than a bare surmise to grant the writ upon, so as I must be acquainted with the grounds, or at least appearance of proofs. If by special warrant, then I desire to receive the same. The other is, that I humbly beseech his majesty that these royal boughs of forfeiture may not be vintaged, or cropped by private suitors, considering his majesty's state as it is, but that Sir Thomas Vavasor, or Sir John

he enjoyed, and the trust he had with the king. Upon the 12th of October 1619, Mr. Courteen was censured to pay 2000l. more, and other smaller sums, for endeavouring to corrupt the king's evidence. And the 19th of November following was appointed for the trial of between twenty and thirty more; but by reason of some neglect or mismanagement in the prosecution, which gave the court a great deal of trouble, and the defendants some advantage, the cause was not heard till the 7th of December, though most of them were then found guilty. Of the large fines imposed upon the delinquents, it is supposed that they paid but a third part; for during the prosecution, the States-General did by a letter desire the marquis of Buckingham to endeavour to moderate the heat thereof, as Sir Noel Carson their ambassador did the next day after sentence, to mitigate the severity.

Stephens's second collection,

p. 87.

Britain, may have a bountiful and gracious reward for their discovery; but not the prime, or without stint.

In sum, I would wish his majesty to refer the whole business, and carriage of the same for his honour and profit, to the commissioners of treasury; or because it is a legal forfeiture, to myself, Mr. Chancellor, Sir Edward Coke, and my lord chief justice of England: and by us his majesty shall be assured to know the best course for his justice, honour, and profit, and that he may dispose what bounty he will. God ever preserve and prosper you.

Your lordship's most obliged friend
and faithful servant,

York-house, Octob. 19, 1618.


CCIX. To the Lord Chancellor.

My Lord,

I HAVE acquainted his majesty with your letter, who giveth you thanks for your advice to communicate the business of the Dutchmen to the commissioners of the treasury, which his majesty was before purposed to refer to them, as it concerns his treasure, for the carriage of it and to your lordship and the rest named in your letter, for the relation it hath to the law. For the proposers of the suit, his majesty intendeth only to reward their pains as may stand with his service and his princely disposition, but to preserve the main benefit himself: all that his majesty would have your lordship to do for the present, is to take order about the writ of Ne exeant regnum; to advise with his learned counsel what course is to be taken, and if by a warrant from his majesty, that your lordship send him a warrant to be signed, which shall be returned with all speed. Of other things his majesty thinketh it will be time enough to speak at his return to London. In the mean time I rest

Your lordship's faithful friend and servant,

Hinchenbroke, 21 Octob. 1618.


CCX. To the Marquis of BUCKINGHAM.

My very good Lord,

I HAVE this morning received the petty roll for the sheriffs. I received also the papers exhibited by Sir Miles Fleetwood, which I will use to his majesty's best service, and thereupon give account to his majesty when time serveth.

My care, which is not dormant touching his majesty's service, especially that of treasure, which is now summa summarum, maketh me propound to his majesty a matter, which, God is my witness, I do without contemplation of friend or end, but animo recto.

If Sir Edward Coke continue sick, or keep in, I fear his majesty's service will languish too, in those things which touch upon law; as the calling in debts, recusants, alienations, defalcations, etc. And this is most certain, that in these new diligences, if the first beginning cool, all will go back to the old bias. Therefore it may please his majesty to think of it, whether there will not be a kind of necessity to add my lord chief justice of England to the commissioners of treasure. This I move only to the king and your lordship, otherwise it is a thing er non entibus. God preserve and prosper you.

Your lordship's most faithful servant,

From the Star Chamber,

25 Nov. 1618.

P.S. I forget not Tufton's cause.

and precedents are in search.

All things stay,

CCXI. To the Marquis of BUCKINGHAM.

My very good Lord,

THIS long book, which I send for his majesty's signature, was upon a conference and consult yesternight (at which time I was assisted by the two chief justices, and attended by the surveyor, attorney, and receiver of the court of wards, Fleetwood) framed and allowed.

Stephens's second collection,

p. 88.

Ibid. p. 89.

Stephens's second collection, p. 90.

It is long, because we all thought fit not to piece new instructions with old instructions, but to reduce both old and new into one body of instructions. I do not see that of the articles, which are many, any could have been spared. They are plain, but they have a good property, that they will take fast hold. I may not trouble his majesty with choosing some of them in particular, when all are good only I think fit to let his majesty know of one, which is, that according to his own directions, the oath of making no private unlawful profit is now as well translated to the master and officers, that may take, as to the parties and suitors that may give.

It little becometh me to possess his majesty that this will be to his majesty's benefit ten thousands yearly, or fifteen thousands, or twenty thousands: for these rattles are fitter for mountebanks of service, than grave counsellors. But my advices, as far as I am able to discern, tend or extend but to thus much: this is his majesty's surest and easiest way for his most good.

Sir Miles Fleetwood, who both now and heretofore hath done very good service in this, meriteth to be particularly from your lordship encouraged; which I be seech your lordship not to forget. God ever prosper


Your lordship's most faithful bounden friend

Dec. 4, 1618.

and servant,



May it please your most excellent Majesty, ACCORDING to your majesty's pleasure, signified to us by the lord marquis Buckingham, we have considered of the fitness and conveniency of the gold and silver thread business, as also the profit that may accrue unte your majesty.

We are all of opinion, that it is convenient that the same should be settled, having been brought hither at the great charge of your majesty's now agents, and

being a means to set many of your poor subjects on work; and to this purpose there was a former certificate to your majesty from some of us with others.

And for the profit that will arise, we see no cause to doubt: but do conceive apparent likelihood, that it will redound much to your majesty's profit, which we esteem may be at the least 10,000l. by the year; and therefore in a business of such benefit to your majesty, it were good it were settled with all convenient speed, by all lawful means that may be thought of, which, notwithstanding, we most humbly leave to your majesty's high wisdom.

Your majesty's most humble and faithful servants,


4 Oct. 1618. The marquis of Buckingham writes from Theobalds to the lord chancellor, that the king being desirous to be satisfied of the gold and silver thread business, would have his lordship consult the lord chief justice, and the attorney and solicitor-general therein.


It may please your most excellent Majesty,

I Do many times with gladness, and for a remedy of my other labours, revolve in my mind the great happiness which God, of his singular goodness, hath accumulated upon your majesty every way; and how complete the same would be if the state of your means were once rectified, and well ordered: Your people military and obedient, fit for war, used to peace: your church illightened with good preachers as an heaven of stars; your judges learned, and learning from you, just, and just by your example; your nobility in a right distance between crown and people, no oppressors of the people, no over-shadowers of the crown; your council full of tributes of care, faith, and freedom; your gentlemen and justices of the peace willing to apply your royal mandates to the nature of their several counties, but ready to obey; your servants in awe of your wisdom, in hope of your goodness; the fields growing every day by the improvement and recovery of grounds from the desert to


2 L

Stephens's second col


p. 91.

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