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A Frame of Declaration for the Master of the Wardes, at his first fitting.

TH

'HE King (whofe vertues are fuch, as if wee, that are his minifters, were able duely to correfpond unto them, it were enough to make a goulden tyme) hath commanded certaine of his intentions to be publihed, touching the administration of this place, because they are fomewhat differing from the ufage of former tymes, and yet not by way of novelty, but by way of reformation, and reduction of things to their auncient and true institution.

Wherein neverthelesse it is his Majesty's expreffe pleafure it be fignified, that he understands this to be donne, without any derogation from the memory or service of those great persons, which have formerly held this place, of whofe doings his Majefty retaineth a good and gracious remembrance especially touching the fincerity of their owne myndes.

But now that his Majefty meaneth to be as it were Master of the Wardes himself, and that those that hee ufeth, be as his fubftitutes, and move wholly in his motion; hee doth expect things be carryed in a forte worthy of his own care.

First therefore his Majefty hath had this princely confideration with himself, that as he is Pater Patria, so he is by the ancient lawe of this kingdome, Pater Pupillorum, where there is any tenure by knight's fervice of himself: which extendeth almost to all the great families noble and generous of this kingdome; and

therefore

therefore being a reprefentative father, his purpofe is to imitate, and approach as neere as may be to the duties and offices of a natural father, in the good education, well beftowing in marriage, and preservation of the houses, woods, lands, and eftates of his Wardes.

For as it is his Majefty direction, that that part which concerns his owne profit and right, be executed with moderation, fo on the other fide, it is his princely will that that other parte, which concerneth protection, be overfpred and extended to the utmost.

Wherein his Majefty hath three perfons in his eye, the Wardes themselves, Ideots, and the reft of like nature; the fuitors in this Court, and the fubjects at large.

For the first, his Majefty hath commanded speciall care be taken in the choice of the perfons, to whome they be committed, that the fame be found in religion, fuch whofe houses and families are not noted for diffolute, no greedy perfons, no ftepmothers, nor the like, and with these qualifications of the nearest friends; nay further, his Majefty is mynded not fo to delegate this truft to the Committees, but that he will have once in the yeare at the leaft, by perfons of credit in every countye, a view and infpection taken of the perfons, houfes, woods, and lands of the Wards, and other perfons under the protection of this Court, and certificate to be made thereof accordingly.

For the Suitors, which is the fecond; his Majefty's princely care, falls upon two points of reformation; the first, that there be an examination of fees, what are due and auncyent, and what are new and exacted; and those Ddd

of

of the latter kind put downe: the other, that the Court

ot entertaine caules too long upon continuances of eres after the parties are come of full age, which karen but to wake the parties in fuite confidering the fecress cannot be perpetual, but temporary; and therefire controvertes here handled, are seldom put in peace, till they have pait a tryall and decifion in other courtes.

For the third, which is the Subject at large; his Majelly bath taken into his princely care, the unnecessary venations of his people by feodaries, and other inferior minkiters of like nature, by color of his tenures; of which part I fay nothing for the prefent, because the parties wicm it concernes, are for the most part abfent: but order thall be given, that they shall give their attendance the last day of the terme, then to understand further his Majesty's gracious pleasure.

Thus much by his Majefty's commandment; now we may proceed to the business of the Court.

Directions

Directions for the Master of the Wardes, to obferve for his Majesty's better fervice, and the general good.

F1

IRST, that he take an accompte how his Majesty's

laft inftructions have been purfued; and of the encrease of benefit accrued to his Majefty thereby, and the proportion thereof.

Wherein first in general it will be good to caft up a year's benefite, viz. from February 1610, which is the date of the instructions under the great Seale, to February 1611, and to compare the totall with former yeares before the inftructions, that the tree may appeare by the fruite, and it may be feen how much his Majesty's profit is redoubled or encreased by that course.

Secondly, It will not be amiffe to compute not onely the yearly benefit, but the number of wardships graunted that yeare, and to compare that with the number of former years; for though the number be a thing cafual, yet if it be apparently leffe than in former yeares, then it may be justly doubted, that men take advantage upon the last clause in the inftructions (of exceptions of Wards concealed) to practise delays and mif-finding of offices, which is a thing moft dangerous.

Thirdly, In particular it behooveth to perufe and review the bargaines made, and to confider the rates, (men's eftates being things, which for the most part cannot be hidde) and thereby to difcern what improvements and good husbandry hath been used, and how much the King

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hath more now when the whole benefit is fuppofed to goe to him, than he had when three parts of the benefit went to the Committee.

Fourthly, It is requifite to take confideration what commiffions have been granted for copyholds for lives, which are excepted by the inftructions from being leafed, and what profit hath been raised thereby.

Thus much for the time paft, and upon viewe of thefe accompts, res dabit confilium, for furder order to be taken.

For the time to come, firft it is fit that the Master of the Wardes, being a meaner perfon, be ufually prefent as well at the treaty and beating of the bargaine, as at the concluding; and that he take not the business by reporte.

Secondly, When suite is made, the information by furvey and commiffion is but one image, but the way were by private diligence to be really informed: Neither is it hard for a perfon that liveth in an inne of Court, where there be understanding men of every county of England, to obtaine by care certaine informa

tion.

Thirdly, This kind of promife of preferring the next a kynne, doth much obfcure the information, which before by competition of divers did better appeare, and therefore it may be neceffary for the Mafter of the Wardes fometimes to direct letters to fome perfons neare the Warde living, and to take certificate from them; it being alwayes intended the fubject be not racked too

high,

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