Page images
PDF
EPUB

TO THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT

MAJESTY.

shut against him. Secondly, that the possession of his wife's lease may be restored to her; and this bit of arrear to your Majesty, that you will be pleased to remit it, according to your Majesty's gra

The humble petition of the Lord VERULAM, Viscount cious and pious promise, when you admitted him to

ST. ALBAN.

THAT whereas your supplicant, for reward of full sixteen years' service in the painfullest places of your kingdom, how acceptable or useful, he appealeth to your Majesty's gracious remembrance, had of your Majesty's gracious bounty two grants, both under the great seal of England; the one a pension of 1200. the other a farm of the petty writs, about 600l. per annum in value, which was long since assigned to your supplicant's wife's friends in trust for her maintenance: which two grants are now the substance of your supplicant's and his wife's means, and the only remains of your Majesty's former favours, except his dignities, which without means are but burdens to his fortunes:

So it is, most gracious sovereign, that both these are now taken from him; the pension stopped, the lease seized: the pension being, at this present, in arrear 5001, and at Michaelmas 800/. is stopped, as he conceiveth, upon the general stop of pensions; though he hopeth assuredly, that your Majesty, that looketh with the gracious eye of a king, and not the strict eye of an officer, will behold his case as especial, if not singular. The latter was first seized for satisfaction of a private gentleman, your supplicant unheard, and without any shadow of a legal course. Since it hath been continued, in respect of a debt to your Majesty for the arrear of rent upon the same farm, amounting to 1500. But whereas your Majesty's farmers debtors for their rents, and other your debtors, have usually favours, sometimes of stallment, sometimes upon equity, if their farms decay, or at least when they are called upon, have days given, put in security, or the like; your supplicant was never so much as sent to, no warnings to provide, no days given, but put out of possession suddenly by a private and peremptory warrant, without any spark of those favours used to the meanest subjects. So that now your supplicant having left little or no annual income, is in great extremity, having spread the remnant of his former fortunes in jewels and plate, and the like, upon his poor creditors, having scarce left bread to himself and family.

In tender consideration whereof, your supplicant, and overthrown servant, doth implore your Majesty's grace and goodness felt by so many, known to all, and whereof he cannot live to despair: first, in general, that your Majesty will not suffer him, upon whose arm your princely arm hath so often been, when you presided in council, so near he was, and who hath borne your image in metal, but more in his heart, utterly to perish; or, which is worse, to live in his last days in an abjeet and sordid condition. Next, in particular, that your Majesty would be graciously pleased to take present order to have the arrear of his pension paid, and likewise that for the future it may be settled, that he be not at courtesy, nor to beg at that door, which is like enough to be

you in the night of his troubles, which was, that you would not meddle with his estate, but to mend it. In the restoring the possession, you shall remove your hand of arms; in the remitting of the rent, you shall extend your hand of grace: and if he be not worthy of so much favour, as to have it released yet, that it may be respited for some good time, that he may make somewhat of that his father left him, and keep himself out of want, in such sort, that your supplicant, that aspireth but to live to study. be not put to study to live. And he, according to his bounden duty, shall not intermit, as he ever hath done, to pray to God for your Majesty's health and happiness.

TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
MY VERY GOOD LORD,

I HEAR yesterday was a day of very great honour to his Majesty, which I do congratulate. I hope also his Majesty may reap honour out of my adversity; as he hath done strength out of my prosperity. His Majesty knows best his own ways; and for me to despair of him, were a sin not to be forgiven. I thank God I have overcome the bitterness of this cup by christian resolution; so that worldly matters are but mint and cumin. God ever preserve you.

[blocks in formation]

TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
MY VERY GOOD LORD,

I THOUGHT it my duty to take knowledge to his Majesty, from your lordship, by the enclosed, that, much to my comfort, I understand his Majesty doth not forget me nor forsake me, but hath a gracious inclination to me, and taketh care of me; and to thank his Majesty for the same. I perceive, by some speech, that passed between your lordship and Mr. Meautys, that some wretched detractor hath told you, that it were strange I should be in debt; for that I could not but have received a hundred thousand pounds gift since I had the seal; which is an abominable falsehood. Such tales as these made St. James say, that the "tongue is a fire," and "itself fired from hell," whither, when these tongues shall return, they will "beg a drop of water to cool them." I praise God for it, I never took penny for any benefice or ecclesiastical living; I never took penny for releasing any thing I stopped at the seal; I never took penny for any commission, or things of that nature; I never shared with any servant for any second or inferior profit. My offences have

myself recorded, wherein I studied, as a good confessant, guiltiness, and not excuse; and therefore I hope it leaves me fair to the king's grace, and will turn many men's hearts to me.

As for my debts, I showed them your lordship, when you saw the little house and the farm, besides a little wood or desert, which you saw not.

If these things were not true, although the joys of the penitent be sometimes more than the joys of the innocent, I could not be as I am.

God bless you, and reward you for your constant love to me. I rest, &c.

TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.

MY VERY GOod lord,

THIS extreme winter hath turned, with me, a weakness of body into a state that I cannot call health, but rather sickness, and that more dangerous than felt, as whereby I am not likely to be able to wait upon your lordship, as I desired, your lordship being the person of whom I promise myself more almost than of any other; and, again, to whom, in all loving affection, I desire no less to approve myself a true friend and servant. My desire to your lordship is to admit this gentleman, my kinsman and approved friend, to explain to you my business,

Draught of a letter to the Marquis of Buckingham whereby to save farther length of letter, or the

MY LORD,

not sent."

I SAY to myself, that your lordship hath forsaken me; and I think I am one of the last that findeth it, and in nothing more, than that twice at London your lordship would not vouchsafe to see me, though the latter time I begged it of you. If your lordship lack any justification about York-house, good my lord, think of it better; for I assure your lordship, that motion to me was to me as a second sentence; for I conceived it sentenced me to the loss of that, which I thought was saved from the former sentence, which is your love and favour. But sure it could not be that pelting matter, but the being out of sight, out of use, and the ill offices done me, perhaps, by such as have your ear. Thus I think, and thus I speak; for I am far enough from any baseness or detracting, but shall ever love and honour you, howsoever I be

Your forsaken friend and freed servant,

FR. ST. ALBAN.

TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
MY VERY GOOD Lord,

It is in vain to cure the accidents of a disease, except the cause be found and removed. I know adversity is apprehensive; but I fear it is too true, that now I have lost honour, power, profit, and liberty, I have, in the end, lost that, which, to me, was more dear than all the rest, which is my friend. A change there is apparent and great; and nothing is more sure, than that nothing hath proceeded from and since my troubles, either towards your lordship or towards the world, which hath made me unworthy of your undeserved favours or undesired promises. Good my lord, deal so nobly with me, as to let me know, whether I stand upright in your favour, that either I may enjoy my wonted comfort, or see my gnefs together, that I may the better order them; though, if your lordship should never think more of the, yet your former favours should bind me to be Your lordship's most obliged and faithful servant,

FR. ST. ALBAN. Among lord Bacon's printed letters, is one without a date, in which he complains, as in this, that he, "being

trouble of your lordship's writing back.

TO MR. TOBIE MATTHEW.
GOOD MR. MATTHEW,

THE event of the business, whereof you write, is, it may be, for the best; for seeing my lord, of himself, beginneth to come about, quorsum as yet? I could not in my heart suffer my lord Digby to go hence without my thanks and acknowledgments. I send my letter open, which I pray seal and deliver. Particulars I would not touch.

Your most affectionate and assured friend,
FR. ST. ALBAN.

TO MR. TOBIE MATTHEW.
GOOD MR. MATTHEW,

WHEN you write by pieces, it showeth your continual care; for a flush of memory is not so much; and I shall be always, on my part, ready to watch for you, as you for me.

I will not fail, when I write to the lord marquis, to thank his lordship for the message, and to name the nuntius. And, to tell you plainly, this care, they speak of, concerning my estate, was more than I looked for at this time; and it is that, which pleaseth me best. For my desires reach but to a fat otium. That is truth; and so would I have all men think, except the greatest: for I know patents, absque aliquid inde reddendo, are not so easily granted.

I pray my service to the Spanish ambassador, and present him my humble thanks for his favour. I am much his servant; and ashes may be good for somewhat. I ever rest

Your most affectionate and assured friend,
FR. ST. ALBAN.

I have sought for your little book, and cannot find it. I had it one day with me in my coach. But sure it is safe: for I seldom lose books or papers. twice now in London," the marquis "did not vouchsafe to see him."

TO THE LORD VISCOUNT ST. ALBAN.

MOST HONOURED LORD,

I HAVE received your great and noble token and favour of the 9th of April, and can but return the humblest of my thanks for your lordship's vouchsafing so to visit this poorest and unworthiest of your servants. It doth me good at heart, that, although I be not where I was in place, yet I am in the fortune of your lordship's favour, if I may call that fortune, which I observe to be so unchangeable. I pray hard that it may once come in my power to serve you for it; and who can tell, but that, as fortis imaginatio generat casum, so strange desires may do as much? Sure I am that mine are ever waiting on your lordship; and wishing as much happiness as is due to your incomparable virtue, I humbly do your lordship reverence.

The following Papers, containing Lord Chancellor ELLESMERE'S Exceptions to Sir EDWARD COKE'S Reports, and Sir Edward's Answers, haring neter been printed, though Mr. STEPHENS, who had copied them from the Originals, designed to have giren them to the public, they are subjoined here in justice to the memory of that great lawyer and judge; especially as the offence taken at his Reports by King JAMES, is mentioned above in the Letter of the Lord Chancellor and Sir FRANCIS BACON, of October 16, 1616, to that King.

TO THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.+

IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY. ACCORDING to your Majesty's directions signified unto me by Mr. Solicitor, I called the lord chief justice before me on Thursday the 17th of this instant, in the presence of Mr. Attorney and others of your

Your lordship's most obliged and humble learned counsel. I did let him know your Majesty's servant,

POSTSC.

TOBIE MATTHEW.

The most prodigious wit, that ever I knew of my nation, and of this side of the sea, is of your lordship's name, though he be known by another.

TO THE LORD ARCHBISHOP OF YORK.*

MY VERY GOOD LORD,

I MUST use a better style than mine own, in saying, "Amor tuus undequaque se ostendit ex literis tuis proximis," for which I give your Grace many thanks, and so, with more confidence, continue my suit to your lordship for a lease absolute for twentyone years of the house, being the number of years which my father and my predecessors fulfilled in it. A good fine requires certainty of term and I am well assured, that the charge I have expended, in reparations, amounting to 1000 marks at least already, is more than hath been laid out by the tenants that have been in it since my remembrance, answerable to my particular circumstance, that I was born there, and am like to end my days there. Neither can I hold my hand, but, upon this encouragement, am like to be doing still, which tendeth to the improvement, in great measure, of the inheritance of your see by superlapidations, if I may so call it, instead of dilapidations, wherewith otherwise it might be charged.

And whereas a state for life is a certainty, and not so well seen how it wears, a term of years makes me more depending upon you and your succession.

For the providing of your lordship and your successors a house, it is part of the former covenant, wherein I desired not to be released.

So assuring myself of your grant and perfecting of this my suit; and assuring your Grace of my earnest desire and continual readiness to deserve well of you and yours chiefly, and likewise of the see in any of the causes or pre-eminences thereof, I commend your Grace to God's goodness, resting, &c. * Dr. Tobie Matthew.

acceptance of the few animadversions, which, upon review of his own labours, he had sent, though fewer than you expected, and his excuses other than you of the original in French, as though, if the original expected, as namely, in the prince's case, the want had been primogenitus in Latin, then he had not in that committed any error. I told him farther, th because his books were many, and the cases therein, as he saith, 500, your Majesty, out of your gracious favour, was pleased, that his memory should be refreshed; and that he should be put in mind of some passages dispersed in his books, which your Majesty, being made acquainted with, doth as yet distaste, until you hear his explanation and judg ment concerning the same. And that out of many some few should be selected, and that at this time he should not be pressed with more, and these few not to be the special and principal points of the cases, which were judged, but things delivered by discourse, and, as it were, by expatiation, which might have been spared and forborne, without prejudice to the judgment in the principal cases.

Of this sort Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor made choice of five specially, which were read distinctly to the lord chief justice. He heard them with good attention, and took notes thereof in writing, and, lest there might be any mistaking either in the declaring thereof unto him, or in his misconceiving of the same, it was thought good to deliver unto him a true copy. Upon consideration whereof, and upon advised deliberation, he did yesterday in the afternoon return unto me, in the presence of all your learned counsel, a copy of the five points before mentioned, and his answer at large to the same, which I make bold to present herewith to your Majesty, who can best discern and judge both of this little which is done, and what may be expected of the multiplicity of other cases of the like sort, if they shall be brought to farther examination. All that I have done in this hath been by your Majesty's commandment and direction, in presence of all your learned counsel, and by the special assistance and advice of your attorney and solicitor. From the originals.

I received these questions the 17th of this instant October, being Thursday; and this 21st day of the same month I made these answers following:

I know obedience is better than sacrifice for | debate, or to any manner of misgovernment. So no otherwise I would have been an humble suitor to wrong or injury can be done, but, that this shall be your Majesty to have been spared in all service reformed or punished by due course of law.|| Poncerning the lord chief justice. I thank God, I forget not the fifth petition, Dimitte nobis debita mostra sicut, etc. but withal I have learned this distinction: there is, 1. Remissio vindictæ. 2. Remisno pœnæ. 3. Remissio judicii. The two first I am past, and have freely and clearly remitted. But The humble and direct Answer to the Questions upon the last, which is of judgment and discretion, I trust I may in christianity and good conscience retain, and not to trust too far, &c.

I must beseech your Majesty's favour to excuse me for all that I have here before written, but speeally for this last needless passage; wherein I fear Your Majesty will note me to play the divine, withont learning, and out of season. So with my continual prayers to God to preserve your Majesty with long, healthful, and happy life, and all earthly and heavenly felicity, I rest

Your Majesty's humble and faithful subject and servant,

T. ELLESMERE, CANC.

At York-house, 22 Oct. 1616.

QUESTIONS demanded of the Chief Justice of the King's Bench by his Majesty's commandment.

1. In the case of the isle of Ely, whether his lordship thinks that resolution there spoken of to be law; That a general taxation upon a town, to pay so uch towards the repair of the sea-banks, is not warranted to be done by the commissioners of sewers; but that the same must be upon every particular person, according to the quantity of his land, and by number of acres and perches; and according to the portion of the profit, which every one hath Here.*

2. In Darcy's case, whether his lordship's judgment be as he reporteth it to be resolved; that the dispensation or licence of queen Elizabeth to Darcy to have the sole importation of cards, notwithstanding the statute, 3 E. 4, is against law. +

3. In Godfrey's case, what he means by this passage, Some courts cannot imprison, fine, or smerce, as ecclesiastical courts before the ordinary archdeacon, &c. or other commissioners, and such like, which proceed according to the canon or civil La.1

4. In Dr. Bonham's case, what he means by this passage, That in many cases the common law shall ntrol acts of parliament, and sometimes shall judge them to be merely void: For where an act of parliament is against common right and reason, the law shall control it, and adjudge it void.§

5. In Bagges's case, to explain himself where he ith, That to the court of king's bench belongs authority, not only to correct errors in judicial proceedings, but other errors and misdemeanors extrajolicial, tending to the breach of peace, oppression of subjects, or to the raising of faction, controversies, + Lib. II. Ibid.

• Lib. 10.

the Case of the Isle of Ely.

THE statute of the 23 H. VIII. cap. 5, prescribeth the commission of sewers to be according to the manner, form, tenure, and effect hereafter ensuing, namely, to inquire by the oath of men, &c. who hath any lands or tenements, or common of pasture, or hath, or may have, any loss, &c. and all these persons to tax, distrain, and punish, &c. after the quantity of lands, tenements, and rents, by the number of acres and perches, after the rate of every person's portion or profit, or after the quantity of common of pasture, or common of fishing, or other commodity there, by such ways and means, and in such manner and form, as to you, or six of you, shall seem most convenient.

The commissioners of sewers within the isle of Ely did tax Fendrayton, Samsey, and other towns generally, namely, one entire sum upon the town of Fendrayton, another upon Samsey, &c. The lords of the council wrote to myself, the chief justice of the common pleas, and unto justice Daniel and justice Foster, to certify our opinions, whether such a general taxation were good in law. Another question was also referred to us, whereof no question is now made and as to this question we certified, and so I have reported as followeth, That the taxation ought to have these qualities: 1. It ought to be according to the quantity of lands, tenements, and rents, and by number of acres and perches. 2. According to the rate of every person's portion, tenure or profit, or of the quantity of common of pasture, fishing, or other commodity, wherein we erred not, for they be the very words and texts of the law, and of the commission. Therefore we concluded, that the said taxation of an entire sum in gross upon town is not warranted by their commission, &c. And being demanded by your Majesty's commandment, whether I do think the said resolution concerning the said general taxation to be law, I could have wished, that I could have heard council learned again on both sides, as I and the other judges did, when we resolved this point: and now being seven years past since the said resolution, and by all this time I never hearing any objection against it, I have considered of this case, as seriously as I could within this short time, and without conference with any; and mine humble answer is, That for any thing that I can conceive to the contrary, I remain still of my former opinion, and have, 1. As I take it, the express text and meaning of the law to warrant mine opinion. 2. Seeing that one town is of greater value, and subject to more danger, than another, the general taxation Lib. 8. Lib. 11.

of a town cannot, as I take it, be just, unless the | 2 H. 7. fol. 6. by the which it appeareth, that if a particular lands, &c. and loss be known, for the total must rise upon the particulars; and if the particulars be known, then may the taxations be in particular. As it ought, as I take it, to be according to the express words of the act and commission.

3. The makers of the act did thereby provide, That every man should be equally charged, accord-| ing to his benefit or loss; but if the general taxations should be good, then might the entire tax set upon the town be levied of any one man or some few men of that town; which should be unequal, and against the express words of the act and commission; and if it should be in the power of their officer to levy the whole taxation upon whom he will, it would be a means of much corruption and inconvenience; all which the makers of the act did wisely foresee by the express words of the act.

4. If the taxation be in particular, according to the number of acres, &c. which may easily be known, it may, as I take it, be easily done.

5. It was not only the resolution of the said three judges, but it hath been ruled and adjudged by divers other judges in other rates accordingly.

All which notwithstanding I most humbly submit myself herein to your Majesty's princely censure and judgment.

EDW. COKE.

penal statute should add a clause, That the king should not grant any dispensation thereof, non dr stante the statute; yet the king, notwithstanding that clause of restraint, might grant dispensations at his pleasure with a non obstante thereof. Therefore seeing this royal prerogative and power to grant dispensations to penal laws is so incident and inseparable to the crown, as a clause in an act of parliament cannot restrain it, I am of opinion, that when the late queen granted to Sir Ed. D'Arcy to have the sole importation of this manufacture without limitation, and that no other should import any of the same during 21 years, that the same was not of force either against the late queen, or is of force against your Majesty: for if the said grant were of force, then could not the late queen or your Majesty, during the said term, grant any dispensation of this statute concerning this manufacture to any other for any cause whatsoever; which is utterly against your Majesty's inseparable prerogative, and consequently utterly void; which falleth not out where the licence hath a certain limitation of quantity or stint; for there the crown is not restrained to grant any other licence.

And therefore where it was resolved by Popham chief justice, and the court of king's bench, before I was a judge, That the said dispensation or licence to have the sole importation and merchandizing of cards without any limitation or stint, should be void. I am of the same opinion; for that it is neither

The humble and direct Answer to the Questions upon against your Majesty's prerogative, nor power in

D'ARCY'S Case.

THE statute of 3 of E. 4. cap. 4. at the humble petition of the card-makers, &c. within England, prohibiteth, amongst other things, the bringing into the realm of all foreign playing cards upon certain penalties. Queen Elizabeth, in the fortieth year of her reign, granted to Sir Ed. D'Arcy, his executors, deputies, and assigns, for twenty-one years, to have the sole making of playing cards within the realm, and the sole importation of foreign playing cards: and that no other should either make any such cards, within the realm, or import any foreign cards, but only the said Sir Ed. D'Arcy, his executors, deputies, and assigns, notwithstanding the said act.

The point concerning the sole making of cards within the realm is not questioned; the only question now is concerning the sole importation.

It was resolved, that the dispensation or licence to have the sole importation or merchandizing of cards, without any limitation or stint, is utterly against the law.

And your Majesty's commandment having been signified to me, to know, whether my judgment be, as I report it to be resolved, in most humble manner I offer this answer to your Majesty; That I am of opinion, that without all question the late queen by her prerogative might, as your Majesty may, grant licence to any man to import any quantity of the said manufacture whatsoever, with a non obstante of the said statute and for proof thereof I have cited about fifteen book cases in my report of this And the first of those book cases is the

case.

granting of such dispensations; but tendeth to the maintenance of your Majesty's prerogative royal, and may, if it stand with your Majesty's pleasure, be so explained.

Wherein in all humbleness I submit myself to your Majesty's princely censure and judgment. EDW. COKE.

The humble and direct Answer to the Question rising upon GODFREY'S Case.

SOME Courts cannot imprison, fine, nor amerce, as ecclesiastical courts holden before the ordinary, archdeacon, or their commissaries and such like. which proceed according to the common or civil law.

And being commanded to explain what I meant by this passage, I answer, that I intended only those ecclesiastical courts there named and such like, that is, such like ecclesiastical courts, as peculiars, &c.

And within these words, (And such like,) I never did nor could intend thereby the high commission; for that is grounded upon an act of parliament, and the king's letters patents under the great seal. Therefore these words commissaries and such like cannot be extended to the high commission, but, as I have said, to inferior ecclesiastical courts.

Neither did I thereby intend the court of the admiralty; for that is not a like court to the courts le fore named; for those be ecclesiastical courts, and this is temporal. But I referred the reader to the

« PreviousContinue »