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Rawley's Resuscita

tio.

CXI. To the KING, concerning PEACHAM'S

cause.

It may please your excellent Majesty, Ir grieveth me exceedingly that your majesty should be so much troubled with this matter of Peacham, whose raging devil seemeth to be turned into a dumb devil. But although we are driven to make our way through questions, which I wish were otherwise, yet, I hope well, the end will be good. But then every man must put to his helping hand; for else I may say to your majesty, in this and the like cases, as St. Paul said to the centurion, when some of the mariners had an eye to the cock-boat, Except these stay in the ship ye cannot be safe. I find in my lords great and worthy care of the business: And for my part, I hold my opinion and am strengthened in it by some records that I have found. God preserve your majesty.

Your majesty's most humble

Jan. 21, 1614.

Ibid.

and devoted subject and servant,
FR. BACON.

CXII. To the KING, touching Peacham's cause.

It may please your excellent Majesty,

9

THIS day in the afternoon was read your majesty's letters of direction touching Peacham; which because it concerneth properly the duty of my place, I thought it fit for me to give your majesty both a speedy and a private account thereof; that your majesty, knowing things clearly how they pass, may have the true fruit of your own wisdom and clear-seeing judgment in governing the business.

9 Peacham was accused of having inserted several treasonable passages in a sermon; but in a sermon never preached, nor intended to be made public: it had been taken out of his study. The King would have the judges give their opinion of this affair privately and apart; which my lord Coke refused to do, as a thing of dangerous tendency. Peacham was found guilty of high treason; as was Algernon Sidney for the like crime, in Charles the second's time.

First, for the regularity which your majesty, as a master in business of estate, doth prudently prescribe in examining and taking examinations, I subscribe to it; only I will say for myself, that I was not at this time the principal examiner.

For the course your majesty directeth and commandeth for the feeling of the judges of the King's Bench, their several opinions, by distributing ourselves and enjoining secrecy; we did first find an encounter in the opinion of my lord Coke, who seemed to affirm, that such particular and, as he called it, auricular taking of opinions was not according to the custom of this realm; and seemed to divine, that his brethren would never do it. But when I replied, that it was our duty to pursue your majesty's directions, and it were not amiss for his lordship to leave his brethren to their own answers; it was so concluded: and his lordship did desire that I might confer with himself; and Mr. Serjeant Montague was named to speak with Justice Crook; Mr. Serjeant Crew with Justice Houghton; and Mr. Solicitor with Justice 1 Dodderidge. This done, I took my fellows aside, and advised that they should presently speak with the three judges, before I could speak with my lord Coke, for doubt of infusion; and that they should not in any case make any doubt to the judges, as if they mistrusted they would not deliver any opinion apart, but speak resolutely to them, and only make their coming to be, to know what time they would appoint to be attended with the papers. This sorted not amiss; for Mr. Solicitor came to me this evening, and related to me that he had found Judge Dodderidge very ready

1

'Sir John Dödderidge was born in Devonshire, and successively admitted in Exeter college, Oxford, and the Middle Temple, London: where having acquired the reputation of being a very great common and civil lawyer, as well as a general scholar, he was made serjeant at law 1 Jacobi, then the King's solicitor, and after that the King's serjeant, till he was advanced to be one of the judges of the King's Bench; where he sat many years. He died 13 Sept. 1628, in the 73d year of his age, and was succeeded by Sir George Crook, who tells us, Sir John Dodderidge was a man of great knowledge, as well in the common law, as in other sciences, and divinity. Stephens.

to give opinion in secret; and fell upon the same reason which upon your majesty's first letter I had used to my lord Coke at the council-table: which was, that every judge was bound expressly by his oath, to give your majesty counsel when he was called; and whether he should do it jointly or severally, that rested in your majesty's good pleasure, as you would require it. And though the ordinary course was to assemble them, yet there might intervene cases, wherein the other course was more convenient. The like answer made 2Justice Crook. Justice Houghton, who is a soft man,

2 Sir John Crook, eldest son of John Crook, of Chilton in Buckinghamshire, inherited his father's virtues and fortunes; and was very famous for his wisdom, eloquence, and knowledge in our laws: who being Speaker of the house of commons in the last parliament of queen Elizabeth, had from her this commendation at the end thereof; that he had proceeded therein with such wisdom and discretion, that none before him had deserved better. After he had been recorder of London, and serjeant at law, he was 5 Jacobi made one of the justices of the king's bench; where he continued till his death, 23 Jan. 1619. He was brother to Sir George Crook, so well known to the professors of the common law by his three large volumes of reports: which Sir George was one of the judges of the court of common pleas, in the latter end of the reign of king James, and in a few years after removed into the king's bench; where he sat till the year 1641, when by reason of his great age and infirmities, the king at his own request gave him a gracious discharge, as appears in the preface to one of his books, where a due character is given of his virtues by his son-inlaw Sir Harbottle Grimston, late master of the rolls. But certainly nothing can raise in us a more lively idea of his merit, than part of a letter written to the duke of Buckingham, by the bishop of Lincoln, lord keeper of the great seal, which I copied from his own hand.

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Westminster coll. Feb. 11, 1624.

May it please your Grace, "I will not trouble your grace with any long congratulation, for "the honour your grace hath gained, in the preferring of this most worthy man Sir George Crook to a judge his place. I know you "must meet with the applause of this act from every man that "cometh from hence. In good faith I never observed in all my "small experience any accident in this kind, so generally and uni"versally accompanied with the acclamation of all kind of people. "I am importuned, by the rest of the judges of the common pleas, to return their most humble and hearty thanks to the king's majesty for his choice, and to assure his majesty, that "though his majesty hath been extraordinary fortunate, above "all his predecessors, in the continual election of most worthy "judges; yet hath his majesty never placed upon any bench a

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seemed desirous first to confer; alledging that the other three judges had all served the crown before they were judges, but that he had not been much acquainted with business of this nature.

We purpose therefore forthwith, they shall be made acquainted with the papers; and if that could be done as suddenly as this was, I should make small doubt of their opinions and howsoever, I hope, force of law and precedent will bind them to the truth: neither am I wholly out of hope, that my lord Coke himself, when I have in some dark manner put him in doubt that he shall be left alone, will not continue singular.

For Owen, I know not the reason why there should have been no mention made thereof in the last advertisement: for I must say for myself, that I have lost no moment of time in it, as my lord of Canterbury can bear me witness. For having received from my lord an additional of great importance; which was, that Owen of his own accord after examination should compare the case of your majesty, if you were excommunicate, to the case of a prisoner condemned at the bar; which additional was subscribed by one witness; but yet I perceived it was spoken aloud, and in the hearing of others; I presently sent down a copy thereof, which is now come up, attested with the hands of three more, lest there should have been any scruple of singularis testis; so as for this case I may say, omnia parata; and we expect but a direction from your majesty for the acquainting the judges severally; or the four judges of the king's bench, as your majesty shall think good.

I forget not, nor forslow not, your majesty's commandment touching recusants; of which, when it is ripe, I will give your majesty a true account, and what is possible to be done, and where the impediment is.

66 man of more integrity and sufficiency than this gentleman: for "which act they do with tears in their eyes praise and bless "him." Stephens.

3 This expression is to be understood in a favourable sense, since Sir George Crook gives a more than ordinary character of him. Mem. That in Hilary term, 21 Jac. Sir Robert Houghton died at Serjeants-Inn in Chancery-lane, being a most reverend, prudent, learned, and temperate judge, and inferior to none of his time. Stephens.

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Mr. Secretary bringeth bonam voluntatem, but he is not versed in these things: and sometimes urgeth the conclusion without the premises, and by haste hindereth. It is my lord treasurer, and the exchequer must help it, if it be holpen. I have heard more ways than one, of an offer of 20,000l. per annum, for farming the penalties of recusants, not including any offence capital or of præmunire; wherein I will presume to say, that my poor endeavours, since I was by your great and sole grace your attorney, have been no small spurs to make them feel your laws, and seek this redemption; wherein I must also say, my lord Coke hath done his part. And I do assure your majesty, I know it somewhat inwardly and groundedly, that by the courses we have taken they conform daily and in great numbers; and I would to God it were as well a conversion as a conformity: but if it should die by dispensation or dissimulation,then I fear that whereas your majesty hath now so many ill subjects poor and detected, you shall then have them rich and dissembled. And therefore I hold this offer very considerable, of so great an increase of revenue: if it can pass the fiery trial of religion and honour, which I wish all projects may pass.

Thus, in as much as I have made to your majesty somewhat a naked and particular account of business, I hope your majesty will use it accordingly. God preserve your majesty.

Your Majesty's most humble

Jan. 27, 1614.

and devoted subject, and servant,
FR. BACON.

Rawley's CXIII. To the KING, reporting the state of lord chancellor ELLESMERE'S health.

Resuscita

tio.

It may please your excellent Majesty,

BECAUSE I know your majesty would be glad to hear how it is with my lord chancellor; and that it pleased him out of his ancient and great love to me, which many times in sickness appeareth most, to admit me to a great deal of speech with him this afternoon, which during these three days he had scarcely done to

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