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though I were not ready to pay Compton his money, as I would have been glad to have do-te, save only one hundred pounds, which is paid; I could not deny justice to Huxley, in as ample manner as if nothing had been between Compton and me. But, tf Compton hath been damnified in my respect, I am to consider it to Compton.
"16. To the sixteenth article of the charge, viz. in the cause between Sir William Bruncker and Awbrey, the Lord Chancellor received from Awbrey an hundred pounds: I do confess and declare, that the money was given and received; but the manner of it I leave to the witnesses.
"17. To the seventeenth article of the charge, viz. in the Lord Mountague's cause, he received from the Lord Mountague six or seven hundred pounds; and more was to be paid at the ending of the cause: I confess and declare, there was money given, and (as I remember) by Mr. Bevis Thelwall, to the sum mentioned tn the article after the cause was decreed; but I cannot say it was ended, for there have been many orders since, caused by Sir Frauncis Euglefeild's contempts; and I do remember that, when Thelwall brought the money, he said, that my lord would be further thankful if he could once get his quiet; to which speech I gave little regard.
"18. To the etghteenth article of the charge, viz. in the cause of Mr. Munch, he received of Mr. Hunch two hundred pounds: I confess and declare, that it was delivered by Mr. Thelwall to Hatcher my servant, for me, as I think, some time after the decree; but 1 cannot precisely inform myself of the time.
"19. To the nineteenth article of the charge, viz. in the cause between Reynell and Peacock, he received from Reynell two hundred pounds, and a diamond ring worth five, or six hundred pounds: I confess and declare, that, at my first comtng to the seal, when I was at Whitehall, my servant Hunt delivered me two hundred pounds, from Sir George Reynell, my near ally, to be bestowed upon furniture of my house; adding further, that he received divers former favours from me; and this was, as 1 verily think, before any suit begun. The ring was received certainly pendente lite; and, though it were at New year's-tide, yet it was too great a value for a New year's gift, though, as I take tt, nothing near the value mentioned in the article.
"20. To the twentieth article of the charge, viz. he took of Peacock an hundred pounds, and borrowed a thousand pounds, without interest, security, or time of payment: I confess and declare, that I received of Mr. Peacock an hundred pounds at Dorset House, at my first coming to the seal, as a present; at which time no suit was begun; and that, the summer after, I sent my then servant Lister to Mr. Rolf, my good friend and neighbour, at St. Albans, to use his means with Mr. Peacock (who was accounted a monied man), for the borrowing of five hundred pounds; and after, by my servant Hatcher, for borrowing of five hundred pounds more, which Mr. Rolf procured, and told me, at both times, that it should be without interest, script, or note; and that 1 should take my own time for payment of it.
"21, To the one and twentteth article of the charge, viz. in the cause between Smithwick and Wyche, he received from Smithwicke two hundred pounds, which was repaid: I confess and declare, that my servant Hunt did, upon his accompt, being my receiver of the fines of original writs, charge htmself with two hundred pounds, formerly received of Smithwick, which after that I had understood the nature of it, I ordered him to repay it, and to defaulk it of his accompt.
"22. To the two and twentieth article of the charge, viz. in the cause of Sir Henry Iluswell, he received money from Ruswell; but it is not certain how much: I confess and declare, that I received mouey from my servant Hunt, as from Mr. Ruswell, in a purse; and, whereas the sum in the article is indefinite, I confess it to be three or four hundred pounds; and it was about some months after the cause was decreed, in which decree I was assisted by two of the judges.
"23. To the three and twentieth article of the charge; viz. in the cause of Mr. Barker, the Lord Chancellor received from Barker seven hundred pounds: I confess and declare that the money mentioned in the article was received from Mr. Barker, some time after the decree passed.
"24. To the four and twentieth article, five and twentieth, and six and twentieth articles of the charge, viz. the four and twentieth, there being a reference from his majesty to his lordship of a business between the Grocers and the Apothecaries, the Lord Chancellor received of the Grocers two hundred pounds. The five and twentieth article: in the same cause, he received of the Apothecaries that stood with the Grocers, a taster of gold, worth between forty and fifty pounds, and a present of ambergrease. And the six and twentieth article: he received of the New Company of the Apothecaries that stood against the Grocers, an hundred pounds: To these I confess and declare, that the several sums from the three parties were received; and for that it was no judicial business, but a concord, or composition between the parlies, and that as I thought all had received good, and they were all three common purses, I thought it the less matter to receive that which they voluntarily presented; for if I had taken it in the nature of a corrupt bribe, I knew it could not be concealed, because it must needs be put to accompt to the three several companies.
"27. To the seven and twentieth article of the charge: viz. he took of the French merchants a thousand pounds, to constrain the vintners of London to take from them fifteen hundred tons of wine; to accomplish which, he used very indirect means, by colour of his office and authority, without bill or suit depending; terrifying the vintners, by threats and imprisonments of their persons, to buy wines, whereof they had no need or use, at higher rates than they were vendible: I do confess and declare, that Sir Thomas Smith did deal with me in the bebalf of the French company; informing me, that the vintners, by combination, would not take off their wines at any reasonable prices. That it would destroy their trade, and stay their voyage for that year; and that it was a fair business, and concerned the state; and he doubted not but I should receive thanks from the King, and honour by it; and that they would gratify me with a thousand pounds for my travel in it; whereupon I treated between them, by way of persuasion, and (to prevent any compulsory suit) propounding such a price as the vintners might be gainers six pounds a ton, as it was then maintained to me; and after, the merchants petitioning to the King, and his majesty recommending the business unto me, as a business that concerned his customs and the navy, I dealt more earnestly and peremptorily in it; and, as I think, restrained in the messengers' hands for a day or two some that were the more stiff; and afterwards the merchants presented me with a thousand pounds out of thi-ir common purse; acknowledging themselves that I had kept them from a kind of ruin, and still maintaining to me that the vintners, if they were not insatiably minded, had a very competent gain. This is the merits of the cause, as it then appeared unto me.
"28. To the eight and twentieth article of the charge; viz. the Lord Chancellor hath given way to great exactions by his servants, both in respect of private seals, and otherwise for sealing of injunctions: I confess, it was a great fault of neglect in me, that 1 looked no better to my servants.
"This declaration I have made to your lordships with a sincere mind; humbly craving, that if there should be any mistaking, your lordships would impute it to want of memory, and not to any desire of mine to obscure truth, or palliate any thinj: for I do again confess, that in the points charged upon me, although they should be taken as myself have declared them, there is a great deal of corruption and neglect, for which I am heartily and penitently sorry, and submit myself to the judgment, grace, and mercy of the court.
"For extenuation, I will use none concerning the matters themselves; only it may please your lordships, out of your nobleness, to cast your eyes of compassion upon my person and estate. I was never noted for an avaricious man. And the apostle saith, that covetousness is the root of all evil. I hope also, that your lordships do the rather find me in the state of grace; for that, in all these particulars, there are few or none that are not almost two years old, whereas those that have an habit of corruption do commonly wax worse and worse; so that it hath pleased God to prepare me, by precedent degrees of amendment, to my present penitency. And for my estate, it is so mean and poor, as my care is now chiefly to satisfy my debts.
"And so, fearing I have troubled your lordships too long, I shall conclude with an humble suit unto you, that if your lordships proceed to sentence, your sentence may not be heavy to my ruin, but gracious, and mixed with mercy; and not only so, but that you would be noble intercessors for me to his majesty likewise, for his grace and favour.
"Your Lordships' humble servant and suppliant,
"Fr. St. Alran, Cane."
This confession and submission being read, it was agreed that the lords here under named do go unto the Lord Chancellor, and shew him the said confession; to tell him, that the lords do conceive it to be an ingenuous and full confession; and to demand of him, whether it be his own hand that is subscribed to the same, and whether he will stand unto it or no, viz.
L. Chamberlain. L. Hp. of Winton. L. Sheffeild.
E. of Arundel. L. Bp. of Co. and Lich. L. North.
E. of Southampton. L. V\'entworth. L. Chandois.
L. Bp. of Duresme. L. Cromwell. L. tlunsdon.
Their lordships being returned, reported, that they shewed the said confession unto the Lord Chancellor, and told him, that your lordships do conceive the same to be ingeuuous and full, and demanded of his lordship whether it were his hand that is subscribed thereunto; who answered, "My lords, it is my act, my hand, my heart. I beseech your lordships, be merciful unto a broken reed." Which being reported to the house, it was agreed by the house, to move his majesty to sequester the seal; and that the lords intreated the Ptince his highness, that he would be pleased to move the King's majesty therein; whereunto his highness condescended; and the same lords that went to take the acknowledgment of the Lord Chancellor's hand were appointed to attend the Prince to the King, with some other lords added.
The Prince his highness reported unto the lords, that according to the request made unto him this morning by the house, himself, accompanied with the lords appointed to attend his highness, did move the King's majesty to sequester the great seal from the Lord Chancellor, whereunto his majesty most willingly yielded, and said he would have done it, if he had not been moved therein.
Die Mercurii, videlicet, 2° die Maii, post meridiem, Domini tam spirituales quam temporales, quorum nomina subscribuntur, praesentes fuerunt.
The prince his highness presented their lordships' suit to his majesty, that he would be pleased, as the case stood, to command the seal from the Lord Chancellor. That yesterday his lordship, the Lord Steward, the Lord Chamberlain, and the Earl of Arundel, at the King's command, went to the Lord Chancellor, and received from him the great seal, and delivered the same uuto his majesty; who, by commission, hath committed the same to the keeping of them, the Lord Treasurer, Lord Steward, Lord Chamberlain, and the Earl of Arundel.
Agreed, to proceed to sentence the Lord Chancellor to-morrow morning; wherefore the gentleman usher and the serjeant at arms, attendants on this house were commanded to go and summon him the Lord Chancellor to appear here in person to-morrow morning, by nine of the clock; and the serjeant was commanded to take his mace with him, and to shew it unto his lordship at the said summons.
See Blackburn, page 143, for the account of the attendance of the commissioners upon the Chancellor to receive the great seal.
To the King's most excellent Majesty.
It may please your Majesty,—It hath pleased God, for these three days past, to visit me with such extremity of headach, upon the hinder part of my head, fixed in one place, that I thought verily it had been some imposthumation; and then the little physic that I have told me that either it must grow to a congelation, and so to a lethargy, or to break, and so to a mortal fever and sudden death; which apprebension, and chiefly the anguish of the pain, made me nnable to think of any business. But now that the pain itself is assuaged to be tolerable, I resume the care of my business, and therein prostrate myself again, by my letter, at your majesty's feet.
Your majesty can bear me witness, that at my last so comfortable aecess, I did not so much as move your majesty, by your absolute power of pardon, or otherwise, to take my cause into your hands, and to interpose between the sentence of the house; and, according to my own desire, your majesty left it to the sentence of the house, and it was reported by my Lord Treasurer.
But now, if not per omnipotentiam, as the divines speak, but per poltttaiem tuaviter duponentem, your majesty will graciously save me from a sentence, with the good liking of the house, and that cup may pass from me, it is the utmost of my desires. This I move with the more belief, because I assure myself that if it be reformation that is sought, the very taking away the seal, upon my general submission, will be as much in example, for this four hundred years, as any farther severities.
The means of this I most humbly leave unto your majesty. But surely I conceive, that your majesty opening yourself in this kind to the lords counsellors, and a motion from the prince, after my submission, and my lord marquis using his interest with his friends in the house, may effect the sparing of a sentence. I making my humble suit to the house for that purpose, joined with the delivery up of the seal into your majesty's hands. This is my last suit that I shall make to your majesty in this business, prostrating myself at your mercy seat, after fifteen years service, wherein I have served your majesty in my poor endeavours, with an entire heart. And, as I presume to say unto your majesty, am still a virgin, for matters that concern your person or crown, and now only craving, that after eight steps of honour, I be not precipitated altogether.
But because he that hath taken bribes is apt to give bribes, I will go further, and present your majesty with bribe; for if your majesty give me peace and leisure, and God give me life, I will present you with a good history of England and a better digest of your laws. And so concluding with my prayers, I rest clay in your majesty's hands. Ft. bT. Alua.v.
2nd May, 1621.
[From the Tract.]
Jovis, 3 Maii, 1621.—A message from the Lords, that they were ready to pronounce sentence against the late Lord Chancellor, if it please the house, with the Speaker, to come and demand judgment.
So the house went up, and the Speaker demanded judgment.
The Lord Chief Justice being Speaker in the higher house) said, that the Lords had duly considered of the complaints presented by the Commons against the Lord Vera lam, Viscount St. Albans, late Lord Chancellor, and have found him guilty, as well by oath of witnesses, as by his own confession, of those and many other corruptions, for which they have sent for him to come and answer; and upon his sincere protestation of sickness, we admitting his excuse of absence, have yet notwithstanding proceeded to his judgment, viz. That he be fined 40,000!. to be imprisoned in the Tower during the King's pleasure, made incapable to bear office in the commonwealth, never to sit in parliament, nor to come within the verge, which is within twelve miles of the court.
The humble Submission and Supplication of the Lord Chancellor Bacon to the House of Lords.
May it please your Lordships,—I shall humbly crave at your hands a benign interpretation of that which I shall now write; for words that come from wasted spirits and oppressed minds are more safe in being deposited to a noble construction, than being circled with any reserved caution.
This being moved (and, as I hope, obtained of your lordships) as a protection to all that I shall say, 1 shall go on; but with a very strange entrance, as may seem to your lordships, at first; for, in the midst of a state of as great affliction as, I think, a mortal man can endure (honour being above life); I shall begin with the professing of gladness in some things.
The first is, that hereafter the greatness of a judge or magistrate shall be no sanctuaty or protection to him against guiltiness, which is the beginning of a golden work.
The next, that after this example, it is like that judges will fly from any thing in the likeness of corruption (though it were at a great distance) as from a serpent; which tends to the purging of the courts of justice, and reducing them to their true honour and splendour. And in these two points (God is my witness) though it be my fortune to be the anvil upon which these two effects are broken and wrought, I take no small comfort. But to pass from the motions of my heart (whereof God is my judge) to the merits of my cause, whereof your lordships are judges, under God and his lieutenant; I do understand there hath been heretofore expected from me some justification; and therefore 1 have chosen one only justification, instead of all others, out of the justification of Job. For after the clear submission and confession which I shall now make unto your lordships, I hope I may say, and justify with Job, in these words, I have not hid my sin, as did Adam, nor concealed my faults in my bosom. This is the only justification which I will use.
It resteth, therefore, that without fig-leaves, I do ingenuously confess and acknowledge that, having understood the particulars of the charge, not formally from the bouse, but enough to inform my conscience and memory, I find matter sufficient and full, both to move me to desert my defence, and to move your lordships to condemn and censure me. Neither will I trouble your lordships by singling these particulars, which I think might fall off. Quid te ezempta juvat spinis de jdurihus uva? Neither will I prompt your lordships to observe upon the proofs, where they come not home, or the scruple touching the credits of the witnesses; neither will I represent to your lordships how far a defence might, in divers things, extenuate the offence, in respect of the time and manner of the guilt, or the like circumstances; but only leave these things to spring out of your more noble thoughts and observations of the evidence and examinations themselves, and charitably to wind about the particulars of the charge here and there, as God shall put into your mind, and so submit myself wholly to your piety and grace.
And now I have spoken to your lordships as judges, I shall say a few words unto you as peers and prelates, humbly commending my cause to your noble minds aud magnanimous affections.
Your lordships are not simply judges, but parliamentary judges; you have a further extent of arbitrary power than other courts; and, if you be not tied by ordinary course of courts or precedents, in points of strictness and severity much less in points of mercy and mitigation: and yet, if any thing which I shall move might be contrary to your honourable and worthy end (the introducing a reformation), 1 should not seek it. But herein 1 beseech your lordships to give me leave to tell you a story.
Titus Manlius took his son's life for giving battle against the prohibition of his general: not many years after, the like severity was pursued by Papirius Cursor, the dictator, against Quintus Maximus, who being upon the point to be sentenced, was, by the intercession of some particular persons of the senate, spared; whereupon Livy maketh this grave and gracious observation, Kegue