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and papers with them for some little time, to consider, which is a thing they use, but I conceive, there will be no manner of question made of it. My Lord Chief Justice, to shew forwardness, as 1 interpret it, shewed us passages of Suarez and others, thereby to prove that though your majesty stood not excommunicate by particular sentence, yet by the general bulls of Cana Domini, and others, you were upon the matter excommunicate ; and therefore that the treason was as de prasenti. But I (that foresee that if that course should be held, when it cometh to a public day, to disseminate to the vulgar an opinion, that your majesty's case is all one, as if you were de facto particularly and expressly excommunicate; it would but increase the danger of your person with those that are desperate papists; and that it is needless) commended my lord's diligence, but withal put it by, and fell upon the other course, which is the.true way; that is, that whosoever shall affirm, in diem, or sub conditione, that your majesty may be destroyed, is a traitor de presenti; for that he maketh you but tenant for life, at the will of another. And I put the Duke of Buckingham's case, who said that if the king caused him to be arrested of treason, he would stab him; and the case of the impostress Elizabeth Barton, that said, that if king Henry the Eighth took not his wife again, Catherine dowager, he should be no longer king, and the like.
It may be these particulars are not worth the relating; but because I find nothing in the world so important to your service, as to have you throughly informed, the ability of your direction considered, it maketh me thus to do; most humbly praying your majesty to admonish me if I be over troublesome.
For Peacham, the rest of my fellows are ready to make their report to your majesty, at such time and in such manner as your majesty shall require it. Myself yesterday took my lord Coke aside, after the rest were gone, and told him all the rest were ready, and I was now to require his lordship's opinion, according to my commission. He said I should have it; and repeated that twice or thrice, as thinking he had gone too far in that kind of negative to deliver any opinion apart before; and said, he would tell it me within a very short time, though he were not that instant ready. I have tossed this business in omnes partes, whereof I will give your majesty knowledge when time serveth. God preserve your majesty.
Your Majesty's most humble and devoted subject and servant, Feb. 11,1614. Fr. Bacon.
Foster, on High Treason, when speaking of Peacham's case, says, " This case weigheth very little, and no great regard hath been paid to it ever since. And perbaps still less regard will be paid to it if it be considered that the king, who appeareth to have had the success of the prosecution much at heart, and took a part in it unbecoming the majesty of the crown, condescended to instruct his attorney general with regard to the proper measures to be taken in the examination of the defendant; that the attorney, at his majesty's command, submitted to the drudgery of sounding the opinions of the judges upon the point of law before it was thought advisable to risk it at an open trial; that the judges were to be sifled separately, and soon, before they could have an opportunity of conferring together; and that for this purpose four gentlemen in the profession in the service of the crown were immediately dispatched, one to each of the judges; Mr. Attorney himself undertaking to practice upon the chief justice, of whom some doubt was then entertained. Is it possible that a gentleman of Bacon's great talents could submit to a service so much below his rank and character! But he did submit to it, and acquitted himself notably in it.
"Others of his letters shew that the same kind of intercourse was kept up between the king and his attorney general with regard to many cases then depending in judgment, in which the king was pleased to take a part, or thought his prerogative concerned, particularly in the case of one Owen, executed for treasonable words; in that of Mr. Oliver St. John, touching the benevolence in the dispute between the courts of King's Bench and Chancery in the case of praemunire, and in the proceedings against the Earl and Countess of Somerset."
Vol. XV. 11
"Of the fact of these applications having been made, no doubt can be entertained. The inferences to be deduced from the fact alone vary.
It was the custom of the times, is one and a legitimate inference.
Judge Foster, applying the sentiments of his own more intelligent times to this conduct, says, " Every reader will make his own reflections upon it. I have but one to make in this place. This method of forestalling the judgment of a court in a case of blood then depending, at a time too when the judges were removeable at the pleasure of the crown, doth no honour to the memory of the persons concerned in a transaction so insidious and unconstitutional, and at the same time weakeneth the authority of the judgment."
And speaking of Bacon, he says, "Avarice, I think, was not his ruling passion; but whenever a false ambition, ever restless and craving, overheated in the pursuit of the honours which the crown alone can confer, bappeneth to stimulate an heart otherwise formed for great and noble pursuits, it hath frequently betrayed it into measures full as mean as avarice itself could have suggested to the wretched animals who live and die under its dominion. For these passions, however they may seem to be at variance, have ordinarily produced the same effects. Both degrade the man; both contract his views into the little point of self interest, and equally steel the heart against the rebukes of conscience, or the sense of true honour. Bacon having undertaken the service, informeth his majesty, in a letter addressed to him, that with regard to three of the judges, whom he nameth, he had small doubt of their concurrence. 'Neither,' saith he, ' am 1 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 uot continue singular.' These are plain naked facts; they need no comment.
315Shrn Baron teas Cfjanrellor.
It will be remembered that Sir Francis was appointed Lord Keeper on tl,e 3rd of March, and that he did not take his seat in the court until the 7th of May, but he had scarcely been entrusted with the seals when an application was made to him out of court by Buckingham on behalf of a suitor, in a letter which explains in a postscript that similar applications had been made to Sir Francis's predecessor; and similar applications were, as a matter of course, made during the whole time he was entrusted with the great seal. This will appear from the following letters:
To the Lord Keeper, (o)
My honourable Lord,—Whereas the late Lord Chancellor thought it fit to dismiss out of the Chancery a cause touchiug Henry Skipwith to the common law, where he desireth it should be decided; these are to entreat your lordship in the gentleman's favour, that if the adverse party shall attempt to bring it now back again into your lordship's court, you would not retain it there, but let it rest in the place where now it is, that without more vexation unto him in posting him from one to another, he may have a final hearing and determination thereof. And so I rest your Lordship's ever at command, G. Bucktngham.
My Lord, This is a business wherein I spake to my Lord Chancellor, whereupon he dismissed the suit.—Lincoln, the 4th of April, 1617.
(a) This Vs the first of many letters, which the Marquis of Buckingham wrote to Lord Bacon, in favour of persons who had causes depending in, or likely to come into the court of Chancery; and it is not improbable that such recommendations were considered in that age as less extraordinary and irregular titan they would appear now. The marquis made the same kind of applications to Lord Bacon's successor, the Lord Keeper Williams, in whose life, by Bishop Hacket, part i. p. 107, we are informed, that " there was not a cause of moment, but, as soon as it came to publication, one of the parties brought letters from this mighty peer, and the lord keeper's patron." Birch.
To the Lord Keeper.
My honourable Lord,—His majesty hath spent some time with Sir Lionel Cranfield about his own business, wherewith he acquainted his majesty. He hath had some conference with your lordship, upon whose report to his majesty of your zeal and care of his service, which his majesty accepteth very well at your hands, he hath commanded Sir L. Cranfield to attend your lordship, to signify his farther pleasure for the furtherance of his service; unto whose relation I refer you. His majesty's farther pleasure is, you acquaint no creature living with it, he having resolved to rely upon your care and trust only. Thus, wishing you all happiness, I rest your Lordship's faithful friend and servant, October 26, 1617. G. Bucktngham.
To the Lord Keeper.
My honourable Lord,—I have thought good to renew my motion to your lordship, in the behalf of my Lord of Huntingdon, my Lord Stanhope, and Sir Thomas Gerard; for that I am more particularly acquainted with their desires; they only seeking the true advancement of the charttable uses, unto which the land, given by their grandfather, was intended; which, as I am informed, was meant by way of a corporation, and by this means, that it might be settled upon the schoolmaster, usher, and poor, and the coheirs to be visitors. The tenants might be conscionably dealt withal; and so it will be out of the power of any feoffees to abuse the trust; which, it hath been lately proved, have been hitherto the hindrance of this good work. These coheirs desire only the honour of their ancestor's gift, and wtsh the money, misemployed and ordered to be- paid into court by Sir John Harper, may rather be bestowed by your lordship's discretion for the augmentation of the foundation of their ancestors, than by the censure of any other. And so I rest your Lordship servant, G. Bucktngham. Theobalds, Nov. 12.—Indorsed, 1617.
To the Lord Keeper. My honourable Lord,—Though I had resolved to give your lordship no more trouble in matters of controversy depending before you, with what importance soever my letters had been, yet the respect I bear unto this gentleman hath so far forced my resolution, as to recommend unto your lordship the suit, which, I am informed by him, is to receive a hearing before you on Monday next, between Bamaby Leigh and Sir Edward Dyer, plaintiffs, and Sir Thomas Thynne, defendant; wherein I desire your lordship's favour on the plaintiff's so far only as the justice of their cause shall require. And so I rest your Lordship's faithful servant, G. Bucktngham. Newmarket, Nov. 15.—Indorsed, 1617.
To the Lord Keeper. My honourable Lord,—The certificate being returned upon the commission touching Sir Richard Haughton's alum-mines, I have thought fit to desire your lordship's furtherance in the business, which his majesty, as your lordship will see by this letter, much affecteth as a bargain for his advantage, and for the present relief of Sir Richard Haughton. What favour your lordship shall do him therein, I will not fail to acknowledge, and will ever rest your Lordship's faithful servant, G. Bucktngham.
Indorsed, Received Nov. 16, 1617.
To the Lord Keeper. My honourable Lord,—Understanding that Thomas Hukeley, a merchant of London, of whom I have heard a good report, intendeth to bring before your lordship in Chancery a cause depending between him, in the right of his wife, daughter of William Austen, and one John Horsmendon, who married another daughter of the said Austen; I have thought fit to desire your lordship to give the said Thomas Hukeley a favourable heartng when his cause shall come before. you; and so far to respect him for my sake, as your lordship shall see him grounded upon equity and reason, which is no more than I assure myself your lordship will grant readily, as it is desired by
Your Lordship's faithful friend and servant, G. Bucktngham.
Indorsed, Nov. 17, 1617.
To the Lord Keeper.
My honourable Lord,— His majesty hath been pleased to refer a petition of one Sir Thomas Blackstones to your lordship, who being brother-in-law to a gentleman whom 1 much respect, Sir Henry Constable, I have, at his request, yielded to recommend his business so far to your lordship's favour, as you shall find his case to deserve compassion, and may stand wtth the rules of equity. And so I rest your Lordship's faithful friend and servant, G. Bucktngham. Newmarket, Dec. 4.—Indorsed, 1617.
To the Lord Chancellor.
My honourable good Lord,—Whereas in Mr. Hansbye's cause, (a) which formerly, by my means, both his majesty and myself recommended to your lordship's favour, your lordship thought good, upon a hearing thereof, to decree some part for the young gentleman, and to refer to some masters of the Chancery, for your farther sattsfaction, the examination of witnesses to this point; whtch seemed to your lordship to be the main thing your lordship doubted of, whether or no the leases, conveyed by old Hansbye to young Hansbye by deed, were to be liable to the legacies, which he gave by will; and that now I am credibly informed, that it will appear upon their report, and by the depositions of witnesses, without all exception, that the said leases are no way liable to those legacies: these shall be earnestly to intreat your lordship, that upon consideration of the report of the masters, and depositions of the witnesses, you will, for my sake, shew as much favour and expedition to young Mr. Hansbye in this cause, as the justness thereof will permit. And I shall receive it at your lordship's hands as a particular favour. So I take my leave of your lordship, and rest your Lordship's faithful friend and servant, G. Bucktngham. Greenwich, the 12th of June, 1618.
To the Lord Chancellor.
My honourable Lord,—Lest my often writing may make your lordship conceive that this letter hath been drawn from you by importumty, I have thought fit, for preventing of any such conceit, to let your lordship know, that Sir John Wentworth, whose business I now recommend, is a gentleman whom I esteem in more than an ordinary degree. And therefore I desire your lordship to show him what favour you can for my sake in his suit, which his majesty hath referred to your lordship; which I will acknowledge as a courtesy unto me, and rest Your Lordship's faithful friend and servant, G. Bucktngham. Newmarket, Jan. 26, 1618.
To the Lord Chancellor.
My honorable Lord,—I being desired by a special friend of mine to recommend unto your lordship's favour the case of thts petitioner, have thought fit to desire you, for my sake, to shew him all the favour you may in this his desire,
(o) This seems to be one of the causes, on account of which Lord Bacon was afterwards accused by the House of Commons; in answer to whose charge he admits, that in the cause of Sir Ralph Hansbye there being two decrees, one for the inheritance, and the other for goods and chattels; some time after the first decree, and before the second, there was 500/. delivered to him by Mr. Tobie Matthew; nor could his lordship deny, that this was upon the matter pendentt lite.
as you shall find it in reason to deserve; which I shall take as a courtesy from your lordship, and ever rest your Lordship's faithful friend and servant,
I thank your lordship for your favour to Sir John Wentworth, in the dispatch of his business.
Newmarket, March 15, 1618.
To the Lord Chancellor. My honourable Lord,—Understanding that there is a suit depending I efore your lordship between Sir Rowland Cotton, plaintiff, and Sir John Gawen, defendant, which is shortly to come to a hearing; and having been likewise informed that Sir Rowland Cotton hath undertaken it in hehalf of certain poor people; which charitable endeavour of his, I assure myself, will find so good acceptation with your lordship, that there shall be no other use of recommendation; yet at the earnest request of some friends of mine, I have thought fit to write to your lordship in his behalf, desiring you to shew him what favour you lawfully may, and the cause may bear, in the speedy dispatch of his business; which I shall be ever ready to acknowledge, and rest your Lordship's most devoted to serve you, G. Bucktngham.
Whitehall, April 20, 1618.
To the Lord Chancellor. My honorable Lord,—Understanding that the cause depending in the Chancery between the Lady Vernon and the officers of his majesty's household is now ready for a decree, though I doubt not but as his majesty hath been satisfied of the equity of the cause on his officers' behalf, who have undergone the business by his majesty's command, your lordship will also find their cause worthy of your favour, yet I have thought fit once again to recommend it to your lordshtp, desiring you to give them a speedy end of it, that both his majesty may be freed from farther importunity, and they from the charge and trouble of following it; which I will be ever ready to acknowledge as a favour done unto myself, and always rest your Lordship's faithful friend and servant,
Greenwich, June 15, 1618. G. Bucktngham.
To the Lord Chancellor.
My honourable Lord,—I wrote unto your lordship lately in the behalf of Sir Rowland Cotton, that then had a suit in dependance before your lordship and the rest of my lords in the Star-Chamber. The cause, I understand, hath gone contrary to his expectation; yet he acknowledges himself much bound to your lordship for the noble and patient hearing he did then receive; and he rests satisfied, and I much beholden to your lordship, for any favour it pleased your lordship to afford him for my cause. It now rests only tn your lordship's power for the assessing of costs; which, because, I am certainly informed, Sir Rowland Cotton had just cause of complaint, 1 hope your lordship will not give any against him. And I do the rather move your lordship to respect him in it, because it concerns him in his reputation, which I know he tenders, and not the money, which might be imposed upon him; which can be but a trifle. Thus presuming of your lordship's favour herein, which I shall be ready ever to account to your lordship for, I rest your Lordship's most devoted to serve you, June 19, 1618. G. Bucktngham.
To the Lord Chancellor.
My honourable Lord,—I have been desired by some friends of mine, in the behalf of Sir Francis Englefyld, to recommend his cause so far unto your lordship, that a peremptory day being given by your lordship's order for the perfecting of bis account, and for the assignment of the trust, your lordship would take such course therein, that the gentleman's estate may be redeemed from farther trouble, and secured from all danger, by engaging those to whom the trust is