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great man brought the Seals to his Sovereign James the First, the King was overheard to say, “ Now, by my soule, I am pained to the heart 6 where to bestow this; for as to my lawyers, 66 they be all knaves."
Williams, however, was not more honest than the persons of that profession which James had so scandalized; for, as Keeper of the King's conscience, he gave to his Sovereign, Charles the First, that advice respecting the signing the warrant for Lord Strafford's death, which prevented him from having afterwards any persons firmly and steadily attached to him.
Lord Clarendon says, “ That Lord Keeper " Williams told his Sovereign, that he must “ consider that he had a public conscience as 6s well as a private conscience; and that though « his private conscience, as a man, would not per“ mit him to act contrary to his own understand. « ing, judgment, and conscience, yet his public “ conscience, as a King, which obliged him to “ do all for the good of his people, and to pre. “ serve his kingdom in peace for himself and « his posterity, would not only permit him to do “ that, but even oblige and require him ; and " that he saw in what commotion the people $6 were ; that his own life, and that of the
6 Queen « Queen and the royal issue might probably be os facrificed to that fury; and it would be very “ strange if his conscience should prefer the right « of one single person (how innocent foever) “ before all these other lives, and the preserva« tion of the kingdom.”
Williams, who soon after this ruinous advice was made Archbishop of York, fortified Conway Castle for the service of his Sovereign; and hav. ing left his nephew as Governor there, set out to attend the King at Oxford, in January 1643. In an interview that he had with Charles, he is said to have cautioned him against Cromwell; telling his Majesty, that when he was Bishop of Lincoln, “ he knew him at Bugden, but never knew of ( what religion he was. He was," added he, « a common spokesman for Sectaries, and took 16 their part with stubbornness. He never dis, « coursed as if he were pleased with your Ma, " jelty or your officers ; indeed, he loves none " that are more than his equals. His fortunes « are broken, so that it is impossible for him to « fubfift, much less to be what he aspires at, but “ by your Majesty's bounty, or by the ruin of “ us all, and a common confusion: as one said “ long ago, Lentulo falvo, Respublica salva elle «c non potest. In short, every beast hath evil pro, s perties, but Cromwell hath the properties of
“ al! 6 all evil beasts. My humble motion is, that “ your Majesty would win him to you by pro« mises of fair treatment, or catch him by some 6 stratagem, and cut him off.”
After the King was beheaded, the Archbishop is said to have spent his days in sorrow, study, and devotion. He indeed only survived his unfortunate Sovereign one year. The Archbishop was extremely attentive to the Cathedrals succesfively committed to his care.
By the kindness of Paul PANTON, Esq. of the Island of Anglesey, the ComPILER is enabled to present the Public with Three Original Letters of this extraordinary person. The first two were written from St. John's College in Cambridge; and the other after he had lost the Great Seal,
TO JOHN WYNNE, OF GUEDER, ESQ. IN
66 WORSHIPFUL SIR, “ My humble dutie remembred—I am righte so heartilie forrie to see you impute my turbulent
“ & paf:
56 & passionate Letter to ill nature, wch proceed. 66 ed only from suspicious povertie, and a pre“ fent feare of future undoinge, bredd and fof“ tered by the suggestions of those, who either • knewe not what it was, or else would not im. « parte the best counfaile. Well might your 56 Worshippe have guesde my fault to have been « noe blemish of nature, but such another as " that of foolish Euclio in Plautus, who suf« pected Megadorus, though he had soe farre 66 againste his estate & reputation demeande 66 himselfe as to be a suytor for Euclio's daugh
66 ter :
“ Nom si opulentus it petitum pauperioris gratiam, 6. Pauper metuit congredi, per metum male rem gerit; * Idem quando illæc occafio periit, poft fero cupit :
66 a faulte I have committed (for the wch I 66 mofte humblie crave pardonne, vowing heere $6 before the face of God to doe you what res compence & fatisfaction soever, how and when $ you will); but that faulte was not in writinge 66 unto you, for therein I proteste I do not 56 knowe that I have any way misdemened my. “ felfe, but it was in a certain suspicion I con. 6 ceived of your love towards me, caused part“ lye by your late letter, far more sharpe and ** less courteous than at other times, partly also