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breathe in the air of their country, and that my case is not common with many, since I have lived so
RICHARD MARTIN, ESQ.: TO SIR FRANCIS long abroad with disgrace at home; and yet have
BACON ever been free not only from suspicion of practice, but from the least dependence upon foreign princes.
Right HONOURABLE, My king is wise ; and I hope, that he hath this just My attendance at court two days, in vain, conmercy in store for me. God Almighty make and sidering the end of my journey, was no less unto me, keep your honour ever happy, and keep me so in seeing thereby I made the gain of the overture and his favour, as I will be sure to continue
assurance of your honour's affection. These comYour honour's ever most obliged and devoted forts have given new life and strength to my hopes, servant,
which before began to faint. I know, what your TOBIE MATTHEW. honour promiseth, you will undertake ; and what
you undertake, you seldom fail to compass ; for such Antwerp, this first of Sept. stylo novo, 1616.
proof of your prudence and industry your honour
hath of late times given to the swaying world. POSTSCRIPT.
There is, to my understanding, no great intricacy
in my affair, in which I plainly descry the course MAY IT PLEASE YOUR HONOUR,
to the shore I would land at ; to which neither I I HAVE written to Sir John Digby ; and I think nor any other can attain, without the direction of he would do me all favour, if he were handsomely our great master-pilot, who will not stir much withput upon it. My lady of Pembroke * hath written, out the beloved mate sound the way. Both these and that very earnestly, to my lord chamberlain in none can so well set awork as yourself, who have my behalf.
not only their ear, but their affection, and that with This letter goes by Mr. Robert Garret, to whom good right as I hope, in time, to good and public I am many ways beholden, for making me the best purpose. It is fit likewise, that your honour know present, that ever I received, by delivering me your all my advantages. The present incumbent is tied honour's last letter.
to me by firm promise, which gives an impediment to the competitors, whereof one already, according to the heaviness of his name and nature, petit
deorsum. And though I be a bad courtier, yet SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING. I know the style of gratitude, and shall learn as I
am instructed. Whatsoever your honour shall underMAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY, take for me, I will make good. Therefore I humBecause I have ever found, that in business the bly and earnestly entreat your best endeavour, to consideration of persons, who are instrumenta uni- assure to yourself and your master a servant, who mata, is no less weighty than of matters, I humbly both can and will, though as yet mistaken, advance pray your Majesty to peruse this enclosed paper, his honour and service with advantage. Your love containing a diligence, which I have used in omnem and wisdom is my last address ; and on the real erentum. If Towerson,t as a passionate man, have nobleness of your nature, whereof there is so good overcome himself in his opinion, so it is. But if his proof, stands my last hope. If I now find a stop, I company make this good, then I am very glad to will resolve it is fatum Carthaginis, and sit down in see in the case, wherein we now stand, there is this perpetual peace. In this business I desire all conhope left, and your Majesty's honour preserved in venient silence; for though I can endure to be the entier. God have your Majesty in his divine refused, yet it would trouble me to have my name protection.
blasted. If your honour return not, and you think
Meantime, with Your Majesty's most devoted, and most bounden it requisite, I will attend at court.
all humble and hearty wishes for increase of all servant, &c.
happiness, I kiss your honour's hands. This is a secret to all men but my lord chancellor ;
Your honour's humbly at command, and we go on this day with the new company, with
R. MARTIN. out discouraging them at all.
September 27, 1616. September 18, 1616.
To the right honourable Sir Francis Bucon, knight, Indorsed,
his Majesty's Attorney-General, and one of his To the king, upon Towerson's propositions aboul the Majesty's most honourable privy council, my sincloth business.
gular patron at court.
Mary, widow of Henry, earl of Pembroke, who died removed to the Middle Temple. In the parliament of 1601, January 19, 1601-2, daughter of Sir Henry Sidney, and sister he served for the borough of Barnstaple in Devon; and in of Sir Philip. She died September 25, 1621.
the first parliament of king James I. he served for Cirencester † Whose brother, captain Gabriel Towerson, was one of in Gloucestershire; he was chosen recorder of London in Septhe English merchants executed by the Dutch at Amboyna, tember, 1618; but died in the last day of the following month. in 1623.
He was much esteemed by the men of learning and genius of Born about 1570, entered a commoner of Broad-Gate's that age. hall, now Pembroke College, Oxford, in 1585, whence he
TO THE KING.
THE LORD VISCOUNT VILLIERS TO SIR
FRANCIS BACON, ATTORNEY-GENERAL. IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,
Sir, This morning, according to your Majesty's command, we have had my lord chief justice of the I HAVE acquainted his Majesty with my lord chanking's bench * before us, we being assisted by all cellor’s and your report, touching my lord Coke ; as our learned council, except serjeant Crew, who was also, with your opinion therein ; which his Majesty then gone to attend your Majesty. It was delivered doth dislike for these three reasons : first, because, unto him, that your Majesty's pleasure was, that we that by this course you propound, the process cannot should receive an account from him of the perform- have a beginning, till after his Majesty's return; ance of a commandment of your Majesty laid upon which, how long it may last after, no man knoweth. him, which was, that he should enter into a view He therefore thinketh it too long and uncertain a and retraction of such novelties, and errors, and delay, to keep the bench so long void from a chief offensive conceits, as were dispersed in his Reports : justice. Secondly, although his Majesty did use the that he had had good time to do it; and we doubted council's advice in dealing with the chief justice not but he had used good endeavour in it, which we upon his other misdemeanors; yet he would be both desired now in particular to receive from him. to lessen his prerogative, in making the council
His speech was, that there were of his Reports judges, whether he should be turned out of his eleven books, that contained about five hundred place or no, if the case should so require. Thirdly, cases : that heretofore in other Reports, as namely, for that my lord Coke hath sought means to kiss those of Mr. Plowden,+ which he reverenced much, his Majesty's hands, and withal to acquaint him there hath been found nevertheless errors, which with some things of great importance to his service; the wisdom of the time had discovered, and later he holdeth it not fit to admit him to his presence, judgments controlled; and enumerated to us four before these points be determined, because that cases in Plowden, which were erroneous : and there would be a grant of his pardon before he had his pon delivered in to us the enclosed paper, wherein trial. And if those things, wherewith he is to acyour Majesty may perceive, that my lord is a quaint his Majesty, be of such consequence, it would happy man, that there should be no more errors in be dangerous and prejudicial to his Majesty, to his five hundred cases, than in a few cases of Plow-delay him too long. Notwithstanding, if you shall den. Your Majesty may also perceive, that your advise of any other reasons to the contrary, his Majesty's direction to my lord chancellor and my- Majesty would have you, with all the speed you can, self, and the travail taken by us and Mr. Solicitor, i to send them unto him; and in the mean time to in following and performing your direction, was not keep back his Majesty's letter, which is herein sent altogether lost; for that of those three heads, which unto you, from my lord Coke's knowledge, until you we principally respected, which were the rights and receive his Majesty's further direction for your proliberties of the church, your prerogative, and the ceeding in his business. jurisdiction of other your ccurts, my lord hath And so I rest, your ever assured friend at scarcely fallen upon any, except it be the prince's command, case, which also yet seemeth to stand but upon the
GEORGE VILLIERS. grammatical, of French and Latin.
Theobald's, the 3d of October, 1616. My lord did also give his promise, which your
To the right honourable Sir Francis Bacon, knight, Majesty shall find in the end of his writing, thus
his Majesty's Allorney-General, and of his most far in a kind of common place or thesis, that it was
honourable privy council. sin for a man to go against his own conscience, though erroneous, except his conscience be first informed and satisfied. The lord chancellor in the conclusion signified to
TO THE KING. my lord Coke your Majesty's commandment, that until report made, and your pleasure thereupon
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, known, he shall forbear his sitting at Westminster, We have considered of the letters, which we re&c. not restraining nevertheless any other exercise ceived from your Majesty, as well that written to us of his place of chief justice in private.
both, as that other written by my lord Villiers to Thus having performed, to the best of our under-me, the attorney, which I thought good to acquaint standing, your royal commandment, we rest ever my lord chancellor withal, the better to give your Your Majesty's most faithful, and most bounden | Majesty satisfaction. And we most humbly desire servants, &c.
your Majesty to think, that we are, and ever shall # Sir Edward Coke,
at Oxford, where in November 1552 he was admitted to prac† Edmund Plowden, born of an ancient family of that name tise chirurgery and physic, In 1557 he became summer at Plowden in Shropshire, who as he tells us himself in the reader of the Middle Temple, and three years after Lent preface to his Reports, in the twentieth year of his age, and reader, having been made serjeant, October 27, 1558. He the thirtieth of the reign of Henry VIII. anno 1539, began his died February 6, 1584-5, at the age of sixty-seven, in the study of the common law in the Middle Temple. Wood adds, profession of the Roman catholic faith, and lies interred in Ath. Oxon. Vol. I. col. 219, that he spent three years in the the Temple church. study of arts, philosophy, and physic, at Cambridge, and four # Sir Henry Yelverton.
be, ready to perform and obey your Majesty's direc- , and habeas corpus, collected by my lord of Cantertions; towards which the first degree is to under-bury. In all which course we foresee length of stand them well.
time, not so much for your learned council to be In answer therefore to both the said letters, as prepared, for that is almost done already, but bewell concerning matter as concerning time, we shall cause himself, no doubt, will crave time of advice in all humbleness offer to your Majesty's high wis- to peruse his own books, and to see, whether the dom the considerations following:
collections be true, and that he be justly charged; First, we did conceive, that after my lord Coke and then to produce his proofs, that those things, was sequestered from the table and his circuits, which he shall be charged with, were not conceits when your Majesty laid upon him your command- or singularities of his own, but the acts of court, ment for the expurging of his Reports, and com- and other like things, tending to excusation or exmanded also our service to look into them, and into tenuation; wherein we do not see, how the time of other novelties introduced into the government, divers days, if not of weeks, can be denied him. your Majesty had in this your doing two principal Now for tiine, if this last course of charging him ends :
be taken, we may only inform your Majesty thus The one, to see, if upon so fair an bccasion he much, that the absence of a chief justice, though it would make an expiation of his former faults; and should be for a whole term, as it hath been often also show himself sensible of those things in his upon sickness, can be no hinderance to common jusReports, which he could not but know were the tice. For the business of the king's bench may be likest to be offensive to your Majesty.
despatched by the rest of the judges ; his voice in The other, to perform de vero this right to your the star-chamber may be supplied by any other crown and succession, and your people also; that judge, that my lord chancellor shall call; and the those errors and novelties might not run on, and trials by nisi prius may be supplied by commission. authorize by time, but might be taken away, whether But as for those great matters of discovery, we he consented to it or no.
can say nothing more than this, that either they But we did not conceive your Majesty would have are old or new. If old, he is to blame for having had him charged with those faults of his book, or kept them so long : if new, or whatsoever, he may those other novelties; but only would have had advertise your Majesty of them by letter, or deliver them represented to you for your better information. them by word to such counsellor as your Majesty
Now your Majesty seeth what he hath done, you will assign. can better judge of it than we can. If, upon this Thus we hope your Majesty will accept of our probation added to former matters, your Majesty sincerity, having dealt freely and openly with your think him not fit for your service, we must in all Majesty, as becometh us : and when we shall rehumbleness subscribe to your Majesty, and acknow-ceive your pleasure and direction, we shall execute ledge that neither his displacing, considering he and obey the same in all things: ending with our holdeth his place but during your will and pleasure, prayers for your Majesty, and resting nor the choice of a fit man to be put in his room,
Your Majesty's most faithful, and most bounden are council-table matters, but are to proceed wholly
servants, from your Majesty's great wisdom and gracious pleasure. So that in this course, it is but the sig
T. ELLESMERE, CANC. nification of your pleasure, and the business is at an
FR. BACON. end as to him. Only there remaineth the actual October 6, 1616. expurgation or animadversions of the books.
But if your Majesty understand it, that he shall be charged, then, as your Majesty best knoweth, justice requireth, that he be heard and called to his REMEMBRANCES OF HIS MAJESTY'S DEanswer, and then your Majesty will be pleased to CLARATION, TOUCHING THE LORD COKE, consider, before whom he shall be charged; whether before the body of your council, as formerly he was, That although the discharging and removing of or some selected commissioners; for we conceive his Majesty's officers and servants, as well as the your Majesty will not think it convenient it should choice and advancement of men to place, be no be before us two only. Also the manner of his council-table matters, but belong to his Majesty's charge is considerable, whether it shall be verbal princely will and secret judgment; yet his Majesty by your learned council, as it was last ; or whether, will do his council this honour, that in his resoluin respect of the multiplicity of matters, he shall tions of that kind, his council shall know them first not have the collections we have made in writing, before others, and shall know them accompanied delivered to him. Also the matter of his charge is by their causes, making as it were a private manilikewise considerable, whether any of those points festo, or revealing of himself to them without of novelty, which by your Majesty's commandment parables. we collected, shall be made part of his charge ; or Then to have the report of the lords touching the only the faults of his books, and the prohibitions business of the lord Coke, and the last order of the
council read. * On the 30th of June, 1616. Camdeni Annales Regis Jacobi I. p. 19; and Peck, Desiderata Curiosa, Vol. I. Lib. vi.
That done his Majesty farther to declare, that he might, npon the same three grounds in the order mentioned, of deceit, contempt, and slander of his chief justice in Henry VIII.'s time, when it should government, very justly have proceeded then, not have been in Edward VI.'s, and such other stuff; not only to have put him from his place of chief justice, falling upon any of those things, which he could not but to have brought him in question in the star- but know were offensive. chamber, which would have been his utter overthrow; That hereupon his Majesty thought good to rebut then his Majesty was pleased for that time only fresh his memory, and out of many cases, which his to put him off from the council-table, and from the Majesty caused to be collated, to require his answer public exercise of his place of chief justice, and to to five, being all such, as were but expatiations of take farther time to deliberate.
his own, and no judgments; whereunto he returned That in his Majesty's deliberation, besides the such an answer, as did either justify himself, or present occasion, he had in some things looked back elude the matter, so as his Majesty seeth plainly anto the lord Coke's former carriage, and in some tiquum obtinet. things looked forward, to make some farther trial of him.
That for things passed, his Majesty had noted in him a perpetual turbulent carriage, first towards the TO SIR FRANCIS BACON, ATTORNEY. liberties of his church and estate ecclesiastical; to
GENERAL. wards his prerogative royal, and the branches thereof; and likewise towards all the settled juris
SIR, dictions of all his other courts, the high commission,
I have kept your man here thus long, because I the star-chamber, the chancery, the provincial coun- thought there would have been some occasion for cils, the admiralty, the duchy, the court of requests, me to write after Mr. Solicitor-General's being the commission of inquiries, the new boroughs of with the king. But he hath received so full in. Ireland ; in all which he had raised troubles and struction from his Majesty, that there is nothing left new questions; and lastly, in that, which might for me to add in the business. And so I rest concern the safety of his royal person, by his exposition of the laws in cases of high treason.
Your faithful servant, That, besides the actions themselves, his Majesty
GEORGE VILLIERS. in his princely wisdom hath made two special observations of him ; the one, that he having in his
Royston, the 13th of Octob. 1616. nature not one part of those things, which are popu- To the right honourable Sir Francis Bacon, knight, lar in men, being neither civil, nor affable, nor
one of his Majesty's privy council, and his Attormagnificent, he hath made himself popular by de
ney-general. sign only, in pulling down government. The other, that whereas his Majesty might have expected a change in him, when he made him his own, by taking him to be of his council, it made no change at
SIR EDMUND BACON + TO SIR FRANCIS all, but to the worse, he holding on all his former
BACON, ATTORNEY-GENERAL. channel, and running separate courses from the rest of his council, and rather busying himself in casting fears before his council, concerning what they could not do, than joining his advice what they I am bold to present unto your hands by this should do.
bearer whom the law calls up, some salt of wormThat his Majesty, desirous yet to make a farther wood, being uncertain, whether the regard of your trial of him, had given him the summer's vacation health makes you still continue the use of that to reform his Reports, wherein there be many dan-medicine. I could wish it otherwise; for I am gerous conceits of his own uttered for law, to the persuaded that all diuretics, which carry with them prejudice of his crown, parliament, and subjects ; that punctuous nature and caustic quality by calcinand to see, whether by this he would in any part ation, are hurtful to the kidneys, if not enemies to redeem his fault. But that his Majesty hath failed the other principal parts of the body. Wherein if of the redemption he desired, but hath met with an- it shall please you for your better satisfaction, to other kind of redemption from him, which he little call the advice of your learned physicians, and that expected. For as to the Reports, after three months they shall resolve of any medicine for your health, time and consideration, he had offered his Majesty wherein my poor labour may avail you, you know only five animadversions, being rather a scorn, than where your faithful apothecary dwells, who will be a satisfaction to his Majesty ; whereof one was that ready at your commandment; as I am bound both in the prince's case he had found out the French by your favours to myself, as also by those to my statute, which was filz aisné, whereas the Latin was nephew, whom you have brought out of darkness primogenitus ; and so the prince is duke of Corn into light, and by what I hear, have already made wall in French, and not duke of Cornwall in Latin. him by your bounty, a subject of emulation to his And another was, that he had set Montagu to be elder brother. We are all partakers of this your * Harl. MSS. Vol. 7006.
died without issue, April 10, 1619. There are several letters + Nephew of Sir Francis Bacon, being eldest son of Sir to him from Sir Henry Wotton, printed among the works of Nicholas Bacon, lord keeper of the great seal. Sir Edmund the latter.
kindness towards him ; and for myself, I shall be ever ready to deserve it by any service that shall
TO THE KING. lie in the power of
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, Your lordship's poor nephew,
I send your Majesty, according to your com
EDM. BACON. mandment, the warrant for the review of Sir EdRedgrave, this 19th of October, 1616.
ward Coke's Reports. I had prepared it before I For the right honourable Sir Francis Bacon, knight, received your Majesty's pleasure ; but I was glad to his Majesty's Attorney-General, and one of his
see it was in your mind, as well as in my hands. most honourable privy counsellors, be these deli. In the nomination, which your Majesty made of the vered at London.
judges, to whom it should be directed, your Majesty could not name the lord chief justice, that now is, § because he was not then declared; but you could
not leave him out now, without discountenance. TO THE KING.
I send your Majesty the state of lord Darcy's MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY,
cause || in the star-chamber, set down by Mr. Soli
citor, q and mentioned in the letters, which your I send your Majesty a form of discharge for my Majesty received from the lords. I leave all in lord Coke from his place of chief justice of your humbleness to your Majesty's royal judgment: but bench.
this is true, that it was the clear opinion of my lord I send also a warrant to the lord chancellor, for chancellor, and myself, and the two chief justices, making forth a writ for a new chief justice, leaving and others, that it is a cause most fit for the censure a blank for the name to be supplied by your Ma- of the court, both for the repressing of duels, and jesty's presence; for I never received your Majesty's the encouragement of complaints in courts of justice. express pleasure in it.
If your Majesty be pleased it shall go on, there If your Majesty resolve of Montagu † as I con- resteth but Wednesday for the hearing; for the ceive and wish, it is very material, as these times last day of term is commonly left for orders, though are, that your Majesty have some care, that the re- sometimes, upon extraordinary occasion, it hath been corder succeeding be a temperate and discreet man, set down for the hearing of some great cause. and assured to your Majesty's service. If your Ma- I send your Majesty also baron Bromley's jesty, without too much harshness, can continue the port, which your Majesty required; whereby your place within your own servants, it is best; if not, Majesty may perceive things go not so well in Cumthe man upon whom the choice is like to fall, which berland, which is the seat of the party your Mais Coventry, I hold doubtful for your service; not jesty named to me, as was conceived. And yet if but that he is a well learned, and an honest man; there were land-winds, as there be sea-winds, to bind bat he hath been, as it were, bred by lord Coke, men in, I could wish he were a little wind bound, and seasoned in his ways.
to keep him in the south. God preserve your Majesty.
But while your Majesty passeth the accounts of Your Majesty's most humble and bounden judges in circuits, your Majesty will give me leave servant,
to think of the judges here in their upper region. FR. BACON.
And because Tacitus saith well, opportuni mag
nis conatibus transitus rerum ;" now upon this I send not these things, which concern my lord change, when he, that letteth, is gone, I shall enCoke, by my lord Villiers, for such reasons as your deavour, to the best of my power and skill, that Majesty may conceive.
there may be a consent and united mind in your November 13, at noon (1616).
judges to serve you and strengthen your business. For I am persuaded there cannot be a sacrifice, from which there may come up to you a sweeter
odour of rest, than this effect, whereof I speak. Sir Edward Coke was removed from that post on the 15th ham expressing some anger against his lordship, and chargof November, 1616.
ing him with maintaining his man, lord Darcy answered, that † Sir Henry Montagu, recorder of London, who was made he had used Mr. Markham kindly; for if he had not rescued lord chief justice of the king's bench, November 16, 1616. He him from his man, the latter would have beaten him to rags. was afterwards made lord treasurer, and created earl of Man- Mr. Markham, upon this, wrote five or six letters to lord chester.
Darcy, subscribing them with his name; but did not send Thomas Coventry, Esq. afterwards lord keeper of the them, and only dispersed them unsealed in the fields; the great seal.
purport of them being this : that whereas the lord Darcy hath Sir Henry Montagu.
said, that, but for him, his servant Beckwith had beaten him 1 This is just mentioned in a letter of Sir Francis Bacon to rags, he lied; and as often as he should speak it, he lied; to the lord viscount Villiers, printed in his works; but is and that he would maintain this with his life; adding, that more particularly stated in the Reports of Sir Henry Hobart, he had dispersed those letters, that his lordship might find lord chief justice of the Common Pleas, pp. 120, 121, Edit. them, or somebody else bring them to him; and that if his London 1658, fol. as follows. The lord Darcy of the North lordship were desirous to speak with him, he might send his sued Gervase Markham, Esq. in the star-chamber, in 1616, boy, who should be well used. For this offence, Mr, Markon this occasion. They had hunted together, and the defend- ham was censured, and fined 5001, by the star-chamber. ant and a servant of the plaintiff, one Beckwith, fell to- Sir Henry Yelverton. gether by the ears in the field; and Beckwith threw him ** Edward Bromley, made one of the barons of the exchedown, and was upon him cuffing him, when the lord Darcy quer, February 6, 1609-10. took his servant off, and reproved him. However, Mr. Mark