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The Star Chamber, in the institutions thereof, hath two uses; the one as a supreme court of judicature, the other as an open council. In the first kind, your majesty hath sat there now twice: the first time, in a cause of force, concerning the duels; the second time, in a cause of fraud, concerning the forgeries and conspiracies against the Lady of Exeter; which two natures of crimes, force and fraud, are the proper objects of
In the second kind, your majesty came the first time of all, when you did set in frame and fabric the several jurisdictions of your courts. There wants a fourth part of the square to make all complete, which is, if your majesty will be pleased to publish certain commonwealth commissions; which, as your majesty hath well begun to do in some things, and to speak of in some others; so, if your majesty will be pleased to make a solemn declaration of them in that place, this will follow:
First, that your majesty shall do yourself an infinite honour, and win the hearts of your people to acknowledge you, as well the most politic king, as the most just.
Secondly, it will oblige your commissioners to a more strict account, when they shall be engaged by such a public charge and commandment. And, thirdly, it will invite and direct any man that finds himself to know any thing concerning those commissions, to bring in their informations. So as I am persuaded it will eternize your name and merit, and that King James's commissions will be spoken of, and put in ure, as long as Britain lasts; at the least, in the reign of all good kings.
For the particulars, besides the two commissions of the navy, and the buildings about London, (wherein your majesty may consider, whether you will have any thing altered or supplied,) I wish these following to be added.
Commission for advancing the clothing of England, as well the old drapery as the new, and all the incidents thereunto.
Commission for staying treasure within the realm, and the reiglement of moneys. Commission for the provision of the realm with corn and grain, and the government of the exportation and importation thereof; and directing of public granaries, if cause be. Commission for introducing and nourishing manufactures within the realm, for setting people awork, and the considering of all grants and privileges of that nature. Commission to prevent the depopulation of towns and houses of husbandry, and for nuisances and highways. Commission for the recovery of drowned
Commission for the suppression of the griev
ances of informers. Vo III-17
Commission for the better proceedings in the plantations of Ireland.
Commission for the provision of the realm with all kinds of warlike defence, ordnance, powder, munition, and armour.
Of these you may take and leave, as it shall please you: and I wish the articles concerning every one of them (first allowed by your council) to be read openly, and the commissioners'
For the good that comes of particular and select committees and commissions, I need not commonplace, for your majesty hath found the good of them; but nothing to that that will be, when such things are published; because it will vindicate them from neglect, and make many good spirits, that we little think of, co-operate in them.
I know very well that the world, that commonly apt to think, that the care of the commonwealth is but a pretext in matters of state, will perhaps conceive, that this is but a preparative to a Parliament. But let not that hinder your majesty's magnanimity, in opere operato, that is so good; and, besides, that opinion, for many respects, will do no hurt to your affairs.
TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR,*
MY VERY good Lord,
By his majesty's directions, Sir Francis Blundell will deliver you a petition of Sir Francis Annesly, his majesty's secretary of Ireland, with his majesty's pleasure thereupon. To the gentleman I wish very well, and do therefore recommend him and his cause to your lordship's good favour; and your respect of him, in his absence, I will thankfully acknowledge. So I take my leave.
Your lordship's very loving friend,
Theobalds, the 2d of October, 1620.
TO THE KING.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, It being a thing to speak or write, especially to a king, in public, another in private, although I have dedicated a work,† or rather a portion of a work, which, at last, I have overcome to your majesty by a public epistle, where I speak to you in the hearing of others; yet I thought fit also humbly to seek access for the same, not so much to your person as to your judgment, by these private lines.
The work, in what colours soever it may be set forth, is no more but a new logic, teaching to invent and judge by induction, as finding syllogism +Novum Organum.
* Harl. MSS. vol. 7000.
incompetent for sciences of nature; and thereby | lordship, whereof the prince hath demanded of me
Your lordship's faithful friend and servant,
This tending to enlarge the bounds of reason, and to endow man's estate with new value, was no improper oblation to your majesty, who of men is the greatest master of reason and author of beneficence.
There be two of your council, and one other
Touching the Register of Wills.
bishop of this land, that know I have been about Royston, 14th, of October, 1620.
York House, this 12th of October, 1620.
This work is but a new body of clay, whereunto your majesty, by your countenance and protection, may breathe life. And to tell your majesty truly what I think, I account your favour may be to this work as much as a hundred years' time: for I am persuaded the work will gain upon men's minds in ages, but your gracing it may make it take hold more swiftly; which I would be very glad of, it being a work meant, not for praise or glory, but for practice and the good of men. One thing, I confess, I am ambitious of, with hope, which is, Royston, 15th of October, 1620. that after these beginnings, and the wheel once set on going, men shall seek more truth out of Christian pens than hitherto they have done out of heathen. I say with hope, because I hear my former book of the Advancement of Learning, is well tasted in the universities here, and the English colleges abroad: and this is the same argument sunk deeper.
And so I ever humbly rest in prayers, and all other duties,
Your majesty's most bounden
TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR. MY HONOURABLE Lord,
There is a business in your lordship's hands, with which Sir Robert Lloyd did acquaint your
TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR.
* Dr. Lancelot Andrews, Bishop of Winchester.
+ Mr. Chamberlain, in a letter to Sir Dudley Carleton, ambassador at Holland, dated at London, October 28th, 1620, mentions, that Mr. Henry Cuffe, who had been secretary to
Robert, Earl of Essex, and executed for being concerned in his treasons, having long since perused this work, gave this censure, that "a fool could not have written such a work, and a wise man would not." And, in another letter, dated February 3, 1620-1, Mr. Chamberlain takes notice, that the king could not forbear, sometimes, in reading that book, to say, that "it was like the peace of God, that passeth all understanding."
Harl. MSS. vol. 7000.
MY HONOURABLE Lord,
I desire your lordship to continue your favour to Sir Thomas Gerrard in the business concerning him, wherein I signified his majesty's pleasure to your lordship. And one favour more I am to entreat of your lordship in his behalf, that you will be pleased to speak to one of the assistants of the Chancellor of the Duchy, in whose court he hath a cause depending, as he will more fully inform your lordship himself, to see that he may have a fair proceeding according to justice: for which I will ever rest
Your lordship's faithful friend and servant,
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
Your lordship desiring to understand what cometh of the business, after which the prince hearkeneth, I was in doubt which of the two businesses you meant; that of the Duchy, or that of the Prerogative Court for wills; for both are recommended from the prince. But be it one, or be it the other, no time hath been lost in either; for Mr. Secretary Naunton and I have entered into both. For the duchy, we have already stayed all proceedings to the king's disservice for those manors, which are not already passed under seal. For that which is passed, we have heard the attorney with none or little satisfaction hitherto. The chancellort is not yet come, though sent for. For the other, we have heard Sir John Bennet, and given him leave to acquaint my Lord of Canterbury; and have required the solicitors to come well prepared for the king. So that in neither we can certify yet, and to trouble your
*Sir Henry Yelverton.
Sir Humphrey May, made Chancellor of the Duchy, March 9, 1617.
Judge of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. In 1621, he was fined £20,000 for bribery, corruption, and exaction in that office. He died in 1627.
Sir Thomas Coventry.
lordship, while business is but in passage, were the singular comfort which I received by his matime lost. I ever rest
October 16, 1620.
I did even now receive your lordship's letter touching the proclamation, and do approve his majesty's judgment and foresight about mine own.
TO THE KING, THANKING HIS MAJESTY FOR HIS Neither would I have thought of inserting matter
GRACIOUS ACCEPTANCE OF HIS BOOK.
This work, which is for the bettering of men's bread and wine, which are the characters of temporal blessings and sacraments of eternal, I hope, by God's holy providence, will be ripened by Cæsar's star.
of state for the vulgar, but that nowadays there is no vulgar, but all statesmen. But, as his majesty doth excellently consider, the time of it is not yet proper. I ever rest
Your lordship's most obliged friend
Your majesty shall not only do to myself a singular favour, but to your business a material help, if you will be graciously pleased to open yourself to me in those things wherein you may be unsatisfied. For, though this work, as by position and principal, doth disclaim to be tried by any thing but by experience, and the results of experience in a true way, yet the sharpness and profoundness of your majesty's judgment ought to be an exception to this general rule; and your questions, observations, and admonishments may do infinite good.
This comfortable beginning makes me hope farther that your majesty will be aiding to me in setting men on work for the collecting of a natural and experimental history, which is basis totius negotii, a thing which I assure myself will be from time to time an excellent recreation unto you; I say to that admirable spirit of yours that delighteth in light and I hope well, that, even in your times, many noble inventions may be discovered for man's use. For who can tell, now this mine of truth is opened, how the veins go; and what lieth higher, and what lieth lower? But let me trouble your majesty no farther at this time. God ever preserve and prosper your majesty.
[October 19, 1620.]
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
I send now only to give his majesty thanks for
+Virgil, Eclog. IX. vers. 46-49.
jesty's letter of his own hand, touching my book. And I must also give your lordship of my best thanks for your letter so kindly and affectionately written.
October 19, 1620.
In answer to his majesty's directions touching the proclamation for a Parliament.
TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR.*
AFTER my very hearty commendations I have acquainted his majesty with your letter, who commanded me to tell you that he had been thinking upon the same point whereof you write three or four days ago, being so far from making any question of it that he every day expected when a writ should come down. For at the creation of Prince Henry, the lords of the council and judges assured his majesty of as much as the precedents mentioned in your letter speak of. And so I rest your lordship's
Very loving friend at command,
Showing his majesty is satisfied with precedents,
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
Your lordship may find, that in the number of patents which we have represented to his majesty, as like to be stirred in the Lower House of Parlia ment, we have set down three, which may concern some of your lordship's special friends, which I account as my own friends; and so showed my self when they were in suit. The one, that to Sir Giles Mompesson, touching the inns; the second, to Mr. Christopher Villiers and Mr. Maule, toucning the recognisances for ale-houses; the third, to Mr. Lieutenant of the Tower, touching the cask These in duty could not be omitted, for that, spe
Harl. MSS. vol. 7000.
cially the two first of them, are more rumoured, | coth by the vulgar and by the gentlemen, yea, and by the judges themselves, than any other patents at this day. Therefore, I thought it appertained to the singular love and affection which i bear you upon so many obligations, to wish and advise that your lordship, whom God hath made in all things so fit to be beloved, would put off the envy of these things, which, I think, in themselves, bear no great fruit, and rather take the thanks for ceasing them, than the note for maintaining them. But, howsoever, let me know your mind, and your lordship shall find I will go your way. I cannot express how much comfort I take in the choice which his majesty hath made of my lord chief justice to be lord treasurer; not for his sake, nor for my sake, but for the king's sake, hoping that now a number of counsels, which I have given for the establishment of his majesty's estate, and have lain dead and buried deeper than this snow, may now spring up, and bear fruit; the rather, for that I persuade myself he and I shall run one way. And yet I know well, that in this doubling world cor una et via una is rare in one man, but more rare between two. And, therefore, if it please his majesty, according to his prudent custom in such cases, to cast out, now at his coming down, some words, which may the better knit us in conjunction to do him service, I suppose it will be to no idle purpose.
And as an old truant in the commission of the treasury, let me put his majesty in remembrance of three things now upon his entrance, which he is presently to go in hand with: the first, to make Ireland to bear the charge thereof: the second, to bring all accounts to one purse in the exchequer : the third, by all possible means to endeavour the taking off the anticipations. There be a thousand things more, but these being his majesty's last commands to the commissioners of the treasury, with such as in his majesty's princely judgment shall occur, will do well to season his place. Your lordship's most obliged friend and faithful servant,
FR. VERULAM, Canc.
November 29, 1620.
As soon as I had written this letter I received your lordship's letter, touching my lord chief justice, which redoubled my comfort, to see how his majesty's thoughts and mine, his poor servant's, and your lordship's, meet.
I send enclosed names for the speaker; and if his majesty, or your lordship, demand our opinion, which of them, my lord chief justice will tell you. It were well it were despatched; for else I will not dine with the speaker; for his drink will not be laid in time enough.
I beseech your lordship, care may be taken that our general letter may be kept secret, whereof my lord chief justice will tell you the reason.
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
I was so full of cold, as I could not attend his majesty to-day. Yesterday I despatched the proclamation with the council. There was a motion to have sharpened it; but better none, than over sharp at first. I moved the council also for supplying the committee for drawing of bills and some other matters, in regard of my Lord Hobart's* sickness, who I think will hardly escape: which, though it be happiness for him, yet it is loss for us.
Meanwhile, as I propounded to the king, which he allowed well, I have broken the main of the Parliament into questions and parts, which I send. It may be, it is an over diligence; but still methinks there is a middle thing between art and chance: I think they call it providence, or some such thing, which good servants owe to their sovereign, specially in cases of importance and straits of occasions. And those huffing elections, and general license of speech ought to make us the better provided. The way will be, if his majesty be pleased, to peruse these questions advisedly, and give me leave to wait on him; and then refer it to some few of the council, a little to advise upon it. I ever rest
Your lordship's most obliged friend
December 23, 1620.
FR. VERULAM, Canc
TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR.
MY HONOURABLe Lord,
His majesty hath commanded me to signify his pleasure unto your lordship, that Sir Thomas Coventry, now his solicitor-general, be forthwith made his attorney-general: and that your lordship give order to the clerk of the crown to draw up a grant of the said place unto him accordingly. And so I rest
Your lordship's faithful friend and servant, G. BUCKINGHAM.
Whitehall, 9th of January, 1620.
TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR.+
MY HONOURABLE LORD,
I have been entreated to recommend unto your lordship the distressed case of the Lady Martin, widow of Sir Richard Martin, deceased, who hath a cause to be heard before your lordship in the Chancery, at your first sitting in the next term, between her and one Archer, and others, upon an ancient statute, due long since unto her husband; which cause, I am informed, hath received three verdicts for her in the common law, a decree in
Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. + Harl. MSS. vol. 7000.
the Exchequer Chamber, and a dismission before your lordship: which I was the more willing to do, because I have seen a letter of his majesty to the said Sir Richard Martin, acknowledging the good service that he did him in this kingdom, at the time of his majesty's being in Scotland. And therefore I desire your lordship, that you would give her a full and fair hearing of her cause, and a speedy despatch thereof, her poverty being such, that having nothing to live on but her husband's debts, if her suit long depend, she shall be enforced to lose her cause for want of means to follow it: wherein I will acknowledge your lordship's favour, and rest
Your lordship's faithful
TO THE KING.† MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,
I thank God I number days, both in thankfulness to him, and in warning to myself. I should likewise number your majesty's benefits, which, as to take them in all kinds, they are without number; so even in this kind of steps and degrees of advancement, they are in greater number than scarcely any other of your subjects can say. For this is now the eighth time that your majesty hath raised me.
You formed me of the learned council extraordinary, without patent or fee, a kind of individuum vagum. You established me, and brought me into ordinary; soon after you placed me solicitor, where I served seven years: then your majesty made me your attorney, or procurator general; then privy counsellor, while I was attorney; a kind of miracle of your favour, that had not been in many ages: thence keeper of your seal; and because that was a kind of planet, and not fixed, chancellor and when your ma
*Harl. MSS. vol. 7000.
+ This seems to have been written by Lord St. Albans, just after he was created a viscount by that title, January 27,
jesty could raise me no higher, it was your grace to illustrate me with beams of honour, first mǝking me Baron Verulam, and now Viscount St. Alban. So, this is the eighth rise or reach, a diapason in music, even a good number, and an accord for a close. And so I may without superstition be buried in St. Alban's habit or vest ment.
Besides the number, the obligation is increased by three notes or marks: first, that they proceed from such a king; for honours from some kings are but great chancels, or counters, set high; but from your majesty, they are indeed dignities by the co-operation of your grace. Secondly, in respect of the continuance of your majesty's favour, which proceedeth as the divine favour, from grace to grace. And, thirdly, these splendours of honour are like your freest patents, absque aliquid inde reddendo. Offices have burdens of cares and labours; but honours have no burden but thankfulness, which doth rather raise men's spirits than accable them, or press them down.
Then I must say, quid retribuam? I have nothing of mine own. That that God hath given me I shall present unto your majesty; which is care and diligence, and assiduous endeavour, and that which is the chief, cor unum et viam unam ; hoping that your majesty will do, as your superior doth; that is, finding my heart upright, you will bear with my other imperfections. And, lastly, your majesty shall have the best of my time, which I assure myself I shall conclude in your favour, and survive in your remembrance. And that is my prayer for myself; the rest shall be in prayers for your majesty.