Page images
PDF
EPUB

because I could be content that the matter of that it is needless; I commended my lord's diliPeacham were first settled and put to a point. gence, but withal put it by; and fell upon the For there be, perchance, that would make the ex. Other course, (which is the true way;) that is, that ample upon 1. S. to stand for all. For Peacham, whosoever shall affirm, in diem, or sub-condiI expect some account from my fellows this day. tione, that your majesty may be destroyed, is a If it should fall out otherwise, then I hope it may traitor de præsenti; for that he maketh you but not be left so. Your majesty, in your last letter, tenant for life at the will of another. And I put very wisely, put in a disjunctive that the judges the Duke of Buckingham's case, who said, that should deliver an opinion privately, either to my if the king caused him to be arrested of treason, lord chancellor or to ourselves, distributed; his he would stab him; and the case of the impossickness, made the latter way to be taken: but tress, Elizabeth Barton, that said, that if King the other may be reserved, with some accommo- Henry the Eighth took not his wife again, Kathadating, when we see the success of the former. rine Dowager, he should be no longer king; and

I am appointed, this day, to attend my lord the like. treasurer for a proposition of raising profit and It may be these particulars are not worth the revenue, by enfranchising copy-holders. I am relating. But, because I find nothing in the right glad to see the patrimonial part of your world, so important to your service as to have revenue well looked into, as well as the fiscal. you thoroughly informed, (the ability of your direcAnd I hope it will so be, in other parts as well tion considered,) it maketh me thus to do; most as this. God preserve your majesty.

humbly praying your majesty to admonish me, if Your majesty's most humble and devoted I be over troublesome. subject and servant.

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, A LETTER TO THE KING OF ACCOUNT OF OWEN'S after the rest were gone, and told him all the rest CAUSE, ETC. 11 FEBRUARY, 1614.

were ready, and I was now to require his lordIT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY,

ship's opinion, according to my commission. He Myself, with the rest of your counsel learned, said, I should have it; and repeated that, twice conferred with my Lord Coke and the rest of or thrice, as thinking he had gone too far, in that the judges of the King's Bench only, being met kind of negative (to deliver any opinion apart) at my lord's chamber, concerning the business before; and said he would tell it me within a of Owen. For although it be true that your ma short time, though he were not at that instant jesty in your letter did mention, that the same ready. I have tossed this business, in omnes course might be held in the taking of opinions partes, whereof I will give your majesty knowapart, in this which was prescribed and used in ledge, when time serveth. God preserve your Peacham's cause; yet both my lords of the coun

majesty. cil and we, amongst ourselves, holding it, in a

Your majesty's most humble and devoted case so clear, not needful; but rather that it

subject and servant. would import a diffidence in us, and deprive us of the means to debate it with the judges (if cause were) more strongly, (which is somewhat,) we thought best rather to use this form.

A LETTER TO THE KING, REPORTING THE DAY The judges desired us to leave the examina- OF HEARING OF I. S. HIS CAUSE, IN THE STAR tions and papers with them, for some little time, CHAMBER. 29 APRIL, 1615. to consider (which is a thing they use;) but I IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY, conceive there will be no manner of question made I. S.'s day is past, and well past. I hold it to of it. My lord chief justice, to show forward-be Janus bifrons; it hath a good aspect to that ness, (as I interpret it,) showed us passages of which is past, and to the future; and doth both Suarez and others, thereby to prove that though satisfy and prepare. All did well: My lord your majesty stood not excommunicated by par-chief justice delivered the law for the benevoticular sentence, yet by the general bulls of Cæna lence, strongly; I would he had done it timely Domini, and others, you were upon the matter Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer spake finely, excommun ated; and therefore that the treason somewhat after the manner of the late lord privy was, as De præsenti. But I that foresee, that if seal: not all out so sharply, but as elegantly, that course snould be held, when it cometh to a Sir Thomas Lake (who is also new in that court) public day, to disseminate to the vulgar an opi- did very well, familiarly and counsellor-like. My nion that your majesty's case is all one as if you Lord of Pembroke (who is likewise a stranger were de facto particularly and expressly excommu- there) did extraordinary well, and became himnicated, it would but increase the danger of your self well, and had an evident applause. I meant person with those that are desperate Papists; and well also; and because my information was the

ever,

ground, having spoken out of a few heads which are to have all the Old Company's profit, by the I had gathered ; (for I seldom do more) I set trade of whites; they are again to have upon the down, as soon as I came home, cursorily, a frame proportion of clothes, which they shall vend dyed of that I had said; though I persuade myself I and dressed, the Fleming's profit upon the teynspake it with more life. I have sent it to Mr. tour. Now then as I say, as it had been too good Murray, sealed ; if your majesty have so much husbandry for a king to have taken profit of them idle time to look upon it, it may give some light if the project could have been effected at once, (as of the day's work: but I most humbly pray your was voiced ;) so on the other side it might be, majesty to pardon the errors. God preserve you perchance, too little husbandry and profidence to

take nothing of them, for that which is merely Your majesty's most humble subject, lucrative to them, in the mean time. Nay, I say and devoted servant.

further, this will greatly conduce and be a kind of security to the end desired. For I always feared, and do yet fear, that when men, by condi

tion merchants, though never so honest, have A LETTER TO THE KING, CONCERNING THE NEW gotten into their hands the trades of whites, and COMPANY. AUGUST 12, 1615.

the dispensation of teyntour, wherein they shall IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, reap profit for that which they never sowed ; but

Your majesty shall shortly receive the bill, for have gotten themselves certainties, in respect of the incorporation of the New Company; together the state's hopes; they are like enough to sleep with a bill, for the privy seal, being a dependency upon this, as upon a pillow, and to make no haste thereof. For this morning I subscribed and to go on with the rest. And though it may be said docketed them both. I think it, therefore, now that that is a thing will easily appear to the state, time, to represent to your majesty's high wisdom yet (no doubt) means may be devised and found that which I conceive, and have had long in mind, to draw the business in length. So that I conconcerning your majesty's service and honourable clude that if your majesty take a profit of them, profit in this business.

in the interim, (considering you refuse profit from This project, which hath proceeded from a the Old Company,) it will be both spur and bridle worthy service of the lord treasurer, I have to them to make them pace aright to your mafrom the beginning constantly affected; as may jesty's end. well appear by my sundry labours from time to This, in all humbleness, according to my avowtime in the same. For I hold it a worthy character ed care and fidelity, being no man's man but of your majesty's reign and times; insomuch, as your majesty's, I present, leave, and submit to though your majesty might have at this time (as your majesty's better judgment; and I could is spoken) a great annual benefit for the quitting wish your majesty would speak with Sir Thomas of it, yet, I shall never be the man that should Lake in it; who, besides his good habit which wish your majesty to deprive yourself of that he hath in business, beareth (methinks) an indifbeatitude ; “Beatius est dare, quàm accipere," ferent hand in this particular; and (if it please in this cause; but to sacrifice your profit (though, your majesty) it may proceed as from yourself, as your majesty's state is, it be precious to you) and not as a motion or observation of mine. to so great a good of your kingdom: although Your majesty need not in this to be straitened this project is not without a profit, immediate unto in time, as if this must be demanded or treated, you, by the increasing of customs upon the mate- before you sign their bill; for I, foreseeing this,

and foreseeing that many things might fall out But here is the case. The New Company, by which I could not foresee, have handled it so, as this patent and privy seal, are to have two things with their good contentment there is a power of wholly diverse from the first intention; or rather, revocation inserted into their patent. And so,

diametro, opposite unto the same; which, commending your majesty to God's blessed and
nevertheless, the most of necessity have, or else precious custody, I rest
the work is overthrown. So as I may call them, Your majesty's most humble and devoted
mala necessaria, but yet withal temporary. For

subject and servant.
as men make war to have peace, so these mer-
chants must have license for whites, to the end to
banish whites; and they must have license to use
teyntours, to the end to banish teyntours.

A LETTER TO SIR GEORGE VILLIERS, TOUCHING
This is therefore that I say; your majesty upon

ROPER'S PLACE. JANUARY 22, 1615. these two points may justly, and with honour, SIR, and with preservation of your first intention in- Sending to the king upon occasion, I would violate, demand profit in the interim, as long as not fail to salute you by my letter; which, that these unnatural points continue, and then to cease. it may be more than two lines, I add this for For your majesty may be pleased to observe they | news; that as I was sitting by my lord chief

[ocr errors][merged small]

rials of days.

justice upon the commission for the indicting of ble to truth and your majesty's service. If this the great person, one of the judges asked him New Company break, it must either be put upon whether Roper were dead? He saith, he for his the patent or upon the order made by themselves. part knew not; another of the judges answered, For the patent, I satisfied the board that there was It should concern you, my lord, to know it. no title in it which was not either verbatim in the Whereupon he turned his speech to me, and said, patent of the Old Company, or by special war. No, Mr. Attorney, I will not wrestle now in my rant from the table, inserted. My Lord Coke, latter times. My lord, (said I,) you speak like a with much respect to me, acknowledged, but wise man. Well, (saith he,) they have had no disliked the old patent itself, and disclaimed his luck with it that have had it. I said again, being at the table when the additions were s. Those days be past." Here you have the dia- allowed. But in my opinion, (howsoever my logue to make you merry, but in sadness I was Lord Coke, to magnify his science in law, glad to perceive he meant not to contest. I can draweth every thing, though sometimes unprobut honour and love you, and rest

perly and unseasonably, to that kind of question,) Your assured friend and servant. it is not convenient to break the business upon

these points. For, considering they were but clauses that were in the former patents, and in

many other patents of companies, and that the A LETTER TO THE KING, ADVISING HOW TO additions likewise passed the allowance of the

BREAK OFF WITH THE NEW COMPANY. FEB- table, it will be but clamoured, and perhaps conRUARY 3, 1615,

ceived, that to quarrel them now is but an occa

sion taken, and that the times are changed rather IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY,

than the matter. But that which preserveth I spake yesternight long with my Lord Coke; entire your majesty's honour, and the constancy and for the “Rege Inconsulto,” I conceive by of your proceedings, is to put the breach upon him it will be “an ampliùs deliberandum their orders. censeo,” (as I thought at first,) so as for the For this light I gave in my report, which the present your majesty shal) not need to renew your table readily apprehended and much approved; commandment of stay. I spake with him also that if the table reject their orders as unlawful about some propositions concerning your majes- and unjust, it doth free you from their contract; ty's casual revenue, wherein I found him to con- for whosoever contracteth, or undertaketh any sent with me fully; assuming, nevertheless, that thing, is always understood to perform it by he had thought of them before; but it is one lawful means; so, as they have plainly abused thing to have the vapour of a thought; another to the state if that which they have undertaken be digest business aright. He, on his part, imparted either impossible or unjust. to me divers things of great weight concerning I am bold to present this consideration to that the reparation of your majesty's means and excellent faculty of your majesty's judgment, finances, which I heard gladly; insomuch as he because I think it importeth that future good perceiving the same, I think, was the readier to which may grow to your majesty in the close of open himself to me in one circumstance, which this business ; that the falling off be without all he did much inculcate. I concur freely with exception. God have you in his precious him that they are to be held secret; for I never custody. saw but that business is like a child which is

Your majesty's most humble and framed invisibly in the womb, and if it come

bounden subject and servant. forth too soon it will be abortive. I know in most of them the prosecution must rest much upon myself. But I, that had the power to prevail in the farmer's case of the French wines, A LETTER TO THE KING TOUCHING THE LORD

CHANCELLOR'S SICKNESS. FEBRUARY 9, 1615. without the help of my Lord Coke, shall be better able to go through these with his help, the IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, ground being no less just. And this I shall ever I am glad to understand by Mr. Murray that add of mine own, that I shall ever respect your your majesty accepteth well of my poor endeamajesty's honour no less than your profit; and vours in opening unto you the passages of your sliall also take care, according to my pensive service; that business may come the less crude, manner, that that which is good for the present and the more prepared to your royal judgment, have not in it hidden seeds of future inconve- the perfection whereof, as I cannot expect they niences.

should satisfy in every particular, so I hope, The matter of the New Company was referred through my assiduity, there will result a good to me by the lords of the privy council; wherein, total. after some private speech with Sir Lionel Cran

My lord chancellor's sickness falleth out dure field, I made that report which I held most agree- tempore.” I have always known him a wise

[ocr errors]

man, and of just elevation for monarchy, but | Company, that they are unlawful and unjust, and your majesty's service must not be mortal; and themselves have now acknowledged the work imif you lose him, as your majesty hath now of possible without them by their petition in writing, late purchased many hearts by depressing the now registered in the Council Book: so as this wicked, so God doth minister unto you a coun- conclusion (of their own making) is become terpart to do the like by raising the honest. God peremptory and final to themselves; and the imevermore preserve your majesty.

possibility confessed the practice and abuse, reYour majesty's most humble subject served to the judgment the state shall make of it. and bounden servant. This breach then of this great contract is wholly

on their part; which could not have been, if your majesty had broken upon the patent: for the

patent was your majesty's act, the orders are their A LETTER TO SIR GEORGE VILLIERS, TOUCHING act; and in the former case they had not been A MOTION TO SWEAR HIM COUNCILLOR. FEB. liable to further question, now they are. 21, 1615.

There rest two things to be considered : the one SIR, -My lord chancellor's health growing if they (like Proteus when he is hard held) shall with the days, and his resignation being an un- yet again vary their shape, and shall quit their certainty, I would be glad you went on with my orders, convinced of injustice, and lay their imfirst motion, my swearing privy councillor. This position only upon the trade of whites, whether I desire, not so much to make myself more sure your majesty shall further expect? The other, if of the other, and to put it past competition ; (for your majesty dissolve them upon this breach on herein, I rest wholly upon the king, and your ex- their part, what is further to be done for the setcellent self) but, because I find hourly, that I ting of the trade again in joint, and for your own need this strength in his majesty's service, both honour and profit? In both which points I will for my better warrant, and satisfaction of my con- not presume to give opinion, but only to break science, that I deal not in things above my voca- the business for your majesty's better judgment. tion; and for my better countenance and prevail

For the first, I am sorry the occasion was given, ing where his majesty's service is under any (by my Lord Coke's speech at this time of the pretext opposed, I would it were despatched. I commitment of some of them,) that they should remember a greater matter than this, was seek, “omnem movere lapidem,” to help themdespatched by a letter from Royston ; which was,

selves. Better it had been, if (as my Lord Fenthe placing of the archbishop that now is: and 1 ton said to me that morning very judiciously, and imagine

, the king did on purpose, that the act with a great deal of foresight) that, for that time, might appear to be his own.

they should have had a bridge made for them to My lord chancellor told me yesterday, in plain be gone. But my Lord Coke loweth according terms, that if the king would ask his opinion to his own tides, and not according to the tides touching the person that he would commend to of business. The thing which my Lord Coke succeed him, upon death or disability, he would said, was good and too little, but at this time it name me for the fittest man. You may advise was too much. But that is past. Howsoever, if whether use may not be made of this offer. they should go back, and seek again to entertain

I sent a pretty while since a paper to Mr. John your majesty with new orders or offers, (as is said
Murray; which was, indeed, a litile remembrance to be intended,) your majesty hath ready two
of some things past; concerning my honest and answers of repulse, if it please your majesty to
faithful services to his majesty, not by way of use them.
boasting, (from which I am far,) but as tokens of

The one, that this is now the fourth time that my studying his service uprightly and carefully. they have mainly broken with your majesty and If you be pleased to call for the paper which is contradicted themselves. First, They undertook to with Mr. John Murray, and to find a fit time, that dye and dress all the cloths of the realm; soon after his majesty may cast an eye upon it, I think it they wound themselves into the trade of whites, will do no hurt: and I have written to Mr. Mur- and came down to the proportion contracted. Seray to deliver the paper if you call for it. God condly, They ought to have performed that conkeep you in all happiness.

tract according to their subscription, pro rata, Your truest servant.

without any of these orders and impositions : soon after they deserted their subscription, and had recourse to these devices of orders. Thirdly, If by

order and not by subscription, yet their orders A LETTER TO THE KING OF ADVICE, UPON THE should have laid it upon the whites, which is an BREACH OF THE NEW COMPANY. FEB. 25, 1615.

unlawful and prohibited trade, nevertheless, they It may please your mosT EXCELLENT MAJesty, would have brought in lawful and settled trades.

Your privy council have wisely and truly dis- full manufactures, merchandise of all natures, cerned of the orders and demands of the New poll money or brotherhood money, and I cannni

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

TOUCHING A MOTION TO SWEAR HIM COUN.

tell what. And now lastly, it seemeth they would company. And, therefore, I dare not advise to go back to lay it upon the whites: And, therefore, adventure this great trade of the kingdom (which whether your majesty will any more rest and hath been so long under government) in a free build this great wheel of your kingdom, upon or loose trade. The third is, a compounded way these broken and brittle pins, and try experiments of both, which is, to go on with the trade of whites further upon the health and body of your state, I by the Old Company restored ; and, that your leave to your princely judgment.

majesty's profit be raised by order amongst themThe other answer of repulse is a kind of oppos- selves, rather than by double custom, wherein you ing them what they will do after the three years must be the actor: and, that, nevertheless, there contracted for? Which is a point hitherto not be added a privilege to the same company to much stirred, though Sir Lionel Cranfield hath carry out cloths dyed and dressed custom free; ever beaten upon it in his speech with me: for which will still continue as a glorious beam of after three years they are not tied, otherways than your majesty's royal design. I hope and wish at as trade shall give encouragement; of which en- least that this, which I have written, may be of couragement your majesty hath a bitter taste. some use to your majesty to settle by the advice And if they should hold on according to the third of the lords about you this great business. At the year's proportion, and not rise on by further gra- least it is the effect of my care and poor ability, dation, your majesty hath not your end. No, I which if in me be any, it is given me to no other fear, and having long feared that this feeding of end but faithfully to serve your majesty. God the foreigner may be dangerous. For as we may ever preserve you, think to hold up our clothing by vent of whites, Your majesty's most humble subject, till we can dye and dress; so they (I mean the

and bounden servant. Dutch) will think to hold up their manufacture of dying and dressing upon our whites till they

ANOTHER LETTER, TO SIR GEORGE VILLIERS, can cloth : so as your majesty hath the greatest reason in the world to make the New Company

CILLOR. FEBRUARY 27, 1615. to come in and strengthen that part of their con

Sir, I humbly pray you not to think me over tract; and they refusing (as it is confidently be hasty or much in appetite, if I put you in rememlieved they will) to make their default more visi- brance of my motion of strengthening me with the ble to all men.

oath and trust of a privy councillor; not for mine For the second main part of your majesty's con

own strength, (for as to that, I thank God I am sultation, (that is, what shall be done, supposing armed within,) but for the strength of my service. an absolute breach,) I have had some speech with The times, I submit to you who knoweth them Mr. Secretary Lake, and likewise with Sir Lionel best. But sure I am, there were never times Cranfield; and (as I conceive) there may be which did more require a king's attorney to be three ways taken into consideration. The first well armed, and (as I said once to you) to wear a is, that the Old Company be restored, who (no gauntlet and not a glove. The arraignments

, doubt) are in appetite, and (as I find by Sir Lionel when they proceed; the contention between the Cranfield) not unprepared ; and that the licenses, Chancery and King's Bench; the great cause of the one, that of 30,000 cloths, which was the the rege inconsulto, which is so precious to the old license; the other, that of my Lord of Cumberland's, which is without stint, (my Lord of king's prerogative; divers other services that

concern the king's revenue, and the repair of his Cumberland receiving satisfaction,) be com

estate. Besides, it pleaseth his majesty to accept pounded into one entire license without stint; well of my relations touching his business; which and then that they amongst themselves take order for that profit which hath been offered to your call it) for one that is no councillor. But I leave

may seem a kind of interloping (as the merchants majesty. This is a plain and known way, wherein all unto you, thinking myself infinitely bounden your majesty is not an actor; only it hath this, unto you for your great favours; the beams wherethat the work of dying and dressing cloths, which

of I see plainly reflect upon me even from others: hath been so much glorified, seemeth to be wholly relinquished if you leave there. The second is, that as the king showeth himself to you the

best

so that now I have no greater ambition than this; that there be a free trade of cloth, with this differ- master, so I might be found your best servant. ence; that the dyed and dressed pay no custom, In which wish and vow, I shall ever rest, and the whites double custom, it being a merchan.

Most devoted and affectionate to obey dise prohibited and only licentiate. This continueth in life and fame the work desired, and will have popular applause. But I do confess I did ever ihink, that trading in companies is most agree- A LETTER TO SIR GEORGE VILLIERS, TOUCHING able to the English nature, which wanteth that HIS SWEARING COUNCILLOR. MAY 30, 1616, sarne general vein of a republic, which runneth Sir,—The time is, as I should think, now or in the Dutch; and serveth to them instead of a never, for his majesty to finish his good meaning

your commands.

« PreviousContinue »