Cecil Papers: July-November 1619

Pages 87-115

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 22, 1612-1668. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1971.

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July-November 1619

Ralph Cox to Christopher Keighley.
1619, July 24. Sends him his bill for board and wages, and requests that he be paid by him when next Keighley comes to London. "Here was some from Sir Dudley Diggs and from Mr Bonde and Sir John Ffarwell to enquire for you, and dothe expeckt you cominge to London to receave theire rents. Mr Crowshoe did expeckt you on Frydaye with him. Newes I have none but this, as report goeth, that Sara Swarton must make confession of her faulte to morowe beinge the 25th of July at St. Martens Churche. Yf it be true you shall here by the next retorune."—Salisbury House, this 24th of July, 1619.
Holograph. ½ p. (General 80/24.)
[1619, August 16]. "A proposition made by the Estates of Bohemia in their Assembly at Prague upon the election of a King 16 August, being the birthday of the Prince Elector Palatine."
Albeit the nomination of a King of Bohemia requires mature deliberation which ought to precede the nomination, it is less difficult than the rejection of a king which gave a beginning to this. Therefore, since the rejection is already done, the nomination will be much the more easy if we stand not upon such a perfection as the world cannot yield us. It behoves us also to set apart all particular passions and regard only those reasons that are fundamental; for there are requisite points so necessary to be considered in the election of a king, that it is not for a good patriot to counsel the receiving of one in whom those points are not found.
1. In the first place it is necessary that there be none of those things to be feared for which King Ferdinand was rejected; that is to say, he ought not either to persecute or advance any for the respect of religion, nor to exceed in the dependence of [on] his own councillors or strangers, but to join with the States. He ought not to be opiniative nor given to do things of his own head, but to accommodate the customs of his house to the ordinances and liberties of this Crown.
2. It is required that he affect the States' reputation.
3. That in time both of peace and war he govern his kingdom by his own presence worthily and profitably.
4. That confederates receive no cause of fear from him either of danger or damage.
Since then five are inferred into the Treaty of election, the King of Denmark, the Elector Palatine, the Elector of Saxony, the Duke of Savoy and the Prince of Transylvania, it shall suffice briefly to deduce the reasons for which the Elector Palatine ought to be esteemed very capable of the Crown of Bohemia. Although his Highness be not above 23 years old, he is a prince of a great judgment, bred up from his cradle in goodness and virtue, hath always persons of quality about him as well for the field as the Estate who are used to courtesy, and himself of very plentiful hopes; and besides, at this age, he will better accommodate himself to the customs of the kingdom than if he were more increased in years: and God bestows not always wisdom according to the age of a man, but to him that calls to God for it in his fear.
He is a Prince moderate, virtuous and resolute in his actions, quick and sharp in his discourse, true, courteous towards all men, very well languaged, holds a very fair court of Earls, barons and gentlemen, cherisheth the nobility, employs in his service even men of mean condition when he finds merit in them, and lets no worthy service pass without acknowledgment. He governs his subjects and country (in part the frontiers of this kingdom) with prudence, gives estimation to men of honour, holds a well ordered Council, frequents the Council table in person, takes an exact heed of the opinions and propositions of his Councillors, gives good cause of having his judgment approved. Inclines his understanding willingly to other men's information, loves the common good and therein takes pains with zeal and without fear, bears compassion to the afflicted, shews himself laborious and resolved, is beloved of his subjects, bears himself peaceably with his neighbours of whatsoever religion and wins respect even of those of different belief; for his own religion he is well affected, yet those of another faith in his countries do not find themselves disquieted in their consciences nor in the exercise of their religion. None can accuse him of precipitation or opiniativeness; he is in correspondence with those of the house of Palatine and Baviers and, notwithstanding, forsakes nothing of the rights or duties belonging to the general estate of the country. And howsoever this prince be but young and shews himself courteous and sweet towards his people, there is no lightness, dissoluteness nor voluptuousness seen in him, nor disorder or excess in his diet, nor any avarice, prodigality or other thing unbecoming or contrary to the reputation of a prince.
For the assistance Bohemia may expect from him, not only is he not in debt and that of his revenue he can lay something up, but the King of Great Britain in his father-in-law, the King of Denmark his near kinsman, and the Elector of Brandenburg, the Prince of Orange his uncle, the Duke of Bouillon his ally, the States of the United Provinces his confederates, the King of Sweden and the Hanse Towns his friends, and for his correspondents the Duke of Savoy, Venice and Switzerland; he is in good credit with all the Princes Electors and other Princes and Estates of the Empire, more particularly those of the Union he hath confederacies and ancient alliances with. France, the Prince of Transylvania and High Hungary do bear him affection; Saxony and Baviers are in good terms with him. Mentz and the neighbouring countries look upon him with respect, insomuch as Bohemia by his only means may procure the amity of all those we now labour for with so much travail, and by the same means may be conserved against our enemies, which cannot of any other nominated in the election be hoped for. Since it is a certainty this Prince would not accept the election for ambition's sake but only for the common good, we may promise ourselves he will continue always in the good affection he hath already showed towards this Crown.
Thirdly, the said confederated Provinces, who are already in good understanding with this Prince, are to consider that they cannot have the like confidence in others (who are too much tied in respect of the house of Austria) to succour them in their need, and in such a case the confederations would bring them prejudice rather than benefit, a point of great weight touching this Crown, as may be seen by experience. Since then all qualities required meet in the Prince Elector, and in the others treated of in the election (the Prince of Transylvania excepted who hath his eye upon another mark) are many imperfections, it is a matter to purpose no longer to defer the election, the rather because the crown of Bohemia with the countries confederate will now after the rejection be more disquieted than ever, and remaining without a head we shall find none who will duly undertake our protection and defence.—Undated.
Endorsed by Sir John Finet: "A proposition made by the States of Bohemia upon the election of their King, Aug. 16, 1619." 3⅓ pp. (129. 156.)
Sir Dudley Carleton to the Earl of Salisbury.
1619, August 25. I was very ready to satisfy your Lordship's desire, which I understood by your letter received by Sir Fr. Henderson in writing again to my Lord Marquis of Buckingham touching Ensign Kenithorpe's pardon, presently upon Sir Francis's arrival; but doubted that the progressive following so soon after (in which I had none to solicit the dispatch thereof) it might be laid aside, and then it would not be any more fit for me to solicit the business. Wherefore I have deferred the same until now that his Majesty being returned I might better serve you in it; and at this present I write expressly to my Lord Marquis according to the copy I send you herewith, whose letter I enclose in one to his secretary Mr Packer, and have written likewise to one Mr Lock, who does my affairs and will deliver these to you, to call upon Mr Packer for dispatch of the business: having sent him the copies of his Excellency's letter to his Majesty and Mr Kenithorpe's petition, whereby to frame the dispatch of the pardon if his Majesty grant the same. And if I could set more wheels going whereby to drive it to an end, I should not fail in this as in all other your commandments.—Hague, this 25 of August, 1619.
Holograph. 1 p. (129. 154.)
Henry Yelverton to the Earl of Salisbury.
1619, September 2. "It appeareth by a deed under your Lordships hand and seale that yourself and your late fathers executors did uppon trust convey unto the Earle of Suffolk, and the Lord Hobart and some others of his Mats privy counsell, in the eleaventh yeare of his Mats raigne, a lease made by his Maty to Mr Bellot and Mr Houghton to the use of your father of the customes of silkes, velvets, lawnes and cambricks. And for that so much of the trust is performed as was to your Lordshipps use, and the remainder of the time is wholie for his Matie, and that diverse deeds concerning the same are wantinge wherby his Mat is prejudiced in demising the same; and for that his Mats pleasure is that the same lease should be surrendred into his Highness's hands, which cannot well be done without your Lordshipps presence: I am therfore humbly to intreat your Lordshipp to give order to your sollicitor to loose upp all deeds and counterparts of deeds concerning the same, and to bring them to me that I may proceed for his Mats service therein as I am directed, and that your Lordshipp will be pleased at your convenient leasure to surrender the same."—Grayes Inne, 2 Sept: 1619.
Signed. Endorsed: "Mr Attorney to my Lorde aboute the silke farme." 1 p. (200. 167.)
The Directors and Councillors ordained by the three Protestant Estates of Bohemia assembled in Prague to the Electress Palatine.
1619, September 7. These are, Madame, to notify unto your Majesty that by the singular providence of God the Estates of this Kingdom of Bohemia, together with the Deputies of the countries of Moravia, Silesia and Lusatia superior and inferior, have with a common consent and a great applause elected and published for their King, our Lord, your husband: and therefore we beseech the Almighty to bless and prosper your Majesty and our Lord, your husband, in that dignity that all Christendom may rejoice thereat, and this country enjoy long prosperity under the conduct of his Majesty. And hereupon we direct our most humble request unto your Majesty to entreat our Lord, your husband, not only to consent of this our consent and joyful election, and thereby to declare his resolution as soon as may be, but likewise to mediate that by his authority there may be speedily ordered some succours of war against the enemies of our dear country, giving us his gracious and fatherly protection as his faithful subjects.
And because your Majesty may by your intercession obtain for us from your father, the King of Great Britain, much grace and favour, we do in like manner beseech your Majesty, for the advancement of the weal and preservation of the religion of the gospel, to be instant with the King, your father, to afford us his assistance either of money or men, and so doing to aid jointly with our Lord, your husband, graciously to take care of this our Kingdom. All which we shall be ready to merit at your Majesty's hands by our most humble service.—Given at the Castle of Prague, 7 September, 1619.
In Sir John Finet's hand. Endorsed: "A letter from the Directors of Bohemia to the Princess Electress Palatine." 1 p. (129. 155.)
[? 1619, September]. "A defence of the Bohemian proceedings."
The question is:
(1) Whether the cause of the State of Bohemia be just.
(2) Whether they have power to reject one King and choose or not another in his place.
(3) Upon what reasons they have rejected King Ferdinand, and whether those reasons be good.
(4) What means they have to preserve themselves with the King whom they have chosen.
The answer is:
(1) The justice of their cause appears in that it is an elective kingdom wherein a free election has been maintained for six ages together, conditioned upon the observation of their privileges; by virtue whereof they have called their King from the houses of Luxinburch, Pologna, Lithuania and other places. Some kings have been chosen from amongst their own Barons, and at length they took them out of Hungary and the house of Austria.
(2) It was by virtue of this free election that heretofore they deposed Wencelaus, an idle and vicious King, and chose another. They excluded the son of their King George and took another in his room. They did in 1608 quit Rodolph, who was King of Bohemia three years before he was Emperor. And if it be objected that the house of Austria have made pacts and conventions with the said States to establish the succession of that Kingdom, they answer that those conventions were made by force, by violence and by threatening, and that the said house has fallen entirely from those rights, having violated the privileges of the States of that country and broken the promises and oaths which were made and taken. And in this point the said States, with those of Moravia, Silesia and Lusatia upper and lower (countries incorporated to the Crown of Bohemia), have renewed their confederations to maintain their liberties and privileges, and have reciprocally joined their forces for maintenance thereof. It is objected also that they are subject to the Empire and can do nothing without the will of the Emperor. To which they answer that in Aurea Bulla (a fundamental law of the Empire) there is no subjection de facto to the Emperor: it is ordained that the States of Bohemia shall have their election free. It has been indeed used that a King of Bohemia, being one of the seven Electors, was to be invested by the Emperor and the Empire; but neither Mathias, being chosen King of Bohemia, was invested by the Emperor Rodolph, nor Ferdinand being chosen by the Bohemians had any investiture from the Emperor Mathias. Whence it appears that those of the house of Austria made no great reckoning of the investiture. It is also to be considered that the Bohemians are never called to appear at any of the Imperial Diets nor are comprehended in their Assemblies, which other States are accustomed to grant at the said Assemblies, as by daily experience is manifested.
(3) The reasons for which Ferdinand has been rejected, or rather has put himself out by absolving tacitly the States from their oath are, amongst others, these. First, for having done contrary to his promises and letters several, and to the conditions upon which he was chosen, viz, not any ways to meddle with the affairs of Bohemia during the life of the Emperor Mathias, which he has no ways observed in being so forward to thrust himself into their affairs. That he plotted, or rather directed in his councils, against them as much as he could, having imprisoned Cardinal Slosell, then of the Imperial Council, because he was not of his mind in this business, advising rather to proceed against the Bohemians by fair and gentle means; for having, by the instigations of the Jesuits, embroiled the estates of the Kingdom which before was peaceable; for having brought in strangers to the managing of the affairs; for having constrained men to go to mass, and by force caused the mouths of some to be opened to make them swallow down the host; for having ruined the churches of those of the religion; for having brought in subjection the churches (properly belonging to the Directors of that kingdom) to the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Prague against all right; and (to be brief) for endeavouring to abolish in the end the privileges of the States by such means as are here too tedious to relate; for entering into the kingdom by force and bringing in an army without consent of the States, for which there is an express article in their laws that whosoever does it, be he King or other, deprives himself ipso facto of all dignity, and becomes thereby an enemy to the country, and so is to be esteemed. The States further show that the election of Ferdinand into Bohemia was most unjustly plotted by some factious persons, who doubting that the countries incorporated to Bohemia (Moravia, Silesia and the upper and lower Lusatia) would not give their voices to Ferdinand, they brought it about that their provinces were not called to that election. Only there were admitted some few Papists and partialists who did govern all, and in the meantime they excluded on the one side the rest of the States and deprived the other side of the chief Protestants of their charges, taking from the Count of Toura the government of the Castle of Carelstein, where the crown is kept. They also deferred the election of K. Ferdinand so late until the most part of the Protestants (thinking nothing should be done that day) went their ways, but the Roman Catholics (who had the watchword) never stirred away until the partisans of Spain, fortified with the presence of the Emperor Mathias, of his Court and his guards, caused them to choose King Ferdinand. Against which act and course of proceeding the other members of the Crown did and do solemnly protest, and that King Ferdinand has treated with Spain to make the Kingdom of Bohemia hereditary to the house of Austria. The Estates further complain of the most barbarous cruelties which are exercised in their countries against women and children, and against very dead bodies, by the express commandment of the said King Ferdinand, witness those letters of his which were intercepted; the said States protesting that their consciences have moved them, yea, and constrained them to deliver the country from his tyranny; where before their eyes they see their consciences, lives and goods miserably taken away contrary to their privileges, to the letters de Majestate and to other promises solemnly sworn but never kept. Considering besides that under K. Ferdinand (wholly governed by the seditious spirits of the Jesuits and by the ministers of Rome and Spain, full of pride and cruelty), there was no hope of assured peace; for he would not so much as hear the ambassadors which for this purpose were sent to him from divers Princes, notwithstanding that he had formerly given hope of the contrary. For these reasons and other inevitable necessities they are constrained, according to their consciences, to renounce K. Ferdinand and to prefer the safety of the country before all other respects; which is a principal and sovereign law, acknowledged universally before all others by all men.
(4) In the fourth place, touching the means of their conservation with their King they have now chosen, their hope is that God will maintain them in their just cause, wherein they have no other aim than the conservation of the true religion and of the liberty of their country, for which they have vowed to live and die together; assuring themselves that God will touch the hearts of true Christian Kings, Princes and States who, seeing the tyranny of the house of Austria, will not abandon them in a just cause, but aid and defend them against all oppression; and by means of the wisdom, conduct, credit, power and courage of the King whom God has given them, and of his friends and confederates, they are in hope to settle their kingdom in peace. Whereunto the better to obtain they have resolved to command their forces by a Generalissimo, having to that end received [sic ? revived] their confederacy for reciprocal succours. They have likewise re-established their confederacy with the Upper and Nether Austria, holding good correspondence with the Princes of the Union, with the United Provinces of the Low Countries, with the Kingdom of Hungary, with the Prince of Transylvania, who is now in the field with an army in favour of them; and all his intendments are to the maintenance of those which profess the true religion, and yet for the conservation of those Roman Catholics who live peaceably amongst them in the exercise of their religion, under the obedience of the common ordinances and privileges of that kingdom.—Undated.
3 pp. (129. 158.)
Sir John Finet to the Earl of Salisbury.
1619, October 22. This day's work which we judged would have made riddance of the greater part of my Lord of Suffolk's business in question, has deceived our expectations; and so may my letter your Lordship's, since of five parts whereof the bill brought against his Lordship consists, only two were handled which were touching ordnance and the alum works. The part first in question of deceit of trust committed about the jewels was not so much as mentioned, since my Lord and Lady's plead ing of their discharge under the Great Seal expressly freeing them from ever being molested, impeached or sued to that purpose, served them for an armour of proof (which as Mr Attorney said the other day the King had given them and they had now put on), and kept them from all farther question. The two last parts of misemployment of the King's treasure and of extortion from the subject remain to be handled the next day. So the first that was fallen upon this day was concerning the Ordnance, wherein few examinations were read or proofs produced (being such as Mr Serjeant Crewe, who spake most, called for), yet tending strongly to the confirmation of a double hand in the disposition of the 60001 allotted yearly by his Majesty for the payment of officers and other charges belonging to the Ordnance. This was made to appear in my Lord's not bringing of books into the Exchequer in their due seasons and in making of orders antedated, in not discharging the necessary charges of the office nor paying the officers their wages, in having in the meantime disbursed to Sir Roger Dallison in two years and a half nine thousand pounds, whereof 2200 pounds were charged as paid a year after Sir R. Dallison was out of his place and the like, wherein my Lord your deceased father (to me and all honest men of ever happy memory) had by the way an honourable mention while it was delivered there in Court, that in the precedent Treasurer's time Dallison was not to be found in arrearages; but while my Lord of Suffolk was Treasurer he grew in arrears in the space of 2 years and a half above 90001.
This point thus left (wherein Mr Attorney scarce ever interposed one word, but the Solicitor sometimes and to no light purpose) Serjeant Crewe fell to handling the charge of the alum works; wherein was extolled the King's good husbandry, who while he kept them in his own hands made in two years and two months above 22,0001; and my Lord's undertakings decried who (howsoever he pretended a greater profit that should by his endeavours accrue to his Majesty) he was occasion to him of above 13,000l loss in the two first years; and whereas there should have been bond of 12,0001 taken of the contractors in the said two years, it was neglected to the loss of such advantage as might have been taken by the King of the contractors; and when in the beginning of the third year a new contract was made, Mr Chancellor refusing to join, there was but 60001 bond taken for the King's security; and of three contractors formerly bound Angell was omitted (at the pronouncing of which name and words my Lord Chancellor interposed with a smile these words:—"I doubt not their angels were omitted.") After which the Serjeant proceeded to aggravate by bringing in Turner, one of the first contractors, his offer to my Lady (and her acceptance) of 23001 for the procuring of 20,0001 debt out of the Custom house, together with her returning of part of the 23001 when my Lord seemed to be offended at it, and Turner's repayment of it again to her. All which was brought forth upon the reading of Humphrey's examination and 2 or 3 of my Lady's letters to him, which so plainly expressed her fears and shifts that the corrupt double carriage of that business should be discovered, as there needs little matter else to condemn her Ladyship howsoever my Lord may (I pray God he may) escape his dangerous part of it. Mention was made likewise of 3001 a year to come from the contractors for 21 years to Sir Thomas Howard; but no proof following that it was ever paid, that charge past no farther. I will only add that I find the weather grows more and more foul for this unhappy Lord's business, and if the sun of the King's grace or the wind of his gracious favour dispel or blow not away the storm threatened, there is nothing but ruin to be expected, which God turn away.— London, 22 October, 1619.
Holograph. 3 pp. (129. 160.)
Sir John Finet to the Earl of Salisbury.
1619, October 27–29. To continue the account of the great business, this day was handled by Mr Solicitor General the 4th part of that five fold division of the bill against my Lord of Suffolk and others in proving the accusation brought against him for misemployment of the King's treasure, and this was subdivided into 3 parts:—
Misemployment of money paid the King upon surrender of the Cautionary Towns to the States.
of assignments for the service of Ireland.
of treasure unduly taken out of the Receipt of the Exchequer.
For the first it was alleged that whereas the King had received for the said towns 213,0001, whereof was paid into the Exchequer 173,0001, and a privy seal granted for distribution of those moneys with a schedule annexed, specifying the particulars, 3000l was found to have been taken out and no mention made of it in that schedule; which my Lord's answer excused that it was taken to buy in pensions, viz, one from my Lord Davers of 8001, and the other from Mr Angell of 200l. Both these examined confess there was such a treaty but that for want of money (whereof they expected present payment) it brake off, though in the meantime the money was proved to rest in my Lord's hands, and after two years rest there was sent to Mr Burlamachi with caution that it might be secretly returned into the Exchequer, as if it had been till then remaining in his hands unpaid; whereas Burlamachi affirms he never expected such a return, having paid it into the Exchequer two years before; and Vandeput his partner, being also examined, adds that the reason (as he thought) why this money was brought back was, that there having been no tally struck all that time it might seem never till then to have been paid into the Exchequer. Hereupon wanted not invectives against the disorders of issuing moneys without express order, according to the prescribed form, or with blank orders (termed so because instead of an order they set a blank) whereby orders might be supplied at the pleasure of Sir John Bingley, as it was proved they were, long after moneys had been issued to other particular uses, and might be transferred whither and to what uses they will, to the extreme wrong both of the King and subjects. Here was Sir John Bingley also taxed (besides many other charges which this day brought him into deeper and more dangerous question than hitherto) for directing all such orders as were of little or no profit to which of the Tellers pleased him least, whereby he held them in awe with the fear of their loss if they would not show themselves serviceable unto his turn. Upon which occasion Sir Ed. Warder, having been examined, confessed that which Mr Attorney called the other day the "mystery of iniquity", discovering what moneys had been charged, some upon the Navy (which Sir Robert Mansfeld disclaiming the receipt of, was thereupon transferred to the Wardrobe), some upon particular persons as Lord Stanhope, Sir Gervase Elwyse, Sir Baptist Hicks and many other taken out in other men's names; and much charged upon the old debt of Ireland, for which Sir John Bingley had a privy seal in 8 Jas 1, and which as an abissus or gulf swallowed store of treasure, never in danger to be accounted for by Sir John Bingley till he were called to it (and that by likelihood never) for all together. In all these charges it was enforced that my Lord of Suffolk could not but be as faulty as Sir John Bingley, and with him particepseriminis in regard the weekly examination of the Exchequer accounts could not pass without his knowledge, and consequently must be with his connivance and to his benefit. Amongst other charges two were brought upon my Lord of 1001 and of 401 taken out of the Exchequer and paid to Mr Carter, the first for his building at Newmarket and the latter for his stable at Charing Cross. Whereupon Mr Solicitor (in the rest of his speech little or nothing tart) took occasion to ejaculate—"Thus the great foundation of the Exchequer must be subverted for the building up of my Lord's stables." But when they came to Ireland there fell a storm of aggravations for transferring of money upon that country service (though said to be employed to my Lord's and other private uses), for the mischiefs that might follow it by mutinies of soldiers for want of pay, and for the wrongs done to particular officers and commanders there by drawing from them consents to give large yearly allowances for assurance of good and certain payment. In sum, Humphrey's book and confession was there produced to prove many of these allegations; but more of his own knowing in betraying his master; whom misfortune thus still attends with the world's for speaking of his ruin if his Majesty's goodness prevent not.
October 28. The next day Mr Serjeant Finch spake to the first and last remaining part of the bill concerning extortion exercised against the subject, saying at his entrance that the "mystery of iniquity" spoken of by Mr Attorney was now to be revealed in her own colours; and having delivered the circumstances offering themselves, as he said, in the bill, viz;—
The nature of the business,
The means used for extortion, and
The proportion of the extortion, he insisted upon their ways of taking and drawing in of profit, by bargaining, delaying, persuading, threatening, etc., saying no door could be opened without a golden key, and if charms would not serve they would use conjurations; as when Cortin sued for his debt of 18,0001 from the King, Sir John Townsend demanded of him 30001, and said, what is it to give 3000l to such a man as my Lord, be it but to purchase his favour? Farther, when Cortin was by my Lord offered a purchase of lands in Yorkshire at so dear a rate (because the said sum demanded might be included) that he flatly refused to deal with it, he was sent for by my Lord and threatened with the loss of all he had by a praemunire.
And for the 10,0001 borrowed of the farmers upon the lease of Oswestry, when they grew to a treaty what should be given to my Lord yearly to assure his favour, of 25001 first demanded, next of 20001, they agreed at last to give 15001 per annum, conditionally it should be towards the setting off every year of so much of the main debt. Meantime the said lease was sent for to be seen with pretence of some use my Lord had of it in the country, and being delivered to my Lady whole and uncancelled (though my Lady affirm that it was as she remembers brought to her cancelled, and that my Lord say likewise that the farmers condescended it should be cancelled), it was defaced and so stands, of no use to the farmers for the money lent upon it.
The next charge was of 3000 pieces taken of the Merchant Adventurers for confirming or renewing their charter, which appears booked by Humphreys and received by him to my Lord's use of Mr Tomson.
Then came in question Sir David Murray's composition for 30001 to take two thousand, having entertained before a treaty with Sir Arthur Ingram what should be given and offered 5001 (Ingram protesting he was not to gain sixpence by it, which argued—as was urged—a profit to my Lord), he consented at length to give 10001 which my Lord says was returned into the Exchequer, but is affirmed by the adverse party to have been paid to Henshaw for a debt of my Lord's. Hereupon my Lord Chancellor brought forth a sentence of the Scripture;—"If this be done to the green tree, what shall become of the withered? Sir David Murray is no contemptible man, what measure may be expected to have been offered to other of meaner quality ?"
Sir Miles Fleetwood followed this for 5001 given for the transferring of 500 marks pension to the Court of Wards, and for 1001 more that himself had given to smooth the way against checks in his office.
Gray, a Scottishman, paid 5001 for the passing of a book of 500 marks concealment.
Stapelford for 20001 offered to Sir John Bingley for favour 2501, which Bingley confessed to have received for the Countess.
Heriot for 10,0001 offers 5001 which was by Humphrey's confession accepted.
Hall made offer to Sir John Bingley for 4,0001 to give 400[l]. They went together to Suffolk House. Bingley conferred privately with my Lady and returned to Hall telling him that he should have his money. A month after a tally was struck, the money paid, the promised sum deducted.
Henshaw conditioned to pay 20001 out of 12,000[1], but the times of payment not [being] observed that bargain slept.
Sir John Spilman of a debt of 3000l was paid 20001, took a bond for the third thousand at a year's day of payment, delivered the bond into Sir John Bingley's hand (with a ring of 1101 value), from his hand to my Lady's, there detained. Spilman redemanded his bond of Bingley; he answered, why did you give it to me but to give to my Lady?; so had neither money nor bond nor ring back again.
Bland, a citizen, to be spared from a bond of 5001 gives 831 and a sable muff to my Lady.
With other like these, which had the parties' deposition or Sir John Townsend's or else Humphrey's book to confirm them. Besides, another letter was produced under my Lady's hand complaining of Sir Arthur Ingram that could not procure her but five in the hundred, and extolling Bingley that could bring her to far better bargains.
Again she writes to Humphreys that he should keep himself from being examined and from swearing to anything; and upon his objection that he should then be punished for contempt she bid him not fear, for she would defend him from all danger.
In the last place came in the question of 28001 paid Bingley to distribute amongst certain pirates to keep them honest men after their reclaiming. Of this money one Captain Boghe should have had 11001; he never could get but 401, was imprisoned for debt, died there of discontent. His brother was soon after sent for by Bingley, told by him that he had 7001 of his brother's remaining in his hand, and persuaded to take letters of administration. Which done, Captain Bogh's creditors pursue his brother, he repairs to Bingley, Bingley tells him he was mistaken in the account and that his brother had received of him more than his due, so advised him to revoke the letters of administration, brought him belief of a debt due, he said, to his brother in Ireland of 3001, gave him ten pounds and dispatched him over thither, since when he was never heard of.
Sir John Bingley dealt also with one Randall to win Captain Millington to take a less sum than 6661 due to him, under colour of compounding for the King's advantage, so drew him to accept of 2001, which Randall disbursing (for Bingley) to Boghe upon Bingley's assurance of speedy payment, he was two years before he could receive his own money, and then too he was forced to abate fifty pounds of the said two hundred. The like proceeding or worse was with the rest of the pirates who could never obtain but little, and some nothing, of the King's bounty.
Paul Fore, a lodger of strangers, had long entertained in his house a Duke of Saxony, and for all his charge of diet and otherwise was content to accept of a privy seal of 10001 due to the said Duke from his Majesty's gift; for which contracting with Sir John Bingley he gave him 1001 to procure, had a tally struck, and being put over to the custom to receive it fell thence into the little less merciless hands of Sir W. Garroway and Mr Johnes, who took of him 501 for composition.
Likewise one Thomas Porter, being in arrear 4001 of a pension of 2001, he compounded with Bingley for one hundred to receive the other three.
Sir Allen Apsley being examined confessed that for a New Year's gift he gave my Lord every year a hundred pounds or plate to that value, but with no contract, but that being often plunged for want of due payment he had given to Bingley at several times above six hundred pounds.
All the while these charges were there in Court laid open, Sir John Bingley was present and with open face outstood them; at last spake himself out loud (which is not as you know used there unless in an ore tenus), saying, "My Lords, I have ever hated the name of a deceiver, and if I prove not against all these accusations that I have done the part of an honest man, I desire no favour." The world in the meantime wonders at his confidence and little believes that he will make good his profession of innocency.
29 October. This day the defendants came to their answer, which was taken first in hand by Serjeant Richardson and carried with that strength of wit and argument as has shaken much of the world's opinion concerning the guilt of my Lord in the two charges of the Ordnance and the alum business.
The question of the jewels (ranked first in the bill) was first only touched upon, since the pardon pleaded to that accusation was admitted by the Court as a sufficient bar against it.
The Serjeant's entrance then was with a request of freedom of speech and allowance of time answerable to the proceeding of their accusers, which was assented to and in truth observed with a just measure. He intimated how nearly the case concerned two noble persons, whereof one had been the second public officer of the land until this cloud of accusation fell upon him of offences foul in their own nature, but endeavoured to be made much fouler. He fell to answer the charge concerning the point of Ordnance; that my Lord is chargeable of what the officers suffered for want of their pay—with this avoidance, "that the privy seal granted for 6000l to be yearly issued for that office, being directed to the Lord Treasurer to pay so much to the Lieutenant, the said Lieutenant might pay it to the officers". So the Lieutenant and not my Lord was chargeable, and that if the works were not done nor provisions brought in (as in the information he stands charged though it appear by Dallison's account in the Chequer that the works were done and provisions brought in) the Earl is not faulty, whose eminent quality might exempt him from such mean inquisitions and duties proper to the Lieutenant. And as for the 2200l which he is charged to have distributed to Dallison after he was discharged of his place, the Serjeant affirmed it was paid long before as appeared by the tally. And as for the arrear of 9000l entrusted to Dallison in the space of two years and a half, it was answered that the greater part did not grow in my Lord Treasurer Suffolk's time, but before. Lastly, the error of not bringing in the books and their not subscribing by the officers were affirmed to grow from Dallison's protestations to my Lord that they were subscribed, who then of that state and reputation of honesty might easily beget belief in his Lordship; so as if the Earl, he said, had erred it is not of wilfulness but of too much credulity, much less of corruption, as by the bill he stood accused.
Lastly, for the moneys delivered to Dallison they were by way of imprest, a liberty ordinarily allowed the Lords Treasurer, and a trust that Dallison's estate might well deserve.
These answers were replied to by the Solicitor and others of the King's party, and in some points disabled; but not so but it left that part of the business less heinous in the hearers' judgment than they had till then conceived of it.
The next charge fallen upon by the Serjeant was that of the alum works, and first of my Lord's not delivery of the bond of contract of 12,0001 to the Remembrancer of the Exchequer but to Sir John Bingley, out of whose hands it was by my Lord taken and cancelled upon the making of the second contract, whereby the King lost his advantage upon the first and had but the help of 6000l bond upon the second. To this was answered that the articles and bond of contract being but temporary, it was meant that they should not be delivered to the Remembrancer till the alteration of the contract should give cause, and therefore might be (and were by consent of the parties as Sir A. Ingram deposes) given to Bingley to be kept as to a clerk of the Exchequer and accustomed to have the custody of such instruments. And for the cancelling of them, he alleged that the second contract being for so many years to come and under such strong assurance as the Great Seal, it was a sufficient discharge of the former. Besides it was concluded by agreement among the contractors that unless the bond of 12,000l might be redelivered, they would not enter into a new contract: so my Lord, he said, was clear of that charge, that he cancelled the bond for his own advantage. As for the taking of less bond for the latter contract than for the former, the cause was alleged to grow from this, that the 10,000l which the King gave being bestowed in building of houses for the works, the less bond was sufficient.
Finally, touching Sir Th. Howard's 3000l a year granted him by the contractors, it was proved to have been only an intentional gratuity to show their thankful acknowledgment of my Lord's favour towards them, and needed no other defence or answer than was proved by Sir Ar. Ingram's deposition that the writing drawn for it went never out of Ingram's hands, and Sir Th. Howard never received penny profit by it.
Many other reasons passed pro and contra to prove and disprove the difference of gain and loss to the King in the times of the agency and of the contract, which was intricate to me to conceive, and out of my distance to hear by reason of the then tempestuous noise of my Lord Mayor's (fn. 1) shot, drums and trumpets at his landing at Westminster. Only I could apprehend that whereas in three years' space of the agency of Johnson the King was not answered above 4000l, as the Serjeant affirmed, he made after his disbursement of only 10,000l to the contractors more than 9000l yearly clear gain. Which the King's counsel and some of the Lords taking in hand to disprove, strong arguments were brought against it, and the Serjeant's so in certain points convinced, as we might see how the world inclines and how that Lord is like to suffer, if not in these, in the other wounds he is like to receive through his Lady's sides, against which the world and its prejudging conceits (much less the Lords in their searching wisdom) will admit no hope of defence. And so God send him patience and your Lordship health.—London, 29 October, 1619.
P.S I thank you for your so noble offer of venison and will be bold to accept it, beseeching you will be pleased to send me a doe on Thursday or Saturday to welcome Mr Secretary Calvert to my nearer neighbourhood, together with Will Ashton and other friends to bear him company; where your health shall be heartily remembered.
Holograph. 12 pp. (129. 162.)
Sir George Calvert to the Earl of Salisbury.
1619, November 2. Your Lordship needs not to make any apology for your freedom with me in anything that you shall desire at my hands, having justly so great interest as you have to command me. And for this particular of my Lord of Suffolk's, you may assure yourself that I, having ever honoured and loved his person, shall never be a hinderer of any mercy or favour that his Majesty shall intend towards him. God forbid I should, though I must deal plainly with your Lordship in this, that if it come to sentence, howsoever Serjeant Richardson did as much for my Lord's defence as possibly the cause would bear, yet in good faith, my Lord, bona fide, I do not understand that the discharge is so clear as you have heard it be. In some particulars I confess he has satisfied me until I hear them avoided again by the reply. Nevertheless, be assured that for my part if his Majesty will be pleased to give his Lordship a remission now upon his submission, I shall not be the man that shall murmur at it, but be as glad of it as any whosoever. This is all I have need to say at this time in answer to your letter.—Whitehall, 2 November, 1619.
Holograph. Seal. 1⅓ pp. (129. 168.)
Sir John Finet to the Earl of Salisbury.
1619, November 4. This day, the sixth of this great cause's debating, Mr Serjeant Richardson pursued his interrupted task of answering to the accusations of the alum business, and first to the charge laid upon my Lord of Suffolk for the 3000l or thereabouts taken by way of bribing of Turner and Hildesley, from the first 1900l, from the latter above 1000l. It was denied that Turner was a contractor, Lee, Ingram and the rest having removed him from that part, and affirmed that the 1900l given to my Lady [of Suffolk] tended nothing to that business but only, as appeared by deposition, to gain her Ladyship's favour for the procuring of security for his [Turner's] 20,000l debt from the farmers of the custom, and that in this bargain my Lord had had neither hand nor knowledge, as was approved both by my Lady's and Turner's own deposition. For confirmation whereof it was alleged that his Lordship upon the very first notice was much offended with the Countess and caused the money to be paid back to Turner, as was also the 1000l to Hildesley given in respect of the carriages, and 500l for the agency. And whereas those restitutions were supposed to be made by my Lord when already plunged in danger (otherwise they had not been made), it was denied and proofs insisted upon that when they were made there was no storm coming; which rests upon Mr Attorney's reply and the disproofs of the King's party to be cleared. This point being passed over, Serjeant Bawtry took in hand to answer the charge of the letters written by my Lady to Humphreys as a man that had a whole forge of papers of like nature, and had in six several examinations—wherein he professed to have uttered as much as his brains or wit had in it—never once charged my Lady with the said letters, and had finally produced them at a time when he had apparently crost himself by his computation; that he was besides a suborner of others to cancel, deny, antedate, etc; and therefore not to be credited but to be held a forger therein, as he had been in other matters.
Upon these allegations my Lord Chancellor interposed: "Mr Serjeant, you have taken in hand a hard province to prove those letters false," and another of the Lords, after Humphrey's accusation by Serjeant Bawtry for a suborner, "whose money went he about with to suborn ?", and the like which argue preparations to the confusion threatened. Young Mr Finch spake next to the third charge of misemployment of treasure, in truth to learned and wise purpose, paid Mr Solicitor home in many points as one, he said, that had used a glass that made all things appear double, reported Mr Attorney's particular charges of moneys misemployed and detained in his hands (as that of the Cautionary towns, that signed for pensions, that wherewith he stood charged to have taken out of the Receipt and not employed it as he ought, which, he said, would not amount to above 6140l, a sum less than even petty receivers have held longer in their hands and never been questioned); and finally, he said that these detaining, transferrings, antedatings and the like charged upon my Lord under the title of "the mystery of iniquity now to be reached", proceeded either of necessity or election without intent of fraud, and were but mists of clouds hanging over my Lord's head with a little wind to be blown away. Many like passages fell from him, and after from Serjeant Bawtry to my Lord's justification. But the confidence that I hear Mr Attorney professes to some of his inward friends that in his reply he will make all clear for the King against the defendants, makes me doubt of some strength in reserve for the last that may prove to my Lord's overthrow, if not from himself, from his Lady and Sir John Bingley. On Saturday the Lords sit again; after that I shall relate farther of this busy business, which the King, they say, will have dispatched before his parting on Tuesday, but I believe not so far as the period of all, the sentence, which my conceit gives me shall follow a private conference with his Majesty and be given up in his absence.
For other news from abroad, we had an alarm here on Sunday that the coronation was past, but a false one raised from a supposition that because it was assigned for the 23 of last month it could not but be now solemnised. The truth, not doubted, is not unexpected daily. In the meantime we hear that the King of Denmark and the King of Sweden will personally meet the King of Bohemia and the Princes and cities of the Union at Nurenberg the 24 of this month, there to resolve on the courses how best to preserve the gotten good and to withstand the threatened ill from the Pope, the King of Spain and the whole house and friends of Austria. For a preparative hereof there is an army of 6000 (said at first to be 9000) marching out of Italy by the way of the Grisons towards the Count Buquoy, who at this present professes the distress his army is in if succours come not speedily.
At home we have for a wondered at accident the monstrous birth of a child (shown the King the other day) with 2 heads, 4 arms, 4 legs and but one heart, which I wish had been two and the rest one, in this time when we want no heads, arms nor legs and are taxed by our neighbours for little less than heartless. On Monday last, as I hear, was atoned by his Majesty the long depending difference between my Lord Marquis Buckingham and my Lord Chamberlain about conferring the place of Groom Porter. At the time it was composed the King, Prince and the two Earls were, as I hear, only private, and all other excluded. His Majesty spake much of his affection to both and of both their noble dispositions, addressed himself more particularly to my Lord Chamberlain and questioned him of his inclination to agreement. He replied that though he could produce a man living to be sworn that he had, in time of Queen Elizabeth, taken a good sum of money to procure the then Lord Chamberlain's consent to the admission of Sir Cornwallis after he had obtained the Queen's grant, he said he would freely submit all to his Majesty; which the King taking with a most gracious acknowledgment, my Lord Marquis made a large and free profession of his respects to my Lord Chamberlain. So was that business consummate and Cotterell received to the place, which few doubted but in the end would fall to him. [Interlined by the writer: Why may not this facilitate the way of my Lord Chamberlain to the office of . . . (blurred)]
Here is a ridiculous encounter at Court worth your Lordship's notice, be it but to laugh at. The King one day at dinner held some light discourse with Sir Robert Deyall (a man your Lordship, I think, knows) of a free boutehors as the Frenchman terms it. He chanced to fall upon the purpose of begging suits of his Majesty, and casting "chanceably" his eye upon Sir Charles Howard, my Lord of Nottingham's nephew, said he knew no better suit to beg than that gentleman's reversions, which, he said, were so many as if they once fell they would make him ever rich. The King, that had long been acquainted with that knight's [Howard's] begging importunity, granted that in earnest (not without note of shame and blushing from Sir Charles Howard), which the other in jest requested; so that Deyall is now busy with the seals upon a special warrant from the King to have one and twenty reversions (for so many they are) passed under one to save charges, and is already, as he swore to me himself, offered twelve hundred pounds for his suit so unlooked for granted. It is late and I have outrun my paper. Pardon my errors of haste and burn my letter for its faults rather than any matter that (as I presume) requires such caution.—London, 4 November 1616 [sic:]
Holograph. 4 pp. (129. 135.)
[See Cal. S.P. Dom, 1619–23, p. 94.]
John Rawson to the Earl of Salisbury.
1619, November 9. Tenant of two corn mills at Hatfield. Prays that Walter Morrell, who has obtained lease of the fulling mill there, be restrained from making it a corn mill.—9 November, 1619.
1 p. (P. 1839.)
Sir John Finet to [the Earl of Salisbury].
1619, November 14. To sum up the last of the account I owe you touching my Lord of Suffolk's great business in the Star Chamber. On Friday Mr Attorney made his reply to the defendants' answer, and began with magnifying the Lords' moderation and inclination to qualify faults though enormous, and rather to grieve at than desire the punishment of offenders, such as was the Earl of Suffolk, a great star fallen out of their own firmament; whose business in hand mainly concerned the King in honour and interest and the subject in safety and ease; whom if it were a crime to follow with hue and cry up to the seat of justice, he must, he said, be guilty of it. It was true, he added, they had made their best of every poor evasion like those in peril of drowning, who to save themselves take hold of every reed. But accusations were to be made good by proofs, proofs by reply, wherein he would follow them the nearer because at the bar, he said, they had so braved it.
So having spoken something of his Majesty's disposition not to victory but to justice, he charged first upon the Ordnance, affirming that that part was fully unanswered, and that for all their "innabling" [? ennobling] Dallison's estate, it was apparent the Earl had issued the King's treasure unduly to a man that had shifted himself out of the place and his Majesty out of his money, and that they laboured by their arguments to draw men's eyes from the wound or to blear them that they might not see the depth and danger of it. Their allegation, how it belonged to the Lieutenant of the Ordnance to see books brought in rather than to the Lord Treasurer, was false, since the signing of the books and delivery of the moneys was his part and therefore his office to regard it. For want hereof the works stood still, whence grew sufferance to the King in his honour, danger to the State in want of provision for war, and occasion of cry to the poor workmen in their extreme necessities. He touched also upon antedates and their abuses, proved against my Lord; and that through his supine negligence and unfaithfulness orders were neglected in their drawing and moneys forward in their issuing to Dallison, with the like refuting reasons to this and other purposes. After which he descended to the alum works, wherein he principally taxed my Lord for having of his own head, without the Chancellor's consent, without warrant, and with neglect of the King's pleasure cancelled the articles and burnt the bond of 12,000l that it might nevermore appear if questioned. The change of the contract was found to be to the King's loss, howsoever the defendants insisted upon proofs to the contrary, thirteen thousand pounds. That herein there was for their Lordships' consideration a delict and a mulct or fine; the delict having destroyed the King's profit for so many years, the mulct was to be proportioned to the delict as their Lordships' judgments should lead them. Next he fell upon misemployment of the treasure as of the 3000l for Burlamachi, asserted to have been received by my Lord to buy pensions (and these also not satisfied) howsoever enforced to be excused as lent by Sir Jo. Bingley, but affirmed by Burlamachi himself to have been paid in by him as the King's money and no otherwise. The 2000l for Irish service, pretended to be lent my Lord by Bingley as of his own moneys, the Attorney insisted upon proof from Humphrey's book and confessions to have been of the assignments for Ireland, and not to have been returned to the fountain, the Exchequer, till two years after that the storm fell upon them. Here followed aggravations what complaints came hence from the Irish army, what danger to the State, and that if some captains attested how little cause they had in their own particular to complain, Sir Harry Dockwray their Treasurer had sense for all, who was glad to scatter 1500l amongst the soldiers for their pacification. Besides, how considerable it was that there remained unpaid to my Lord Ridgway, when he left his place of Treasurer, 11,000l as appeared by account, and that therefore it was that he could not pay the army. And whereas one of defendants' counsel [marginal note: Mr Finch] had exampled a Treasurer of Queen Elizabeth (Paulet), that he owed at one time 30,000l, had it stalled at an easy rate for payment and yet kept his place, whereas the Earl for so small sums was so severely questioned, he replied that if that were uttered by advice from my Lord it proceeded from a repining spirit; if from a mutinous humour in the counsel, it was undutiful, touched the King in honour and excused not the defendant, who for being unfaithful in a little deserved to be ruler over nothing. After this came the counter reasons to what had been alleged for Cortin, who though (after that corrupt proposition for his buying of land of my Lord in Yorkshire overvalued 3000l and his refusal to deal with it) he gave nothing yet he went not away without frowns and threats. And as for the 3000l taken of the Merchant Adventurers, it was both the King's dishonour and my Lord's also so to fleece them to whom he had been before, upon the question of introducing the new trade of clothing, so directly contrary. Finally, whereas one [marginal note: Serjeant Richardson] had been so punctual in noting the number of persons to have been but 17 from whom my Lord was charged to have taken, the sum not to have amounted to above 3000l, and the time in four years, the Attorney termed them but jerks and inducements to make him lay open things he would otherwise have omitted; as indeed he did, to the purpose of my Lord's swearing that books were brought in when Bingley swore the contrary, that he took no money to supply his own occasions when the pension money was to be converted to his own particular use, and other like charges; wherein, he said, he would never have made him so foul if his counsel had not strained themselves to make him so fair.
After this Mr Attorney coming to my Lady's part with a charge of 3000l, as for what her own counsel, he said, had by way of extenuation delivered her to the mercy of the Court. He proceeded to spare no plainness of terms in taxing her Ladyship; as for her letters, that some of them were impious in style and odious in matter; that she made a show to esteem no friends but money; that her subtleties, thrown out upon several occasions, had made my Lord's house a snare for the subject; that she did angle with several hooks upon one line; that the sundry sums given for bribery were landed at her stairs under the conduct of Bingley and employed to my Lord's use; that if she yielded in anything brought against her, it was but as the mouse would do being in the cat's mouth; that if there were any fault in Humphreys (upon whose justification in other things he earnestly insisted), it was that he had been too good a scholar to my Lady, and followed her too near in telling Hall how and when he might swear he had given nothing to my Lady and the like. All which, he said, were such faults as, if the punishment due to them as to sins would not terrify her, he desired she might be punished to terrify others. He particularised farther divers takings she stood charged with, as that of Turner pretended for procuring him security from the farmers, and proved to be restored not till the storm was falling; that by contract from the farmers of 1500l a year together with the resuming and cancelling of the pawned lease of Oswestry, urged as an increase of the fault and a high exaction; which offences, if they would not have them termed extortions but gratuities, it was but to clothe a hare in a fox's skin, and that they were but cloaks lined with bribery.
The last place was reserved for Sir Jo. Bingley whom he termed my Lady's purveyor, citing those letters to Humphreys of Sir Arthur Ingram's ill husbandry for her, that could procure her but five in the hundred when Bingley could help her to far better bargains. Then he fell to recharge him with the fault of translating and shifting of moneys without the King's warrant, as that of Sir Robert Mansfield having rested five years in his hands; of blank acquittances, as that under my Lord of Doncaster's name only, and other, all which Bingley affirmed to have come by warrant from my Lord, between whom, my Lady and himself there was (he said) a true combination. After which, having charged Bingley with overawing the Tellers towards whom his words and letters were commands, with his rapacity in exacting, with robbing of poor men and extorting from others to the value (for which, he said, his own counsel gave him over to the Court) of 2000l which he said he had taken as gratuities, but if their Lordships in their sentence did not give them another title we should be all undone in the State, he finally fell to sum up the King's loss by my Lord; in the Ordnance, 6000l; in the alum, 1326l; in misemployments of treasure to the value of about 10,000l. And so illustrating the King's grace in taking the subject's quarrel into his own hands, and intimating to his hearers upon this example how great men stand not by their greatness but by their goodness, he concluded with a mitigating wish that his Majesty would be pleased to remember my Lord's service and his quality, and after God's imitation whose representant he was, look upon him rather with the eyes of mercy than of severity of justice.
The next day was for the Lords' censure, which came first from Sir Edward Cooke, with these preparatives which I will set down as I caught them by pieces and not with the method they were delivered, too hard a task for my weak observation, especially in such a throng of questioning auditors as were there assembled. He said there were three loud speaking relators that stood up against the defendants, the common weal, the voice of the oppressed and the cry of the labourer robbed of his hire. That the King's treasure was the soul of the commonwealth, so as who destroyed this was guilty of civil murder, that great men should not be called to that Court for petty offences, but since the corruption of the greatest and best was the worst and this was no petty offence, it was time there to question the offenders. He added that he would not give sentence out of his own opinion but out of records, out of parchment, book cases and the like which should give sentence for him. Hereupon he cited from Henry III's time to these days what several Treasurers and great officers entrusted with the King's money had incurred severe punishments for deceit of trust, oppression of the people, consuming of the treasure, taking of bribes, compounding unduly for the King's debts which by a law were to be satisfied by a double forfeiture, and were punishable at the King's pleasure. That bribery was crimen duplicatum and did go ever accompanied with perjury, because by it the officer is foresworn in his office. Coming to particulars, he said that for the Ordnance no books being brought forth and this told by Bingley to my Lord, made his fault the more unpardonable. The like did his free issuing out of the 6000l with more respect to a weak friend than to the King's or State's benefit. For the alum business, that the cancelling of the articles and bond of the contractors was most unlawful, and the Chancellor's constancy to be commended for not joining with the Earl, which made it a crime and no error in his Lordship.
Next he fell upon the misemployments in Ireland and at home, upon extortions and exactions, enwrapping in this fault my Lady and Bingley. For her, that it was true that in criminal causes the husband shall never suffer for his wife. "No, God forbid," quoth he, "let her hang for herself if she deserve it." But in civil causes it was not so, she should be answered for by her husband. That Bingley and she had looked for bribes for my Lord, and before he could have them he must set his hand to the order, yet was not she my Lady Treasurer though my Lord might seem to be her clerk. That in one thing he could not but extenuate my Lady's fault, that when Humphreys was as hardly drawn as ever man was to confess against his Lord and Lady, he was at length brought to acknowledge that there was a book of his kept by my Lady that had all in it. This book my Lady (quoth he) being desired did part with, which she did nobly not to burn, and very dutifully to deliver. In conclusion, he collected the loss accruing to the King by my Lord, and finding the sums to amount to one and fifty thousand pounds he could not but double the punishment by imposing a fine on him and his Lady of a hundred thousand pounds, that he should make restitution to all that he had by extortion oppressed, he and his Lady to be imprisoned in the Tower separately and at their own charge during the King's pleasure. And for Bingley, having found his bribes and extortions to come to two thousand five hundred pounds, he could not but fine him also double at 5000l, and to be sent to the Fleet for his prison.
In order followed Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer who discoursing awhile upon the point of trust deceived by a principal officer, how the underwood trembles at the fall of a great oak as might be seen and excellent use made of it by this example; how my Lady was joined in my Lord's faults; how Bingley was not only a tempter but a moulder of frailty in my Lord; what irregular motions he had made in the Exchequer; and how he had misfashioned it to fashion his own interest, he concurred in sentence with my Lord Cooke.
The next part was Lord Hubbard's which he most gravely and learnedly discharged, so as I may easily wrong it, as I do the rest, in attempting though but in part to report it. He set forth the weight of the cause, the worthiness of the Court, wherein though the King were not there in person, he was always there in power as president. He held it an unlucky thing that bribery should be found so ancient and so quick in return during the reign of so many kings as Sir Ed. Cooke had proved it, and therefore prayed God it might not prove so hereafter. The treasure, he said, was munimentum belli and monimentum pacis; that even the dead treasure, such as was hoarded up and the quick which lay in mines, was given to the King as the most helpful thing for the use of man; that the dissipation of this was destruction to an estate, etc. So in the Ordnance business he could not but censure my Lord Treasurer as guilty, but that yet he could not put so servile an occupation upon him as to make him a daily overseer of inferior officers, who if they abused him he might well be allowed to say he could not see with their eyes, yet he should with his own have seen their books brought in in due time and order, wherein failing his fault was wilful and punishable; and though he found no corruption of gain proved about the Ordnance, he found in him corruption of affection in yielding more to his friend than to his duty; that the consequence of this having brought that office into confusion, he could not censure him for that fault less (and would no more) than one year's allowance of the privy seal, 6000l, this to be paid by his Lordship and he to have liberty to recover it upon Dallison. For the alum, he said there was a latitude in discretion that ambulatory bargains should be subject to alteration, and so was that; yet for delivering out the articles and cancelling the bond, which was the King's assurance for 13,000l, he could not but censure him in point of damage 7000l. Touching misemployments of the treasure and the rest, he said for translating of sums he could not find my Lord's personal notice in them, no more than he could in blank orders (a Cabal, he said, of Bingley's conceit) which no man could understand and was an abuse only to carry it in a mist; but he must censure him for making bold with the King's treasure, as that of the Cautionary towns, to be employed to his own private use most insufferable, for grating on the Irish army most odious. For his Lady he would say but habetis confitentem ream. She was a better wife than woman, ever willing to support her husband right or wrong, and they must suffer together. Yet because he found not my Lord to offend so much in corruption as in frailty and that his fault might have been worse, he should be loth to fine him so as his estate should crack for it; and supposing the fine of 100,000l, to be sufficient to eat it up, he would set no more upon them than 30,000l, and upon Bingley 2000l, imprisonment for them in the Tower and for him in the Fleet, all during pleasure.
Next him Sir Julius Caesar, striking briefly at defendants' counsel as having spoken nothing weighty enough to take away the proofs of the plaintiffs, and saying he meant to have spoken to precedents for proceeding against corrupt Treasurers and officers if he had not by Sir Ed. Cook been prevented, he fell to his censure in agreement with Lord Hubbard (who had first turned the tide) for 30,000l, from my Lord and Lady for restitution upon just demands to all by them oppressed, and 2000l for Sir Jo. Bingley.
Lord Chief Justice Montague having said he expected at first greater matter from this great man, yet found enough to condemn him, charged him particularly with his offence about the Ordnance as unpardonable in issuing moneys when he was told by Bingley he could not do it without the books were brought in, and for too much trusting Dallison (which yet was rather error amoris than amor erroris); it was a great fault rather to be led by his friend than by reason or duty, so whatsoever the King had lost by Dallison he must give it in damage against the Earl. From this descending to the alum, misemployments, several extortions, and insisting awhile upon my Lady's part, by whose hands bribes were conveyed to my Lord's purse, so her acts became my Lord's faults, he alleged a rule of the law that fines should be imposed salvo contenemento proportionable to the estate, so as a man might still maintain his estate, otherwise they were not fines but ransoms; and so concurred with Lord Hubbard for the fines of my Lord and Lady and Sir Jo. Bingley.
Mr Secretary Calvert made next a pithy speech, much applauded after by my Lord Chancellor as having delivered in abridgement what Lord Hubbard had said in volume, approving my Lord guilty in issuing moneys without warrant (though while no bribes appeared in this the fault had the better excuse), for redelivering and cancelling the bond for the alum works, taxing my Lady for her hand in the business, condemning Bingley of violent and unnecessary delays and other effects of an ill instrument; he concurred in all with Lord Hubbard.
Mr Secretary Naunton, charging it as a duty of his place of Secretary and so Remembrancer to his Majesty, tells the whole story of the business between the King and my Lord about the treasure. He tells first a note the world had taken of that family that in their best light of sunshine were seen ever to set suddenly in a cloud; glances upon the jewels whereof, though they were not guilty, they were glad to lay both their hands upon their pardons; condemns Bingley for a player under board, and like a partridge retrieved from hedge to hedge, for an unworthy servant hanging upon the train of his Lord and Lady; concludes with Sir Ed. Cooke's fine of 100,000l, and for Bingley 5000l; but seemed a little to sweeten it in the close with saying to the Lords—"I doubt not but your Lordships will be as ready for mediation to his Majesty as you are to give your unpartial dooms and censures."
Sir Thomas Edmondes, using few words and tending to condemnation, concurred with Lord Hubbard. So did Lord Digby, saying he concurred with the most favourable in the censure as he would with the forwardest for pardon from his Majesty.
The Bishop of Ely gave his assent to Lord Hubbard's censure. The Bishop of London extended himself rather and delivered (theologically) his reasons and instructions to all great men to make use of this great example, who had so many enemies of his error to pull down his greatness he wondered it could stand so long, while it is the property of greatness to pull itself down, alleging that of the Psalm—"Thou hast lifted me up and thrown be down." He touched upon the duty of a wife transgressed in my Lady, and the right of a husband lost in him; saying a husband must be the authentic in a house, the wife the copy, that therefore she must concordare cum originale. For the censure, he agreed with Lord Hubbard.
My Lord Chamberlain used few words but weighty, saying every particular point had been so well spoken to by the rest of my Lords his repetition would be needless, so concurred for the fine with Lord Hubbard.
My Lord Marquis Hamilton said only he agreed in matter and manner with Lord Hubbard, and so gave way to the Duke of Lennox, who reported what a good servant the Earl had been in times past to his Majesty, and by comparison of those that inquiring after the heavens and astrology so long fall to consult with spirits and prove conjurors, he said my Lord might by the temptation of his place be brought from one infirmity to another, till he were at length plunged in this mischief and merit of punishment; which, he said, he could find in his heart to make as little and less than Lord Hubbard, but because he would give the more matter to the King wherein to exercise his mercy, his fine should be with Lord Cooke 100,000l.
My Lord of Canterbury's discourse, suitable to his profession, was of the abuse of extorting officers who like ill shepherds did tear and not shear their sheep, as if they had wolves and not dogs set over them to guard them. He came to my Lady and wished, as St. Ambrose did, that God had made Adam deaf or Eve dumb to have saved our general fall; as my Lord and Lady (if either had been so conditioned) might have done theirs. His fine consented with Lord Hubbard's, and his last words were none should be more forward than he to mediate with his Majesty for extenuation of their punishment.
The close was for my Lord Chancellor, which he seldom or never makes, as your Lordship knows, without great applause. He made use of his exact memory in briefly recapitulating the scope of almost every man's speech. Sir Ed. Cooke had put antiquity upon the business; Lord Hubbard reason and weight; Sir George Calvert had with exceeding approbation abridged it; Mr Secretary Naunton had brought forth the character of a merciful King and a free Council: and so of the rest. Then he fell to tax my Lord how happy it was when men's natures agreed with their fortunes, how far my Lord had forgot himself and his condition under his Majesty, whence he fell to discourse how completely happy the King were if his Treasury and state of means were settled, what honour he had obtained above any of his predecessors as to have deserved the title of Uniter of Britain and the Planter of Ireland; how glorious the Church here was, like a firmament of stars; that the nobility were not now as in times past the shadowers and overawers of the King and Crown, nor oppressors of the subject; that the judges were never more learned, never more just, the justices of peace never more diligent and dutiful in their places. In the country the fields grew every day more and more from deserts to gardens, the city never more populous nor flourishing, the navy never in so good way for service, the merchant never farther more industriously trafficking; the King admired in his government at home and working great effects abroad by his reputation; the Prince a singular hope. In a word he said hoc rebus defuit unum, nothing wants but treasure, which whosoever destroys wounds the State to death or cuts a main sinew of it and maims it. Hence he descended to the aggravation of the several charges against my Lord, my Lady and Bingley, concluding that my Lady kept the shop, Bingley was the prentice that cried "What do you lack ?", but all went into my Lord's cash. And so assenting to Lord Hubbard's proportion the Court rose from longer sitting, as I now willingly do from writing to ease a drowsy head and a wearied hand.—London, 14 November, 1619.
P.S. I beseech your Lordship not to forget to burn this hasty and ill digested relation intended to no man's reading but your Lordship's, who I trust will afford it a favourable acceptance; desiring farther that you will let me know by one word of answer that you have received it.
Holograph. 14 pp. (129. 169.)
[For what seems to be a brief official account of the above proceedings and sentence in the Star Chamber, see the English Historical Review, Vol. XIII, pp. 716–29, taken from a manuscript in private hands.]
Petition to the Earl of Salisbury.
[1619, November or after]. "Whearas wee have in the parrish of Hatfeild certaine meades called Batter meades, Stoke meade, Dobscrost meade, Symons meade and Stanborrough meades, which in tyme past did yeald unto us proffitt both for feed and hay. But nowe by meanes of a fulling myll sett in your honors grounde the passage of the ryver is stopped in such sort that not onely the saide meades are overflowne and made unproffittable unto us, but allso dyvers of our houses addioyneing unto the saide ryver are overflowne to our grete hurt and annoyance. Wee have made our greif knowne att the accustomed place att your honors Courte att the leiete [leet], whear as all such wrongs hath in tymes paste been amended, and wee have been promised reliefe by your honors stewardes of the Courte; but still wee have founde none. And nowe of late the said fulling myll is made a corne myll, and for to bringe more water to the saide myll the banckes be raised in such sorte that not onely our houses and grounds bee overflowne, but allso the church wayes bee so much drowned and overflowne that parrishtioners cannot come to the church but they must wade in water. May it therfore please your honor that eyther the saide myll may be removed or else some meanes used that the ryver may have the ordynarie course, wherby wee may injoy the use and proffitt of our houses and grounds as here before, and that wee may have better passage allso to church."—Undated.
Signed: 12 signatures. Endorsed: "Hatfeild inhabitants against Morrells myll." 1 p. (General 103/36.)
[See supra 9 November, 1619.]
The Great Mogul to King James.
1619. The letter of love and friendship which you sent me and the tokens of your affection I have received by the hand of Sir Thomas Roe; and have given my general command to receive all the merchants of the English nation as the subjects of my friend, that in whatsoever place they choose they may have reception and residence to their content and safety, with freedom for the sale and purchase of goods, and that neither Portugal nor any other state dare to molest their quiet.
Translation. Endorsed: "The letter from the great Mogul to his Majesty, 1619." 2 pp. (134. 168.)
[1619 or after]. List of plate presented at the christening of James, Lord Cranborne. They were the gifts of the Lord Treasurer, Lady Verulam, the Prince of Wales and the King. Notices to the effect that a standing bowl and cover given by the King at Newyearstide, 1616, had been passed on as a gift to Dr Mayerne at Christmas, 1617. Likewise a similar piece of plate given by Lady Montgomery at the christening of Lady Elizabeth Cecil (fn. 2) had been used by Lady Salisbury as a gift at the christening of Sir Patrick Murray's child. Further list of presents received at the christenings of Lady Anne, Lady Jane, Lady Elizabeth and Charles, Lord Cranborne, from the Queen, Countess of Exeter, Marquis of Buckingham, Earl of Shrewsbury, the King, Lord Suffolk, Lady Montgomery, the Prince and Lady Verulam. —Undated.
1½ pp. (Box B/42.)


  • 1. Sir William Cokayne.
  • 2. Born 1618–19.