Cecil Papers: June 1605

Pages 20-26

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 24, Addenda, 1605-1668. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1976.

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June 1605

Sir William FitzWilliam's Breviate.
[June 3, 1605.]. "I came to the howse which is my inheritance with a peaceable mynde free from any riotous intent, to doe my dutye to my mother if shee were lyvinge, whom I understood to be in great extremity. If shee were dead [as she was] then to provide safely for my evidence and goods that were there, which I suspected would be imbeaseled, as indeed they were.
I knocked at the gate to be lett in but was kept out most uncively, and woords unseemly offred me by my brother that called for his sworde and the men with holberds to withstand me, saying that I should come in uppon my owne perrill. Whereuppon I drewe my sworde at my entrance for my owne safetie, supposing that no man but rather would stand to the mercy of the lawe then of a furious threattning man with his sworde in his hand.
To enter as I did, I was moved by my brothers mallice whereof I had too much proofe, who onely uppon notice given him of my mothers extremitie did com to the howse the day before she dyed, of purpose as it seemeth to keepe me owt, having absented himself from her most strangely twoe yeares and three quarters before, and who according to my doubt found meanes afterwards, contrary to the promise of thexecutors, to ransack my evidence, my self nor any for mee beinge there present, and by all apparence did deface som of them.
And beinge so entred no blowe was stricken, no violence offred to any, but such as had occasion to goe owt about any busines had passage in and owt at their wills.
The goods in the howse I safely kept untill thexecutors came with whome I joyned in sealing upp the chests and certeine doores as they desired; of which goods I might have disposed as I listed, had I carried a mynde to spoyle.
Sithence all this, with what mallice he hath prosecuted me may appeare:
By his exclayming agaynst me at the counsell table by a byll and by a sleight getting it awaye that I should not annswere it, wherein he used the help of Sir Henry Mountague, one of his counsell and brother to Sir Edward Mountague, who in my owne heareing advised my brother to followe that course.
By his earnest working to have me bownde to the good behaviour, wherein he had prevayled had not my Lord Cheefe Justice prevented it.
By refusinge to have Mr Justice Gawdye and Sergeant Heale, Judges of Assize in the countie of Essex, to heare and determine these matters nowe in question uppon the Lordships order from the Starr Chamber, whereunto I most willingly, as my dutie was, yeelded.
By refusing to have the Lord Cheefe Justice of England and the rest of the Judges of that courte to heare and determine the question for the tytle of the land betwene us privatly though judicially according to right, notwithstanding his Matie, in his princely compassion tendring the creditt of our howse, had by his letter so comannded it.
And lastly, by refusing to have all matters compounded betwene us by an man of judgement whom himself would appointe, whether Judge, Sergeant at Lawe or gentleman: thus offrid by Sir Edward Cooke, his Maties Attourney gennerall in the Court of Exchequer, and by him likewise referred at that tyme to Mr Barron Cleark onely, and by my self yeelded unto though my brother most depended uppon him.
His meaning by all this course was to work my trouble and expence, he knowing the respect I had of my reputation.
Albeit my purpose was by yeelding to any thinge tending to peace to save both oure creditts.
The consideration of this and other his unnatural courses whom no perswasion can mittigate I leave to your Honors good censures, wholy desyring peace and concord of us brethren if it may be."— Undated.
Endorsed: "Sir William FitzWilliam." 1 p. (114. 13.)
[See H.M.C. Salisbury MSS, Vol. XVII, p. 240. For the other side of the case, see his brother's letter to Cecil in H.M.C. Salisbury MSS, Vol. XVI, pp. 159–62.]
Roger Booth to the King.
1605, June 7. A further petition relating to the cause between him and Sir William Read, in which petitioner refers to the wrongs and oppressions committed at the expense of many people. He asks that the examination of the case be confided to the Earl of Salisbury, Lord Kinloss and the Lord Chief Justice. June 7 in the third year of his Majesty's reign.
1 p. (P. 1870.)
Roger Booth to the Earl of Salisbury.
1605, June 10. The King has signified his pleasure on the petition submitted by him and since referred to the Lord Chief Justice and Sir Edward Coke, the Attorney-General, who has been ordered to terminate the dispute in which petitioner and other families have been involved with Sir William Read. He asks that Salisbury urge Coke to act immediately, so that he may be heard and relieved according to the King's wishes and the demands of equity, the more so as he has been a petitioner to the AttorneyGeneral for ten years. "Sir William Reed may thanck God that he hathe suche a frend, otherwise he ys not any waye hable to answer his highnes therein." States that, by the sudden death of Sir Thomas Gresham, Sir William Read enjoys goods and lands to the value of £100,000. June 10, 1605.
1 p. (P. 1365.)
Piers ap [? John] and Margaret his wife to the Earl of Salisbury.
[After June 18, 1605]. They have a lawful estate during his wife's life in certain lands in Edeirnion, co. Merioneth, the remainder descending to Jane and Gwen, her daughters by a former husband. Robert Lloyd, J.P., who through some security he holds is interested in the property, has obtained a commission directed to himself, (fn. 1) his solicitor Ieuan Lloyd, Richard Nanney and the feodary of the shire, to inquire into the lands, with intent to establish that they are held in capite, which petitioners deny. They also complain that the members of the commission are disqualified by law on the grounds of insufficiency of free hold to execute the commission, and that they impanelled a jury of strangers and partisans who only accepted the evidence of a parson deprived of his living for insobriety, and of another person later charged with felony. Petitioners engaged a counsellor at law to testify to the commission that there was no cause for a wardship, but his request to be heard was refused and he himself treated with indignity. They ask that a supersedeas be issued and a new commission directed to impartial gentlemen of quality in Merionethshire to hear evidence produced on behalf of petitioners.—Undated.
½ p. (P. 1142.)
Gaspar Gratiani to the Earl of Salisbury.
[Before June 26, 1605]. It is as natural for one, who has fallen into a miserable state through misfortune, to seek to escape from it as it is for a person of a generous disposition, not only to have compassion on another's distress, but to do all he can to alleviate it. He therefore recalls what has happened to his master, the Prince of Moldavia, who was expressly favoured by the late Queen Elizabeth and specially recommended to her ambassador in Constantinople. The latter afforded him protection in his house from which the Prince was removed to the danger and prejudice of his Crown and to his personal damage. Since Salisbury was his first protector, Gratiani begs him to write to the ambassador, commanding him to do all within his power that the Prince may be restored in health and liberty as he was before.—Undated.
Holograph. Italian. 1 p. (196. 138.)
[See H.M.C. Salisbury MSS, Vol. XVII, pp. 277–8.]
Sir Thomas Holcroft to the King.
[Before June 27, 1605]. In and outside England every ream of paper amounting to 20 quires ought to contain 500 sheets of paper, and every quire should have 25 sheets. Because of the duplicity of paper makers most sorts of paper contain only 24 sheets in the quire, and some quires have 23, 22 and even 21 sheets, particularly those imported from La Rochelle. Until recently these were carefully examined and sealed, but the wars in France have interfered with this procedure and resulted in such abuses as torn paper, mixture of inferior with better quality paper and so on. Much loss has been caused to the class who use this paper—clerks, printers, booksellers and scriveners. Petitioner asks that he and his deputies be authorized for 21 years to search paper sold in England in order to eliminate abuses, and to levy one penny for the official sealing of every ream upon each merchant or seller of paper. In return he will pay £50 per annum into the Exchequer.
On reverse: "Reasons why every reame of paper should be searched over, perfected and sealed are these:
The benefitt that growe by the saide abuses is only to the craftie Ffrench and other strangers which doth greatly inritch them and impoverish us, as is most apparant yf it may be well considered what quantety of paper is spent in this lande. Besides a thowsand reames of paper wanteinge but one sheete in a quire, yt amounteth to ffortye reames. Moreover such persons eyther strangers or Englishmen as beare noe due affection and dutie to your Majesties most gratious and peaceable goverment, yt may worke greate prejudice to this lande by packeinge upp seditious and traiterous bookes, libells and letters of and for intelligences as heretofore have bene in the reames of paper; and direct them as such kinde of marchandise to be conveyed to their complices and freindes, which beinge opened, toulde over and searched wolde easelie be espied and founde out.
In lyke manner the deceiptfull practises wrought by the Ffrench in defraudeinge your Matie of greate somes of mony, which they ordenarely and eselye effect by scealeinge their on shore (beinge excedinge ritche forraigne wrought wares) by their secrett and covert packeinge them upp in the saide reames of paper, theis wares beinge lyttle and small in boulke, in respect they are ritche: as all sortes of gyrdles and hangers wrought with Paris worke and imbroydered with sylver, golde and pearle; and ritche Paris worke glasses and purses, garters, table bookes and wettwayes, imbroydered, covered and wrought all over with goulde and sylver; and all sortes of skarfes, hatbands and faire gloves imbroydered with goulde and sylver. Alsoe all sortes of ffrench sylver unwrought putt upon quilles and otherwise made upp to be made and wrought in sylver lace and imbroydered, gyrdles and hangers, ponyard stringes, skarfes, hatbands, garters, gloves and purses, and all sortes of ritche nedle workes, wrought in lynnen and sylke by hand and nedleworke; this unwrought ffrench silver beinge the ritchest and in value the greatest comodetie in use in generall and particuler for settinge on worke all handicrafts as well strangers as others. Soe that thereby your Matie is defrauded of greate sommes of mony due to your Matie for Custome, which by conveyance of this ffrench sylver in secrett and covert manner in the said reames of paper, being stollen on shore especially by the sybtyll Ffrench with all other ritche wares which Ffraunce may or can possiblie afforde, the which wolde be otherwise and greate sommes of mony redownde to your Matie for Custome yf the said reames of paper were orderly opened and perfected and justlie searched and tolde over, yt wold easelye be discovered and founde out as aforesaide.
Alsoe all the reames of paper beinge opened your Maties subjects, after such searchinge, perfectinge and openinge, cannot be deceyved by the false number of paper under color of a perfect and true number, ffor the leaste losse that can be in every tenn thowsand reames of paper, by wanteinge one, two and some three sheetes of paper, can amount to noe lesse than ffyve hundred reames of paper, besides the great prejudice and inconvenyances lightinge upon your Maties pore subjects by bad, torne and naughtie paper mingled with the good, as all clarkes, printers and scryveners doe daylie fynde in their own experience."
¾ p. (P. 649.)
[See H.M.C. Salisbury MSS, Vol. XVII, pp. 280–1.]
[c. June 27, 1605]. "The abuses in paper and the remedye of them.
The abuses in paper of two sortes. 1 In the want of Number In number because every reame of paper ought to contayne 20 quires, every quire 25 sheets. Wheras now every quire at the most conteyneth but 24 sheets and divers but 23 and 22, whereby there is wantinge one quire in every reame.
Goodnes In goodnes because it is usually mingled with worser sorts of paper.
2 In beynge a meanes to deceave the Kinge of much custome because in paper is usually conveyed girdells hangers glasses purses tablehooks, etc. wrought with paris worke embroydered with silver, golde and pearle. All sorts of French silver unwrought.
All sorts of needleworke wrought in silke and lynnen by hande.
The Remedye.
By searchinge and sealinge of every quire, for the which is demanded a penny of a reame, which is twenty quires of paper.
The objections The answere
The objections are two. 1 The penny is an exaction. 1 There shallbee gayned by this meanes one quire in every reame of paper. In which is quid pro quo and soe the penny is noe exaction.
2 The bulke wilbee broken and the sealinge a delay. 2 Bulks of many marchandises are usually broken, and the bulke of paper beynge broken it sheweth in reames, and soe the number of quires appeare. Wherby the sealinge is readdyly donne, and the paper hereby much more creddited in the sale.—Undated.
1 p. (130. 159.) [See H.M.C. Salisbury MSS, Vol. XVII, pp. 280–1.]
Elizabeth Brooke to the Earl of Salisbury.
[? c. June, 1605]. By his last will and testament William, Lord Cobham, gave to petitioner's late husband an annuity of 100 marks during his life, to be paid by Henry, late Lord Cobham. Of this annuity there is one half year's instalment in arrears, which was due last Michaelmas, 1603. Moreover, Henry, Lord Cobham, owed to the late Lady Jane FitzJames, deceased, the sum of £20, petitioner's late husband being executor to Lady Jane. As a result of Sir John Hele's sequestration of her late husband's lands, petitioner has received nothing towards the maintenance of her family during the past year, contrary to the intention of the King. She understands that Sir John Leveson is authorized to pay some of the debts of Henry, late Lord Cobham, and asks that he be instructed to deliver to her the half year's unpaid instalment of the annuity which amounts to £33:8:0, and the debt of £20.—Undated.
1 p. (P. 1734.)
[See H.M.C. Salisbury MSS, Vol. XVII, p. 260.]


  • 1. Dated June 18, 1605. [See PRO. Wards 9, Vol. 170, fol. 24b.]