Cecil Papers: February 1607, 16-28

Pages 47-60

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 19, 1607. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1965.

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February 1607, 16-28

Thomas Alabaster to the Earl of Salisbury.
1606–7, Feb. 16. The bearer Mr. Stallenge will relate his cause to Salisbury. Stallenge knows his proceeding and intention, which no fortune can divert from the right steps, nor cause other than the right use of his Majesty's favour.—London, 16 Feb., 1606.
Holograph. 1 p (115. 108.)
Sir John Popham, Lord Chief Justice, to the Same.
1606–7, Feb. 17. I received this morning from a merchant that is and has been a "lydger" in Seville ever since the peace concluded, these enclosed, (fn. 1) by which you may perceive the state of things there, and how needful it seems to be to seek in time a better vent of our commodities than our former places of trade afford us. By Mr. Bowerman, who was "consaill" for Andelesaye [? Andalusia], I understand it will be in vain to seek for the delivery of such as be in captivity, unless it be by order from the King himself.
How far forth you shall think fit that his Majesty's Ambassador be written to in that behalf I leave to your consideration. If the natives might be had again, in my opinion it would serve to good purpose. Upon some commendation of the cause into France it is thought much good would be done that way.—Serjeants' Inn, 17 Feb., 1606.
Holograph. Endorsed: "Lord Chief Justice. To have some letters to his Majesty's Ambassador in Spain, for the Virginian men now prisoners in Seville." 1 p. (115. 109.)
The Earl of Bath to the Same.
1606–7, Feb. 17. Expresses his affection towards him. At the beginning of this Parliament he forbears to trouble him to move the King for new letters of absence, as he holds this new session to be but a prorogation of the former; otherwise he would have made bold to do so, as heretofore. Begs Salisbury to use his voice in Parliament, according to his former proxy.—Towstocke, 17 Feb., 1606.
Signed. 1 p. (115. 110.)
The Earl of Salisbury to Ralph Winwood.
1606–7, Feb. 18. Strongly recommends the bearer, Captain Orme, who wishes to have a commission from the States to levy a company in England. Speaks of Orme's services on the Archdukes' side. In that service, being solicited underhand to some undutiful courses against this State, he not only refused to join in it, but revealed them privately, and in detestation of them quitted that service.—The Court, 18 Feb., 1606.
Endorsed by Salisbury's secretary: "Copy of my Lord's letter to Mr. Winwood." 1 p. (192. 79.)
Sir Ferdinando Gorges to the Earl of Salisbury.
1606–7, Feb. 19. In my last I advertised my opinion of the danger that might ensue if [in] case the peace (then spoken of) between the Archduke and the Hollanders took effect; since which I hear so much out of France, as it seems there is greater cause to believe it is most necessary that his Majesty would take care of the peril that may from thence ensue. For you shall find (if you examine the particulars of the French King's proceedings) that it cannot be but he has something in hand extraordinary, and haply resolving, now his coffers are full, his stores in all places furnished, his State settled, his people rich, his kingdom replenished with many excellent Cap[tains]; above all knowing himself second to none for his judgment and understanding of the wars, that he does but attend or seek an opportunity; and it is possible you will find that, rather than fail, he will be ready to administer the occasion himself by words or deeds, or both. Of the first (if it be true that is reported) he is no niggard; and for the second, he has lately had the Governors of his principal ports with him, unto whom he has given instructions to proceed in the carriage of their affairs according to his pleasure. What course he has run with those of the Low Countries is best known to you. But I thought it fit to advertise you my opinion, to the end his Majesty might examine the estate of his forces, and have in consideration that he has to encounter with a French King "sodden" [? sudden] by nature, (by his long experience) of great judgment (and if he be not changed from what he was), ambitiously inclined to enlarge his dominions; and in his proceedings he has advantage of any Prince Christian, for he needs not to consult with his Cap[tains] how or what he ought to do, but like a "Ceasor" can order all himself; by which means he is assured his resolutions will be kept secret, a matter of consequence in designs of this nature.
As for the peace (the bond, as it may be thought, of our security) it has never been seen that those French Kings have longer held with our nation than until they had gained the advantage sought for; and Princes have never been to seek how to approve their cause just or lawful when they listed to make the war; and the only means to continue a peace inviolable is always to be sufficiently provided both to defend and to offend, in which case none will dare to attempt for fear of procuring their own loss.
But how it stands with his Majesty in this case is best known to your lordship; and all that are honest and have cause to look into it may with sorrow lament it. But not to deal with more than what belongs to my particular, and in discharge of my duty, I thought it fit hereby to give advertisement of the estate of this place, that I may be blameless whatsoever hereafter may ensue, through defect or want of things necessary. First, for the place itself, you know it was never finished, besides much of what was done time has decayed, neither was it ever sufficiently furnished with ordnance or aught else. As for munition, at my last coming the proportion was very little that I received; and since, occasions have been either for triumphs or ordinary customs of entertainments, that the greatest of that little is spent, nor is there any to be had in these parts, what occasion soever should happen. The ordinary guard your wisdom knows are in effect, nothing, specially if the wars break out between us and France, whose forces we shall sooner see than hear of. As for the town, they are grown much weaker than they were in times past, for that the mariners and seafaring men that then did frequent it are now gone the most of them elsewhere. In like manner the country are out of use, and their arms out of order, their minds unwilling, and their bodies unapt. If this disease be universal (as it is to be feared), what can be hoped for if the speedier course be not taken for supply and reformation?
The Kingdom of England is such a bait to draw on the inclination of an ambitious prince (knowing our defected and his own power), as no time is to be detracted how by all means possible to secure and make frustrate any such intent. The sooner it is accomplished the less will be the danger, and it is a business of that consequence that it will endure no delay. Craving pardon if herein I seem more jealous than there is cause, beseeching you to remember that it can be no damage in time to prevent a mischief, nor no hurt in being able to encounter with the worst. It is not fear of myself, or of my life, that urges me hereunto; for death is no stranger unto my nature, that knows better how to die than to live; it [is] some care I have, I confess, not to be condemned when I am dead for having been improvident not to seek for things necessary in cases of this consequence.—Plymouth, 19 Feb., 1606.
Holograph. 3 pp. (115. 112.)
Justices of Somersetshire to the Council.
1606–7, Feb. 19. We have assembled to put in execution throughout this county your directions for the stay of transportation of corn, and reformation of taverns and victualling houses. We have also set down a rate for contribution to be given to the people of the marshes distressed by the late inundation; being not able to extend the laws for their better provision till our general sessions; and have chosen treasurers and surveyors to accomplish what you charitably require. We received your letters of the 2nd concerning the repairing of the great breaches made by the inundation. Some of us by virtue of the Commission of Sewers endeavoured by drawing together workmen to amend the most needy places, and part of the charge has been disbursed by the landholders adjoining the Severn. But finding some are of mean estate, and by their loss and greatness of the works, unable to repair sufficiently the banks, we have thought fit they should be helped by such as have grounds lying in the same level and in danger of hurt if the uttermost banks adjoining the river be not continually repaired. We desire your directions for the speedier levying of the moneys.—Somerton, 19 Feb., 1606.
Signed: John Portman, Jo. Rodney, Nich. Halswell, Edw. Hext, John Colles, John Wraye, Fra. Baber, John Farewell, G. Speke, Tho. Phelyppes, Edward Rogers, Christofer Preston. 1 p. (115. 114.)
Viscount Bindon to the Same.
1606–7, Feb. 20. In reply to charges made against him by Fowler, the Spanish Ambassador's man, that he has opposed the execution of a commission directed on behalf of the Ambassador. Gives details of the transaction, which concerns the arrest of a Dutch ship and goods.—20 Feb., 1606.
Holograph. 1 p. (115. 115.)
The Earl of Salisbury to Ralph Winwood.
1606–7, Feb. 21. He will receive herewith his Majesty's letters to the Emperor, in behalf of the Count of East Friseland; and some other letters to the King of Spain and the Archdukes, for the free trade and commerce of the inhabitants of Embden into those Princes' dominions.
Has acquainted his Majesty with the overtures made to Winwood by Monsieur Aertsens from the French King's own mouth, as he pretends, and with Winwood's reply to him, which his Majesty well approves. Seeing that neither his Majesty's own Minister in France, nor the French King's Minister here, have been made acquainted with it, his Majesty has forborne to speak of it, and holds it rather a matter propounded by way of discourse from the French King than really intended. When all things are considered incident to such a matter, it must be a far greater interest to draw his Majesty into such an action than yet has been propounded; for to undertake a war anew, which should have no other object than the settlement of a third party, which party may prove in the end as uncertain to England as any other, were a work of too great difficulty to be compassed now, unless it might bring with it some access of power to this kingdom to countervail the hazard and expense which it would be forced to undergo in it.
Concerning Winwood's return hither, his Majesty is willing to protract the same for awhile, in regard of the present constitution of that State, which is not so proper for a new and unexperienced Minister; so the soonest that can be is like to be towards the end of this summer, and Winwood can make his provisions accordingly.—Court at Whitehall, 21 Feb., 1606.
Contemporary copy. 1½ pp. (115. 116.)
[Printed in extenso in Winwood's Memorials, Vol. II, pp. 297, 298.]
King James to the Earl of Salisbury.
[1606–7, Feb. 22.] My little beagle, I am now according to my promise in my last to interpret myself upon those words which I allege you multiplied. Partiality to a friend against right, but most of all against a man's own master having the right on his side, is a degree of dishonesty wherein I protest to God I never needed to have forewarned you to beware, for in general I never saw any man so freely and so oft resist his dearest friend's humour in unreasonable things as I have seen you do, in which service I do freely confess you have more eased and contented my mind than any other living could ever do; and as for this dead man in particular, I can neither forget how the first ground of your friendship with him came only from me, while I was yet in Scotland and the nobleman himself in the late Queen's disgrace, nor yet am I unmindful how in the time of your greatest friendship with him, you carefully directed an occasion which he thought to have taken hold of for his preferment to a place for which he was not very fit. Having first told you what I never meant to apply unto you, I am next to tell you what was my true meaning in those words, which is shortly this; all the sons of men are without exception of this nature that they do make greater or less account of any action according as the person of the actor is liked or disliked of them, and therefore it is that the person of the preacher must be acceptable to the auditor or otherwise his doctrine will never edify them; if you see your son will contend in exercise with another youth, in case he do it indeed but as well as the other, you will think I warrant you that he performs it something better, for Nature teaches us all with the raven to think our own birds whitest; set another leg beside mine I warrant 3 [Northampton] will swear the King's sweet leg is the far finest; and as the best of us all doth a little overvalue our friends' good qualities, so do we a little diminish their slips and errors. Now oftentimes this sickness most prevails upon best natures that are full of charity, nay in some sort we are commanded so to do by the word of God; charity, saith St. Paul, buries all things, interprets all to the best and is not suspicious, and therefore a man will be loather to trust an ill report of his friend than of another. And although in any matter that may touch a king's person or state in any high degree a faithful minister will be as curious and earnest against his dearest friend as against his greatest enemy, yet in a matter of no great importance he may either carelessly not trust that his friend hath committed any error in such a matter, or else think the error to be more aggravated than it ought to be; to this natural disease I confess myself to be as much subject as some other men, as the sickness that oft abuses best natures. What large and eternal proof I have of 3 his fidelity ye best know, and yet I would no more trust him than one of the corruptest lawyers in the trial of a mean error upon one of his dearest friends, and therefore think no worse of you than of myself, or of any of my faithfullest servants did I use that word of caution unto you that in this or the like cases concerning me ye might bury trust, waking up a sort of suspicious curiosity; and putting on as it were the person of an enemy at that instant, try what might be the worst that could be proved in that matter. Now I know that you will think that I use a needless long discourse unto you for interpretation of my meaning, but let me plainly tell you that as ye was wont to guess by the old Queen's eyes, if I had not found by your face divers times since I spake with you upon this matter, what time you apprehended that I was not well pleased with you that you had ever some conceit sticking in your mind that I was a little colder to you than before, notwithstanding that I resolved you largely of the contrary out of my own mouth; if, I say, I had not found this opinion yet sticking in you by divers conjecturals, beside the letter which you wrote in answer of that of mine, I would never otherwise have troubled you with so long and ill a discourse; but that ye may never more misjudge me in any such case, let this one sentence serve for all. I think as well of you and "trustis" as much in you as of any servant that ever did, does or shall serve me in saecula saeculorum, amen; and therefore if you deserve it not the more is your blame. Now I confess I am the more encouraged to utter this conclusion out of the abundance of my heart for the message you sent with Aston; for if you would have been partial with any friends, you would have been partial to them; but the best is the matter was a mere mistaking or else a wilful gross addition in Lake, for I only spake it by comparison that such a power could not well be refused to Dunbar, when I could have wished that that garrison [of Berwick?] should be so diligent as not only to ride upon any purpose of Dunbar's making unto them, but even if Lord William Howard or any gentleman of the country could inform them where any of the outlaws were, they should not spare their pains in riding to make a search for them. And in good faith it was a strange fortune that speaking since that time anent the said Lord William in the presence of two or three of the chamber, whereof Hay was one, I chanced to say that the said gentleman's religion did him great harm at my hands, for notwithstanding the infinite trust I had in the faithfulness of his brother and uncle, yet I durst never bestow any preferment upon him in my days only because of his religion and devotion to the Jesuits. How this now agrees with Lake's recommendation of him judge you; always you may be sure of my counsel-keeping from all flesh, for I were unworthy to be a king if ever I wronged you in that sort; and as for the matter itself, it falls of will as a mistaking, and there needeth never any more mention to be made of it. And thus praying you to recommend me to all your fellow labourers and to prepare for me a good account of all your memorial against my return, I bid you heartily farewell.—James R.
Holograph. Endorsed by Salisbury: "22 Febr., 1606. The K. from Royston." 4 pp. (134. 91.)
The Earl of Lincoln to the Earl of Salisbury.
1606–7, Feb. 24. It pleased you to promise the present possession of Hyde Park in convenient time. It may please you now, for it lies in your power to perform your covenant more conveniently, and with less charge than in the old lady's time, to deal so honourably with me that I may enjoy it; which shall satisfy me now, though I have been kept from it these seven years by the wilfulness of the old lady, as I have been informed; and am yet denied it by the keepers under Sir Edmund Cary till you require it, or take some further order therein, except I will pay double or treble the worth of any right that Sir Edmund can grant.—24 Feb., 1606.
Holograph. 1 p. (115. 117.)
Ralph Winwood to the Same.
[1606–7], Feb. 24. I shall only send at this present to you a copy of a letter written by Vander Horst, and brought by a trumpet of the Archdukes' to the States General, in reply of their answer given to the overture propounded for a treaty for peace or truce. The speci[al] lustre this letter carries with it, though it be captiously conceived, insisting only for truce, and not for peace unless Holland shall hold the stronger hand, will perhaps stagger the rest of the Provinces, which, unable to subsist of themselves and abandoned on all parts by their friends, are but too forward headlong to run to their present ruin. But so much judgment will be found, that a bare connivance shall not suffice them, who for their better assurance will require that all pretensions to the sovereignty of their State shall be renounced, and an acknowledgment thereof published to the view of the world; and this done, yet after will they submit their proceedings to the advice of their best friends, by whose favour they are enabled to make their own conditions, which how advantageous soever they shall be cannot but hazard the surety of this State; for whether it be peace or truce, the contributions must cease, which once laid down will not be raised; the soldier must be dismissed, who now hardly is retained, and being licensed cannot in one instant be recalled; the country must be disarmed, which freed from the fear of the common enemy, will revive the animosities, not of one province but of one town against the other, and every particular man will strive to get the start of his neighbour to bring back these provinces into thraldom. But miserable is that State which, wanting means to maintain the war, cannot enjoy the surety of peace.
The States of these Provinces, which so long have been assembled in an extraordinary number in this town, unless the arrival of this letter holds them, were resolved this week to depart. I do not hear of any resolution for the service of the land that is taken amongst them, worthy of the time and pains they have bestowed. The main dispute is about the finances, for the payment of the quota of every Province for the maintenance of the war: which though at the first it was rated according to the strength of every Province, yet in these latter years it has been paid by discretion; the Provinces not paying the portion they should, whereby the defects since the year '98 amount to eight millions of this money; but in proportion to the neighbour Province, as for example this year Gueldres refusing to pay the full quota, and to accept the companies repartited upon that province, which now being the seat of the war is wasted by the soldier of both parties. Utrich, which has no such reason, practises the like. These points I the rather particularise that you may see that, besides the many extremities of these countries, Intus est aquila, intus equus Troianus; and that want of authority to command, want of true-hearted affection to undertake, want of resolution to perform what the service of the land requires, will be the bane of this State.
Arthens attends yet for answer to his overture; which if at the first it had small credit, now in reason it ought to have much less; if it be true which we understand, that the "different" between the Pope and the Venetians is appointed by the mediation of France; which accord falls out very unseasonable for these countries; for besides the advantage they lose, which this war would have brought them, they fear, and not without cause, that the soldiers levied by the Pope and the Count de Fuentez will come down upon them.
We have from all parts the alarm, both of the Marquis Spinola's early coming into the field in March, and of his purpose either to fall into the Betowe at Schencksconse [Schencks Sconce?], which is seated upon the point where the Wale issues out of the Rhine; or to beseige Dusbourg, which if he should get, would give him passage over the Isal. To prevent both attempts, 23 companies of foot are sent to be lodged in those parts under the command of the General du Boys.
The C. Maurice upon some indisposition has kept his chamber these 10 or 12 days. He presses with great instance for the levy of 6,000 new men for this summer service, without which assistance he protests he cannot undertake to assure the passages of the waters. But the States, best knowing the weakness of their finances, and how void of authority the discipline is amongst their men of war, dare not adventure a mutiny in their army, which they have reason to fear, if they shall take more troops to their service than their means can bear. Yet I presume that Captain Orme, who yesterday arrived here, upon the recommendations of your letter shall speedily receive the contentment he desires, to which purpose I will use my best endeavours.—From the Haghe, 24 Feb.
Holograph. Endorsed: "1606." 2½ pp. (115. 118.)
Richard Watts to his father Sir John Watts, Lord Mayor of London.
1606–7, Feb. 26/March 8. The answer to the request presented by the Ambassador is that Sir John should proceed by civil request and debate the wrong done him before the French Parliament. Richard does not recommend Sir John to enter into further process, he having already sought for the goods for 13 years. He asked the Ambassador to give him a "denial of justice"; this he refused to do, but promised to write to Lord Salisbury, to whom Richard has written the enclosed, which he recommends Sir John to deliver, and to desire Salisbury to get the Council to take note of the proceedings used by the pirates and their owners and victuallers. He details his reasons for not proceeding any further in the matter there.—Paris, 8 March, 1607, "style of the place."
1 p. (193. 82.)
The Enclosures:
(1) Richard Watts to the Earl of Salisbury. Fifteen months ago the Earl recommended to Sir George Carew two suits of his father and other merchants, for restitution of goods taken from them by pirates of Rochelle in June 1594. The French King referred the matter to the Sieur de Boissise to report thereon to the French Council, according to the Request enclosed (see the following paper); and the Council ordered they should proceed by civil request to the Parliament; but Parliament has already done them injustice, in order to favour the Marquis de Royan and others, who had been concerned in the piracies. He details the various steps taken, and begs the King's help in the matter.— Paris, 8 March, 1607.
French. 1 p. (193. 83.)
(2) Printed Request to the French King. Details the complaint of Jean Wattes. "Chevalier and Senateur de la ville de Londres." and Gilles Fleming, merchant of the same, against Jean Perle and others, who took certain goods from their ship the St. Antoine. Particulars of the proceedings they have vainly taken. They beg for redress.
MS. note at foot: The King has sent this request to the Sieur de Boissise, to report thereon to the Council of State.—Paris. 28 June, 1606. Signed: Deneufuille. French. 3 pp. (194. 98.)
(3) "Extract for my Lord Ambassador showing the justice of his complaint on behalf of Messrs. Watts and Flemming."
He has good reason to show that wrong has been done them by the Parliament of Paris both by the decree (arrest) given upon process in writing, 14 Dec., 1601, and by the decree since given in audience, 19 July, 1602.
Against the first decree it can be said that the Court should have simply condemned Pascault, Guyton, Hus and Paris, owners and victuallers of the Jacquette and Esperance to restore once for all (solidairement) the plundered ship and merchandise or their value. And yet they have been exempted from restoring the ship, to which they were condemned for such parts and portions as they had in it, by the sentence of the Marble Table; and as for the merchandise the said decree condemns them only for their parts and portions.
There should have been judgment for the whole (la condamnation solidaire) against the owners and victuallers because they were the authors and abettors of the piracy carried on by Perle, Berard and Laire, common pirates, as is verified by several authentic acts.
That the victuallers were the authors and abettors of the piracy is apparent not only in that they provisioned the Esperance and Jacquette which were commanded by the said three pirates, but also in that they would have covered by every means the piracy committed upon the English; firstly, in hindering the registration of the names of the crew, owners and victuallers at the Admiralty Registry of La Rochelle and causing the goods of the plundered St. Anthony to be sold from 17 June, 1594, to the 26th of the said month and year, before the said adjudication, contrary to the laws touching sea matters; secondly, in denying their quality from the first, falsely maintaining that they were not victuallers; thirdly, in the said Guyton and his accomplices obtaining the judgment of good prize on 28 June without observing the order appointed, namely without having the charter party and bills of lading produced or the principals of the plundered ship represented and without having the Rochellois sailors examined secretly and apart; fourthly, the piracy being verified by the inquisitions and the participation in it of the victuallers being apparent from the judgments of La Rochelle and the Marble Table and by the decrees of the Parliament of Paris, judgment for the whole (la condamnation solidaire) could not be prevented since it is a maxim that it must always be given in criminal cases.
Watts and Flemming appealed from the judgment of the Marble Table because it condemned Guyton and his accomplices only for such parts and portions as they had received. The Parliament has not done justice upon this appeal, although even had no appeal been made, the judges should have supplied the omission of the parties' counsel and given judgment for the whole.
Finally, the first decree (arrest) is strongly prejudicial to Watts and Flemming who have been at great expense in bringing their appeal, and yet the Parliament pronounced without giving them their costs of the appeal.
Against the second decree the precipitation of Guyton must be shown. He succeeded in having a contested point (instance) in execution of a decree which depended upon calculations judged in audience, there being question of examining, firstly, a division of the goods made between the admiral, the owners and victuallers; secondly, the weight of the goods; thirdly, the list of names of the crew, owners and victuallers, which three documents presented by Guyton should have been compared with the sentence of the Marble Table wherein was specified the merchandise which Guyton and his accomplices were condemned to restore. These calculations and comparison could not be made by the judges in audience, where they do not see the documents. Nor can it be alleged that they could have heard them read and have made their decision upon that, for it is certain that these calculations could not have been understood upon the mere reading of them, in consequence of the diversity of the names of them that had part therein and the quantity of the goods divided.
Moreover, Guyton's request being of July and subsequent to that of Watts and Flemming of 22 May preceding ought to have been joined thereto to be seen and the case decided upon the report of Monsr, de Thurin who had been deputed since 22 May to report upon the request of Watts and Flemming for judgment for the whole (condamnation solidaire) against Guyton and his associates for not having satisfied the first decree. But Guyton, to prevent his defective documents from being seen by the Court, presented his request, concealing the fact that Watts and Flemming had presented another for an opposite purpose.
Furthermore, by the last decree it appears that Guyton had maintained that he had satisfied the first decree and thereupon claimed to be discharged of judgment for the whole.
But to show that Guyton had not satisfied it, it must be considered that according to the decree he had made the Parliament believe that he had produced the charter party, whereas by his own act of 27 April. 1602, he acknowledges that he neither had nor could produce it, saying that recourse must be had to the Marquis de Royan for it. Yet the decree had condemned Guyton to produce the charter party.
As for the three other documents produced by Guyton, they are defective in form, two of them being signed only by Guyton and a notary suborned by him.
But putting the question of their defective form aside, nearly half of the sugar, cassonade, ivory and conserve amongst the merchandise is not stated, as is easy to see from a comparison of the three documents with the sentence of the Marble Table, where the goods are specified.
Guyton's partage is defective. Bouhier is omitted, although as can be seen by two contracts he was victualler for two quarters of the goods. Guyton is named only for a half quarter, although by the contracts it can be proved that he had two half quarters.
Moreover in this partage forty-five men only are mentioned for the crew of the Jacquette and Esperance, although by a contract of 31 Jan., 1594, it appears that the Jacquette alone required a crew of forty, because she was a vessel of seventy tons set out as a man-of-war against the King's rebellious subjects.
So the list of names is defective, as it cannot be believed that the crew of the Esperance, a man-of-war of eighty tons, was only five.
French. 3 pp. (194. 100.)
Sir Thomas Reynell to the Earl of Salisbury.
1606–7, Feb. 27. To-day was brought to me, by the officers of Ashburton, one Clarke, a merchant of Wells, Somerset, newly come out of Spain. The officers, careful of their commands as to horsing without warrant, upon question found him very suspicious, and so he appears on his own confession, enclosed. Finding in his custody a packet of letters directed to you, I have prayed the Mayor of Exeter to have special care thereof.— Westogwell, 27 Feb., 1606.
Holograph. 1 p. (115. 121.)
Postal endorsements: "Sir Thomas Reynell. Haste poste haste these. 27 Feb., 1606. Delivered at Westogwell about 7 of the clocke in the morning. Rec. at Aishberton the first of March, 1606, at tenn of the clocke in the forenoone. Honyton past 12 in the fornoon. Exeter the 2 daye at 7 in the morning. Crewkorn past 4 in the After nowen. Rec. at Shirborne the 2 of March at 7 in the night. Salsbury the third of March 8 a clock in the morninge. Rd. at Andever at twelfe at noone being Twesday. At Bassingestocke halfe an hower past five 3 of Marche. At Harfort Brig at 10 in the night."
The Enclosure:
Examination of Richard Clarke. 27 Feb., 1606.
He came out of Spain eight or nine days since, with letters from the Ambassador of England, and was landed by a fisher boat out of the Whit Lyon of Plymouth, bound for London, at a little haven near Plympton, four miles this side of Plymouth. He went to Plymouth, but having no warrant, could not get post horses of the Mayor, but got them elsewhere. Details his arrest at Ashburton, and gives reasons for his denial of having been at Plymouth.
Signed by Reynell. 1 p. (115. 120.)
Sir Christopher Pigott, prisoner in the Tower, to the King.
[1606–7, before Feb. 28.] Through his gross ignorance, being unaccustomed to discourse in so grave an assembly, has delivered so distasteful a speech in the Lower House, that he humbly acknowledges he has worthily incurred their heavy censure: the ground whereof in his heart had its only foundation upon the zealous and tender respect that he had to the secure preservation of the King, Queen and Prince. The suddenness of the matter and his want of artifice, and amazedness, transported him that he may well say with the poet mens mea nescio quo; but of his soul he made an absolute distinction between the well deserving Scottishmen who had been God's good instruments, from them which had proved false, with humble suit to the House for the accepting of them as fidus Acates, and to make such an account of them as of "our dear natives." Whatsoever foul imputation he pronounced, protests he intended it only of those who deserved evil of the King: of the which meaning he is assured the greatest number of the Parliament House are fully satisfied. Prays for deliverance.—Undated,
Signed. 1 p. (P. 99.)
[See Commons Journal I, 333, 344.]
Sir Edward Phelipps to the Earl of Salisbury.
1606–7, Feb. 28. I beg your consideration of my suit, commended by the King to you and others. I have in this my employment absolutely lost the fruit of my life four entire terms, three weeks parcel of other terms, and five whole circuits; besides the withdrawing of my clients, and my charges. Yet hereby I have prevented and wrought many things for his Majesty. I petitioned for the fee farm of the manor of Draighton, being 82l. rent. The value would not have satisfied more than half my loss and charge. Since it is not convenient I should have it, or any other land mortgaged to the city, in respect of the intended entail, I pray for leases in reversion of so much of the said mortgaged lands as may seem convenient. I desire leases in or near my native country, because his Majesty has no land there out of the intended entail, except small parcels unfit for use in possession.—Boswell House, last of February, 1606.
Holograph. 1 p. (115. 122.)
The Countess of Bedford.
[1606–7, ? c. Feb. or later.] Three papers apparently relating to some suit of the Countess of Bedford with the Earl of Bedford relative to entailed lands:—
[Cp. Calendar S.P. Dom., 1603—1610, p. 347.]
(1) Demands on the behalf of Edward, Earl of Bedford, and his lordship's offers.
List of requirements by the Earl, if Lord Russell will not give way to the sale of any land whereof the reversion is in the Crown. They include, that Lord Russell will discharge the lordships of Melchborne and Covington from such statutes as he has of the said Earl: that he shall free certain leases specified: that he will discharge such lands as the King may grant in reversion out of the Crown to the Earl from those statutes, only for a jointure for Lord Russell's wife or wives: and certain conditions as to the Earl's wife's jointure.
If Lord Russell shall yield thereunto, the Earl will be content so to entail that land upon Lord Russell and his issue male as not to leave power in himself to divert it from them. If Lord Russell will cancel the above statutes, the Earl will entail all the land in the entail made by Fra: Earl of Bedford to Lord Russell and his issue.—Undated.
Endorsed, in hand of the Earl of Salisbury: "La: Bedford." 1¼ pp. (75. 89.)
(2) The Countess of Bedford to the Earl of Salisbury. Begs his favour to her uncle's suit.—Undated.
Endorsed: "1607. The Countess of Bedford." 1 p. (123. 161.)
(3) Certain deductions out of the tenths and fifteenths were made payable to poor towns, cities and boroughs wasted by the civil wars in the time of Henry VI. These places have since been re-edified and have grown rich, so that the officers who collect the fifteenths by colour thereof in many places collect the deductions and a greater sum, contrary to law. As much as is collected of the deductions is already granted to Lord Roxborough and Sir Robert Carew, who are to have two parts and the King a third. The present suit is for the surplusage which is collected, and the suitor desires to have two parts, and the King to have one part.—Undated.
The above paper is headed "The effect of the suit." The name of the suitor is scribbled over, but is apparently the Countess of Bedford.
Endorsed: "1607." 1 p. (124. 126.)
Sir W. Waad to the Earl of Salisbury.
[? 1606–7, Feb.] I send you an examination or declaration which I have taken this day of Henry Mere, in which there are somethings worth the observing. Cotterell is come up as I understand, though conducted by such as were not fit to have the charge of him; whereof I doubt not but you shall have notice from my Lord Chief Justice.—Undated.
Holograph. ½ p. (130. 182.)


  • 1. Probably the letter of Nevill Davis. Jan. 25/Feb. 4, supra. p. 26.