Page images
PDF

buttons of the value of 50/. about a fortnight after the cause was ended:"

I confess and deckre, that as it is laid in the charge, about a fortnight after the cause was ended, it being a suit for a great i nheritance, there were gold buttons about the value of 50/. as is mentioned in the charge, presented unto me, as I remember, by Sir Thomas Perrot and the party himself.

To the fourth article of the charge, namely, " In a cause between the lady Wharton, and the coheirs of Sir Francis Willoughby, he received of the lady Wharton three hundred and ten pounds:"

I confess and declare, that I did receive of the lady Wharton, at two several times, as I remember, in gold, 200/. and 100 pieces; and this was certainly pendente lile: but yet I have a vehement suspicion that there was some shuffling between Mr. Shute and the register in entering some orders, which afterwards I did distaste.

To the fifth article of the charge, namely, " In Sir Thomas Monk's cause he received from Sir Thomas Monk, by the hands of Sir Henry Holmes, 110/. but this was three-quarters of a year after the suit was ended:"

I confess it to be true, that I received 100 pieces; but it was long after the suit ended, as is contained in the charge.

To the sixth article of the charge, namely, " In the cause between Sir John Trevor and Ascue, he received on the part of Sir John Trevor 100/."

I confess and declare, that I received at new year's tide 100/. from Sir John Trevor; and, because it came as a new year's gift, I neglected to inquire whether the cause was ended or depending; but since I find, that though the cause was then dismissed to a trial at law, yet the equity is reserved, so as it was in that kind pendente lite.

To the seventh article of the charge, namely, "In the cause between Holman and Young, he received of Young 100/. after the decree made for him:"

I confess and declare, that, as I remember, a good while after the cause ended, I received 100/. either by Mr. Toby Matthew, or from Young himself; but whereas I have understood that there was 6ome money given by Holman to my servant Hatcher, to that certainly I was never made privy.

To the eighth article of the charge, "In the cause between Fisher and Wrenham, the lord chancellor, after the decree passed, received a suit of hangings wrorth one hundred and threescore pounds and better, which Fisher gave him by advice of Mr. Shute:"

I confess and declare, that some time after the decree passed, I being at that time upon remove to York-house, I did receive a suit of hangings of the value, I think, mentioned in the charge, by Mr. Shute, as from Sir Edward Fisher, towards the furnishing of my house, as some others, that were no ways suitors, did present me with the like about that time.

To the ninth article of the charge, "In the cause between Kennedy and Vanlore, he received a rich cabinet from Kennedy, prized at 800/."

I confess and declare, that such a cabinet was

brought to my house, though nothing near half the value ; and that I said to him that brought it, that 1 came to view it, and not to receive it; and gave commandment that it should be carried back; and was offended when I heard it was not: and some year and half after, as I remember, Sir John Kennedy having all that time refused to take it away, as I am told by my servants, I was petitioned by one Pinkney that it might be delivered to him, for that lie stood engaged for the money that Sir John Kennedy paid for it: and thereupon Sir John Kennedy wrote a letter to my servant Sherborne, with his own hand, desiring I would not do him that disgrace, as to return that gift back, much less to put it into a wrong hand: and so it remains yet ready to be returned to whom your lordships shall appoint.

To the tenth article of the charge, namely, " He borrowed of Vanlore 1000/. upon his own bond at one time, and the like sum at another time, upon his lordship's own bill, subscribed by Mr. Hunt his man:"

I confess and declare, that I borrowed the money in the article set down, and that this is a true debt; and I remember well that I wrote a letter from Kew, about a twelvemonth since, to a friend about the king; wherein I desired, that whereas I owed Peter Vanlore 2000/. his Majesty would be pleased to grant me so much out of his fine, set upon him in the star-chamber.

To the eleventh article of the charge, namely, "He received of Richard Scott 200/. after his cause was decreed, but upon a precedent promise; all which was transacted by Mr. Shute:"

I confess and declare, that some fortnight after, as I remember, that the decree passed, I received 200/. as from Mr. Scott, by Mr. Shute: but precedent promise or transaction by Mr. Shute, certain I am, I knew of none.

To the twelfth article of the charge, namely, " He received in the same cause, on the part of Sir John Lenthall, 100/."

I confess and declare, that some months after, as I remember, that the decree passed, I received 100/. by my servant Sherborne, as from Sir John Lenthall, who was not in the adverse party to Scott, but a third person, relieved by the same decree, in the suit of one Power.

To the thirteenth article of the charge, namely, "He received of Mr. Worth 100/. in respect of the cause between him and Sir Arthur Mainwaring:"

I confess and declare, that this cause being a cause for inheritance of good value, was ended by my arbitrament, and consent of parties, and so a decree passed of course; and some months after the cause was ended, the 100/. mentioned in the said article, was delivered to me by my servant Hunt.

To the fourteenth article of the charge, namely, "He received of Sir Ralph Hansbye, having a cause depending before, him, 500/."

I confess and declare, that there were two decrees, one as I remember for the inheritance, and the other for the goods and chattels, but all upon one bill: and some good time after the first decree, and before the second, the said 500/. was delivered unto me by Mr. Toby Matthew ; so as I cannot deny but it was, upon the matter, pendente lite.

To the fifteenth article of the charge, namely, "William Compton being to have an extent for a debt of 1200/. the lord chancellor stayed it, and wrote his letter, upon which, part of the debt was paid presently, and part at a future day; the lord chancellor hereupon sends to borrow 500/. and because Compton was to pay 400/. to one Huxley, his lordship requires Huxley to forbear six months; and thereupon obtains the money from Compton: the money being unpaid, 6uit grows between Huxley and Compton in chancery, where his lordship decrees Compton to pay Huxley the debt, with damage and costs, when it was in his own hands:"

I do declare that in my conscience the stay of the extent was just, being an extremity against a nobleman, by whom Compton could be no loser; the money was plainly borrowed of Compton upon bond with interest, and the message to Huxley was only to entreat him to give Compton a longer day, and in no sort to make me a debtor or responsible to Huxley; and therefore, though I was not ready to pay Compton his money, as I would have been glad to have done, save only 100/. which is paid, I could not deny justice to Huxley in as ample manner as if nothing had been between Compton and I; but if Compton hath been damnified in my respect, I am to consider it to Compton.

To the sixteenth article of the charge, namely, "In the cause between Sir William Bronker and Awbrey, the lord chancellor received from Awbrey 100/."

I do confess and declare, that the money was given and received, but the manner of it I leave to the witnesses.

To the seventeenth article of the charge, namely, "In the lord Montague's cause, he received from the lord Montague 600 or 700/. and more was to be paid at the ending of the cause:"

I confess and declare there was money given, and, as I remember, to Mr. Bevis Thelwall, to the sum mentioned in the article, after the cause was decreed; but I cannot say it was ended: for there have been many orders since, caused by Sir Francis Inglefield's contempts; and I do remember, that when Thelwal brought the money, he said that my lord would be yet farther thankful if he could once get his quiet; to which speech I gave little regard.

• To the eighteenth article of the charge, namely, "In the cause of Mr. Dunch, he received from Mr. Dunch 200/."

I confess and declare, that it was delivered by Mr. Thelwall to Hatcher my servant for me, as I think, some time after the decree; but I cannot precisely inform myself of the time.

To the nineteenth article of the charge, namely, "In the cause between Reynell and Peacoke, he received from Reynell 200/. and .a diamond ring worth 500 or COO/."

I confess and declare, that at my first coming to the seal, when I was at Whitehall, my servant Hunt delivered me 200/. from Sir George Raynell, my near ally, to be bestowed upon furniture of my house;

adding farther, that he had received divers former favours from me; and this was, as I verily think, before any suit begun: the ring was certainly received pendente lite; and though it were at newyear's tide, it was too great a value for a new year's gift; though, as I take it, nothing near the value mentioned in the article.

To the twentieth article of the charge, namely, "That he took of Peacoke 100/. without interest, security, or time of payment:"

I confess and declare, that I received of Mr. Peacoke 100/. at Dorset-house, at my first coming to the seal, as a present; at which time no suit was begun; and at the summer after, I sent my then servant Lister to Mr. Rolfe, my good friend and neighbour at St. Albans, to use his means with Mr. Peacoke, who was accounted a moneyed man, for the borrowing of 500/. and after by my servant Hatcher for borrowing of 500/. more, which Mr. Rolfe procured; and told me at both times, it should be without interest, script, or note, and that I should take my own time for payment of it.

To the twenty-first article of the charge, namely, "In the cause between Smithwicke and Wiche, he received from Smithwicke 200/. which was repaid:"

I confess and declare, that my servant Hunt did, upon his account, being my receiver of the fines upon original writs, charge himself with 200/. formerly received of Smithwicke; which, after that I had understood the nature of it, I ordered him to repay, and to defalke it out of his accounts.

To the two and twentieth article of the charge, namely, "In the cause of Sir Henry Ruswell, he received money from Ruswell, but it is not certain how much:"

I confess and declare, that I received money from my servant Hunt, as from Mr. Ruswell, in a purse; and whereas the sum in the article being indefinite, I confess [it] to be 300 or 400/. and it was about some months after the cause was decreed: in which decree I was assisted by two of the judges.

To the twenty-third article of the charge, namely, "In the cause of Mr. Barker, the lord chancellor received from Barker 700/."

I confess and declare, that the sum mentioned in the article was received from Mr. Barker some time after the decree past.

To the twenty-fourth, twenty-fifth, twenty-sixth articles of the charge, namely, The twenty-fourth, "There being a reference from his Majesty to his lordship of a business between the grocers and the apothecaries, the lord chancellor received of the grocers 200/." The twenty-fifth article, " In the same cause, he received of the apothecaries, that stood with the grocers, a taster of gold worth between 400 and 500/. and a present of ambergrease." And the twenty-sixth article, "He received of a new company of apothecaries, that stood against the grocers, 100/."

To these I confess and declare, that the several sums from the three parties were received; and for that it was no judicial business, but a concord of composition between the parties, and that as I thought all had received good, and they were all three common purses, I thought it the less matter to receive that which they voluntarily presented; for if I had taken it in the nature of a corrupt bribe, I knew it could not be concealed, because it must needs be put to account to the three several companies.

To the twenty-seventh article of the charge, namely, " He took of the French merchants 1000/. to constrain the vintners of London to take from them 1500 tuns of wine; to accomplish which, he used very indirect means, by colour of his office and authority, without bill or suit depending, terrifying the vintners by threats, and by imprisonments of their persons, to buy wines whereof they had no need, nor use, at higher rates than they were vendible :"

I do confess and declare, that Sir Thomas Smith lid deal with me in behalf of the French Company; informing me, that the vintners by combination would not take off their wines at any reasonable prices; that it would destroy their trade, and stay their voyage for that year; and that it was a fair business, and concerned the state; and he doubted not but I should receive thanks from the king, and honour by it; and that they would gratify me with a thousand pounds for my travail in it: whereupon I treated between them by way of persuasion; and to prevent any compulsory suit, propounding such a price as the vintners might be gainers 6/. in a tun as it was then maintained unto me. And after the merchants petitioning to the king, and his Majesty recommending this business unto me, as a business that concerns his customs and the navy, I dealt more earnestly and peremptorily in it; and, as I think, restrained in the messenger's hand for a day or two some that were the most stiff; and afterwards the merchants presented me with 1000/. out of their common purse, and acknowledging themselves that I had kept them from a kind of ruin, and still maintaining to me, that the vintners, if they were not insatiably minded, had a very competent gain: this is the merits of the cause, as it there appears to me.

To the twenty-eighth article of the charge, namely, "The lord chancellor hath given way to great exactions by his servants, both in respect of private seals, and otherwise for sealing of injunctions:"

I confess it was a great fault of neglect in me that I looked no better to my servants.

This declaration I have made to your lordships, with a sincere mind, humbly craving that if there should be any mistake, your lordships would impute it to want of memory, and not to any desire of mine to obscure truth, or palliate any thing; for I do now again confess, that in the points charged upon me, though they should be taken, as myself declared them, there is a great deal of corruption and neglect, for which I am heartily sorry, and submit myself to the judgment, grace, and mercy of the court.

For extenuation I will use none concerning the matters themselves; only it may please your lordships, out of your nobleness, to cast your eyes of compassion upon my person and estate. I was never noted for any avaricious man; and the apostle saith,

that " covetousness is the root of all evil." I hope also that your lordships do rather find me in a state of grace, for that in all these particulars there are few or none that are not almost two years old; whereas those that have a habit of corruption do commonly wax worse: so that it hath pleased God to prepare me by precedent degrees of amendment to my present penitency; and for my estate, it is so mean and poor, as my care is now chiefly to satisfy my debts.

And so fearing I have troubled your lordships too long, I shall conclude with an humble suit unto you, that if your lordships proceed to sentence, your sentence may not be heavy to my ruin, but gracious and mixt with mercy; and not only so, but that you would be noble intercessors for me to his Majesty likewise for his grace and favour.

Your lordships' humble servant and suppliant,

FR. ST. ALBAN, CANC.

The lords having heard this confession and submission read, these lords undernamed, namely, the earl of Pembroke, lord chamberlain; the earl of Arundel, the earl of Southampton, the bishop of Durham, the bishop of Winchester, the bishop of Coventry and Licli field, the lord Wentworth, the lord Cromwell, the lord Sheffield, the lord North, the lord Chandos, the lord Hunsdon, were sent to him the said lord chancellor, and showed him the said confession, and told him, that the lords do conceive it to be an ingenuous and full confession: and demanded of him, whether it be his own hand that is subscribed to the same, and whether he will stand to it or no; unto which the said lord chancellor answered, namely,

"My lords, it is my act, my hand, my heart: I beseech your lordships to be merciful to a broken reed."

The which answer being reported to the house, it was agreed by the house, to move his Majesty to sequester the seal; and the lords entreated the prince's Highness, that he would be pleased to move the king: whereunto his Highness condescended; and the same lords, which went to take the acknowledgment of the lord chancellor's hand, were appointed to attend the prince to the king, with some other lords added: and his Majesty did not only sequester the seal, but awarded a new commission unto the lord chief justice to execute the place of the chancellor or lord keeper.

Parliament, dat. primo Maii, and on Wednesday the second of May the said commission being read, their lordships agreed to proceed to sentence the lord chancellor to-morrow morning; wherefore the gentleman usher, and Serjeant at arms, attendants on the upper house, were commanded to go and summon him the said lord chancellor to appear in person before their lordships to-morrow morning by nine of the clock; and the said serjeant was commanded to take his mace with him, and to show it unto his lordship at the said summons: but they found him sick in bed, and being summoned, he answered that he was sick, and protested that he feigned not this for any excuse; for if he had been well he would willingly have come.

730 PROCEEDINGS IN PARLIAMENT AGAINST THE LORD CHANCELLOR.

The lords resolved to proceed notwithstanding against the said lord chancellor; and therefore, on Thursday the third day of May, their lordships sent their message unto the commons to this purpose, namely, That the lords are ready to give judgment against the lord viscount St. Alban, lord chancellor, if they with their speaker will come to demand it. And the commons being come, the speaker came to the bar, and making three low obeisances, said:

"The knights, citizens, and burgesses, of the commons house of parliament, have made complaints unto your lordships of many exorbitant offences of bribery and corruption committed by the lord chancellor; we understand that your lordships are ready to give judgment upon him for the same; wherefore I their speaker, in their name, do humbly demand, and pray judgment against him the lord chancellor, as the nature of his offence and demerits do require."

The lord chief justice answered,

"Mr. Speaker,

"Upon complaint of the commons against the viscount St. Alban, lord chancellor, this high court hath hereby, and by his own confession, found him guilty of the crimes and corruptions complained of by the commons, and of sundry other crimes and corruptions of the like nature.

"And therefore this high court, having first summoned him to attend, and having his excuse of not attending by reason of infirmity and sickness, which, he protested, was not feigned, or else he would most willingly have attended; doth nevertheless think fit to proceed to judgment; and therefore this high court doth adjudge,

"I. That the lord viscount St Alban, lord
chancellor of England, shall undergo fine and
ransom of forty thousand pounds.
"II. That he shall be imprisoned in the Tower

during the king's pleasure.
"III. That he shall for ever be uncapable of
any office, place, or employment, in the
state or commonwealth.
"IV. That he shall never sit in parliament, nor

come within the verge of the court "This is the judgment and resolution of thU high court."

WORKS HISTORICAL.

THE HISTORY OF THE REIGN
op

KING HENRY THE SEVENTH.

TO THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS AND MOST EXCELLENT PRINCE CHARLES, Prince Of Wales, Duke Op Cornwall, Earl Of Chester, Etc.

It May Please Your Highness,

In part of my acknowledgment to your Highness, I have endeavoured to do honour to the memory of the last king of England, that was ancestor to the king your father and yourself; and was that king to whom both unions may in a sort refer: that of the roses being in him consummate, and that of the kingdoms by him begun: besides, his times deserve it. For he was a wise man, and an excellent king; and yet the times were rough and full of mutations, and rare accidents. And it is with times, as it is with ways: some are more up-hill and down-hill, and some are more fiat and plain; and the one is better for the liver, and the other for the writer. I have not flattered him, but took him to life as well as I could, sitting so far off, and having no better light. It is true your Highness hath a living pattern, incomparable, of the king your father: but it is not amiss for you also to see one of these ancient pieces. God preserve your Highness.

Your Highness's most humble and devoted servant,

FRANCIS ST. ALBAN.

After that Richard, the third of that name, king in fact only, but tyrant both in title and regiment, and so commonly termed and reputed in all times since, was by the Divine revenge favouring the design of an exiled man, overthrown and slain at Bosworth-field; there succeeded in the kingdom the earl of Richmond, thenceforth styled Henry the seventh. The king immediately after the victory, as one that had been bred under a devout mother, and was in his nature a great observer of religious forms, caused " Te Deum laudamus " to be solemnly sung in the presence of the whole army upon the place, and was himself with general applause and great cries of joy, in a kind of military election or recognition, saluted king. Meanwhile the body of Richard, after many indignities and reproaches, the diriges and obsequies of the common people towards tyrants, was obscurely buried. For though the king of his nobleness gave charge unto the

friars of Leicester to see an honourable interment to be given to it, yet the religious people themselves, being not free from the humours of the vulgar, neglected it; wherein nevertheless they did not then incur any man's blame or censure: no man thinking any ignominy or contumely unworthy of him that had been the executioner of king Henry the sixth, that innocent prince, with his own hands; the contriver of the death of the duke of Clarence his brother; the murderer of his two nephews, one of them his lawful king in the present, and the other in the future, failing of him; and vehemently suspected to have been the impoisoner of his wife, thereby to make vacant his bed, for a marriage within the degrees forbidden. And although he were a prince in military virtue approved, jealous of the honour of the English nation, and likewise a good law-maker, for the ease and solace of the common people; yet his cruelties and parricides, in the

« PreviousContinue »