Francis Bacon.

The works of Francis Bacon, baron of Verulam, viscount St. Alban, and lord high chancellor of England (Volume 3) online

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will require these inferior questions :

First, whether the name of Britain shall only be
used in your majesty's stile, where the intire stile is
recited; and in all other forms the divided names to
remain both of the realms and of the people? or other-
wise, that the very divided names of realms and peo-
ple shall likewise be changed or turned into special or
subdivided names of the general name ; that is to say
for example, whether your majesty in your stile shall
denominate yourself king of Britain,. France, and Ire-
land, etc. and yet nevertheless, in any commission,
writ, or otherwise, where your majesty mentions Eng-
land or Scotland, you shall retain the ancient names,
as secundum consuetudinem regni nostri Angliae ; or
whether those divided names shall be for ever lost and
taken away, and turned into the subdivisions of South-
Britain and North-Britain, and the people to be South-
Britons and North-Britons? And so in the example
aforesaid, the tenourof the like clause to run secundum
consuetudinem Britanniae aus trails.

Also, if the former of these shall be thought conve-
nient, whether it were not better for your majesty to
take that alteration of stile upon \ou by proclamation,
as Edward the third did the stile of France, than to
have it enacted by parliament ?

Also, in the alteration of the stile, whether it were
not better to transpose the kingdom of Ireland, and put
it immediately after Britain, aisd so place the islands
together 5 and the kingdom of France, being upon the

t 2

Union of England and Scotland.

continent, last; in regard that these islands of the wes-
tern ocean seem by nature and providence an entire
empire in themselves ; and also, that there was never
king of England so entirely possest of Ireland as your
majesty is : so your stile to run king of Britain, Ire-
land, and the islands adjacent, and of France, etc.

The difficulties in this have been already thoroughly
beaten over ; but they gather but to two heads.

The one, point of honour and love to the former

The other, doubt, lest the alteration of the names
may induce and involve an alteration of the laws and
policies of the kingdom ; both which, if your majesty
shall assume the stile by proclamation, and not by
parliament, are in themselves satisfied: for then the
usual names must needs remain in writs and records,
the forms whereof cannot be altered but by act of par-
liament, and so the point of honour satisfied : And
again, your proclamation altereth no law, and so the
scruple of a tacit or implied alteration of laws likewise
satisfied. But then it may be considered whether it
were not a form of the greatest honour, if the parlia-
ment, though they did not enact it, yet should be-
come suitors and petitioners to your majesty to assume

For the seals, that there should be but one great
seal of Britain, and one chancellor, and that there
should only be a seal in Scotland for processes and or-
dinary justice 3 and that all patents of grants of lands
or otherwise, as well in Scotland as in England, should
pass under the great seal here, kept about your per-
son ; it is an alteration internal, whereof I do not now

But the question in this place is, whether the great
seals of England and Scotland should not be changed
into one and the same form of image and superscription
of Britain, which, nevertheless, is requisite should be
with some one plain or manifest alteration, lest there
be a buz, and suspect, that grants of things in Eng-
land may be passed by the seal of Scotland, or e con-
verso I 1

Union of England and Scotland. 277

Also, whether this alteration of form may not be
done without act of parliament, as the great seals
have used to be heretofore changed as to their impres-
sions ?

For the moneys, as to the real and internal consi-
deration thereof, the question will be, whether your
majesty shall not continue two mints? which, the
distance of territory considered, I suppose will be of

Secondly, how the standards, if it be not already The stand.
done, as I hear some doubt made of it in popular ru-^mpsf
mour, may be reduced into an exact proportion for the moneys.
time to come; and likewise the computation, tale, or
valuation to be made exact for the moneys already
beaten ?

That done, the last question is, which is only proper
to this place, whether the stamp or image and super-
scription of Britain for the time forwards should not
be made the self-same in both places, without any
difference at all ? A matter also which may be done,
as our law is, by your majesty's prerogative without
act of parliament.

These points are points of demonstration, ad facien-
dum populum, but so much the more they go to the
root of your majesty's intention, which is to imprint
and inculcate into the hearts and heads of the people,
that they are one people and one nation.

In this kind also I have heard it pass abroad in speech
of the erection of some new order of knighthood, with
a reference to the union, and an oath appropriate
thereunto, which is a point likewise deserves a consi-
deration. So much for the external points.

The internal points of separation are as followeth. internal

1. Several parliaments.

2. Several councils of state.

3. Several officers of the crown.

4. Several nobilities.

5. Several laws.

6. Several courts of justice, trials, and processes.

7. Several receits and finances.

8. Several admiralties and merchandizings.

278 Union of England and Scotland.

9. Several freedoms and liberties.

10. Several taxes and imposts.

As touching the several states ecclesiastical, and the
several mints and standards, and the several articles
and treaties of intercourse with foreign nations, I
touched them before.

In these points of the strait and more inward union,
there will intervene one principal difficulty and impedi-
ment, growing from that root, which Aristotle in his
Politics maketh to be the root of all division and dis-
sention in commonwealths, and that is equality and
inequality. For the realm of Scotland is now an anci-
ent and noble realm, substantive of itself. But when
this island shall be made Britain, then Scotland is no
more to be considered as Scotland, but as a part of Bri-
tain ; no more than England is to be considered as
England, but as a part likewise of Britain; and conse-
quently neither of these are to be considered as things
intire of themselves, but in the proportion that they
bear to the whole. And therefore let us imagine, Nam
id mentc possumus, quod actu non possnmus, that Bri-
tain had never been divided, but had ever been one
kingdom ; then that part of soil or territory, which is
comprehended under the name of Scotland, is in quan-
tity, as I have heard it esteemed, how truly I know
not, not past a third part of Britain ; and that part of
soil or territory which is comprehended under the name
of England, is two parts of Britain, leaving to speak of
any difference of wealth or population, and speaking
only of quantity. So then if, for example, Scotland
should bring to parliament as much nobility as Eng-
land, then a third part should countervail two parts;
nam si inaequalibus acqualia addas, omnia erunt inae-
qualia. And this, I protest before God and your ma-
jesty, I do speak not as a man born in England, but
as a man born in Britain. And therefore to descend
to the particulars ;

For the parliaments, the consideration of that point
w j|j f a ]j j nto f pur questions.

] . The first, what proportion shall be kept between
the votes of England and the votes of Scotland?

Union of England and Scotland. 219

2. The second, touching the manner of proposition,
or possessing of the parliament of causes there to be
handled ; which in England is used to be done imme-
diately by any memberof the parliament, or by the prolo-
cutor; andinScotlandisused to be done immediatelyby
the lords of the articles ; whereof the one form seemeth to
have more liberty, and the other more gravity and ma-
turity and therefore the question will be, whether of
these shall yield to other, or whether there should not
be a mixture of both, by some commissions precedent
to every parliament, in the nature of lords of the arti-
cles, and yet not excluding the liberty of propounding
in full parliament afterwards ?

3. The third, touching the orders of parliament,
how they may be compounded, and the best of either
taken ?

4. The fourth, how those, which by inheritance or
otherwise have officers of honour and ceremony in both
the parliaments, as the lord steward with us, etc. may
be satisfied, and duplicity accommodated?

For the councils of estate, while the kingdoms stand 2 - Council
divided, it should seem necessary to continue several
councils; but if your majesty should proceed to a
strict union, then howsoever your majesty may esta-
blish some provincial councils in Scotland as there is
here of York, and in the marches of Wales, yet the
question will be, whether it will not be more conve-
nient for your majesty, to have but one privy council
about your person, whereof the principal officers of
the crown of Scotland to be for dignity sake, howso-
ever their abiding and remaining may be as your ma-
jesty shall employ their service: But this point belong-
eth merely and wholly to your majesty's royal will and

For the officers of the crown, the consideration
thereof will fall into these questions. t

First, in regard of the latitude of your kingdom and
the distance of place, whether it will not be matter of
necessity to continue the several officers, because of
the impossibility for the service to be performed by one?

The second, admitting the duplicity of officers should

Union of England and Scotland.

be continued, yet whether there should not be a dif-
ference, that one should be the principal officer, and
the other to be but special and subaltern? As -for ex-
ample, one to be chancellor of Britain, and the other
to be chancellor with some special addition, as here
of the dutchy, etc.

The third, if no such specialty or inferiority be thought
fit, then whether both officers should not have the title
and the name of the whole island, and precincts? as
the lord Chancellor of England to be lord Chancellor
of Britain, and the lord Chancellor of Scotland to be
lord Chancellor of Britain, but with several provisos
that they shall not intromit themselves but within their
several precincts.

For the nobilities, the consideration thereof will fall
into these questions.

The first, of their votes in parliament, which was
touched before, what proportion they shall bear to the
nobility of England? wherein if the proportion which
shall be thought fit be not full, yet your majesty may,
out of your prerogative, supply it; for although you
cannot make fewer of Scotland, yet you may make
more of England.

The second is touching the place and precedence
wherein to marshal them according to the precedence
of England in your majesty's stile, and according to
the nobility of Ireland; that is, all English earls first,
and then Scotish, will be thought unequal for Scotland.
To marshal them according to antiquity, will be
thought unequal for England. Because I hear their
nobility is generally more ancient: and therefore the
question will be, whether the most .indifferent way
were not to take them interchangeably; as for example,
first, the ancient earl of England; and then the ancient
earl of Scotland, and so alttrnis vicibus ?

For the laws to make an entire and perfect union,
it is a matter of great difficulty and length, both in the
collecting of them, and in the passing of them.

For first, as to the collecting of them, there must be
m.ade by the lawyers of either nation, a digest under
titles of their several laws and customs, as well com*

Union of England and Scotland. 28 i

mon laws as statutes, that they may be collated and
compared, and that the diversities may appear and be
discerned of. And for the passing of them, we see by
experience Ihat/Mfrzkf mos is dear to all men, and that
m^n are bred and nourished up in the love of it ; and
therefore how harsh changes and innovations are. And
we see likewise what disputation and argument the
alteration of some one law doth cause and bring forth,
how much more the alteration of the whole corps of
the law? Therefore the first question will be, whether
it will not be good to proceed by parts, and to take
that that is most necessary, and leave the rest to time?
The parts therefore or subject of laws, are for this
purpose fitl'iest distributed according to that ordinary
division of criminal and civil, and those of criminal
causes into capital and penal.

The second question therefore is, allowing the ge-
neral union of laws to be too great a work to embrace;
whether it were not convenient that cases capital were
the same in both nations; J say the cases, I do not
speak of the proceedings of trials ; that is to say,
whether the same offences were not fit to be made
treason or felony in both places?

The third question is, whether cases penal, though
not capital, yet if they concern the public state, or
otherwise the discipline of manners, were not fit like-
wise to be brought into one degree, as the case of
misprision of treason, the case of praemunire, the case
of fugitives, the case of incest, the case of simony, and
the rest?

But the question that is more urgent than'any of these
is, whether these cases at the least, be they of an higher
or inferior degree, wherein the fact committed, or act
done in Scotland, may prejudice the state and subjects
of England, or e converso, are not to be reduced into
one uniformity of law and punishment? As for ex-
ample, a perjury committed in a court of justice in
Scotland, cannot be prejudicial in England, because
depositions taken in Scotland cannot be produced and
used here in England. But a forgery of a deed in
Scotland, I mean with a false date of England, may

282 Union of England and Scotland.

be used and given in evidence in England. So like-
wise the depopulating of a town in Scotland doth not
directly prejudice the state of England: but if an
English merchant shall carry silver and gold into Scot-
land, as he may, and thence transport it into foreign
parts, this prejudiceth the case; and therefore had
need to be bridled with as severe a law in Scotland, as
it is here in England.

Of this kind there are many laws.

The law of the 5th of Richard II. of going over
without licence, if there be not the like law in Scot-
Jand, will be frustrated and evaded : for any subject of
England may go first into Scotland, and thence into
foreign parts.

So the Jaws prohibiting transportation of sundry
commodities, as gold and silver, ordnance, artillery,
corn, etc. if there be not a correspondence of laws in
Scotland, will in like manner be eluded and frustrated ;
for any English merchant or subject may carry such
commodities first into Scotland, as well as he may carry
them from port to port in England ; and out of Scot-
land into foreign parts, without any peril of law.

So libels may be devised and written in Scotland,
and published and scattered in England.

Treasons may be plotted in Scotland and executed
in England.

And so in many other cases, if there be not the like
severity of law in Scotland to restrain offences that
there is in England, whereof we are here ignorant
whether there be or no, it will be a gap or stop even
for English subjects to escape and avoid the laws of

But for treasons, the best is that by the statute of

26 K. Henry VIII. cap. 13. any treason committed in

Scotland may be proceeded with in England, as well

as treasons committed in France, Rome, or elsewhere.

6. Courts of j? or courts of justice, trials, processes, and other ad-

justice, and ... /* ; , . . . .

. ministration or laws, to make any alteration in either
. nat j ollj j t w jjj \^ Q a thing so new and unwonted to
either people, that it may be doubted it will make the
administration of justice, which of all other things

Union of England and Scotland. 283

ought to be known and certain as a beaten way, to
become intricate and uncertain. And besides, I do
not see that the severalty of administration of justice,
though it be by court sovereign of last resort, I mean
without appeal or error, is any impediment at all to
the union of a kingdom : as we see by experience in
the several courts of parliament in the kingdom of
France. And I have been always of opinion, that the
subjects of England do already fetch justice somewhat
far off, more than in any nation that I know, the large-
ness of the kingdom considered, though it be holpen
in some part by the circuits of the judges; and the
two councils established at York, and in the marches
of Wales.

But it may be a good question, whether, as commune
vinculum of the justice of both nations, your majesty
should not erect some court about your person, in the
nature of the grand council of France: to which court
you might, by way of avocation, draw causes from the
ordinary judges of both nations; for so doth the French
king from all the courts of parliament in France; many
of which are more remote from Paris than any part of
Scotland is from London.

For receits and finances, I see no question will arise, 7. Rcceia,
in regard it will be matter of necessity to establish in Finances

o ..i \ *.* c \ and Patri-

Scotland a receit of treasure for payments and eroga- monies of
tions to be made in those parts : and for the treasure theCrowa>
of spare, in either receits, the custodies thereof may well
be several ; considering by your majesty's commandment
they may be at all times removed or disposed accord-
ing to your majesty's occasions.

For the patrimonies of both crowns, I see no question
will arise, except your majesty would be pleased to
make one compounded annexation, for an inseparable
patrimony to the crown out of the lands of both na-
tions: and so the like for the principality of Britain,
and for other appennages of the rest of your children;
erecting likewise such duchies and honours, com-
pounded of the possessions of both nations, as shall be
thought fit,

284 Union of England and Scotland.

?' A Nw iral " ^ or admiralty or navy, I see no great question will
and Her' rise ; for I see no inconvenience For your majesty to
continue shipping in Scotland. And for the jurisdic-
tions of the admiralties, and the profits and casualties
of them, they will be respective unto the coasts, over-
against which the seas lie and are situated 5 as it is here
with the admiralties of England.

And for merchandising, it may be a question, whe-
ther that the companies of the merchant adventurers,
of the Turkey merchants, and the Muscovy merchants,
if they shall be continued, should not be compounded
of merchants of both nations, English and Scotish.
For to leave trade free in the one nation, and to have
it restrained in the other, may percase breed some

^.Freedoms F or freedoms and liberties, the charters of both na-
ties. ' " tions may be reviewed; and of such liberties as are
agreeable and convenient for the subjects and people
of both nations, one great charter may be made and
confirmed to the subjects of Britain; and those liberties
which are peculiar or proper to either nation, to stand
in state as they do.

10. Taxes B u t for imposts and customs, it will be a great
St question how to accommodate them and reconcile
them: for if they be much easier in Scotland, than
they be here in England, which is a thing I know not,
then this inconvenience will follow ; that the merchants
of England may unlade in the ports of Scotland: and
this kingdom to be served from thence, and your ma-
jesty's customs abated.

And for the question, whether the Scotish mer-
chants should pay strangers custom in England? that
resteth upon the point of naturalization, which I
touched before.

Thus have I made your majesty a brief and naked
memorial of the articles and points of this great cause,
which may serve only to excite and stir up your ma-
jesty's royal judgment, and the judgment of wiser
men whom you will be pleased to call to it; wherein
I will not presume to persuade or dissuade any thing ;
nor to interpose mine own opinion, but do expect light

Union of England and Scotland. 285

from your majesty's royal directions; unto the which I
shall ever submit my judgment, and apply my travails.
And I most humbly pray your majesty, in this which
is done to pardon my errors, and to cover them with
my good intention and meaning, and desire I have
to do your majesty service, and to acquit the trust that
was reposed in me, and chiefly in your majesty's be-
nign and gracious acceptation.

[ 286 ]




Commissioners of England and Scotland,


An Union for the Weal of both Realms:

W E the commissioners for England and Scotland
respectively named and appointed, in all humbleness
do signify to his most excellent majesty, and to the
most honourable high courts of Parliament of both
realms, that we have assembled ourselves, consulted
and treated according to the nature and limits of our
commission; and forasmuch as we do find that hardly
within the memory of all times, or within the compass
of the universal world, there can be shewed forth a fit
example or precedent of the work we have in hand
concurring in all points material, we thought ourselves
so much the more bound to resort to the infallible and
original grounds of nature and common reason, and
freeing ourselves from the leading or misleading of ex-
amples, to insist and fix our considerations upon the
individual business in hand, without wandering or

It seemed therefore unto us a matter demonstrative
by the light of reason, that we were in first place to
begin with the remotion and abolition of all manner of
hostile, envious, or malign laws on either side, being in
themselves mere temporary, and now by time become
directly contrary to our present most happy estate ;
which laws, as they are already dead in force and
vigour, so we thought fit now r to wish them buried
in oblivion; that by the utter extinguishment of the
memory of discords past, we may avoid all seeds of
relapse into discords to come.

Certificate touching the Union. 287

Secondly, as matter of nature not unlike the for-
mer, we entered into consideration of such limited
constitutions as served but for to obtain a form of jus-
tice between subjects under several monarchs, and
did in the very grounds and motives of them presup-
pose incursions, and intermixture of hostility: all which
occasions, as they are in themselves now vanished and.
done away, so we wish the abolition and cessation
thereof to be declared.

Thirdly, for so much as the principal degree to union
is communion and participation of mutual commodi-
ties and benefits, it appeared to us to follow next in,
order, that the commerce between both nations be set
open and free, so as the commoxiities and provisions of
either may pass and flow to and fro, without any stops
or obstructions, into the veins of the whole body, for
the better sustentation and comfort of all the parts :
with caution nevertheless, that the vital nourishment
be not so drawn into one part, as it may endanger a
consumption and withering of the other.

Fourthly, after the communion and participation by
commerce, which can extend but to the transmission
of such commodities as are moveable, personal, and
transitory, there succeeded naturally that other degree,
that there be made a mutual endowment and donation
of either realm towards other of the abilities and ca-
pacities to take and enjoy things which are perma-
nent, real, and fixed ; as namely, freehold and inhe-
ritance, and the like: and that as well the internal
and vital veins of blood be opened from interruption
and obstruction in making pedigree, and claiming by
descent, as the external and elemental veins of pas-
sage and commerce ; with reservation nevertheless
unto the due time of such abilities and capacities only,
as no power on earth can confer without time and

And lastly, because the perfection of this blessed
work consisteth in the union, not only of the solid
parts of the estate, but also in the spirit and sinews of
the same, which are the laws and government, which
nevertheless are already perfectly united in the head,

288 Certificate touching the Union.

Online LibraryFrancis BaconThe works of Francis Bacon, baron of Verulam, viscount St. Alban, and lord high chancellor of England (Volume 3) → online text (page 24 of 45)