Francis Bacon.

The works of Francis Bacon, baron of Verulam, viscount St. Alban, and lord high chancellor of England (Volume 4) online

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<e but recommend me to his Majesty's grace and par-
ic don for all that is past. God's holy Spirit be among
" you.

" Your lordships humble servant, and 'suppliant,

i. " FR. ST. ALBAN, Ca?ic."

THE lords having considered of this submission, and
heard the collections of corruptions charged upon the
said lord Chancellor, and the proofs thereof read, they
sent a copy of the same without the proofs unto him
the said lord Chancellor, by Mr. Baron Denham, and
Mr. Attorney-General, with this message from their
lordships, namely,

THAT the lord Chancellor's confession is not fully
set down by his lordship, in the said submission, for
three causes.

3. First, his lordship confesseth not any particular
bribe or corruption.

2. Nor sheweth how his lordship heard the charge

against the Lord Chancellor. 537

3. The confession, such as it is, is afterwards ex-
tenuated in the same submission ; and therefore the
lords have sent him a particular of the charge, and do
expect his answer to the same with all convenient ex-

UNTO which message the lord Chancellor answered,
<( that he would return the lords an answer with speed/'

And on the twenty- fifth of April the lords consider-,
ed of the lord Chancellor's said answer, sent unto their
message yesterday, and sent a second message unto his
lordship to this effect, by the said Mr. Baron Denham,
and Mr. Attorney-General, namely,

The lords having received a doubtful answer unto
the message ^heir lordships sent him yesterday; and
therefore they now send to him again to know of his
lordship, directly and presently, whether his lordship
will make his confession, or stand upon his defence.

Answer returned by the said messengers, namely,

" The lord Chancellor will make no manner of de-
" fence to the charge, but meaneth to acknowledge
" corruption, and to make a particular confession to
<c every point, and after that an humble submission; but
" humbly craves liberty, that where the charge is more
" full than he finds the truth of the fact, he may make
<e declaration of the truth in such particulars, the charge
" being brief, and containing not all circumstances."

The lords sent the same messengers back again to
the lord Chancellor, to let him know, that their lord-
ships have granted him time until Monday next, the
thirtieth* of April, by ten in the morning, to send such
confession and and submission as his lordship intends
to make.

On which Monday the lord Chancellor sent the
same accordingly, and that follows in luce verb a y

* I presume it should be the twenty-ninth.

538 Pj -dccedu tgs in Pa rlia m en t

To the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual
and Temporal, in the high court of Parlia-
ment assembled.

The humble Confession and Submission of me the
lord Chancellor.

UPON advised consideration of the charge, descend-
ing into my own conscience, and calling my memory
to account, so far as I am able, I do plainly and inge-
nuously confess that I am guilty of corruption, and do
renounce all defence, and put myself upon the grace
and mercy of your lordships.

The particulars I confess and declare to be as fol-

To the first article of the charge, namely, " In the
cc cause between Sir Rowland Egerton and Edward
" Egerton, the lord Chancellor received 300/. on the
" part of Sir Rowland Egerton, before he had decreed
" the cause. "

I do confess and declare, that upon a reference from
his Majesty of all suits and controversies between Sir
Rowland Egerton and Edward Egerton, both parties
submitted themselves to my award by recognisances
reciprocal in ten thousand marks apiece ; thereupon,
after divers hearings, I made my award with the ad-
vice and consent of my lord llobard: the award was
perfected and published to the parties, which was in
February. Then some days after, the three hundred
pounds, mentioned in the charge, was delivered unto
me. Afterwards Mr. Edward Egerton fled off from
the award ; then in Midsummer term following a suit
was begun in chancery by Sir Rowland to have the
award confirmed, and upon that suit was the decree
made mentioned in the article.

The second article of the charge, namely, " In the
" same cause he received from Edward Egerton 400/."

I confess and declare, that soon after my first coming
to the seal, being a time when 1 was presented by many^
the 400/. mentioned in the said charge was delivered
unto me in a purse, and, as I now call to mind, from

against the Lord Chancellor. 539

Mr. Edward Egerton ; but, as far as I can remember,
it was expressed by them that brought it to be for fa-
vours past, and not in respect of favours to come.

The article of the charge, namely, " In the cause
" between Hody and Hody, he received a dozen of
* c buttons of the value of 50/. about a fortnight after
* e the cause was ended :"

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

To the fourth article of the charge, namely, ec 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 pendcjits
lite: but yet 1 have a vehement suspicion that there
was some shuffling between Mr. Shute and the regis-
ter in entering some orders, which afterwards I did

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, 1 10/. 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
<c cause between Sir John Trevor and Ascue, he re-
" ceived 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,

540 Proceedings in Parliament

yet the equity is reserved, so as it was in that kindpe?i~
dcnte 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 some money
given by Holman to my servant Hatcher, to that cer-
tainly 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
* c worth one hundred and threescore pounds and bet>
" ter, which Fisher gave him by advice of Mr. Shute :"

I confess and declare, that some time after the de-
cree 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
ff 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 I
came to view it, and not to receive it ; and gave com-
mandment that it should be carried back; and was of-
fended when I heard it was not: and some year and
an 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 he stood engaged
for the money that Sir John Kennedy paid for it: and
thereupon Sir John Kenne.dy wrote a letter to my ser-
vant Sherborne, with his own hand, desiring I would
not do him that disgrace/ as to return that gift back*

against the Lord Chancellor. 541

much less to put it into a wrong hand : and so it re-
mains yet ready to be returned to whom your lordships
shall appoint.

To the tenth article of the charge, namely, " He
" borrowed of Vanlore 1OOO/. upon his own bond at
ce one time, and the like sum at another time, upon
" his lordship's own bill, subscribed by Mr. Hunt his


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 twelve-month 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 Air. Shute, certain 1 am, I knew of

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

I confess and declare, that some months after, as I
reme-mber, 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 per-
son, relieved by the same decree, in the suit of one

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 arbi-
trament, and consent of parties, and so a decree passed
of course; and some months after the cause was end-

542 Proceedings in Parliament

ed, the IOO/ mentioned in the said article, was deli-
vered 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, pendent e lite.

To the fifteenth article of the charge, namely, " Wil-
<{ liam Compton being to have an extent for a debt of
" 1200/. the lord Chancellor stayed it, and wrote his
<c letter, upon which, part of the debt was paid pre-
cc sently, and part at a future day : the lord Chancellor
<c hereupon sends to borrow 500/. and because Comp-
" ton was to pay 400/. to one Huxley, his lordship re-
" quires Huxley to forbear six months ; and thereupon
" obtains the money from Compton : the money being
" unpaid, suit grows between Huxley and Compton in
<c 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 noble-
man, by whom Compton could be no loser; the money
was plainly borrowed of Compton upon bond with inte-
rest, and the message to Huxley was only to intreat him
to give Compton a longer day, and in no sort to make me
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, 1 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, <f In
<c the cause between Sir William Bronker and Awbrey,
" the lord Chancellor received from Awbrey 100/."

against the Lord Chancellor. 513

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

To the seventeenth article of the charge, namely,
Cf In the lord Montague's cause, he received from the
" lord Montague 600 or TOO/, 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 Thelvvall, 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 Thelvvall
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,
<c In the cause of Mr. Dunch, he received from Mr.
" Dunch 200/."

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

To the nineteenth article of the charge, namely,
f c In the cause between Reynell and Peacocke, he re-
(l ceived from Reynell 200/. and a diamond ring worth
" 500 or GOO/."

I confess and declare, that at my first coming to the
seal, when I was at Whitehall, my servant Hunt deli-
vered me 200/. from Sir George Reynell, 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 be-
gun : the ring was certainly received/;;z<7ev?fc life ; and
though it were at new year's tide, it was too great a
value for a new year's gift; though, as I take it, no-
thing near the value mentioned in the article.

To the twentieth article of the charge, namely,
* That he took of Peacocke 100/. without interest, se-
<f curity, or. time of payment,"

Proceedings in Parliament

I confess and declare, that I received of Mr. Pea-
coke 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. Al-
bans, to use his means with Mr. Peacocke, 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 t^|j0nty first article of the charge, namely,
C{ In the cause between Smithwicke and Wiche, he
received from Smithwicke 200/. which was repaid :"

I confess and declare, that my servaril Hunt did,
upon his account, being my receiver of the fines upon
original writs, charge himself with 2001. formerly re-
ceived of Smithwicke ; which, after that I had under-
stood 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 re-
" ceived 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 200 or 400/. and it was about some
months after the cause was decreed; in which decree
J 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 re-
" ceived from Barker TOO/."

I confess and declare, that the sum mentioned in
the article was received from Mr. Baker some time af-
ter the decree past.

To the twenty fourth, twenty fifth, twenty sixth ar-
ticles 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

against the Lord Chancellor. 515

ce 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, JOO/."

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 composi-
tion between the parties, and that as 1 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 na-
ture of a corrupt bribe, I knew it could not be con-
cealed, 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 1509 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 did
deal with me in behalf of the French company ; in-
forming 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 con-
cerned the state ; and he doubted not but I should re-
ceive thanks from the King, and honour by ir ; 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 com-
pulsory suit, propounding such a price as the vintners
might be gainers 6/. in a tun, as it was trten main-
tained unto me. And after the merchants petition-

VOL. iv. j* n

546 Proceedings in Parliament

ing 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
messengers 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 ac-
knowledging themselves that I had kept them from a
kind of ruin, and still maintaining to me, that the vint-
ners, 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 exac-
" tions 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 thai 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 mat-
ters themselves; only it may please your lordships, out
of your nobleness, to cast your eyes of compassion up-
on my person and estate, I was never noted for any
avaritious man ; and the apostle saith, that covetous-
ness is the root of all evil. 1 hope also that your lord-
ships do rather find me in a state of grace, for that in
all these particulars there are few dr none that are not
almost two years old ; whereas those that have an ha-
bit of corruption do commonly wax worse : so that it
hath pleased God to prepare me by precedent degrees

against the Lord Chancellor. 547

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 sen-
tence 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. ALB AN, Cane

THE lords having heard this confession and submis-
sion read, these lords undernamed, namely, the earl of
Pembroke, lord Chamberlain ; the earl of Arundel, the
earl of Southampton, the bishop of Durham, the bi-
shop of Winchester, the bishop of Coventry and Litch-
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 shewed 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 whe-
ther he will stand to it or no ; unto which the said lord
Chancellor answered, namely,

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

The which answer being reported to the house, it
was agreed by the house, to move his Majesty to se-
quester the seal ; and the lords intreated 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 at-
tend the Prince to the King, with some other lords
added : and his Majesty did not only sequester the
eal, but awarded a new commission unto the lord

548 Proceedings in Parliament

to 1

Chief Justice to execute the place of the Chancellor
or lord Keeper.

PARLIAMENT, dat. primo Mail, 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 gentle-
man 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 be-
fore their lordships to-morrow morning by nine of the
clock ; and the said serjeant was commanded to take
his mace with him, and to shew 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.

The lords resolved to proceed notwithstanding
against the said lord Chancellor; and therefore, on
Thursday the thKQ 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 com-
mons 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 judg-
ment upon him for the same ; wherefore I then 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,


Upon complaint of the commons against the vis-
count St. Alban, lord Chancellor, this high court hath

Online LibraryFrancis BaconThe works of Francis Bacon, baron of Verulam, viscount St. Alban, and lord high chancellor of England (Volume 4) → online text (page 45 of 46)