Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

"23. To the three and twentieth article of the charge, viz. in the cause of Mr. Barker, the lord Chancellor received from Barker seven hundred pounds :—I confess and declare, that the money mentioned in the article was received from Mr. Barker, some time after the decree passed.

“24. To the four and twentieth article, five and twentieth, and six and twentieth articles of the charge, viz. the four and twentieth, 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 two hundred pounds. The five and twentieth article: in the same cause, he received of the Apothecaries that stood with the Grocers, a taster of gold, worth between forty and fifty pounds, and a present of ambergrease. And the six and twentieth article: he received of the New Company of the Apothecaries that stood against the Grocers, an hundred pounds :-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, or 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

[ocr errors]

concealed, because it must needs be put to accompt to the three several companies.

"27. To the seven and twentieth article of the charge, viz. he took of the French merchants a thousand pounds, to constrain the vintners of London to take from them fifteen hundred tons 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 imprisonments of their persons, to buy wines, whereof they had no need or use, at higher rates than they were vendible :- I do confess and declare, that sir Thomas Smith did deal with me in the 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

travel 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 six pounds a ton, as it was then maintained to me; and after, the merchants petitioning to the King, and his majesty recommending the business unto me, as a busi

A A

ness that concerned his customs and the navy, I dealt more earnestly and peremptorily in it; and, as I think, restrained in the messengers' hands for a day or two some that were the more stiff; and afterwards the merchants presented me with a thousand pounds out of their common purse; 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 then appeared unto me.

"28. To the eight and twentieth article of the charge; viz. 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 sincére mind: humbly craving, that if there should be any mistaking, 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 again confess, that in the points charged upon me, although they should be taken as myself have declared them, there is a great deal of corruption and neglect, for which I am heartily and penitently 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 an avaricious man.

And the apostle saith, that covetous. ness is the root of all evil. I hope also, that your

lordships do the rather find me in the 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 an habit of corruption do commonly wax worse and 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 mixed 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.'

NOTE (H.) P. 271.

Mr. Bushell was sent by lord Bacon to know the result of his confession and submission, which I was loath,' says he, at my return, to acquaint him with; for, alas! his sovereign's favour was not in so high a measure, but he (like the Pharisee,) must be sacrificed in flames of his own raising, and so perished, (like Icarus,) in that his lofty design, the great revenue of his office being lost, and his titles of honour saved but by the bishops' votes; whereto he replied, that he was only bound to thank his clergy: the thunder of which fatal sentence did much perplex my troubled thoughts, as well as others, to see that famous lord, who procured his majesty to call this Parliament, must be the first subject of their revengeful wrath; and that so unparalleled a master should be then brought upon the publick stage for the foolish miscarriages of his own servants, whereof (with grief of heart,) I confess myself to be one. Yet, shortly after, the King dissolved the Parliament, but never restored that matchless lord to his place; which made him then to wish the many years he had spent in state-policy and law-study, had been solely devoted to true philosophy: for (said he) the one at best doth but comprehend man's frailty in its greatest

« ForrigeFortsæt »