HATFIELD HOUSE MSS. 
Robert Cecil made himself proprietor of much of his correspondence as Secretary of State to Elizabeth and James I.  The correspondence became part of the archives of his descendants, the Earls, then Marquesses, of Salisbury at Hatfield House, Hertfordshire (catalogue numbers 98.27; 164.117; 104.121).


 
Lord Zouch to Cecil
         My uery good Lord, I came late to the courts thinking I came in tyme to waight uppon his Maiesty to chappell, but as I was goyng up the stayres I understoode his pleasure was not to be there, and therefore I wente and herd the sermon, and finding it the dinner tyme I thought it fitt to repayre home, sith I knewe noe place of staye, with purpose to haue got to see you in the after noone that I might understand howe you did after yester dayes trauell.  In my way home ward I mett Sir Francis Goodwinne of whom I herd complainte was made for miscarying him selfe in the chusing of the knights of the shire wherin if haue done amisse I shall neuer speake for him but wish him corrected, but as he telleth me, there is a writte to goe out to the sheriff for the making of a newe choise and that must be grounded uppon outlawry long since procured against him and pardoned by diuers pardons.  He maried in deed my neare kingswoman, she was the daughter of then my dearest frend.  It is, me thincketh, sharp than a man should in euery place be discredited for things so longe laid a slepe besides that, as I take it, if dewe course be had the parlament is to consider whether it be a dew choise or not, and from thence should goe a new writt.  If this be not dewly executed, I desire still to be beholding unto you.  I desire not that you should take any thing in hand wherin dishonor should come to you, but if his case be just, though his fault deserue punishment, take so mutch I pray you the patronizing of him uppon you as that his punishment may not be greater than his fault to which I would haue [moved] you my selfe rayther than haue written, if I had knowen it in tyme or that the tyme had bene seasonable for my returne.  But I beseche you haue care of his credit so farre forth as his cause may deserue and I will number it amongst those fauors I receyue of you and be all wayes.
                                                    Yours faithfully and unfainedly to
                                                              be commanded
                                                 [signed] E. Zouche

from my howse in Philippe Lane
     this 16th day of Marche
 


 
The the right hon., the Lord Cissell from Tho: Lake
         My duty to your L. humbly remembered.  This evening after his maiestie had supped upon receipt of letters by Sir George Martin his highness commanded me to writt a letter to him to signe directed to your Lordships of the Councell, which I haue sent your Lo:  enclosed to be sealed because there is no seales here.  The direction as I remember this case is used to be to the lo.  Chancellor by name and to the rest of the Lords and others of our priuy Councell.  To your lo. he wished me to signify in particular that in deliuering his pleasure to the house you remember that there be two things to their proceedings that offend him.  One is the delay of returning satisfaction uppon his proposition to them.  The other is their taking uppon them to conclude definitely against the sentence of the Iudges.  For he would by his Iudges and your Lordships of the Councell uery willingly giue them satisfaction in the least scrupule that may arise in this question: he yet is resolued not to be bound by their conclusions in a matter wherin the Iudges have cleared him that his perogative is interested and that he haue the law with him.  And this is as much as I conceiue of his maiesties meaning hauing not seen the letters where uppon this direction is grounded but only receiued his commandement to writt this whereupon I humbly take my leaue.
                                                                        From Royston this first of Aprill 1604

                                                                                 Your L. humble to command

                                                                                     [signed] Tho: Lake
 



 
To the Right honorable Sir Robert Cicell Knight
Lord Cicell Principall Secretary to the Kinges most
Excellent Maiesties [Master] of his hignes Ward and
Liueries and one of his moste honorable priuy
Councell
         My duty to be humble remembered.  Your letter was not so soone come which arriued about six in the morning or a little before but the Kings maiestie had before sent to me to know if any letters were come.  It seemed strange to me that your own being dated at 6 last night should not come hither till six in the morning.  The messenger layeth the fault uppon the posts.  Immediately I deliuered it to his Maiestie in his bed who called for pen and inks and hath written this answeare in closed of his own hand.  At the delivery whereof he enquired of me whether I had not written to your Lo. after the departure of Sir George Hume as he commanded me which I telling that I had he wondered that by this letter of your lo. he found no answeare to that but only to Sir Goerge Humes message.  He is much disquieted about this business.  Notwithstanding hath uppon these letters stayed his coming to Hungtindon till my lo. of Northamptons arriuals for whom I haue prouided lodging at the signe of the Talbott where his lo. hath before lyen.  Yesternight his maiestie was resolued to haue gon on and gaue me warrant for post horses.  Wherein I cannot but note unto your lo what disorder I fynde here that there was no man about the king of authority to command horses to be redy or go giue warrant for them so as the king was fayne to signe warrants of his own hand.  And yet this morning the post brought in the warrants again and told me that no man would obey them or deliuer any horses uppon them.  When is strange contempt and if the king had gone he could not well haue done it for want of horses.  Here is nether Councellor nor Postmaster nor his deputy nor the post of the Court but only a boy.  Whether this contempt groweth for lack of the ordinary officer or of any other cause I know not.  But I haue concealed from the in that his own warrant should be disobeyed in so uulgar a matter.  And this dyssention between his maiestie and the lower howse is wonderfully talked of here.  And so I humbly take my leaue.

                                                                                              From Royston
                                                                                                   this 2 Aprill 1604

                                                                                              Your l. humble to command

                                                                                                  [signed] Tho:  Lake

Endorsed:  For his maiesties special affairs . . . Haste, haste, Post haste, for Life, Life, Life.

Deliuered at Royston the second of April at almost nine in the forenoon.  Thos. Lake
 



The next three letters are transcribed from the Calendar of the Manuscripts of Most Honorable the Marquess of Salisbury, also preserved at Hatfield House. See also Historical Manuscripts Commission, 1933.
 
Lord Zouch to the Same [Cecil]
         [1603-4], March 16.--He came late to the Court, thinking to wait upon the King to the chapel, but the King's pleasure was not to be there.  Had purposed to see Cecil, to understand how he did after yesterday's travel.  He met Sir Francis Goodwin, of whom he heard complaint was made for miscarrying himself in choosing knights of the shire.  Goodwin tells him there is a writ to go out for making a new choice; and that must be grounded upon outlawries long since procured against him, for small matters not followed against him, and pardoned by divers pardons.  Goodwin married the writer's near kinswoman.  Thinks it sharp that a man should in every place be discredited for things so long laid asleep; and besides, if due course is to be had, the Parliament is to consider whether it be a due choice or not, and from thence should go a new writ, if the present one be not duly excluded.  If Goodwin's cause be just, prays Cecil to take the patronising of him, so that his punishment be not greater than his fault.--"From my house in Philip Lane, 16 March." (p. 40)

 [Holograph. Endorsed:  "1603." 1p.  (98. 27.)]
 


Sir Thomas Lake to Lord Cecil
         [1604, April 1]--This evensong after his Majesty had supped, upon the receipt of letters by Sir George Martin, his Highness commanded me to write a letter for him to sign directed to your lordships of the Council, which letter I have sent you enclosed to be sealed because there is no seals here.  The direction as I remember is used to be to the Lord Chancellor by name and to the rest of the Lords and others of our Privy Council.  To you he wished me to signify in particular that in delivering his pleasure to the House you remember that there be two things in their proceedings that offend him.  One is the delay of returning satisfaction upon them to conclude definitely against the sentence of the Judges.  He would by his Judges and Council very willingly give them satisfaction in the least scruple that may arise in this question, but is resolved not to be bound by their conclusions in a matter wherein the Judges have cleared him that his prerogative is interested and that he has the law with him.  This is as much as I conceive of his meaning having not seen the letters whereupon this direction is grounded but only received his commandment to write this.--Royston, 1 April, 1604. (p. 49)

 [Holograph. Seal of arms.  1p.  (164. 117.)]



 
Sir Thomas Lake to Lord Cecil
        [1604, April 2]--Your letter was not so soon to come, which arrived about six in the morning or a little before, but the king had arrived about six in the morning or a little before, but the King had before sent to me to know if any letters were come.  It seemed strange to me to know if any letters were come.  It seemed strange to me that your own being dated at 6 last night should not come hither till six in the morning.  The messenger lays the fault upon the posts.  Immediately I delivered it to his Majesty in his bed, who called for pen and ink, and has written this answer enclosed with his own hand.  At the delivery whereof he enquired of me whether I had not written to you after the departure of Sir George Hume as he commanded me, which I telling that I had he wondered that by this letter of yours he found no answer to that but only Sir George Hume's message.  He is much disquieted about this business.  Notwithstanding [he] has upon these letters stayed his journey to Huntingdon till Lord Northampton's arrival, for whom I have provided lodging at the sign of the Talbot where he hasbefore lain.  Yesternight his Majesty was resolved to have gone on and gave out warrant for post horses.  Wherein I cannot but note to your lordship what disorder I find here, that there was no man about the King of authority to command horses to be ready or to give warrant for them, so as the King was fain to sign warrants of his own hand.  And yet this morning the post brought in the warrants again and told me that no man would obey them, which is a strange contempt, and if the King had gone he could not well have done it for want of horses.  Here is neither Councillor nor Postmaster nor his deputy nor the post of the Court, but only a boy.  Whether this contempt grows for lack of the ordinary officers, or of any other cause I know not, but I have concealed it from the King that his own warrants should be disobeyed in so vulgar a matter.  And this dissension between his Majesty and the Lower House is wonderfully talked of here.--Royston, 2 April, 1604. (p. 50)

[Holograph. Endorsed: "For his Majesty's special affairs... Haste, haste, Post Haste, for Life, Life, Life.  Delivered at Royston the second of April at almost nine in the forenoon, Thos. Lake."  Seals.  1¼ pp.  (104. 121.)]
 


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