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
[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
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.
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.
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.)]