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LETTER FROM LORD DUNFERMLINE.
[Alexander Hay, Clerk of the Council of Scotland, was the bearer of the following complimentary epistle from the Lord Chancellor of Scotland to the Lord Chancellor of England. It was an answer to a letter from Lord Ellesmere, no copy of which has
been preserved at Bridgewater House.] Indorsed by Lord Ellesmere, “The Erle of Dumfirling, L. Chancellor of Scot
To the Right nobill my werie honblo good Lord, Lord Eleismeir, Lord heiche Chancellor off England.
My werie honorabill good Lord. I could not of my dewtie latt this berar passe awaye onsaluting your Lop., and geiving you most humble and hairtelie thankes for the kyndlie rememberance Ionderstand your Lop. has off me be your letters off the first August, whilk I ressaved aught dayes efter, and aunsuered not befoir, fearing to truble your Lop., and distraict yiow from more weghtie and necessair affeyres, and thochtes swa acceptable to our maist gracious Soverane, and to that haill kingdome. It pleased your courtessie to think of me more then I am worthie off, and to impute to good will and courtessie the desire I hawe to be interteyneed in your Lop.’s acquentence, favour, and rememberance, whilk indeed your Lop.’s innumerable vertieus and merittes binde me to.
The estaite of this kingdome in quietnes, obedience, and all other respects, is indeed better (thankes to God) at this present, nor it hes bene seene in ony leving mennes rememberance. The onlie truble we haiff is this contagious sicknes of peste, whilk is spread marvelouslie in the best townes off this realme. In Edenburght it hes bene continuall this four yeares, at the present not werie wehement, bot sik as stayes the cowmoun course of administration off justice, whilk can not be weill exercised in naa other plaice. Air and Striveling ar almoste overthrowin with the seiknes, within thir twa monethes about twa thowsand personnes dead in ane of thame. The maist of the peple fled, and the
tounes almoste left desolat. Dundie and Pearthe, otherwayes called St. Jhonstoun, the twa best tounes in this kingdome nixt to Edenburght, wearie wealthie and merchand tounes indeed, ar baithe also infected within theis twa monthes, and in great truble. Glasgow and manye other tounes and paretes ar in the same distres ; God of his mercie remove the same. Everie 20 dayes we appoynt some metinge of the specialls off the Counsall, at some convenient plaice, where we tak the best ordour we may for mantenance of his Maties peace and obedience, and directlie all other thinges ayer in his Maties serwice, or for repressing of ony wrangis falles in ony pairt to be tried and tayne ordour with be Commissionars and reported at our nixt meting. All farder of this estaite your Lop. as your lasure and opportunitie may serve, may onderstand of this berar, Mr. Alexr. Haye, alswell as of me or ony other man, for he is ordinair Clerk off our Counsall off Estaite, and ane of the Clerks off our Sessioun and Counsall of Justice also, ane werie honest and weill qualifeit man alwayes, and I assure your Lop. ane great admirar and honorar off your Lop.’s wisdome and all other wertewes, whilkes he thinkes schynes in your Lop. bye all other subjectes he has ewer knowen. This for the present most humelie taking my leive, and praying the Eternall long to preserve your Lop in all prosperitie, I reste
Dunfermeljne, 30 Octobris, 1606.
LORD ELLESMERE TO LORD SALISBURY.
[The succeeding very modest and interesting letter to Lord Salisbury (Sir Robert Cecill having been first created Viscount Cranbourn on 20th August, 1604, and afterwards Earl of Salisbury on 4th May, 1605,) bears date, according to the indorsement of the rough draft (wholly in the handwriting of Lord Ellesmere), on 16th July, 1606; but from the opening sentence, unless we understand it figuratively, it seems likely that it was an error for the 16th January, 1606-7. It appears that Lord Ellesmere had previously addressed the King on the same subject, both by word of mouth and in writing.]
Indorsed by Lord Ellesmere, “16th Julij, 1606. The copye of my letter to the Earle of Salesburye.”
MY very good L. Now Christenmas is done, yt is tyme for those that durst not presume to the feast to seke some parte of the fragments. I found nothing in my selfe worth prizing or valuing to be a grounde of a sute, saving love and fidelity only, which being the duety of all, ought not to be esteemed as singular in anye. This made me, being bashfull by nature and lame in lymmes, to lye styll, as the poore lame man by the poole of Bethesda, in hopes that after the Angelles moving of the water [St. John, v. 3..] some woulde helpe to put me in at one tyme or other. The water is often moved and almost exhausted, many are cured, and some are overflowed, and some, perhappes, surfayted, and yet I lye stylle lame and helples, but not hopeles. I see that Presidents of Provinces, and some honest petie Chancellors, and many others, have bene bountifully rewarded : Non equidem invideo, miror magis. I detracte nothing from their worthynes, but commend their good fortunes. When I looke backe to my predecessors, I dare compare with none in desert, but with the last I would I might also compare with him in the frutes of my service. You may thynke me too ydle and folysh thus to trouble you with these foleryes: beare with me I praye you, and burne them, and let that be an expiatory sacrifice for this my faulte. Gifts gyven to oulde men serve but as Mary Magdalen's oyntment, to helpe to burye them; yet that comforts age, and in the ende serveth for good and necessarye use. On Sondaye last, and upon an occasion unexpected, I cast out some fewe wordes to his Matie as a preparative of my sute, which he did gracy.ously accept, and therupon I have synce presumed to speake unto hym more at large by a fewelynes in wrytinge. Yf it please ye to afforde furtherance unto yt, you shall gyve me great comfourt, and make my debte and obligacion unto you greater and stronger, which, in true and honest frendshippe and affection, is alredye seconde to none. Yf you mislyke yt, let this chylde dye in the cradelle, for I will never importune his May in any thing that maye seme unto you inconvenient for me to aske, or for his gracious and princelye wysedome to grante. And so I recommend my selfe to your good favour, and you to the Almighty, and, whylest I have being, will ever be your honest, true, and affectionate poore frende to command. T. E. C.
SUMMONS TO BARON KNY VETT.
[The date of the summons of Lord Knyvett, in Dugdale, is the 4th July, 1607, and we here see that the Privy Seal authorising it was dated on the day preceding. This at once settles the doubt which has been suggested, and which arose out of the fact that the name of Thomas Knyvett occurs among those of persons summoned to the House of Lords between 9th February, 7 Jac. I., and 14th November, 19 Jac. I.]
Indorsed by Lord Ellesmere, “Warrant for the Lord Knyvette of Escrick.”
To our right trustie and right welbeloved counsellor, Thomas
JAMEs R. RIGHT trustie and right welbeloved councellor. We lett you witt that our will and pleasure is, that you make or cause to be made forth one writt of summons under our Great Seale of England, to be directed to our trustie and welbeloved Thomas cAMD. SOC. 12. 3 G
Knyvett, of Escrick, chevalier, to be personally present with us and the Prelates, Peeres, and Barons of this our realme, on the fourth day of this instant moneth of July, at our present Session of Pareliament, holden by prorogation at Westminster on the eightenth day of November last past, in as honorable and ample manner and forme to all intentes and purposes as any Baron of this realme hath at any time heretofore byn enhabled or created by writt. And these presentes shall be your sufficient warrant and discharge in that behalfe. Given at our Pallace of Westminster, the thirde daie of Julij, in the fifte yeare of our reigne of England, France, and Ireland, and of Scotland the fortieth.
Extr per G. Coppin., cler. Coronae.
AFFAIRS OF IRELAND.
[Sir John Davys, the writer of the subsequent interesting and important historical letter from Dublin, had, as we have seen by a previous communication, gone to Scotland to congratulate King James on his accession. He became a favourite with the King, and was especially patronised by Lord Ellesmere. He was appointed Solicitor General in Ireland in 1603, and soon afterwards rose to be Attorney General, the rank he held when he dispatched what follows. Some account of him and of his poem “Orchestra” may be found in the Bridgewater Catalogue, p. 92. Only the latter part of what follows is in his handwriting, but he corrected the whole.]
Indorsed by Lord Ellesmere, “Rec. 3 Octobris, 1607. So John Davys, out of Irelande.”
To the right honorable my very good Lord, the Lord Ellesmere, Lord Chauncellor of England, deliver these at York house in the Strand.
My most honorable good Lo., your Lp. hath receaved advertisement att large from the Lo. Deputie and Councell of the departure of the Earles of Tirone and Tireconnell out of the kingdome, which being an accident extraordinary, I conceave your Lp, will