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At Greenwich the last of August, 1581.
Lo. Treasurer. Mr. Comptroller.
Sixteene severall letters directed to the Sheriffes, Custos Rotulorum, or his Deputie, and rest of the Justices of Peace in theis counties followinge, viz. Somerset, Dorset, Devon, Oxon, Wiltes, Lincolne, Middx, Bark, Buck, Southampton, Staff, Sussex, Salop, Hereff, Lo. President of York, Lo. Maior of London,. &c. with a certaine schedule enclosed contayning the names and places where the Recusantes, &c. were upon bondes to remaine, together with a copie of the generall condition appointed by their Lordships to be taken of the Recusantes: requiring the said Sheriffes to have a regarde, and to see in eche of the said counties how the conditions of the said bondes are performed and keapt by the said parties so bound.
A Clause of a Letter to the Lords Liuetenantes and Commissioners of the Musters in the severall counties of the realme, written in Anno [def. in MS.]
And because the enemy doth make accompt to have the assistance of evill effected subjectes of this land, and there is direction given [def. in MS.] the Recusantes of habilitie, so we thinke it meete that you cause all the horses or gueldinges in the possession or belonging to any Recusant to be for this present tyme sequestred from them, and comitted to the custodie of some well affected gent, their neighbours, that their service maie be used yf there be occasion, and in the meane season they shalbe keapt and mayntayned at the charge of the owners, and restored againe.
[Lord Ellesmere was made Solicitor General in June 1581, and it was part of the duty of his office to prepare legal documents, or, as they were then often called, “books” for the royal signature. In the following letter Sir Christopher Hatton (who was Vice-Chamberlain at this date) requests Mr. Egerton to “make a book” in favour of his servant Adams, and Woodshawe, granting them an annuity of £40, beyond £100 already given to them, out of funds derived from the discovery of concealed lands. The date is 17 March, 1581–2, nearly nine months after Lord Ellesmere had been appointed to the first office he held under the crown, but no earlier record connected with it appears to have been preserved. The signature and postscript only are in the handwriting of Sir Christopher Hatton.]
Indorsed by Lord Ellesmere, “Theophilus Adams—James Woodshawe.”
“To the R. worshipful my assured good frend, Mr. Egerton, her Maties Sollicitor.”
SIR. Wher it hath heretofore pleased [her Matie :) to graunt a warrant for the revealing and fynding out concealed landes to the valewe of Cli. P annum, by vertue wherof there have ben founde out and discovered certayne other landes to be concealed, over and besydes the said Cl. P annum, to the yerely valewe of xlli, or there about, which it hath pleased her Matie, at my humble suite and petition, to graunt unto Theophilus Adams, my servant, and Jeames Woodshawe, in fee farme. I have therefore thought good to desyer you that, according to her Maties gratious pleasure, you wyll have care to make a booke thereof with what speede you may conveniently, that it may be ready for her Hyghnes signature whersoever it shall please her to call for it. You shall receave the perticulers of the graunt by this bearer, whome I have sent unto you expressly to satisfy you in any thinge that you shall doubt touching this matter. And so I committ you to God. From the Court at Grenwich, this xvijth of March, 1581.
Your very lovinge assured frende,
Post S.—Sir, her Matie is pleased to graunt the arrerages of thes consealyd landes. I pray you drawe the booke accordingely, for suche is her pleasure.
CONCEALERS AND LONDON COMPANIES.
[This letter, from the same to the same, has reference to the same transaction as that last inserted, though dated three months afterwards. As early as 1572 (Vide Stowe, An. Reg. 14) Queen Elizabeth had revoked the Commission granted to certain persons called “Concealers,” but she seems subsequently, at the instance of her courtiers, to have now and then conceded powers of a similar kind to individuals. Adams, mentioned in the annexed letter, was one of these favoured persons; and we may infer that, in his eagerness to discover lands formerly belonging to the Crown, but concealed, he had got into a dispute with some of the trading companies of London. Sir C. Hatton is unusually earnest in his solicitations to Lord Ellesmere on behalf of his dependant.]
“To the R. worshipfull my assured good frende, Mr. Egertone, her Maties Sollicitor.”
SIR. Understanding by my servant, Adams, of your most frendly paynes which you have taken in the matter of concealed landes now in question betwixt hym and the Companyes of London, I could not forbeare, in thes fewe lynes, to yeld you that thanckfulnes in all perfect good wyll which I fynde dewe to your most kynde and curteous dealinge. Yf I may in any respect requyte it, I hope you shall well perceave I wyll not be ungratefull unto you for it; and I praye you, as you have hitherto made me much behoulding unto you, contynewe still your frendly indevour therein, that of this good begynninge of your acceptable and good advise, the ende may be agreable to the same, in th’ accomplishment of equitie and justice, which I doubt not shalbe the sooner obtaynid through the furtheraunce of your travayle and favorable assistance. And so I byd you hartely farewell. From the Court at Grenwich, the xix of June, 1582.
Your very lovinge assured frende,
OFFICE IN REVERSION.
[This letter is dated from the house of Sir Thomas Bromley, and the writer was probably one of the Lord Chancellor's dependants. The nature of the office he was soliciting in reversion is not stated, but, from his urgency, we gather that he entertained some doubt whether Lord Ellesmere would sanction the “bill and the ticket thereto annexed.” The “bill” was the copy of the grant, and the “ticket” was a brief explanation for the Queen of the contents of the bill. The “copies of records” referred to in the letter were most likely returned through Mr. Lawley's brother, as they were not found with the letter. Of the “spiritual suit,” mentioned below, and of the “dangers” in it arising from “delays,” no information remains.]
Indorsed, by Lord Ellesmere, “Mr. T. Lawley's letter.”
To the right worshipfull my singuler good friende, Thomas Egerton, Esquire, her Maties Solyssetor generall, geve theise with speede.
Good Mr. Solyssetor, my due recommendations remembered, with lyke thankes for your many cortesys to me showed. I am to be an humble sutor unto youe for your good furderance in a
CAMD. SOC. 12. N
casuall sute for an offyce in reversion, whiche my good frendes meane to prefer unto her Matie in my behalfe, the particulareties wherof this bearer, my brother (whome I meane to joyne with me) shall at large imparte unto youe; but the some of my sute unto youe ys, no more but to crave your hande unto my bille and the tecket thereunto annexed. Yt shall apeare unto youe, by the copys of the records, whiche I haue herewith sent unto youe under the offycers hande of the Petty Bagge, that yt hath bin heretofore graunted in reversion, and your owne knowledge (as I thinke) will concur with the recorde. I trust my brother and I will prove as able men to execute the offyce (yf yt please God that other of us do lyve untill yt faule), as some that within your memory have bin patentees of the same ; in respecte whereof, and for that I haue ever founde youe my very good frende, I am the boulder (without using eny other mediator), by theise my letters, to desyre your frendship herein, whiche I wilbe very reddy to requyte with any servyce I am able, when youe shall haue cause to use my poore helpe in eny thing I can. My sute, as yt standeth, doth require some expedition, for (youe know) delayes haue brought me some daynger in my spirituall sute. This vacasion wilbe fytter for me to follow my sute, and my good frendes wilbe at better leasure to speake and do for me then in the Terme tyme : I beseech youe, therefore, geve me that dyspatche youe can with secrecy, for I thinke I have some compettitors not so fyt for the execution of the offyce as (in myne. owne opinion) my brother and I are. And so, not doubting of your good frendship and secrecy herein, I humbly take my leaue. From my L. Chauncellors howse, at Wealde Haule, in Essex, the xxth of July, 1582.
Your assured poore kynsman, to use and commaunde
in all I can,