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Sir Walter Cope 'Il Di Lodi La Sera (1612>)'

British Library, Additional MS 11600, ff. 35r-43r


An Apologie vppon the death of S[i]r Robert Cecill Knight Lord Treasurer of England writen against his Libellers and presented to Kinge James. / Il di loda la sera. /


It was an Impresse of a great Secretarie of this State, and may now welbe applyed vnto a greater then himselfe. The night prayses the day the death the life, the end the action. But what availes it, be the day neuer so faire the life neuer so cleere yf night com and wrapp up all theire beauties in darkenes and confusion. The late Lord Tr[easur]er for wisdome and integritie exceeding all or most that eu[er] went before him, whome liveinge the world obserued with all admirac[i]on and applause, noe sooner died but it p[re]sently seeketh to suppresse his excellente part[es] / and to loade his Memorie with all imputacons of Corruption. If he had lived he would haue answered for me, which makes me ([th]e meanest of many) to take [th]e bouldnes to answere for him, that cannott answere for himselfe. I held it base to flatt[e]r him in this life, I will not now begin to flatt[e]r him in [th]e graue to offer such incense to the dead I account [th]e baseste kind of sacrifice, what he was what he did what he deserued I will shortly declare. /

He was by nature milde courteous & affable / and if tired with affaires or impatient of idle motions or impertinent answeres, he had bin moued to make any sooner replie, He was in this like his father neuer prowd of op[er]tunity to giue to the meanest satisfacc[i]on. / In his wisdome he was able to ext disinguist betweene truth & faleshood his his eye could perce through [th]e Mists and vales of [th]e Darkest causes quicke of conceipte easie of deliu[er]ie soe full of p[ro]uidence and Industry as he neu[er] suffered occation to turne her backe. / He was plentifull in almes, hartie and good workes, full of honor and honesty to his freind 36r and noe malicious percecut[o]r of his enemies, He loved Iustice as his life and [th]e lawes as his Inheritance, He loued equitie [th]e true umpresse betweene them both as moderatrix of extreames, [th]e harte of man was never more free from bassnes or bribe he hated [th]e bribe and the taker, he was one of those of whome Kinge Dauid speakes Qui Munera supra innocentem non accepit so cleare were his hands from theere basse Corruption that I suposed rumor and reporte would haue bin affraid once to haue raysed such sland[e]rs of him. / But what doe I complaine of rumor & reporte w[hi]ch beinge but [th]e breath of vnconstant People dayely Varies and eu[er] speakes of extreames, one day it crieth Hosanna another day Crucifye, of whome it is trulie said honesta vix Creduntur tristia facile spargantur in vulgus. Imaginac[i]on with them goe for currante truthes, whereby it often falles out as at this p[re]sent, that the acc[i]ons of [th]e iustest men are worse reported

Such are the frutes of Envy beinge a moath and kanker of [th]e minde, [th]e Cantarides euer haue and will croppe [th]e fairest flow[e]rs and some doggs will barke againste [th]e brightest moone, If by lawes of Moses cursed was he that stroke his neighbour secretly, what shall wee saye of them that wound [th]e dep[ar]ted in the Graue / and seeke to Murder [th]e good report of [th]e liveinge and [th]e dead, But what glorie is it to wraskle w[i]th shaddowes that cannot answere for themselves. / how easilie may [th]e simpliest sheepe leape ou[er][th]e dead Lyon, and how inhumane a thinge it is to rake into [th]e sepulchers of [th]e departed what fond darings when he breake open [th]e tombe of Simiramis the Queene 36v expectinge accordinge to [th]e inscription to haue found great store of treasure in stead of riches he found this reproofe o thou vnsatiable and vnworthy wretch that out of a covetous humor seekes to Violate [th]e houses of [th]e dead, and to interrupte theire quiett possessions. If this lor[ds] tombe could speake it would assure vs there were noe gaine to be gotten, by defaceinge a Monum[en]t of soe worthie a minister as it lieth not in the power of p[re]sent greatnes to suppresse the Memory of our fault[es] in the ages ensuinge noe more lies it in the power of envie or Malice to detract from theere humors which by vertus meritt[es] are ascribed vnto Worthey men. / True honor will eu[er] take roote where false glories fade like flowers. / Si vitæ socius virtus mortis comes gloriæ and [th]e more wee seeke to supresse true honor [th]e more it will spread like [th]e palme. Tyme the surest wittnes , [th]e wisest Counsel[o]r will easilie discou[er] what wee haue bin. But what are [th]e greatest imputac[i]on that this vnthankfull tyme doth lay vppon this noble lord First that he did vndertake three great Offices and in a generall distraction left them all all executed.

That it may appeare he was noe vnprofitable Offic[e]r in any of his three places, how he found them how he left them my selfe being trained vpp thirtie eight yeares vnder him and his father, can best deliu[er]e. /

And first concerninge the Treasurorshippe /


His Lord[shi]pp found the Exchequer a Caos of confussion he found debt[es] there of three of foure hundredthousand powndes, but wch were good w[hi]ch badd w[hi]ch sperate w[hi]ch desperate, noe man know. Those there he com[m]anded to the examinac[i]on and reporte of some Comissioners of trust vpon whose answere his lordshipe keepte this decoru[m], he sent l[ett]res to the Noblemen and processe to the inferiour p[er]sons by Meanes hereof he hath reduced it to some better knowledge allthough farr from p[er]fection. / .

Concerninge Yo[u]r Ma[jes]ties Lands /

Concerninge Yo[u]r Maj[es]ties Mannors the faiest possessions he found most of them vnsurvayed, and those that were survayed he found sleightly done rather by reporte then be measur, so as litle more thereof was knowne then [th]e auncient rent[es] and [th]e estates therof were, graunted rather by chance then by knowledge vppon Further survayes thereof he bestowed much moneyes and hath brought them to some other passe but not to p[er]fection. /

The Custodie Lands. /

Yo[u]r custodie land[es] ancientlie termed Yo[u]r Crowne land[es] answered in the Pipe, these hee found more vnsertaine then [th]e rest much charged vpon Sheriff[es] yearlie discharged by annuall petiteon, a revenewe w[hi]ch seemeth {defcry}ed decayed biscent of tymes and worne out of all knowledge, but bij his Lo[rdshi]pps care many of these howe bine latelie revived bij Yo[u]r Ma[jes]tie Com[m]issione of Assert[es]. /


Concerninge the wood[es]

For the Yo[u]r Ma[jes]ties wood[es] hee found these more vncerteine then the rest, For the Coppices, noe man knowe the certaintie of acres, there groweth, or theere true valewe For yo[u]r tymber trees, noe man knowe of them, neither the nvmber of them, nor the worth, soe as his Lo[rdshi]pp at his first lookinge in to them, thought himselfe in a wood in deede. Hee fovnd in the leasing of Coppices nul fine quia bosce And as for yo[u]r tymber, he fovnd it wasted in many part[es] w[i]thout controvlement, becavse there was noe Record made nor kept thereforeof. They are now nvmbred, marked and valewed, soe as a responsible officer maij easilie call in question what shalbee missing, and readilie p[re]serve the accompt thereof. /

Coppyholder[es] of Inheritance And for the yo[u]r Coppyholders of inheritance who by many Record[es] prove theire fynes certaine, by his Lo[rdshi]pps like indvstrie, they offerr for theire freedome twentie thirtie fortie and fiftie yeares pvrchase, wheare they shewe vs probable Records w[i]thout fyne to free themselves.

Wasts & Com[m]ons

A tender title full of murmuring[es] and com[m]oc[i]ons these natures he neuer durst offer to inclose nor to vrge the Tenn[an]t[es] to any forcible Compossic[i]on but vnder hand sett some one on worke to prompt Tenn[an]t[es] to become suiters themselves, w[i]th whome wee haue compounded for part[es] and made a good p[re]sident for [th]e rest /


Casvall fines

Casvall fynes are done up[p]on Yo[u]r Ma[jes]tie out of Yo[u]r private possessions and out of publique offences, out of private possessions as other lords haue by theire Cort Leet[es] Court Barrons and such like. Out of publique offences as aparent of [th]e Com[m]on wealth vnto whome belonges et premiu[m] et pena, theese being natures left for your bountie, his Lo[rdshi]pp ment to haue comended them also vnto some especiall comissioners by whose industrie a better revenew might haue bine raysed being now vtterly neglected and almost lost

Extended Lands.

For Yo[u]r extended Lands where ill officers cam indebted to the Crowne, and made it an art to haue the lands extended at easie rates, His Lo[rdshi]pp caused most of these possessions to be surveyed, com[m]ended the the improum[en]t hereof to diuers Comission[e]rs and com[m]anded the Tenant by his l[ett]res to appeare before them in the w[hi]ch my selfe can wittnes they have bine carefull to doe vnto yo[u]r Ma[jes]tie there vttermost indeavors. To these I maij add the Services hee did abroad, as the improvem[en]t of the Cvstomes advanced From 8600 povnd[es] to 120000 povnd[es] and From 120000 povnd[es] vnto 13500 povnd[es] p[er] ann[um]. /


Also his bargaines for the Allom, w[hi]ch ovght not to be soe abased as the fvll, and complaint[es] of the Farmors seemes to expostvlate for I p[re]svme I shalbe able to prove thaij are neitehr decayed bij the bargaine nor bij anij paijm[en]t[es] made to Yo[u] Ma[jes]tie. /


His proiect for the Baronett[es], w[hi]ch hath brovght in to Yo[u]r Coffers fo{u}rsescore thowsand pownd[es] is like to supplij the rest yf some pettie priviledges maij bee allowed. /


Water workes to London

The bargaine for bringinge water to the dryest p[ar]t of London, like yf it prosper to bring vnto Yo[u]r Ma[jes]tie a greate yearlie revenewe. /

For all industrie and manufactures. /

Besid[es] hee was a patron of all indvstrie and manufactors of newe proiect[es] and inventions, as for the home Makinge of allome, of Bvsses for fishinge, Copper and Copperall of Yron, of steele, of salt bij the same salt and newe fvrnasses and fyres, for the easie workeman shipp heareof, that the native svb[iec]t might be set on worke, & the small treasvure of the Kingdome kept at home, For the increase wheareof what care hee tooke Yo[u]r Ma[jes]tie best knowes. /

By these Yo[u]r Ma[jes]tie maij see hee was noe vnprofitable officer in this place. That his improvem[en]t[es] were not oppressions but good hvsbandrie, and noe more then everee private subiect hath one from another And that it is more ivst for yow to live vpon your Tenant[es] and vpon yo[u]r owne then vpon Yo[u]r Sub[iec]t[es] pvrse, who in all svbsidies and taxes you fvll as mvch as yo[u]r p[ar]ticvler Tenant[es] allthovgh they receave noe benifit by beinge Yo[u]r Ma[jes]ties Farmors. /

Concerninge the Secretaries place. /


What intelligence hee had from all part[es] of the world, what correspondencee hee kept w[i]th all Ambassador[es] and forraine States, and at how easie a rate hee mantayned cvrrant of all yo[u]r l[ett]res and affaires, Yf Yo[u]r Ma[jes]tie weare trvlie enformed, yow shall finde in that little establishment a greate providence, and in this his place vnto how greate a repitation hee had rased services, and how confident all part[es] grewe ovt of theire large experience of his iust conversation, the vnited provinces especiallie, whose frindshipp most concernes Yo[u]r Ma[jes]tie, there owne Ambassadors and yo[u]r Minsters abroad can best deliver Besid[es] by his Treasvror & Secretaries place, what he did in Ireland in the plantac[i]on of the Countrie, & trasporta tion of Yo[u]r people, what in adviseinge Yo[u]r cvstomes, & in abateinge the charges of Yo[u]r garrisons, & howe indvstrvous he was to setle a vniversall covse of {lawe} and Iustice in the most barbarovs and remote part[es] of that vnfortvnate Kingdome, thaij that knewe the Countr{ie} best can best deliver. /

Concerninge the ward[es]

By the constituc[i]on of this State, all the land[es] in the Kingdome are houlden by two tenures, bij Socage, or bij Knight[es] service, bij the plough to feede vs, or bij the sword to defend vs, and who {see} died leavinge an heire w[i]thin age vnable to doe this service, his his heire and land[es] fell both into the p[ro]tection of the Kinge And this in ancent tymes was p[ro]mis cuouslie carried in Chauncerie, vntell the 32th yeare of Kinge Henrie the eight, when the Covrt of ward[es] was first erected, and as M[aste]r and Covncell appointed bij Parlement to governe the same. / 39v Since w[hi]ch erection the M[aste]rs have accustomed bij the favovrs of the King[es] of this Realme as a bovntie of State to grant vnto Noblemen, the King[es] Servant[es], and there owne followers, both the marriage of the bodie, and the Lease of the land[es], for the third penney of theire true worth. But Yo[u]r late hvmble servant deceased, findinge Yo[u]r estate daylie falling more and more into a retrograde consvmpc[i]on, svpposinge this bovntie at this time more properlie to app[er]taine vnto Yo[u]r Ma[jes]tie then to anij others, Hath in all hvmilitie and dvtij laid downe his l[ett]res patents at Yo[u]r Ma[jes]ties feete, and hath endeavored to advance the whole benefit thereof vnto Yo[u]r Ma[jes]ties best profit, p[re]suminge it wovld have yeilded to Yo[u]r Ma[jes]tie treble as much as before, groundinge this iudgem[en]t vpon this probabilitie That all offices weare fovnd scarecelie at a tenth p[ar]t of there true valewes After w[hi]ch rate theij were wont to paie theres yeares fyne, and therefore concluded, that if thaij payed therice as mvch nowe as before, they howld not yet exceede the rate of one yeares trve valewe, w[hi]ch was a proporc[i]on hvmblie for Yo[u]r Ma[jes]tie and favorable for the sub[iec]t. But his experince shewed him, that this fell not ovt accordinge to his expectation, w[hi]ch he p[ar]tlie ascribed vnto two clavses in the printed booke, The one that there was monethes p[re]empc[i]on allowed to the frend[es]. The other that whosoever dealt for a wardshipp duereinge the first yeare showld pay the vtmost valewe, w[hi]ch two clauses hee svpposed did make a generall non suite in the publiq[ue] sutors besides that many lingered the tyme and smothered there tenures40r in hope of a Parliam[en]t, and a generall dissoluc[i]on of [th]e Court. The remedies whereof he meant to haue studied at his returne. /

whereby Yo[u]r Ma[jes]tie may see he was neither carelesse nor Idle in any of his 3 offices

Some obiections answered

I humblie now craue leaue to answere some obiections which the world (not knowinge the true price of faith and good fame) hath basely and vnchariblie layd vppon him

Concerningehis three Offices

As first for the {ingrossinge} of Offices, vnto which I make this answere that he had more then in my owne thought[es], I ever wisht vnto him, or in his owne hart himselfe desireth, the last of them and the worst, he rather vndertooke by importunitie of freinds then out of his owne affection. But as he had latelie past away [th]e wards and left himselfe and left himselfe only the Mastershippe in name soe ment he with Yo[u]r Ma[jes]t[ies] favour to haue freed himselfe of the Secretarishipps of estate if he had lived but three monethes longer.

The Lord Treasuror anoth[e]r of all our Miseries

And where this suspicious age which iudgeth all things by [th]e outside and not by a true examinac[i]on of [th]e inward causes seinge a p[ar]te of yo[u]r lands yo[u]r woods yo[u]r Mills yo[u]r Rectories and Chaunteries sould imposic[i]on sett vppon some of yo[u]r Costome, goods, and many others proiect[es] for raysinge of Moneys as the Barronett[es] and such like and yet that your Ma[jes]tie resteth40v greatly indebted without iust meanes of supplie or suporte, they presently Conclude all theese miseries to growe by [th]e improvidence of You T[reasu]rer, neuer remembringe in what estate Yo[u]r were when he received [th]e Whittstaffe which he found charged with a debt of Six hundred thousand pownds and yearely arreriage of a hundred and threescore thousand pownds p[er] ann[um] w[hi]ch to supporte was more then he could doe with all his industrie and sales. /

The obiection against [th]e sale of Mills and Chaunteries answered. /

He then after the fairest possessons were by annexac[i]on setled vpon the Crowne sought to sell some of [th]e meaner natures for [th]e payme[n]t of [th]e debt[es] and discharge of theese arreriages, of [th]e which [th]e Mills were one which cost yow more in tym[m]ber for theire yearely repaire then then were worth in yearlie rent, The Countrie lands and other which lay soe dispersedly and were of such pettie rent[es] as it cost yo[u]r Ma[jes]tie neere a third part to gather the rest soe as in [th]e sale of these natures Envie it selfe cannot find noe great faulte. /

The obiections of [th]e Sale of Leases answered. /

It is then obiected as an ill p[ar]te of husbandrie [tha]t his Lordship[p]e made leases, First for threescore yeares, and after sould {away} the Inheritance But I p[re]sume if both the some be cast vpp togeth[e]r the bargaine will not proue vnp[ro]fittable nether doe they vnderstand [th]e contract aright 41r that thinke in all these leases, new estates were graunted for threescore yeares, for in most of them there was twentie thirtie fortie yeares in being which were made vp by surendor not be new grante

An answere to the obiection for the sale of tymber trees. /

And where some ignorant p[er]sone exclaime of the late sale of tymb[er] trees, as if a generall wast of the tymber of the kingdome had bin made therby , It may please yo[u]r Ma[jes]t[ies] to be remembred that both by yo[u]r warrant, and by his lo[rdshi]pp direction there were noe more to be sould the two in the hundred and those such also as bare some visible Markes of decay, for the which fortie thousand pownds came vnto Yo[u]r Ma[jes]tie Coffers w[hi]ch in shorte tyme would according to theire Costomes haue fallen to the keep[er]s and forresters for theire fees, neither were these take[n] before [th]e Offic[e]rs of [th]e Admiraltie had marked out whatsoe[eve]r they found fit for the navy, neither weare teij sovld by anie private avtoritie, but bij the Svrveyor and two Iustices of the peace, w[i]th the best coutions and instructions could bee devised, and more hee covld not doe For hee trvsted men, hee not Angells on the errand. /

The answere for the sale of Land[es]

For the saile of yo[u]r Ma[jes]tie land[es], some obiect theij were sovld ignorantlie, some that theij weare sovld corruptlie, mij selfe was a partner in one p of the Contract[es] & since this slander I have sovght to informe mij self of the p[ro]babilitie of the gaines or losses licke to arise, vnto the rest And I p[ro]test before God and Yo[u]r Ma[jes]tie, of the fowre Companies of Contractors I thinke thereree of them will neither prove gayners nor saveors. /


That hee pilled the people to suport the wastfull expnces of State. /

Where hee is taxed to have sooed all Yo[u]r bounties and voluntarilie to have svpplyed all wastfvll expences of State, and to make this good hath improved vpon yo[u]r {Comant[es] } And imposed vpon yo[u]r sub[iec]t[es] to the greate offences and grewance of the Com[m]on wealth, For answere whereof I appeale to Yo[u]r Ma[jes]ties Iustices, whether hee hath not at all tymes opposed aga[ins]t those occatons, as farre as the dvtie of his place, & his humble {alegence} wovld give him leave. Hee knewe Yo[u]r Ma[jes]ties affection to some of Yo[u]r speciall servant[es]. Hee knewe you were in earth as primum mobile in Heaven, w[hi]ch carries abovt w[i]th it, all the planett[es] and inferior Moc[i]ons, althovgh theij naturallie affect another covrse. Hee learned two thinges vnder you, aswell to obeij as to comaund, And conclvded w[i]th Seneca Sapiens non se mutat set aptat And to this is added, his maintayned his private faction bij consvmpc[i]on of the publique treasvre. To w[hi]ch I answere hee was the flesh & might wish well to his frind[es], But hee lives not that can shewe three of these examples nor anie one vncom[m]aunded bij yo[u]r Ma[jes]tie. /

For his improveinge vpon Yo[u]r Tenant[es] It was but good hvsbandrie, noe oppression, yet was it let bij surveij what before was let bij chance. For the imposeinge vpon yo[u]r svb[iec]t[es], The Answeare followeth. /

The answere to the imposition vpon marchandice. /

Hir Lo[rdshi]pp findinge Yo[u]r debt[es] greate Yo[u]r yearlie surreriages irrecoverable, & that all his indvstrie & sales did in yo[u]r estate make but a palliat Cure, findinge the moneys due bij Parlimant anticipated & assigned for paym[en]t of yo[u]r debt[es], & noe hope bij that meanes of any speedij, Hee was enforced to resort to his p[ro]iect of imposic[i]ons p[ro]pounded but not p[er]fected bij his p[re]decessor, wherevnto he would not assent vntell42r untell bij after p[ar]liam[en]t[es] it was otherwise resolved, Neither was hee satisfied w[i]th anij p[re]sident[es], untell hee fovnd them iustified bij p[re]sent Iudgement in Yo[u]r Ma[jes]ties excheqver, neither was hee satisfied w[i]th any p[re]sident[es] vntell hee fovnd the example of Bueene Marie, who raysed [th]e cloth from fowerteene pence to a noble, the Gascoyne wynes from three shilling[es] six pence to fower Markes And also bij the example of Qveene Elizabeth who raysed the sweete wynes from three shilling[es] six pence to fortie shillinges the tunn and vpon the Cvrrant[es] for everie hundred five shillinges & six pence, Hee then w[i]th the assistance of M[aste]r Chauncellor of the excheqver some of the Barrons, & two principall Marchant[es] of everie Companie set ane imposic[i]on vpon svch natures of marchandize, as theij all svpposed were best able to beare them, & in these impositions theij vsed these manner of victuall, & all {natures} almost incident to the poore, vpon all thinges concerninge the Ordinance, the shipps, and the defence of the Realme, & imposed especiallie vpon silkes, spices, whalebones Lawnes, Cambrick[es] and svch like thing[es] rather of delicocie then necessitie, allowinge free libertie to transcport w[i]thovt charge, what was not vented heare w[hi]ch hee was ever willinge the Parliam[en]t showld have altered into any other nature of svpport, beinge as yet but a temporarie flower of the Crowne. /

of his falshood in fellowshipp

That hee would often make his frind[es] fayre promissis, & vnderhand lay rubbs in the waies of theire p[re]ferment, the secret passage of all things I know not, maij bee it was trwe, maij bee not, suspic[i]on ever lies at the gates of greate actions,42v and manij that have receved the greatest favours from him, are as I heare the most forward to make this Report, the Covrt[es] of Kings are manie tymes the markit[es] of ward[es] & Ceremonies & thaij that live therein mvst sometymes verbadare. Besid[es] greate Covnsellors have theire private & theire publique end[es] and theire private affections doe often yeild to theire pvblique Iudgment, and make them Remavaes in theire frind[es] suit[es]. And therefore noble natvres will rather be thankfull for good turnes receved, then vngratefull, yf theij enioije not all theire hart[es] desier. /

To conclude

Yo[u]r Ma[jes]tie for indvstrie & integritie hath lost of the best servant[es] of the world And yf mij testimonie seeme partiall, I hvmbly rferr you to his fellowe labovrer, a most paynfull & worthie {assistant} in all theise affaires, who can assvre yo[u]r Ma[jes]tie, hee never thovght himself well, but when hee was bringinge either wax or honeij vnto the hive. He left the love of the people onlie for Yo[u]r sake, & for Yo[u]r service, Hee devised bij a late Com[m]ission to ease Yo[u]r hand[es] fromm petitions, Yo[u]r eares from suit[es], Finding yo[u]r want[es] hee yeilded vpp his office, & findinge hee covld not {releve} them, hee yelded vpp his lyfe, w[hi]ch my selfe can best witnes, vnto whom in his sicknes hee vsed this speech. Ease and pleasure quake to heare of death to be dissolved. My most hvmble & onlie svite is that yo[u]r Ma[hes]tie will not svffer a servant of his desart, mirtured as it weare w[i]th the care of Yo[u]r service to bee thus libelled vpon & scandalized as hee is, at 43r the least that Yo[u]r Ma[jes]tie willbee pleased publiqu lie to deliver how much you hate it in the Report[es], and how much Yow will pvnishe it in the avthors yf theij bee found. And that it is not the true waie w[i]th Yo[u]r Ma[jes]tie for men to raise themselves by the ladder of detraction. /