« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
him a judge who could minister, and a son who could obey justice.*
I meet in John Stow with this marginal note:† "William Gascoigne was chief justice of the King's Bench, from the sixth of Henry the Fourth, till the third of Henry the Fifth." And another historian maketh king Henry the Fifth, in the first of his reign, thus expressing himself in relation to that lord chief justice: "For which act of justice I shall ever hold him worthy of the place, and my favour; and wish all my judges to have the like undaunted courage, to punish offenders of what rank soever." Hence our comedian (fancy will quickly blow up a drop in history into a bubble in poetry) hath founded a long scene on the same subject.§
Give me leave, for my love to truth, to rectify these mistakes out of authentic records. First, Gascoigne was made judge, not in the sixth but first of king Henry the Fourth, on the first of November. Secondly, he died December 17th, in the fourteenth of king Henry the Fourth; so that, in a manner, his sitting on the bench ran parallel to the king's sitting on the throne.
This date of his death is fairly written in his stately monument in Harwood church.
GUIDO de FAIRFAX.-A word of his surname and family. Fax and Vex are the same, signifying hair. Hence Matthew of Westminster¶ calleth a comet (which is stella crinita) a vexed star; and this family had their name from beautiful bushy hair. I confess I find in Florilegus, writing of the holy war," Primum bellum Christianorum fuit apud pontem Pharfax fluminis,*** (the first battle of the Christians was at the bridge of the river Pharfax); but cannot concur with them who hence derive the name of this family. But wherever it began it hath continued at Walton in this county more than four hundred and fifty years, for nineteen generations,++ Charles a viscount now living (1661) being the twentieth. But to return to Sir Guido Fairfax, knight; he was bred in the study of the common law, made serjeant thereof, and ever highly favoured the house of York in those civil distempers. Hence it was that he assumed a white rose, bearing it in his coat of arms on the shoulder of his black lion; no difference, as some may suppose, but an evidence of his affection to that family. Yet was he, by king Henry the Seventh, advanced lord chief justice of the King's Bench, sup
Thomas Elliot, in his Chronicle, out of whom our modern historians have tran scribed it.-F.
+ Stow's Annals, p. 342. J. Trussell, in the continuation of Daniel, p. 92. SW. Shakspeare, in his second part of the Life of King Henry the Fourth. Original. de ipso anno, bundello ii. rot. 52.
Flores Historiarum, anno Gratiæ 891.
** Ibidem, anno Gratiæ 1099. tt Faithfully collected out of evidences, by that industrious antiquary Robert Dodsworth.-F.
plying the interval betwixt Sir William Hussey and Sir John Fineaux. The certain date of his death is to me unknown.
ROGER CHOLMLEY, Knight.-He is placed in this county with moderate assurance: for his father (as I am instructed by those of his family) lived in this county, though branched from Cheshire, and much conversant in London, being lieutenant of the Tower under king Henry the Seventh. By his will he bequeathed a legacy to Roger his natural son, then student of the laws, the self-same with our Roger, as proportion of time doth
He applied his studies so effectually, that, in the 37th of king Henry the Eighth, in Michaelmas Term, he was made chief baron of the Exchequer ;† and, in the sixth of Edward the Sixth, chief justice of the King's Bench.`
In the first of queen Mary, July 27, he, with Sir Edward Montague, lord chief justice of the Common Pleas, was committed to the Tower, for drawing up the testament of king Edward the Sixth, wherein his sisters were disinherited.‡ Yet Sir Roger's activity amounted no higher than to a compliance and a subscription of the same. He afterwards was enlarged, but lost his judge's place, living some years in a private condition.
When William Flower was burnt in Westminster, Sir Hugh being present, though called by Master Fox but plain Master Cholmley, "willed him to recant his heresy ;"§ which I impute rather to his carnal pity than great affection to Popery.
He built a free school of brick at Highgate, about the year 1564; the pension of the master being uncertain, and the school in the disposition of six governors; and I believe he survived not long after, and have some ground for my suspicion that he died without issue.
Sir CHRISTOPHER WRAY, Knight, was born in the spacious parish of Bedal; the main motive which made his daughter Frances countess of Warwick scatter her benefactions the thicker in that place. But I have been informed that his ancestor, by some accident, came out of Cornwall, where his name is right ancient. He was bred in the study of our municipal law; and such his proficiency therein, that in the sixteenth of queen Elizabeth, in Michaelmas Term, he was made lord chief justice of the King's Bench.
He was not like that judge who "feared neither God nor man," but only one widow, lest her importunity should weary him; but he heartily feared God in his religious conversation. Each man he respected in his due distance off of the bench,
* Spelman's Glossary, verbo Justitiarius. t Stow's Chronicle, p. 613.
+ Idem, ibidem.
§ Acts and Monuments, p. 1577.
Norden's Speculum Britanniæ, p. 22.
and no man on it to bias his judgment. He was, pro tempore, lord privy seal, and sat chief in the court, when secretary Davison was sentenced in the Star Chamber. Sir Christopher, collecting the censures of all the commissioners, concurred to fine him, but with this comfortable conclusion, "that as it was in the queen's power to have him punished, so her highness might be prevailed with for mitigating, or remitting, of the fine." And this our judge may be presumed no ill instrument in the procuring thereof.
He bountifully reflected on Magdalen College in Cambridge, which infant foundation had otherwise been starved at nurse for want of maintenance. We know who saith, "the righteous man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children;"* and the well thriving of his third generation may be an evidence of his well gotten goods. This worthy judge died May the eighth, in the thirty-fourth of queen Elizabeth.
Pardon, reader, my postponing this topic of Statesmen, being necessitated to stay a while for further information.
Sir JOHN PUCKERING, Knight, was born at Flamborough Head in this county, as I have learned out of the notes of that industrious and judicious antiquary Mr. Dodsworth.† He was second son to his father, a gentlemen who left him neither plentiful nor penurious estate. His breeding was more beneficial to him than his portion; gaining thereby such skill in the common law, that he became queen's serjeant, Speaker in the House of Commons, and at last lord chancellor of England. How he stood in his judgment in the point of Church Discipline, plainly appeareth by his following speech, delivered in the House of Lords, 1588; the original whereof was courteously communicated unto me:
"And especially you are commanded by her Majesty to take heed, that no eare be given, nor time afforded, to the wearisome solicitations of those that commonly be called Puritans, wherewithal the late Parliaments have been exceedingly importuned; which sort of men, whilest that (in the giddiness of their spirits) they labour and strive to advance a new eldership, they do nothing else but disturb the good repose of the church and commonwealth which is as well grounded for the body of religion itself, and as well guided for the discipline, as any realm that professeth the truth. And the same thing is already made good to the world by many the writings of godly and learned men, neither answered nor answerable by any of these new-fangled refiners. And, as the present case standeth, it may be doubted whether they or the Jesuites do offer more danger, or be more
• Proverbs xiii. 22.
Extant in York-house, in the library of the Lord Fairfax -F.
speedily to be repressed. For, albeit the Jesuits do empoison the hearts of her Majesty's subjects, under a pretext of conscience, to withdraw them from their obedience due to her Majesty yet do they the same but closely, and only in privy corners. But these men do both teach and publish in their printed books, and teach in all their conventicles, sundry opinions, not only dangerous to the well-settled estate and policy of the realm, by putting a pique between the clergy and laity; but also much derogatory to her sacred Majesty and her crown, as well by the diminution of her ancient and lawful revenues, and by denying her highness' prerogative and supremacy, as by offering peril to her Majesty's safety in her own kingdom. In all which things (however in other points they pretend to be at war with the Popish Jesuits) yet by this separation of themselves from the unity of their fellow-subjects, and by abasing the sacred authority and majesty of their prince, they do both join and concur with the Jesuits, in opening the door, and preparing the way, to the Spanish invasion that is threatened against the realm. And thus having, according to the weakness of my best understanding, delivered her Majesty's royal pleasure and wise direction, I rest there, with humble suit for her Majesty's most gracious pardon in supply of my defects; and recommend you to the Author of all good counsel."
He died anno Domini 1596, charactered by Mr. Camden * "VIR INTEGER." His estate is since descended (according to the solemn settlement thereof), the male issue failing, on Sir Henry Newton, who, according to the condition, hath assumed the surname of Puckering; and I can never be sufficiently thankful to him and his relations.
Sir GEORGE CALVERT, Knight, was born at Kiplin, near Richmond, in this county; had his education first in Trinity College in Oxford; then beyond the seas. His abilities commended him first to be secretary to Robert Cecil, earl of Sarisbury, lord treasurer of England. Afterwards he was made clerk of the council, and at last principal secretary of state to king James, succeeding Sir Thomas Lake in that office anno 1619.
Conceiving the duke of Buckingham highly instrumental in his preferment, he presented him with a jewel of great value; which the duke returned him again, not owning any activity in his advancement, whom king James, ex mero motu, reflecting on his ability, designed for the place.
This place he discharged above five years; until he willingly resigned the same, 1624, on this occasion. He freely confessed himself to the king, that he was then become a Roman Catholic, so that he must either be wanting to his trust, or violate his
• In his Elizabeth, anno 1596.
conscience, in discharging his office. This his ingenuity so highly affected king James, that he continued him privy councillor all his reign (as appeareth in the council book), and soon after created him lord Baltimore of Baltimore in Ireland.
During his being secretary, he had a patent to him and his heirs to be absolutus dominus et proprietarius, with the royalties of a count palatine, of the province of Avalon in Newfoundland; a place so named by him in imitation of old Avalon in Somersetshire, wherein Glassenbury stands; the first fruits of Christianity in Britain, as the other was in that part of America. Here he built a fair house in Ferry Land, and spent five-andtwenty thousand pounds in advancing the plantation thereof. Indeed his public spirit consulted not his private profit, but the enlargement of Christianity and the king's dominions. After the death of king James, he went twice in person to Newfoundland. Here, when Monsieur de l'Arade, with three men-ofwar, sent from the king of France, had reduced our English fishermen to great extremity, this lord, with two ships manned at his own charge, chased away the Frenchman, relieved the English, and took sixty of the French prisoners.
He removed afterwards to Virginia, to view those parts; and afterwards came into England, and obtained from king Charles (who had as great an esteem of and affection for him as king James) a patent to him and his heirs for Maryland on the north of Virginia, with the same title and royalties conferred on him as in Avalon aforesaid; now a hopeful plantation, peopled with eight thousand English souls, which in process of time may prove more advantageous to our nation.
Being returned into England, he died in London, April 15, 1632, in the 53rd year of his age, lying buried in the chancel of St. Dunstan's in the West, leaving his son, the right honourable Cecil Calvert, now lord Baltimore, heir to his honour, estate, and noble disposition.
THOMAS WENTWORTH, earl of Strafford, deputy though son to William Wentworth of Wentworth-Woodhouse in this county, esq. (at his son's birth), afterward baronet; yet, because born in Chancery Lane, and christened April 22, anno 1593, in Saint Dunstan's in the West,* hath his character in London.
ARMIGEL WAAD, born of an ancient family in Yorkshire, as I am informed from his epitaph on his monument at Hampstead in Middlesex; wherein he is termed "Hen. 8. et Edw. 6. regum secretiori concilio ab Epistolis," which I took the boldness to interpret (not secretary but) clerk of the council.
Take the rest as it followeth in his funeral inscription:
See the Register of that St. Dunstan.-F.