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The clerk, having read the letter, delivered the same to the Lord Chief Justice; who, by repetition, read the same also.
The Lord Bishop of Landaph admitted to speak for his defence of the accusation of Brocage, in a bribe intended to the Lord Chancellor, in Mr. Egerton's cause ; shewed his grief, that he remained accused, arraigned, condemned, and executed, in dicta causa ; for although he should (as he doubted not to do) clear himself, yet the scandal would not die. He shewed, that the party that accused him was the party grieved, a man weak and mad with affliction ; as for the action whereof he was accused, he was but used therein ; he was requested first by Francis Jenour, but refused ; then by Tristram Woodward, and then he also denied it; at last the party himself requested him, at whose tears he yielded thus far, that the party (videlicet, Edward Egerton) might acknowledge unto him a recognizance of six thousand pounds; it was only acknowledged, not enrolled, nor intended to be enrolled; he was only trusted with it for Mr. Egerton's good ; Davenport and others were to be the actors. That he discharged his trust accordingly, and delivered back the recognizance, though Davenport and others importuned him
to the contrary. His aims in this action were two : the one, charity, to do Mr. Egerton good ; the other, to prefer a beneficial suit to an honourable friend, to whom he owed his very life. If he had an eye to some private gain to himself, having wife and children, he had therein sinned against God, in not relying only on him for their maintenance, but no sum of the share of this six thousand pounds was ever purposed unto him. And upon a strict examination of his conscience herein, he protested before God, in whose council he stood, and before this honourable assembly,
qui estis Dii,” inquit, that he was not to have one denier of a share therein.
The Lord Chamberlain moved, that, for the better consideration of this business, and how to proceed to the proofs, the court may be adjourned ad placitum, and the whole house sit as a committee. Whereupon the Lord Chief Justice removed to his place as an assistant.
After much debate thereof, the Lord Chief Justice, by direction, returned to the place of speaker, and it was agreed, that a message should be sent to the Lower House, by Mr. Attorney General and Sir William Bird, to declare unto the knights, citizens, and burgesses of the House of Commons, that the Lords have, according to the conference yesterday, taken consideration of the complaints by them made against the Lord Chancellor, and against the Lord Bishop of Landaph ; that they find they have use of three letters written by the said Lord Bishop of Landaph, and of other writings (mentioned by them in their said complaint), and also of the testimony of two gentlemen, members of that house, videlicet, Sir George Hastings and Sir Richard Yonge. In taking of whose testimonies, the Lords intend not to touch the privileges of their house, but to have the same as of private persons, and not as members of that house, if cause shall require, upon the examination of the said abuses complained of.
Answer returned, that the said two gentlemen, Sir George Hastings and Sir Richard Yonge, will voluntarily, and not by commandment nor direction of their house, attend their lordships. That all letters, &c. required shall be sent accordingly. As for the general request, that the Lords may send for any other members of that house to be examined herein, they humbly pray that they may advise thereof.
Memorandum, that, during the time that the whole house sat as a committee as aforesaid, it was debated, and agreed, that the parties undernamed should also be sent for, to be sworn and examined in this business : videlicet,
Christopher Awbrey, Tristram Woodward,
Randolph Davenport. It was now also moved, and much disputed, whether Sir William Broncker and Sir Rowland Egerton (the two adversaries of Christopher Awbrey and Edward Egerton) should be sent for also, to be examined whether they gave any bribe on their part.
Moved by the Earl of Southampton, and agreed, that an answer should be sent to my Lord Chancellor's letter ; whereupon message is sent to the Lord Chancellor, by Sir James Woolridge, to this effect: that the Lords received his lordship’s letter, delivered unto them by the Lord Admiral ; they intend to proceed in his cause (now before their lordships) according to the right rule of justice ; and they shall be glad if his lordship shall clear his honour therein; to which end, they pray his lordship to provide for his defence.
Die Martis, videlicet, 20° die Martii, post meridiem, Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales, quorum nomina subscribuntur, præsentes fuerunt:
p. Carolus Princeps Walliæ, &c. Archiepus. Cant.
p. Jac. Ley, Miles et Bar. Ds. Capit. p. Archiepus. Eborum.
Justic. Locum tenens, &c. Answer from the Lord Chancellor, by Sir James Woolridge : that the Lord Chancellor returns the Lords humble thanks for their lordships' assurance of justice in his cause, and well wishes to him of the success. The one secures, the other comforts him. That he intends to put their lordships in mind hereafter of some points contained in his lordship's letter, for that the same were not spoken of in the message delivered unto him.
Sir George Hastings, Knight, and Sir Richard Yonge, Knight, jurati à voir dire to all questions asked by the court, or committees, or by any authorized by the court, whether their answer be by word or set down in writing.
Edward Egerton was sworn à voir dire ; and, being sworn, he delivered a petition, touching the proceedings in his cause in the Chancery ; cujus quidem tenor sequitur in hæc verba : “ To the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in this present
“ The humble petition of Edward Egerton, Esquire. Humbly sheweth, that your petitioner, being unmarried, and sickly, by indenture of uses and other conveyances, entailed divers manors and lands in the counties of Chester and Stafford to the use of your petitioner, and the heirs males of his body; and, for default of such issue, to remain to Sir John Egerton and his heirs; which said conveyances were made voluntarily, without any consideration paid for the same, with power of revocation.
“ That Sir John Egerton having, by deed executed in his lifetime, conveyed all his own lands unto Sir Rowland Egerton, his son and heir, and having advanced in marriage all his daughters, did make his last will and testament in writing, under his hand and seal, having first bound the said Sir Rowland in a statute of five thousand pounds, to perform his said will.
“ That the said Sir John, by his last will, in general words, devised all his lordships, manors, lands, tenements, and hereditaments, to your petitioner and his heirs, and made your petitioner sole executor.
“ By which said will, all the estate of the said Sir John, in any part of your petitioner's lands (if he had any estate therein, as indeed he had not), was lawfully devised to your petitioner and his heirs.
" That the said Sir Rowland Egerton unduly obtained of Sir John Bennett, Knight, letters of administration, to be granted unto two of his sisters, after the said will exhibited to be proved, whereby your petititioner was put to three thousand pounds charges in suits of law.
“ That Sir Rowland Egerton hath also, by indirect means, gotten into his hands the said indenture of uses, and all your petitioner's other writings and evidences, and refuseth to let your petitioner to see the said indenture of uses, or to deliver to your petitioner a true copy thereof; albeit the same doth in law appertain to your petitioner.
6. That the Lord Ellesmere, late Lord Chancellor of England, before the probate of the said will, did decree, that the said Sir Rowland shall have and enjoy the manor of Wrinehill and Heywood Barnes, being a great part of your
ioner's inheritance, worth six hundred po nds per annum, without any cause of equity contained in the said decree.
“ That your petitioner made humble suit unto the Right Honourable Francis Viscount St. Alban, now Lord Chancellor of England, to have the benefit of a subject, to recover his ancient inheritance, by the ordinary course of the laws.
• That the now Lord Chancellor took from your petitioner four hundred pounds of money in gold, and fifty-two pounds, ten shillings, in silver plate, which money was accepted by the said Lord Chancellor, saying, that your petitioner did not only enrich him, but also lay a tie upon his lordship to do your petitioner justice in his rightful cause.
“ That afterwards the said Lord Chancellor sent for your petitioner, and did, by great oaths and protestations, draw your petitioner to seal an obligation to his lordship of ten thousand marks, to stand to his lordship’s award, for all the lands whereof Sir John Egerton died seized only, but not for any other of your petitioner's lands.
“ That afterwards your petitioner was divers times sent for by Robert Sharpeigh, then steward of his lordship's house; and your petitioner was several times offered, that, if your petitioner would then presently pay eleven hundred pounds in ready money; that is to say, a thousand pounds for his lordship, and å hundred pounds for the said Sharpeigh, that then your petitioner would have all his lands decreed unto him, which your petitioner could not then presently pay in ready money:
“ That afterwards the said Lord Chancellor did not only confirm unto the said Sir Rowland the lands which he then held of your petitioner's inheritance, being worth six hundred pounds per annum ; but the said Lord Chancellor did also take away from your petitioner more lands, worth fifteen thousand pounds, and decreed the same also unto the said Sir Rowland Egerton, who did not make any title thereunto before the said bond taken, and before the said unlawful decree made. And the said Lord Chancellor did also decree, that the said bond of ten thousand marks, made by your petitioner to the said Lord Chancellor, in his lordship's own name, should be set over and delivered to the said Sir Rowland Egerton, who should sue the same in the Lord Chancellor's name, and recover upon the same to his own use.
“ And the said Lord Chancellor did further decree, that your petitioner shall not take benefit of the statute of five thousand pounds, made by the said Sir Rowland to perform the said will; and your petitioner is restrained, by the said decree, from the benefit of a subject, to recover his right, by the ordinary course of the common law, without any cause of equity set forth in the said decree.
“ That your petitioner having spent six thousand pounds in suit of law, and
be ordered to produce, and bring forth upon oath, all such indentures of
stand with justice.”
[From the Tract.] Mercurii, 21st Martii, 1620.—Sir Robert Philips reports from the committee to examine Keeling and Churchill, who informed of many corruptions against my Lord Chancellor. 1. In the cause between Hull and Holman : Hull gave or lent my lord 10001. since the suit began. 2. In the cause between Worth
and Mannering there were 100 pieces given, of which Hunt had 201. 3. Hoddy gave a jewel, which was thought to be worth 5001. but he himself said it was a trifle of 1001. or 2001. price; it was presented to my Lord Chancellor by Sir Thomas Peryn and Sir Henry Holmes. 4. In the cause between Peacock and Reynell, there was much money given on both sides. 5. In the case of Barker and Bill; Barker said he was 8001. in gifts since his suit began. 6. In the case between Smithwick and Walsh ; Smithwick gave 3001. yet my lord decreed it against him, so he had his money again by piecemeal. In this and other cases my lord would decree part; and when he wanted more money, he would send for more money, and decree another part. In most causes my lord's servants have undertaken one side or another, insomuch as it was usual for counsel, when their clients came unto them, to ask what friend they had at York House.
Mr. Meawtys. Touching the persons that inform, I would entreat this honourable house to consider, that Keeling is a common solicitor, (to say no more of him ;) Churchill a guilty register by his own confession. I know that fear of punishment, and hopes of lessening it, may make them to say much, yea, more than is truth. For my own part, I must say, I have been an observer of my lord's proceedings; I kuow he hath sown a good seed of justice, and I hope that it will prove, that the envious man hath sown these tares. I humbly desire that those generals may not be sent up to the lords, unless these men will testify them in particular.
That a message be sent to the lords by Sir Robert Philips to relate the case of the Lady Wharton, and the informations of Churchill.
Sir Robert Philips reports from the lords, that they acknowledged the great care of this house in these important businesses; thanks for the correspondence of this house with them, assure the like from them for ever to this house. In these and all other things will advise, and return answer as soon as possible. Then adjourned.
[From the Journals.] March 21 ; 18th James. Hull and Holman.-Sir R. Philips. Another case ; Hull and Holman. Holman, refusing to answer, committed ; there lay twenty weeks: after required to answer, and to give bond of 20,0001. to stand to my Lord Chancellor's order in it. That one Manby, about the Exchange, dealt in this business with Mr. Mewtys. That Holman, finding his order vary, resolved to complain to this house. That, upon Friday last, my lord sent for Hull and Holman; offered to make an indifferent end between them : and that Holman told Keeling, he was an happy man now, he could have any thing from my Lord Chancellor.
March 21 ; 18th James. Smythwicke.—The other case, between Smythwicke and Smythwicke was told, he must use some good way : came to Mr. Yong; promised my lord 2001. so as the certificate might be decreed : dealt after with Burrowes : he undertook to move my lord. He heard the cause : part of the award decreed. The 2001. paid.' That, unless my lord might have 1001. more, no further proceeding. That Smythwicke brought Burrowes 701. part of the 1001. The cause yet deferred. Brought the other 301. to Hunt, who, Burrowes said, had most part of the money. The former part of the decree now again questioned, Smythwicke demanded his money.
Hunt. That he had disbursed it for my lord, and given my lord accounts for it. Hunt advised Smythwicke to petition my lord, to have leave to sue Hunt for this money. That Hunt promising the re-payment of the money,
That he received, from Boroughe and Hunt, all his money again, but 201. which kept from him a year, and then repaid him by Hunt. Mercurii
, 21st Martii ; 18th Jacobi. "Lady Wharton.-Sir Robert Philips. That Gardyner's man affirmeth, that, three days before the hearing of the cause, the Lady Wharton put 1001. in a purse, went to Yorke House, and, as she said after, gave it my lord. That, in after, she put 2001. more into a purse, and took the money from Gardener at Yorke House, went in to my lord, and, as she said, delivered it to my lord ; and had after presently the decree.
For the general: time given to him, to set down in writing, against to-morrow morning, the particulars he knoweth.
For the particular : Churchill, that, before October was twelvemonth, an order for dismission on both parts: the day after, Churchill, Lady Wharton took him in her coach, carried him to Yorke House : there she spake with my lord. Thereupon Churchill ordered to stay the dismission of Lady Wharton, but to suffer the other to stand. A decree upon this.
Keeling, examined, confesseth that, near about passing this decree, took 1001. made Keeling write down the words she should use to my lord, at her presenting it. 1001, delivered in a purse, of her own working. This decree made de bene esse. Made in October; but stayed till about June after, even till she paid my Lord Chancellor 2001. more. That Shute persuaded Lady Wharton to confer the land upon my Lord Chancellor : that she would not yield, till had spoken with Keeling. Shute persuaded Keeling; who would not yield without a power of revocation. That, upon this, the composition of 3001. followed.
Keeling let fall words, that he had left Yorke House, upon the general corruption he found there, and the altering of divers agreements had been there made.
Keeling saith, he soliciting a cause between Sir John Trevor and Askew; where six injunctions, &c. and, for a final end, Sir John Trevor gave my lord 1001. by Sir Richard Yonge's hands. Five pieces for a day of hearing last Michaelmas term : Clayton a monopoly of this. 40s. for an hearing ; 31. and 41. for an injunction.
That this petition hath brought forth a copy of another petition.
Sir Richard Yong: That, in Christmas holidays, a man of Sir John Trevor's brought him a letter to my lord, and a cabinet ; which he delivered my lord openly, and delivered it to my lord.
Sir Edward Coke : Strange to him, that this money should be thus openly delivered ; and that one Gardyner should be present at the payment of the 2001.
Sir Robert Philips, after these things, set down by Churchill and Keeling, shall be presented, and heard in this house, Sir Robert Philips shall, at the lords' next sitting, deliver these things to the lords.
Sir Robert Philips to deliver to the lords, this afternoon, three letters from Landaphe to Edward Egerton ; three copies of letters from Awbrey to the Lord Chancellor ; a copy of the recognizance of 10,0001. and of a defeazance ; and divers orders, and one under seal, De executione ordinis ; to be presented to the lords; and all other writings, Sir Robert Philips hath.
A paper of direction delivered in from Churchill: which read.
Which sent to the lords by Sir Robert Philips ; but they were risen before, and so the messenger returned.
Mr. Mewtys : Keeling a common solicitor, Churchill a guilty register. Fear of punishment, and hope to escape, may make them speak untruly.
That a servant to my lord ; an eye and ear-witness, for four years. That, in this time, my lord hath sown much good seed of justice; and that only the envious man hath sown the tares. Moveth, whether this general accusation fit to be sent up to my lords, without particular application. Sir Robert Philips : That this fit for the lords now.
[From the Journals.] Die Mercurii, videlicet, 21st die Martii.-Edward Egerton, upon humble suit, was admitted to deliver the names of these witnesses he desired to have sworn and examined touching his cause. Witnesses sworn in open court, in causa Domini Cancellarii: Sir George Reynell, knt.
Sir Thomas Peryn, knt.