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by "James, for on them also he heaped honours in abundance (bb); and 'tis certain, that a great many particular persons obtained
but where these are not, or not in a most eminent degree, it is weakness and imprudence to heap favours, which wilLnot fail to bring on complaints, uneasinesses, and distresses on the conserrors.
(bb) Honours in abundance were heaped on the English also.] James in his speech to the parliament, anno 1609, owns that they faw him at his entrance into England, " make knights by hundreths, and ba"rons in great number." (a) This account is not beyond the truth. For Sir Richard Baker, who had the honour of knighthood from him at that time, tells us, that *• before his first year went about, he made God "knows how many hundred knights." (£) And if a certain author is to be credited, in the two first years of James's reign, no less than one thoufand twenty-two knights were made by him (c). A prodigious number this! and such as almostexceeds belief. But the authorities already quoted in this remark, may possibly reconcile us unto it. For when knights were made by hundreds, a large sum total must run up in a comparatively short space of time. But James contented not himself with dubbing knights ; he made barons also, and enlarged the peerage to a great degree. In the first year of his reign he made four earls and nine barons, among whom were Henry Howard, created earl of Northampton, Thomas Howard earl of Suffolk, and the famous Sir Robert Ce.cU, lord Cecil, afterwards earl of Salisbury. These were persons who had dexterity enough to insinuate themselves into James's favour, and obtain almost whatever they ha'd a-mind to, for themselves or dependants ; these were the persons who tranfacted most of the business of state during their lives, and reaped ver,y great rewards by reason of it, as will soon appear. §0 that though James was lavish, of his honours on bis
great wealth, and large possessions from
own countrymen, the English could not fay they were slighted; for he created lo great a number of them peers, that, with the Scots already mentioned, no less than 62 were added to that illustrious body by him (d). (d)T<aThis occasioned a " pasquil to be pasted up in St. Paul's, j^^J"* "wherein was pretended an art to help weak memo- deb«es,Vol. "ries to a competent knowledge of the names of the VII. p. 135. "nobility." se) Had these great dignities been con- ^0-u""iferred only on the deserving, there would have been (ej wUson, little room for complaint. But " the honours 'James p- 7« "bestowed were in so lavish a manner, and wich so "little distinction, that they ceased in some sense to
"be honours." (f) This was highly injurious to the ^^5^^
character of the conserror, and a contempt cast on those history of whose birth and great virtues intitleJ them to such dis- England by tinctions. It shewed a want,of judgment in James, oidcaflle!* and tended to take off that reverence wbich ought to Esq; p. 23j. be kept up in the minds of the people towards the ring- 8v°- Lond« lish nobility. For what must men think of the under- *7**' standing of that prince, who could place among the great council of the nation, John Villiers, Christopher fUlters, and Lyonel Cranfield? In how contemptible a light must the peerage be viewed by those who knew that these men had no pretence to such an honour, but as related to George Vitliers, the insolent prime minister? 'Twere to be wished that the greatest care at
all times was taken not to debase so illustrious an order of men by undeserved creations, and that nothing but real merit was the occasion of them. Then would the prince be applauded, the dignity of the peers be preserved, and all due deserence paid to their decisions. But when it is known publickly, that undeserving men are advanced to this elevated rank in order to serve a party or please a favourite, then do men murmur at the crown, and pay little respect to those thus distinguished by it. For the public will judge of persons as
him (cc), to the impoverishing of the crown, and the reducing himself in a few years to' great want. He soon (hewed his gratitude
they are; titles and coronets cannot biass its judgment, or cause it t6 applaud the ignorant or unworthy.
(cc) Many persons obtained great wealth, and large possessions from him-] " They that then lived at court,and "were curious observers of every man's actions, could "have affirmed, that Salisbury, Suffolk, and Northamp"ton', and their friends, did get more than the whole
"nation of Scotland (Dunbar excepted). All the
"Scots in general scarce got the tythe of those English "getters, that can be faid did stick by them, or "their posterity. Besides Salisbury had one trick to "get the kernel, and leave the Scots but the shell, yet "cast all the envy upon them; he would make them "buy books of see-farms, some one hundred pounds "per annum, some one hundred marks, and he would "compound with them for a thoufand pounds, which "they were willing to embrace, because they were sure "to have them pass without any controul or charge, "and one thoufand pounds appeared to them that ne"ver faw ten pounds before, an inexhaustible treasure; '' then would Salijbury fill up this book with such prime "land as should be worth ten or twenty thoufand pounds, "which was easy for him, being treasurer, so to do } (#)S!rAn- " and by this means Salijbury enriched' himself infi
Aotflcoutt "nitety» Yet ca^ tne envv on l^e Scots, in whose andcharac- •' names these books appeared, and are still upon record ter of king " to all posterity; though Salisbury had the honey, «4TMVj.p' "tyeY» poor gentlemen, but part of the wax." (a) — i2mo.Lond. Wilson tells us, " that James being one day in his gal^S'- See " lery at Whitehall, and none with him but Sir Henry leigh's*' "R*cb (afterwards earl of Holland) and James Maxworks, Vol." well, some porters past by them, with three thoufand J'p 201* "pounds going to the privy purse: Rich whispering ,.,. n' ** Maxwells the king turned upon them, and asked Max
to Elizabeth for the crown she had lest him, by permitting no one to appear in mourning for her (dd) before him, and
'' well what fays he? what fays he? Maxwelltold him,
"he wished he had so much money; Marry Jlialt than
"Harry (faith the king) and presently commanded
"the porters to carry it to his lodging, with this ex
*' preffion, you think now you have a great purchases
'' but I am more delighted to think how much I have
"pleasured you in giving this money, than you can be
"in receiving it." (b) And Sir Philip Herbert (after- p) Wilson
Wards earl of Pembroke) on his marriage with theladyp.76»
Sufan Vere, had a gift of the king of 500/. land for the
bride's jointure (c). In short, James himself assures (<0 Win
us, "that he had'dealt twice as much amongst English TMTMd»Vo'*
"men as he had done to Scotishmen." (d) The (^j King*.
truth is, those of the English who had the king's ear, James's and could fall readily into his humours, and contribute wor s' p* to his pleasures and amusements, were sure of being enriched by him. The true courtier in this reign had a good time of it, for James was thoughtless and inconsiderate, and never knew the value of money till he was in want of it. But merit, as such, was always neglected or overlooked by him; he knew it not, or regarded it not, but preserred his flatterers to all others.
(dd) He shewed his gratitude to Elizabeth, by permitting no one to appear in mourning for, her before him.] For this curious particular we are indebted to the duke of Sully, whose account cannot but be looked on as most authentic. "One part of the orders I "had given, (fays he, speaking of his English embas"fage) in regard to the ceremony of my audience, *" was, that all my retinue shall appear in mourning} "whereby I should execute the first part of my com"mission, which consisted in complimenting the new "king on the death of Elizabeth; though I had been "informed at Calais, that no one, whether ambassa
even speaking himself not only without'
"dor, foreign or EngHJh, was admitted into the "presence of the new king in black: and Beaumont "(the French resident) had since represented to me, "that what 1 intended would most certainly be highly "difagreeable to the court, where so strong an affec"tation prevailed to obliterate the memory of that "great queen, that she was never spoke of,' and even "the mention of her name industriously avoided. I li should have been very glad not to have been sensible "of the necedity under which I was of appearing in a "garb, which would seem to cast a reproach on the "king and all England; but my orders were hereupon "positive, not to mention that they were also most '• laudable: and this was the reason I paid no regard to "Beaumont, who intreated me to deser putting myself "to this trouble and expence, till he had wrote about "it to Erjkine, and some others, who were best ac"quainted with the court ceremonial. He wrote ac"cordingly, but received no answer on Thursday, Fri"day, nor even all day on Saturday; and I still persisted "in my resolution, notwithstanding the reasons which "he continually gave me to the contrary. On Sa"turday night, which was the evening of the day pre"ceeding my audience, and so late that I was in bed, "Beaumont came to tell me, that Erjkine had sent to "acquaint him, that the whole court considered my "intention as a premeditated affront; and that I had "so offended the king by it, that nothing could more "effectually prevent the success of my negotiation from "its very commencement. This information agreeing "with that of niy lord Sidney, &c. it was impossible *< for me to be in doubt about it: and through fear lest "a greater evil might ensue, I caused all my retinue to *' change their apparel, and provide themselves others "as well as they could. Leukoner (master of the cere"monies) being come the next morning to inform me, "that I should be presented to the king at three