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Jet, and his lady, [zzz] from that puni/hment


"your honour; the rest I reserve, not knowing whe"ther they may be intercepted or not." (6) The rea- «) Raie;gh'e der, no doubt, is (hocked at such vile treatment of so works, Vol. worthy a man, and cannot fail of being filled with "• p* 367horror at it. The sentence in the first place was unjust; his imprisonment was a monstrous hardship; but the execution of his sentence cruel and abominable.

[zzz] He faved Somerset and his lady from the punishment which the laws had justly doomed them to, for their crimes.] Robert Ker had been first one of the king's pages; being.difmissed from this post, he went into France, and from thence returning, thro' accident he was taken notice of by James, and quickly was made gentleman of the bed-chamber, and became sole favourite. In 1613, he was advanced to be lord high treasurer of Scotland, and the fame year was raised to be a peer of England, by the stile and title of viscount • Rochejier. Soon after he had the garter, and was created earl of Somerset, and made lord chamberlain of the houshold. A little before this, he had become intimate with the wise of the earl of Ejsex, Frances Howard, daughter of the earl of Suffolk, who, in order to make way for her marriage with him, got a divorce from her husband. Soon after they were married; and soon after one of the most iniquitous actions was done,

that we read of in history. Sir Thomas Ovcrbury,

the friend of Somerset, and one to whom he owed, as Sir Thomas himself fays, " more than to any foul li"ving, both for his fortune, understanding and reputa"tion :" (a) he, I fay, endeavouring, to dissuade him (a) Winfrom the match, thereby incursed the hatred of him, wo0,1« Vol. and his lady. For resusing to go as ambassador •£1,47 abroad, which Somerset advised him to resuse, he was clapt up into the Tower, and there confined many months; and by a variety of poisons, made use of by the agents of the earl and his lady, which cruelly tormented him, was at length put an end to, and it was given


which the laws had justly doomed them to,


(j) See Sir out that he died of the pox. (b) But the truth could Francis Ba- not be long concealed. Villiers now began to supplant atthear- Somerset, and soon got the ascendency. Every man raignment endeavoured to raise the one, and pull down the other, of the earl The murther was discovered. 'James came to the i>t ?nd knowledge of it, and uttered the deepest imprecations truth against himself and posterity, if he spared any that were

brought to f0Lin(J guilty, (c) But his resolution remained not. time, u. 52. The instruments were brought to their deserved end; Lond. i65i.butthose who made use of them escaped. On the 24th of +'°- May, 1616, the countess of Somerset was brought to

(1. 1.) ner tryaU a«d the earl the next day; the first, after some denials in the court, consisted the fact, and begged for mercy; the other stood upon his innocency, and was . • found guilty; as there can be no doubt but that he was.

AU mankind expected upon this, that the judgment against .hem would have been executed. But on the contrary, a pardon was granted the lady, "because "the processe and judgment against her were not as "of a principal (fays the pardon J but as of an accessary (</) See the " before the fact." \d) As for the earl he had a remiltroth"'" ^on url^cr lne great seal of England, Oct. 7, 1624, and brought to was suffered to enjoy the greatest part of his estate, and light by time thought himself but ill-used that he was not restored to ?\r Vu. the whole, (e) And such was the favour shewed unto surd's lives, him by James, that tho' he was Convicted of selony, p. 4,,». and nis arrns were not permitted to be removed out of the chapel of Windsor; and upon his account it was ordered " that selony should not be reckoned amongst the t: disgraces for those who were to be excluded from the "order of St. George; which was without precedent."

(/) Camb- (f) -This was the justice of James. One of the best

den's !innals0f nis subjects was executed for no real crime; two of ?iK:'^' the worst of them escaped punishment for the blackest pleat hist, and most detestable. It is the duty of kings to protect p. 64s- the innocent, and punish the guilty. It is the part of a just king, as well as of an honest man, to render unto

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by reason of their abominable crimes. Somerset, indeed, had been a favourite; and to


every one is due. Honour and praise should be bestowed on the deserving; ignominy, shame and punishment should follow those who trample under foot the facred laws of society, and humanity. But James permitted not these to follow (as far as he could help it) the crimes of Somerset and his lady, tho' none were more deserving of them. Princes it must be owned have a right to relax the rigor of the laws, or suspend their execution in some cases. But then there ought to. be a just reason for it. Whereas in the case of Somerset, as well as of his lady (tho' a respect to.her father, friends and family are mentioned as a motive to the pardoning of her) hardly one of those causes of relaxing punish-' ment mentioned by the civilians are found, (g) But(?) See Pusthere certainly was a reason, whatever it was, for this «i<dorf, B. favour shewed to Somerset. Mr. Mallet has quoted f7,c^jsect* some passages from the original letter of Sir Francis Grotiusde Bacon (a name always to be valued by the lovers ofi"l^'1)' *c learning) then attorney-general, and particularly em-cau'20'sec' ployed in this very affair, from whence it appears that 25, 26. 'James shewed an extream solicitude about the earl's behaviour at his tryal and the event of it; that he was afraid lest by*&is insolent and contemptuous behaviour at the bar, he should make himself incapable or unworthy of favour and mercy; which, together with the letter written by him after his condemnation to the king, in a stile rather of expostulation and demand, than of humility and supplication, makes him conclude, and, I think, not unjustly, that there was an important sccretin his keeping, of which the king dreaded a discovery, (b) Some have thought the discovery W Mallet's dreaded, was the manner of prince Henry's death, g' which was believed to have been-by poison-, but if I sis-72,8'vo. may be allowed to offer a conjecture, for 1 deem it noLond 174°. more, it was the revealing of that vice to which JamesTM a aIa* seems to have been addicted, (i) that .was the object of (•) sfenore his sear. Whether in this conjecture I am riu,h., the LGGJ .reader will determine. *

2 [4 A]

his favourites, 'James was kind in all things; condescending to what [4 A] was below his


[4 A ] To his favourites James was kind in all things;

condescending to what was below his dignity, in order

to please or serve them.] I have already taken notice of

'James's favour to Lennox and Arran when in Scotland,

fa) Note (sl) to K-er an(i others after his coming into England;

[c] (b) and now I must inform my reader, that he promoted

W,Not" George VtUiers from the rank of a meer private gentle

fwwwj man, on the account of his beauty, to the degree of

a knight, and gentleman of the bed-chamber; master

of the horse; baron, viscount, earl, marquis, and

duke of Buckingham, and admiral of England, within

(cv See tne space of a very sew years, (c) This man, who seems

Cambden's to have had nogreat capacity, and less knowledge, ruled

annalsof K. everv thing; he advanced his relations to some of the

the com- hig^ est honors, and greatly enriched himself; for at the

pleat history, t me of his death he was possessed of near 4000 pounds

a y?ar, and had 300,000 pounds in jewels, tho'he owed

t4 See Tin- 6o;ooo pounds, (d) 1 do not think this account of his

dal's notes jewels, beyond the truth. " For it was common with him

on Rapm, it at an ordinary dancing to have his cloaths trimmed

176. 'p' "w1tn great diamond buttons, and to have diamond

"hat-bands, cockades and earrings; to be yoked with

"great and manifold ropes and knots of pearl; in short

"to be manacled, settered and imprisoned in jewels ; in

"somuch that at his going over to Paris, in 1625, he

"had 27 suits of cloaths made, the richest that embroi

"dery, lace, silk, velvet, gold and gems could contri

"bute j one of which was a white uncut velvet, set all

"over, both suit and cloak, with diamonds, valued at

*' fourscore thoufand pounds, besides a great seather

"stuck all over with diamonds; as were also his sword,

"girdle, hat-band and spurs." This account is taken

from aM. S. in the Harleyan library, B. H. 90. c. 7.

fe) Life of fol- 642. as I find it quoted by Mr. Oldys. (e) A

Ra^gh, r. man who in the midst of pleasures could find money for

145, in the sucn monstrous extravagancies, and yet at the fame time

grow rich, must have had a very kind and bountiful


dignity in order to please or serve them in almost any matters; submitting even to be affronted,

master indeed !—But "James was not only kind to his favourites in respect of giving them wealth and honors, but he studied by all possible methods to please and serve them. For Somerset had no sooner determined to marry lord Ejfex's wise, than the king yielded him all possible assistance in order to accomplish it. For he got over the bishops of Ely and Coventry, (Andrews and Neal] who had been vehemently against the divorce from Essex, for alleged, and, indeed, consessed impotency on his part with respect to her. (f) 'And if) winwhen the archbishop of Canterbury, [Abbot) could wooci« Vol. not be prevailed on to change sides that he might please, »p,47S' his majesty himself undertook to answer his reasons, and to shew that there was " warrant in scripture for pro"nouncing a nullity propter frigiditatem, and that all "the means which might make him frigidus versus hanc "must be included therein;" (g) in prosecution ofWT''ut!l which he made use of many obscene expressions. How- j;ght by ever, he carried the cause. The lady was divorced, and time, p. 101. soon after married Somerset; and then they perpetrated Frank1ln» the crime for which they were condemned, and which wel'don, .1 have spoken of in the note preceding.—With regard p- 71. to Buckingham his next favourite, fames was still more Aul,cusc°

, ,. . T 1 • r 1 1 •!' • 1 quinanse,

obliging, in his ipeech to his parliament in the year p. II2) 1620, among other things he tells them, "that he had Lend. 1650, '' abated much in his navies, in the charge of his muni- *2m0» , "tion; and had made not choice of an old beaten soldier "for his admiral, but rather chose a young man, [Buck"ingham\ whose honesty and integrity he knew,


* The reserring to Aulicus Coqumar'ur, gives me an opportunity of pointing out to the public its true author; of which both Wood,1indaI, and Oldyt, as well as Dr. Grey, and all the writers I have hitherto seen, seem to be ignorant. The writer of this piece is no other than Will. Saunderfon, author'of the history of Jttmes\, deservedly treated with contempt, on account of the poorness of its composition, and gross partiality. See Sanderson's proense to the second part of the history of James I. fjiio. Lund. 1656,

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