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TO THE LORD TREASURER BURGHLEY.
From the Original. Domestic Correspondence: Elizabeth.
Papers ?? (Rolls House.)
The evening after receipte of Your Lordship's letter, I spake with Her Majestie; and ministering some occasion touchinge the Earle of OXFORD, I told Her Majestie May 12.
1583. how grievously Your Lordship received Her late dis- To Lord comfortable aunswere. Her Majestie, as Your Lordship Burghley. had written,-I know not by whom lately and strangely Court at
Greenwich. perswaded, -purposed to have new repartition betweene
Intercesthe Lords HOWARD, ARUNDEL, and others, and the sion with Earle; and saide it was a matter not slightly to be the Queen
on behalf passed over. I aunswered that, being assured Her of Lord
Oxford. Majestie would never permit anything to be prosecuted to the Earle's danger-if any such possibilitie weare-and therefore it weare to small purpose, after so long absence and so many disgraces, to call his honor and name agayne into question, wherby he might appeare to be less fitt either for her favor or presence. In conclusion, Her Majestie confessed that she meant it only therbye to give the Earle warninge, and that (as it seemed to me) being acquainted with his offences her grace might seem the more, in remitting the revenge or punishment of the same.
1 This letter was transcribed from the Original; but the reference number, if any, was accidentally omitted. It is one of those which Strype has printed in his Annals (iv. 590); but with so many inaccuracies, that it would seem doubtful if he had seen the original.
1583. May 12.
I delivered Her Your Lordship's letter.
What I said further, how honorable and profittabell it weare for Her Majestie to have regard to Your Lordship's healthe and quiett, I leve to the witnesse of God, and good reporte of Her Highnesse. And the more to witnesse how desirous I am of Your Lordship's favor and good opinion, I am contente, for your sake, to laye the sarpente before the fire, as miche as in me lieth, that having recovered strengthe myself may be moste in danger of his poyson and stinge. For answere, Her Majestie would give me none other, but that she woulde satisfye Your Lordshipp, of whom she ever had, and would ever have, special regard. Thus beinge unseignedly willinge to deserve Your Lordship's good favor, I humblie take my leve. From Grenewiche this present Friday, May 12, 1583. Your Lordship's most willinge to be cummanded,
1 The allusion here would seem to point to the ill-will which is known to have been borne towards Ralegh by the Earl of Oxford, from the time of Ralegh's first appearance at Court. Many instances of Oxford's contemptuous treatment of the new aspirant for royal favour are mentioned by the gossips of the day. When Ralegh (after his imprisonment and temporary exile from Court) went first to Guiana, Lord Oxford was selected as the administrator, in Sir Walter's absence, of much of the business of the Stannaries.
1 58 4.
PREFATORY NOTE TO LETTERS IX. XI. XII. AND XVIII. -
THE Letters Patent by which Sir Walter Ralegh first
obtained the “Farm of Wines” bear date the 4th of May, NOTE TO in the 25th of Elizabeth, —1583. The licensing system appears of to have grown-indirectly-out of the Act of 7th Edward VI. 1584-1585. C. 5, entitled An Act to avoyde the greate price and excesse of Patent
Roll, Wynes. Under the powers of Ralegh's Patent, every vintner 25 Eliz. licensed to retail wines was bound to pay one pound annually, pt
. ix. for his licence, to the patentee during life.
The controversy between Ralegh and his deputy-licenser, Richard Browne (noticed in chap. iv. of the preceding volume, pp. 65, 66), led ultimately to the revocation of the Patent of 1583, and the grant of a new one, bearing date 9th of August, in the 30th of Elizabeth,—1588. This grant is for a term of
Ibid. thirty-one years, and extends to “all places within this kingdom." It also gave to Ralegh a moiety of all penalties accru- pt. vi. ing to the Crown under the provisions of the Statute of Edward for regulating the prices of wines sold by retail. That Statute, however, contains an express proviso for the privileges of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. And the contention of Cambridge in 1584 had been entirely successful.
When, for a time, the function of licensing was, in the next reign, transferred—as far as respects corporate towns-to the local authorities, the vintners were made to pay licence duties after a much higher scale than that which had obtained under
Ralegh. “Some mayors in corporations," it is said in a State TORY ! NOTE TO Paper of 1604, "have already required—some, three pounds; LETTERS
some, five pounds; some, six pounds, thirteen shillings, and (°F 1584-1585 fourpence, yearly, to be paid them for a licence.” “The preDomestic sent vintners," it is then added, “are all bound to Sir Walter Cort.se James I Ralegh to pay him yearly, during their lives, twenty shillings; vol. viii.
and, [as] it hath pleased his Highness to restore to Sir Walter $90 Rolls House, Ralegh all his goods, ... the bonds be his as before ; which the
Parliament hath never considered, but left the Vintners subject
to all dangers both of one and the other.” Eventually, the Ibid. vol. xc.
licensing power was kept in the King's hands; and I find it 104 January
stated, in 1628, “ This last year, the wine licences yielded to 1627-28). the King 4.320/. 1os. 8d." They had yielded Ralegh, adds
the writer, but 1,000l. a year. The contrast affords an instructive note on the famous Parliamentary debate concerning Monopolies, of November 1601. It is more than probable that in 1628 the appropriation of this revenue had as little to do with the relief of public burdens as it had had in 1601.
TO THE VICE-CHANCELLOR AND OTHERS, THE
SENATE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE.
From the Original. University Registry (Cambridge). [Transcript in
MS. Baker, xxix. 340.) LETTER I COMEND me to you, being lothe to greve or discontent IX.
you, whom I love and am willinge any waies I may to 1584. July 9.
pleasure. I have thought good to informe you of a late To the hard part and riotouse demeanor done by some of your Senate
Universitye, which I can as yet but take in contempte of the University of her Majesties Graunt to me, not dealinge further of Cam bridge. therby, than lawfullie (as I am informed) I maye doe.
Yf otherwise, the Conference offered by my Deputees to one BAXTER and others, your late dealers in that cause, for the spedie and quyett dissidinge the matter
July 9. by your learned Councell and myne, should have been
From the accepted. The abuse done was sutche, as yf I shall not Court. understand of some reformacion or correction to be done On the to the Malefactors, wherby this bearer John KEYMER, Vintners in
licensing of her Majesties Subjecte lawfullie lycenced by me to sell Cam.
bridge. Wynes in your Town, doe quyetlye enjoye the same untill by lawe (that governeth us all) yt be otherwyse determyned, I will devyse some other course for Reformacion herin. The barers haste awaye (to comfort his poor wife, who by violence offered was in case by sondrie soundes ? and passions likelie to have dyed) was sutche as tyme served me not to move my very good Lord the Lord Treasurer, for his Honor's letter in reformacion hereof, which I dowted not to have had, but I doe rest assured that yourselves will take such directe and lawfull course herein, as neyther myself, nor yow, nor any other that will comaund us, shall have occasion further herein to be trobled, which I hartelie wishe: not desiringe so fullie and lawfullie to extend her Majesties Graunt in your Towne, as maye further greyve your Vynteners, the onlie styrrers herein, respecting more their gayne then quyett government. I crave your spedie answere in wrightinge-by this barer, but that the unlawfull and ryotous parties must not rest unpunyshed. And so I bidd you all hartelie farewell. From my lodging at the Cort, this ninth of July, 1584. Your very assured loving Frind,
rest of the Masters of the University of Cambridge.