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ofered, wylbe want of pouder and other monesion, I meen for the shyps in harboro. Your Lordship my Lord Marshall did honorably wryt to me that we myght youse the pouder in the store house, wyche is 40 barrels, it is not verry good but we wyll make it sarve the torne, but the mustkets be not sarvysable: Also I must pray your Lordships that the proporsion for the Raynbo and the Adventur may in sped be sent down, for the Raynboo shall goo in the Vandgard plase, that is so foull as she cannot styre, and the Advantage in the plase of sum other ; they shalbe redy to depart on Wensday if ther monesion and vyttells be redy by that tyme. The gonners be at London all redy if it plaes your Lordship to make on of your offysers to send for them: my Lord, the gonners are but ill waytors here, your Lordship must chyd them, for yf they wate no better I must thrust them out of the shyps. I know if you chek them they wyll have care sum wayt well as Hamon and Tyndall and Butler : the rest but badly. And so levyng to truble your Lordships, I rest Your Lordships most humbly to comand,
His attention was now more minutely turned to the judicial duties of his office. Respecting these a long series of autograph letters from the Lord High Admiral “to his loving friend Doctor Julius Cæsar," Judge of the High Court of Admiralty, may be found among the “Cæsar Papers' in the British Museum.f In one letter he desires him to let him have “ a briefe note of the priviledges and liberties of the Cinque Ports, howe farre they
* MS., State Paper Office.
extend into the sea and otherwise; for I desire for some espetiall considerations to be presentlie sattisfied and well informed thereof."
The following letter is worth printing.
THE EARL OF NOTTINGHAM TO DR. CÆSAR.
DOCTOR JULIUS CÆSAR,—I have bin made acquainted that Tompkins, whoe did the great piracye on the Venetians, hath compounded with the Venetians, and his Majestie's pardon is alreadye graunted for his offence, and myself was never made acquainted thereof.
You have often told me that, in like cases, houghe the Kinge maye pardon his life, yet he cannot ffree him from that advantage which I maye take against him. Wherefore I desier, by a wourd or twoe, to receave your opinion what is fittest for me to doe herein, for I assure you I wyll make him alsoe knowe, that I am Lord Admirall of England, with whome he is to make a composition before he shall enjoye his libertye.
Soe I bid you hartely farewell,-ffrom the Courte att Whitehall the second of January, 1605.
Your verie lovinge freinde,
And there is some humour in the following:
THE EARL OF NOTTINGHAM TO HIS VERY LOVING FRIEND
MR. DOCTOR CÆSAR.
MR. CÆSAR,—Ther is a proctor, that yousis the court of the Admyralte, that is caled Lew, a verry lewd fello and on that hath spoken largly agaynst me and yourself, not only
* Cæsar Papers, MSS., British Museum.
here in tavarnes, but also in France, therfore I pray you and wyll you, that you dow exclud him from medlyng any kynd of way in the court of the Admyralte, and soo with my harte comendacions I rest
Your lovyng frend,
(Signed) NOTINGHAM.* (P.S. I dow marvell how such a paltre fello came to be a proctor.)
In 1602, when the Queen's health was giving way, the Lord Admiral was frequently sent for; from him she received such intelligence of what was going forward, as she could with confidence trust to. At this time there was a general anxiety about the state of her health. To an inquiry of Dr. Julius Cæsar, regarding the state of the Queen's health, the Earl's answer is, “Good Dr. Cæsar, I thank you for your love in sending unto me. I thank God her Majestie doth now begin to pull up her spirittes, and to talk in better manner, and more cheerfully then since her extremity of sickness, which is no little comfort to us all. I hope God will still increase her strength.” And he adds in a P.S., “ Her Majestie hath even now made a reasonable good mele, and is chearfull after it.” † The Queen frequently desired to see the Lord Admiral, for whom indeed she had the highest respect. One day, on leaving London for Richmond, the Queen said to him, “My throne has
* Cæsar papers.
been held by princes in the way of succession, and ought not to go to any but to my next and immediate heir.” A few months after this, when on her death-bed, the Privy Council, anxious to ascertain with certainty her sentiments about a successor, desired the Lord High Admiral (as one to whom she had spoken on the subject), the Lord Keeper Egerton, Sir Robert Cecil the Secretary, and the Archbishop of Canterbury to be present. On the question being put, she faintly replied, “ A royal successor, a King, her kinsman, the King of Scots.” The Archbishop then advised her to fix her thoughts upon God, and she replied she did so, nor did her mind in the least wander from Him; she then fell into a kind of lethargy, and after a short lapse of time she became speechless, and on the 24th March, 1603, expired; “ taking leave,” says Camden, “of her crown and life in such a way that her decease was the same (which Augustus wished for), happy and peaceable, after a glorious reign of forty-four years and four months, and in the seventieth year of her age.”*
The death of two great sovereigns, who for forty years had employed their subjects in unremitting hostility, opened a way to an honourable peace for their successors, and in 1604 King James forthwith availed himself of it. The treaty was ratified in London by the Constable of Castile. The Earl
of Nottingham was appointed ambassador to Spain, whither he proceeded with a numerous and splendid train of attendants.*
“ The Spaniards,” says Hume,“ were much surprised when they beheld the blooming countenances and graceful appearance of the English, whom their bigotry, inflamed by the priests, had represented as so many monsters and infernal demons.”
The Earl of Nottingham was appointed Lord High Steward at the coronation, and one of the seven Lords for the office of Earl Marshal; and was also continued by James as Lord High Admiral
* Stow has told us of what they consisted :-" The 28th of March, Charles, Earle of Nottingham, Lorde High Admirall of all England, being accompanied and attended with one Earle, three Barons, thirty Knightes, and many gentlemen of note and quallitie, one Herault, two Doctors of Physick, besides thirty gentlemen of his owne, in cloakes of blacke velvet, six Pages in cloakes of oreng tawny velvet, like to the rest of their apparell ; hee had also fower score yeomen in livery cloakes of oreng tawny cloath, six trumpeters in oreng colour damaske, and livery cloakes of tawny cloath, and six footmen in oreng tawny velvet ; hee was well furnished with divers coaches and chariots, very richly adorned, the like whereof have not been seen in former ages.”—Stow.
“ Presently after their departure from Spaine the Spaniardes published a booke, by authoritie, concerning the demeanour of the English in this embassie, wherein they highly commended the grave and noble behaviour of the Lord Ambassador, and other the lords and gallant gentlemen of his companie, and the sober and peaceable behaviour of all his servants, friends, and followers.”—Stow.