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the measure of his actions; when the other (to speak softly of it) had the power of the prince, and the exalting of the prerogative, only for the foundation of his. They were, indeed, both of them men of courage and resolution; but it was sedate and temperate in Abbot, passionate and unruly in Laud. It is not however to be denied, that many rare and excellent virtues were possessed by the latter: but it must be owned too, he seems rather made for the hierarchy of another Church, and to be the minister of an arbitrary prince; and the other to have had the qualifications of a Protestant Bishop, and the guardian of a free state."*

The candour of Wellwood, likewise, has enabled him to do justice to the merit of the Primate in question. "Archbishop Abbot," he observes, "was a person of wonderful temper and moderation, and in all his conduct showed an unwillingness to stretch the act of uniformity beyond what was absolutely necessary for the peace of the Church, or the prerogative of the Crown, any farther than conduced to the good of the state. Being not well-turned for a court, though otherwise of considerable learning and genteel education, he either could not, or would not, stoop to the humour of the times; and now and then, by an unseasonable stiffness, gave occasion to his enemies to represent him as not well inclined to the prerogative, or too much addicted to a popular interest, and therefore not fit to be employed in matters of government."

His Grace acquired a moderate share of reputation by his theological and polemical writings; but being upon subjects chiefly temporary, † they are of

Russel's Life of Abbot,' 8vo. Guildford, 1717.
E.g. Answer to the Questions of the Citizens of London

little account at present, except the two following:

1. ‘Quæstiones sex, totidem prælectionibus in Scholá Theologica Oxoniæ pro formâ habitis, discussæ et disceptatæ anno 1597, in quibus è Sacrá Scripturá et Patribus quid statuendum sit definitur.' Oxoniæ 1598, Francofurti 1616, 4to.

2. Exposition on the Prophet Jonah, in certain Sermons preached in St. Mary's church, Oxford;' London, 4to. 1600. These Sermons were reprinted in 1613, and are the most popular of his works.

He had an elder brother Robert, who after having filled the see of Salisbury, to which the Primate had the pleasure of consecrating him, died in 1617; equally esteemed for his piety and moderation, and for his theological works preferred to the Archbishop, as they are on more general subjects, and discussed with deeper erudition.

in Jan. 1600, concerning Cheapside Cross' (not printed until 1641); Reasons, which Dr. Hill hath brought for the upholding of Papistry, unmasked and showed to be very weak,' Oxon. 4to. 1604; Funeral Sermon on Thomas Earl of Dorset,' May 26, 1608, 4to.; Short Apology for Archbishop Abbot, touching the death of Peter Howard,' 1621, &c.




Of a more general nature were his Brief Description of the whole World,' 4to. 1617 (of which there have been several editions); Treatise of the perpetual Visibility and Succession of the true Church in all Ages,' 4to. 1624; Narrative, containing the true Cause of his Sequestration and Disgrace at Court, in two parts, written at Ford in Kent,' and printed in Rushworth's Hist. Coll. I. 438-461; History of the Massacre in the Valtoline,' printed in Fox's Acts and Monuments, III; and Judgement on bowing at the Name of Jesus,' Hamb. Svo. 1632.


In 1618, he and Sir Henry Savile jointly defrayed the expense of an edition of Bradwardin's Cause of God,' a work written against the Pelagians.





THIS illustrious lawyer, son of Robert Coke Esq., was born at Mileham in the county of Norfolk, in 1550. At ten years of age, he was sent to the freeschool, Norwich; and thence removed to Trinity College, Cambridge. From Trinity College, after a residence of about four years, he migrated to Clifford's Inn, London; and, the year following, was entered a student of the Inner Temple. The first occasion of his rise, as we learn from Lloyd, was his stating the case of the Temple-cook so exactly that the whole bench took notice of him. At six years' standing he was called to the bar, a circumstance in that age deemed extraordinary. He has himself informed us, that the first cause he moved in the King's Bench was in Trinity Term, 1578; when he was counsel for Mr. Edward Denny, Vicar of North Ingham in the county of Norfolk, in an action of

* AUTHORITIES. Hume's History of England; Rushworth's Historical Collections; and British Biography.

Scandalum Magnatum brought against him by Henry Lord Cromwell.*

About the same time, he was appointed reader of Lyon's Inn, which office he held three years; and his reputation increasing rapidly, he soon came into great practice. When he had been at the bar about seven years, he married Bridget, daughter and co-heiress of John Paston Esq., a lady of one of the best families in Norfolk, who brought him thirty thousand pounds. This connexion accelerated his advancement. The cities of Coventry and Norwich chose him their Recorder; and he was engaged in all the important causes in Westminster Hall. He was, also, in high credit with the Lord Treasurer Burghley,† and was frequently consulted about the affairs of the Queen, to whom in 1592 he was appointed Solicitor. His large estate, combined with his eminent character, recommended him to the freeholders of his county, by whom he was returned knight of the shire: in the parliament held 35 Eliz., he was chosen Speaker of the House of Commons; and, soon afterward, he was made Attorney General.


Having about this time lost his wife, by whom he had ten children, he in 1598 paid his addresses to Lady Hatton, relict of Sir William Hatton, and

* Of this remarkable cause an account is given in Coke's Reports.

+"Burghley," observes Mrs. Macaulay, "found so much solid judgement in him, that he promoted him before his own kinsman Bacon, whose law-learning he accounted somewhat superficial." It is to be lamented, that in his first official capacities, as Solicitor and Attorney General, he too often gave a legal colouring to the most tyrannical of the minister's practices.

sister to Thomas Lord Burghley, subsequently Earl of Exeter. This new marriage, advantageous as it was in other respects, made no addition to his domestic felicity, as he and his lady were frequently on ill terms with each other. The very celebration of it, from an unfortunate circumstance by which it was attended, occasioned no small disquiet. In consequence of a number of irregular marriages, Archbishop Whitgift had about this period injoined the Bishops of his province rigorously to prosecute all such persons as should offend in the solemnisation of their nuptials, in point either of form, of time, or of place. Whether Mr. Coke regarded his own and his lady's quality, and their being married with the consent of the family, as setting them above such restrictions or not, is uncertain: but they were married in a private house, without either banns or licence. These illustrious delinquents in consequence, with the Rev. Mr. Bothwell, Rector of Okeover in the county of Rutland, Thomas Lord Burghley, and several others, were prosecuted in the Archbishop's court. On their submission by their proxies, however, they were absolved from excommunication, and the penalties consequent upon it; 'because,' adds the record, they offended not out of contumacy, but through ignorance of the law in that point.'

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The affair of most importance, in which as Attorney General he took a part during the reign of Elizabeth, was the prosecution of the Earl of Essex,*

After laying open the nature of the treason, and the numer ous favours which Essex had received from the Queen, he is said to have closed with these words; that "by the just judgement of 2 N


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