The King's most excellent Majesty, being duly informed of your sufficiency every way, hath called you, by his writ now returned, to the state and degree of a serjeant at law; but not to stay there, but, being so qualified, to serve him as his chief justice of his King's bench in his realm of Ireland. And therefore that which I shall say to you, must be applied not to your serjeant's place, which you take but in passage, but to that great place where you are to settle; and because I will not spend time to the delay of the business of
p.477causes of the court, I will lead you the short journey by examples, and not the long by precepts.
The place that you shall now serve in, hath been fortunate to be well served in four successions before you: do but take unto you the constancy and integrity of Sir Robert Gardiner; the gravity, temper, and direction of Sir James Lea; the quickness, industry, and dispatch of Sir Humphry Winch; the care and affection to the commonwealth, and the prudent and politic administration of Sir John Denham, and you shall need no other lessons. They were all Lincoln's Inn men as you are, you have known them as well in their beginnings, as in their advancement.
But because you are to be there not only chief justice, but a counsellor of estate, I will put you in mind of the great work now in hand, that you may raise your thoughts according unto it. Ireland is the last ex filiis Europae, which hath been reclaimed from desolation, and a desert, in many parts, to population and plantation; and from savage and barbarous customs to humanity and civility. This is the King's work in chief: it is his garland of heroical virtue and felicity, denied to his progenitors, and reserved to his times. The work is not yet conducted to perfection, but is in fair advance: and this I will say confidently, that if God bless this kingdom with peace and justice, no usurer is so sure in seven years space to double his principal with interest, and interest upon interest, as that kingdom is within the same time to double the stock both of wealth and people. So as that kingdom, which once within these twenty years wise men were wont to doubt whether they should wish it to be in a pool, is like now to become almost a garden, and younger sister to Great Britain. And therefore you must set down with yourself to be not only a just governor, and a good chief justice, as if it were in England, but under the King and the deputy you are to be a master-builder, and a master-planter, and reducer of Ireland. To which end, I will trouble you at this time but with three directions.
The first is, that you have special care of the three plantations, That of the north, which is in part acted; that of Wexford, which is now in distribution; and that of Longford and Leitrim, which is now in survey. And take this from me, that the bane of a plantation is, when the undertakers or planters make such haste to a little mechanical present profit, as disturbeth the whole frame and nobleness of the work for times to come. Therefore hold them to their covenants, and the strict ordinances of plantation.
The second is, that you be careful of the King's revenue, and by little and little constitute him a good demesne, if it may be, which hitherto is little or none. For the King's case is hard, when every man's land shall be improved in value with increase manifold and the King shall be tied to his dry rent. My last direction, though first in weight, is, that you do all good endeavours to proceed resolutely and constantly, and yet with due temperance and equality, in matters of religion; lest Ireland civil become more dangerous to us than Ireland savage.
So God give you comfort of your place.
After Sir William Jones's speech:
I had forgotten one thing, which was this. You may take exceeding great comfort, that you shall serve with such a deputy; one that, I think, is a man ordained of God to do great good to that kingdom, And this I think good to say to you, that the true temper of a chief justice towards a deputy is, neither servilely to second him, nor factiously to oppose him.