Henry Lok to Burghley, 6 November 1590 (partly damaged)

PRO SP12/234, ff. 8-9

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Right hono{ra}bl{e}

Althowgh the coors [=course] of my life haue not bin so happy as to make me known to yowr L{ordshi}p in that measure of desert w{hi}ch the duty I haue caried to yowr person, and the reuerens I owe to yowr vertues, wold gladly haue aforded: Yet the manifold experiens I haue of yowr ho{no}rs beningne eare lent to the petitions of many of meane woorth: maketh me bold by theas my L{ette}rs to preuent the report of the caws [=cause] of this my abode in Scotland (w{hi}ch com{m}ing by others might hap sownd the les fauorable) by deliuering to yowr L{ordshi}p a trueth perticularly of my intent herein. The rather for that it is not vnknown to yowr ho{no}r howe from my first enterans into the world (now almost twenty years sins) I haue bent my self wholy to folowe the seruis of the ho{nora}bl{e} Earl of Oxford. whos fauor shew{n} sumtims so gratiusly vppon me that my yong years weare easely drawn therby to accownpt it, a[[s]] impossible that the bewty therof shold be eclipsed; or bownty fr[[...]]les: wherof yet (to make dowptful the first) I had the true ^\\president// of many faln before therfrom: But of the other am myself becum the onely example: as one who may Iustifie by oth to yowr h{ono}r (before whos gra[[cius]] presens a falshud weare very vnfitly vttered) that of all that eue[[r]] folowed him I alone, neuer tasted of his liberality by gift or [[any]] procurment of land, leas, or perman[[ent]] gift of his own [[estates?]] by his procurment nor in cloths, money[[, o]]r any waye to the e[[xtent]] of one hundred markes (for tow{hi}ching the los of [y{a}t] ^\\his L{ordshi}ps// 2000li ke[[pt?]] with Michael Lok, (w{hi}ch I haue herd my credit inceressed in [[for]] as I repute the man far fro{m} purpos to desauie [=deceive]: so to acquit my self from any intelligens w{i}th the practis vsed thairin saue in being a conducter of the mony at time of paiment: I must be redy by oth and otherwis to proue what I affirm, (and his ho{no}r knoweth for true that S{i}r Martin furbisher perswaded it, Edw{ard} fenton writ Letters and Will{iam} Walters caried thaim betwen my Lo{r}d and my vncle, til al was concluded during my absens in Lincolnshire w{i}th my L{or}d Willowghby.) Hauing therfore reped so litel benefit by his seruis wherin throwgh my own indiscretion I haue vainly spent & browght to nothing aboue one hundred pownds a yeare w{hi}ch I had to liue on and consumed al my yowth vnprofitably, neglecting such better coorses as my best frendes thowght me more fit for: I of late (indede to [=too] late) resolued to stop the opinion of many, w{hi}ch thowght me among the number of the ouermany gredy horsleches w{hi}ch had sucked to rauenusly on his swete liberality (as indede his fauor and my acses had giuen me also suffisient means to imitat thair example in, had I held it honest, or \\had// it ben agreable to my nature, & purpos in seruing him.) And therfore I craue, of his h{ono}r, this fauor to be com{m}anded by his lord{ship} to su{m} plase of seruis, or preferred otherwise to soom coors of life: by trauail in w{hi}ch I might supply the necessitis of my life. Or els that it wold pleas his L{ordshi}p to Infrancis me of my former profession. And w{i}th my discharge to examen my actions past, and such accownts as I had bin interessed ^\\in//, aswell to discouer the truth of things conserning my | own delings; as to preuent any falshod w{hi}ch during my absens might be by others vsed in thair accownts. And w{i}thall I made likwise knowne a dept [=debt] of aboue fowrscore pownds, w{hi}ch is yet vnpaied vnto me (throwgh the indirect deling of Aimes) sins his L{ordshi}ps and his Ladies of good memories first being at owldfoord and Hini{n}gam Park. w{hi}ch was forsed for howshold prouision to disbors. for in al the time from my first coom{m}ing to waight at yowr h{ono}rs hows in Strand, til my withdrawing my self from daily attendans w{hi}ch was at Aimises: I neuer resaiued aboue 360li or nere thereabowts fro{m} any his L{ordshi}p{s} officers. But was continually forsed, either to borow mony for his occasions, or by sutes (w{hi}ch yowr h{ono}r fauored him in) or by selling of chenis & niels of my own soomtims to furnish him. & I dare affirm to yowr h{ono}r that in all that time I neue[[r]] suffered one peny of dept to growe, for anithing spent abowt him or his, but kept I hope his proporsion of expens (considering the ho{nora}ble coors he then tooke) w{i}thin more resonable bownds then any my predesessor or sucsessor. And for the mony I borowed, I neuer intangled his lands or surtis [=sureties] any way. w{hi}ch considerations made me the more boldly to craue the restitution of this smale su{m} of mony due to me: w{hi}ch was the only remainder of al his depts grown in my time, and the best part of the stock of my decayed estate. w{hi}ch when I cowld not procure: neither yet (as a requital of my seruis, w{hi}ch I wold haue reputed it) I cowld haue my accownts examined, for w{hi}ch I had by L{ette}rs to his honor and by sute to Aimes, Lily, mils, and al of credit w{i}th him often bin a sutor. I at length (being destitute of means for longar attendans on the sute) and ^\\seing// that ther was no difference made from those w{hi}ch had most spoiled [i.e., ruined] him, & theim who w{i}th silens had (as the prouerb saieth) faithfully serued: And considering how vnlikly it w[[a]]s for me in cort or [[con]]try to be preferred being by him discownte[[anced]] but that I li[[ved]] to haue al the world behold dayly the [[loss]]e of my former [[...]]nities: I chose therfore (as the les euel [=lesser evil]) to w{i}thdraw my self for a space, til that it showld pleas god, throwgh the reuolution of times, to minister means, and to towch the hart of soom honorable p{er}son with wil to procure my good: w{hi}ch wold to god might grow, by the seruis of my coontry in any honest caling for w{hi}ch I weare accownted fit, euen ^\\as// I wold w{i}th al faith & diligens indeuor w{i}th any hasard or trauail to deserue the same: the rather to redeme the los of my former time. This right ho{nora}bl{e} is the truth of my estate & purpose, wherin if yowr L{ordshi}ps gratius respect to a poore conuertite may induce yow to try the sinserity of my purpose, I hope yowr L{ordshi}p shal not repente yowr fauor altogether euel plased on me, who wold continually (in supply of my defectiue desert) craue of god for yowr L{ordshi}ps requital, the dayly increas of honor, & perpetuity of al happines. fro{m} Edinborogh the 6 Nouemb{er}.

Yowr h{ono}rs in al duty

(signed) Henry Lok

Addressed: To the Right Hon{ora}bl{e} his very good Lord, the Lord Burleigh Lord hight Thesorer of Ingland

Endorsed: 6 Nou. 159[[0]] / Henry Lock to my L{ord}

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