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[=40] Cecil Papers 99/161 (bifolium, 305mm x 195mm), Oxford to Cecil; 7 May [1603] (W342-3;F770-1).

My very good Lord I vnderstande by Mr Atturnye that he hathe reported the state of my Tytell to the keepershipe of Waltham foreste, and of the housse and parke of Haueringe, wherby yt appeares to hys Magestye what ryght and aequite [=equity] ys therin. Tyll the 12th of Henry the 8th myne Auncesters haue posessed the same, almost sythence the tyme of William Conqueroure, and at that tyme whiche was the 12th yeare of Henrye the 8th the kynge tooke yt for terme of hys lyfe from my grandfather, sythence whiche tyme, what by the alterationes of princes, and wardshipes, I haue bene kept from my ryghtfull posessione, yet frome tyme to tyme, boothe my father and my selfe, we haue as oportunites fell owt not neglected owre clayme, twice in my tyme yt had passage by lawe, and iugment was to haue passed one [=on] my syde, wherof her Magestie the late Quiene, beinge aduertised wythe assured promises and woordes of a Prince to restore yt herself vnto me causd me to lett faale the sute. But so yt wass, she wass not so redie to performe her woorde as I was to [=too] redie to beleue yt. Whervpon pressinge my tytell farther yt was by her Magesties pleasure put to Arbitrement and althoughe yt was an vnaequall course, yet not to contradict her will, the Lord Chanceler Sir Chrystopher Hattone was sole Arbitrer, whoo after all the delayes, deuised by Sir Thomas Hynnage, and the Quienes councell in lave [=law] then beinge, hauinge harde [=heard] the cause was redie to make hys report for me, but her Magestie refusd the same and by no meanes wowlde heare yt, So that by thys and the former meanes, I haue bene thus longe disposeste. but I hoope, truthe ys subiect to noo prescriptione, for truthe ys truthe thoughe never so owlde, and tyme cannot make that falsse whiche was once trwe. and thoughe thys threscore yeares boothe my father and my selfe have bene disposessed therof, yet hathe ther bine claymes made therto many tymes wythin those threscore yeares, whiche I take sufficient by lave to avoyd praescriptione in thys casse [=case]. Now therfore hys Magestie hauinge hard [=heard] the report I hoope [=hope] he will in his iustice and fauoure doo me that ryght whiche ys to be expected frome so gratious and vertuous a Soverayne. But for that I knowe, amonge so many matters of importance, vnles hys Magestie be put in remembrance, he may forget a pryvat cause, therfore I shall moost ernestly desyre yowre friendship in thys that yow will ioygne wythe my Lord Admyrall my very good Lord and friende to helpe me to hys Magesties resolutione. my Lord Admirall ys Lord chiefe Iustice of Oyer and determiner, and to whoose office indeed as I vnderstande yt apperteynes to have hard [=heard] my cause, but I know not why or wythe what aduise yt was referred to Mr Atturnye and his Magesties councell in lave. But now howsoever, hys Magestye hathe the report made vnto hym, whiche yf yt be forgotten shall lyttell prevayle me. but I hoope in his Iustice, and in yowre twoo Lordshipes friendshipes whiche the cause beinge so iust and honorable, I doo fullye relye vpone. Hys Magestie departethe [=parteth] wythe nothinge but a keapership, and a keeper he must haue. wherfore yt ys muche moore princlye for him to restoore yt to me hys laufull keeper, then contrarye [=contrariwise] to bestowe yt vpon an intruder. Nothinge adornes a kynge moore thein Iustice, nor in any thinge, doothe a kynge moore resemble god then ^\\in// iustice, whiche ys the Hed of all vertue, and he that ys indued therwythe, hathe all the reste. So longe as yt was in the custodie of myne Auncesters the woodes were preserved, the game cherished, and the forest mayntayned in hir full state. but sythence yt was otherwise disposede, all thes thynges have impayred as experience doothe Manifest. Thus therfore most ernestlye cravinge yowre Lordships friendly and honorable furtherances I most harttelye recommende my selfe vnto yowre good Lordships from Hackne this 7th of May.

(sideways in left margin)

Yowre Lordships most assured friende and brother in lave to Commande.

(signed) E. Oxenforde (ital.; knot)

Addressed (O): To the ryght honorable my very good Lord the Lord of Essendone, one of his Magetyes pryvye Councell. [excellent seal (paper)]

Endorsed: 7 May 1603 Erle of Oxford to my Lord

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