Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 23.djvu/168

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Greville
Greville
160

records in his 'La Cena delle Ceneri' (Frith, (Life of G. Bruno, 1887, pp. 227 et seq.) In the summer of 1585 Greville and Sidney arranged with Drake to accompany the expedition preparing for attack upon the Spanish West Indies. Elizabeth would not sanction the arrangement, but the young men went secretly to Plymouth with a view to immediate embarkation. Imperious messages from court led Drake to sail without them (14 Sept.) Elizabeth flatly refused Greville's request, preferred on his return to London, to join Leicester's army, then starting for the Low Countries. Sidney, however, was allowed to take part in the expedition, in which he met his death (17 Oct. 1586). By his will Sidney left his books to Greville and Dyer, and Greville was one of the pallbearers when Sidney was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral, 16 Feb. 1586-7. Greville lamented Sidney's death in verse, and penned a prose biography.

Greville was in Normandy for a short time with the English forces serving under Henry of Navarre about 1591. In 1597 Essex suggested that he should take part in the Islands expedition by convoying provisions to the Azores, but the queen refused her permission, and thenceforth Greville apparently contented himself with civil employment. On 20 April 1583 he had been constituted secretary for the principality of Wales, and on 24 July 1603 he was confirmed in the office for life. But the duties do not appear to have been onerous or to have necessitated continuous residence in Wales. He sat in parliament as member for Warwickshire in 1592-3, 1597, 1601, and 1620, and took some part in the debates. He interested himself in Francis Bacon, and interceded with the queen in his behalf in 1594, when Bacon was seeking to become solicitor-general. The letters that passed between them at the time indicate close personal intimacy. Michael (afterwards Sir Michael) Hicks [q.v.] was another friend, and was useful in helping Greville out of temporary pecuniary difficulties (cf. Letters in Lansd. MSS. 89, 90, printed by Grosart). In March 1597-8 he became 'treasurer of the wars,' and in September 1598 'treasurer of the navy.' When in August 1599 the second Spanish Armada was anticipated, it was proposed to nominate Greville rear-admiral (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1598-1601, p. 282). Greville took part in the arrest of the Earl of Essex on Sunday, 8 Feb. 1600-1.

On James I's accession Greville was created knight of the Bath. For the first years of the new reign he retained his office of treasurer of the navy, and worked vigorously. Higher preferment is said to have been denied him owing to the hostility of Robert Cecil,lord Salisbury. Salisbury died in 1612, and in October 1614 Greville succeeded Sir Julius Caesar in the office of chancellor and under-treasurer of the exchequer, 'in spite of his age,' writes Chamberlain (ib. 1611-18, pp. 256-7). In the various discussions in which he took part in the council he supported the king's prerogative. On 18 Jan. 1614-15 he was one of the privy-councillors who signed the warrant for the torture of Edmund Peacham, a clergyman charged with writing a sermon derogatory to the royal authority (Spedding, Life of Bacon, v. 92). But when, in September 1615, the council discussed the policy of summoning a parliament, Greville said that 'it was a pleasing thing and popular to ask a multitude's advice; besides it argued trust and begat trust' (ib. p. 201). In 1616 he was a member of the committee of the council appointed to inquire into Coke's conduct in the præmunire case. In the House of Commons Greville was a useful supporter of the government. In 1618 he became commissioner of the treasury, and in January 1620-1 he resigned the chancellorship of the exchequer. A patent issued 29 Jan. conferred on him (with remainder to his favourite kinsman, Robert Greville) the title of Baron Brooke, which had been borne by his ancestors, the Willoughbys. His services were, however, still needed in the opening session of the new parliament, and he sat in the commons through the early months of the year. On 15 Nov. 1621 he first took his seat in the House of Lords (cf. Notes and Queries, 4th ser. viii. 22, 88, 217, 234). Brooke was henceforth less active in politics. He was prevented by serious illness from attending the council when the Spanish marriage treaty was formally adopted (July 1623). But his political knowledge secured for him a seat on the council of war (21 April 1624), and on the committee of the council to advise on foreign affairs (9 April 1625). According to Bacon, Brooke was an elegant speaker in debate.

James I proved in Brooke's case a liberal patron, and to him Brooke owed a vast extension of the landed property which he inherited in 1606 on the death of his father. Elizabeth had made him master of Wedgnock Park in 1597, and in 1605 James bestowed on him the ruined castle of Warwick. Dugdale writes `that Brooke bestowed much cost, at least 20,000l., in the repairs thereof, beautifying it with the most pleasant gardens, plantations, and walks, and adorning it with rich furniture.' Brooke also obtained a grant of the manor and park of Knowle. His position in Warwickshire was very powerful,