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commissioner for the union with England on 10 May. The new queen showed him special favour. In 1603 he entertained her at Southampton House, and engaged Burbage and his company of actors, of whom Shakespeare was one, to act ‘Love's Labour's Lost’ in her presence. On 10 Oct. he was made her master of the game. He joined her council on 9 Aug. 1604, and when acting as steward at the magnificent entertainment given at Whitehall on 19 Aug. 1604 in honour of the signing of a treaty of peace with Spain, he twice danced a coranto with the queen.
But Southampton's impetuosity had not diminished. In July 1603, when the queen expressed astonishment, in the course of conversation with him in the presence chamber, ‘that so many great men did so little for themselves’ on the fatal day of Essex's rebellion, Southampton replied that they were paralysed by the course skilfully taken by their opponents to make their attempt appear to be a treasonable attack on Queen Elizabeth's person. But for that false colour given to our action, none of those, said he, with whom our quarrel really was, ‘durst have opposed us.’ Lord Grey, an enemy of Essex, with whom Southampton had quarrelled in Ireland, was standing by, and, imagining himself aimed at, fiercely retorted at the word ‘durst’ that the daring of the adversaries of Essex was not inferior to that of his friends. Southampton gave his interlocutor the lie direct, and was soon afterwards ordered to the Tower for his infringement of the peace of the palace. Although he did not forfeit the good opinion of the king and queen, James I's chief minister, Lord Salisbury, who knew him of old, distrusted him, and his efforts to obtain something beyond ornamental offices were unsuccessful. He therefore devoted his ample leisure and wealth to organising colonial enterprise. He helped to equip Weymouth's expedition to Virginia in 1605, and became a member of the Virginia Company's council in 1609. He was admitted a member of the East India Company in the same year. In April 1610 he helped to despatch Henry Hudson to seek the North-west Passage, and was an incorporator both of the North-west Passage Company in 1612, and of the Somers Island Company in 1615. He was chosen treasurer of the Virginia Company on 28 June 1620, and retained office till the company's charter was declared void on 16 June 1624. The papers of the company, which are now in the Congress Library at Washington, were entrusted to his keeping, and they are said to have been purchased by a Virginian settler, William Byrd, of Southampton's son. The map of New England commemorates Southampton's labours as a colonial pioneer. In his honour were named Southampton Hundred (17 Nov. 1620), Hampton River, and Hampton Roads in Virginia, while Southampton ‘tribe’ in the Somers' Island was also called after him.
Meanwhile some of Southampton's superfluous energy continued to find an outlet in court brawls. In April 1610 he had a quarrel with the Earl of Montgomery; ‘they fell out at tennis, where the rackets flew about their ears; but the matter was compounded by the king without further bloodshed’ (Winwood, Memorials, iii. 154). At Prince Henry's creation as Prince of Wales on 4 June 1610 he acted as the prince's carver (ib. iii. 180). Still faithful to Essex's memory, he came to London in 1612 especially to support the candidature of Sir Henry Neville, Essex's old friend, for the secretaryship to the king. In May next year, at the opening of the dispute between the young Earl of Essex and his wife, Southampton represented the young earl, together with Lord Knollys, at a meeting with the countess's representatives at Whitehall, but no settlement was possible.
Although Southampton had been brought up by his parents as a catholic, his sympathies gradually inclined to protestantism. His colleague in the work of colonial organisation, Sir Edwin Sandys, claimed to have finally converted him. In the continental troubles which centred round the elector palatine and the electress (James I's daughter) Southampton gave unhesitating support to the champions of protestantism, and became a powerful advocate of active intervention on the part of the English government to protect the German protestants from the threatened attack of the catholic emperor. In 1614 he went out as a volunteer to engage in the war in Cleves; Edward, lord Herbert of Cherbury, accompanied him (cf. Herbert's Autobiography, ed. Lee, p. 146). In May 1617 he proposed to fit out an expedition of twelve thousand men to capture the Barbary pirates who plundered the ships of English merchants in the Mediterranean. The merchants desired Southampton to take command of the expedition. Gondomar, the Spanish ambassador, strongly opposed the scheme; he ridiculed it as designed to further Southampton's ambition of becoming lord high admiral of England. As far as Southampton was concerned the scheme fell through. Later in the year (1617) he accompanied James I on a long visit to Scotland. After his return the king acknowledged his attentions on the journey by