treasurer, vindicating his opinions on church government with great learning and considerable apparent ability. The same year he was returned to parliament for Lostwithiel, in Cornwall. In 1595 the Earl of Essex appears to have tried to deprive Beale of his office of clerk to the council in favour of one of his own creatures. Accordingly, we find Beale writing (24 April 1595) a letter to the lord treasurer, in which he sets forth his claims to consideration at great length and with no little emphasis. It appears from this document that he had held this office for twenty-three years, that 'he enjoyed it with the fee of 50l. yearly under the great seal of England,' and that he was then suffering from several grievous maladies, amongst them gout and stone. Beale also at this time held another post, that of clerk to the council in the northern parts, and resided at York at least for some part of the year. The emoluments of the office at York amounted, according to Beale's own reckoning, to 400l. yearly, though nominally he had there but 33l. by instructions only alterable without other warrant or assurance.' Beale concluded his letter by begging that on the score of his growing infirmities he might be allowed a deputy to do the business of the office at York during his absence. His request was granted, one John Ferne being appointed in the following August. In 1597 he was joined with Sir Julius Cæsar in a commission to examine into complaints by the inhabitants of Guernsey against Sir Thomas Leighton, the governor of that island. In 1599 he was placed on a special commission to hear and adjudge the grievances of certain Danish subjects who complained of piratical acts committed by English subjects.
In 1600 he was appointed one of the envoys to treat for peace with the King of Spain at Boulogne. The negotiation fell through, the representatives not being able to agree upon the important question of precedency. Next year Beale died at his house at Barnes, Surrey, at eight o'clock in the evening of 25 May. He was buried in Allhallows Church, London Wall. He appears to have left no son, but we know of two daughters, of whom one, Margaret, married Sir Henry Yelverton, justice of the common pleas in the time of Charles I, who thus became possessed of Beale's books and papers, which were long preserved by his descendants in the library of the family seat at Easton-Maudit, Northamptonshire. The library was sold in 1784. The manuscripts are now in the British Museum. The other daughter, Catherine, married Nathaniel Stephens, of Easington, Gloucestershire.
Beale was a member of the Elizabethan Society of Antiquaries, and is mentioned by Milles in the epistle dedicatory to his 'Catalogue of Honour' by the designation of 'worthy Robert Beale, that grave clerk of the council,' as one of the 'learned friends' from whom he had received assistance. He seems also to have taken an interest in geographical discovery; for in Dr. Dee's 'Diary,' under date 24 Jan. 1582, we read: 'I, Mr. Awdrian Gilbert, and John Davis, went by appointment to Mr. Secretary Beale his house, where only we four were secret, and we made Mr. Secretary privy of the north-west passage, and all charts and rutters were agreed upon in general.' Such of Beale's letters as have been printed are dated vaguely 'at his poor house in London.' He certainly had another house at Priors Marston, in Warwickshire, as he is described as of that place in the inscriptions on the tombstone of his wife and daughter Catherine.
Throughout life Beale was a close student and ardent collector of books. He is the author of the following works: 1. 'Argument touching the Validity of the Marriage of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, with Mary, Queen-dowager of France (sister to King Henry VIII), and the Legitimacy of the Lady Frances, their daughter.' In Latin, MS. Univ. Libr., Cambr. Dd. 3, 85, art. 18. 2. 'A Large Discourse concerning the Marriage between the Earl of Hertford and the Lady Catherine Grey.' In Latin, MS. Univ. Libr. Cambr. Ii. 5, 3, art. 4. This work contains also the opinions of the foreign jurists consulted by Beale upon the case. 3. 'Discourse after the Massacre in France,' 15 pp. MS. Cotton, Tit. F. iii. 299. 4. 'Rerum Hispanicarum Scriptores aliquot ex Bibliotheca clarissimi viri Domini Roberti Beli Angli.' Frankfort, 3 vols. folio, 1579; Contents: Vol. i., M. Aretius, Jo. Gerundensis, Roderici Toletani, Roderici Santii, Joannis Vasæi; vol. ii., Alfonsia Carthagena, Michaelis Ritii, Francisci Faraphæ, Lucii Marinei Siculi, Laurentii Vailæ, Ælii Antonii Nebrissensis, Damiani a Goes; vol. iii., Al. Gomecius De Rebus Gestis Fr. Ximenis Cardinalis. 5. 'A Book against Oaths ministered in the Courts of Ecclesiastical Commission from her Majesty, and in other Courts Ecclesiastical.' Printed abroad and brought to England in a Scotch ship about 1583. Strype's 'Whitgift,' vol. i. bk. iii. c. xii. pp. 211-12. 6. 'A Book respecting Ceremonies,, the Habits, the Book of Common Prayer, and the Power of Ecclesiastical Courts,' 1584. Strype's 'Whitgift,' vol. i. bk. iii. c. v. pp. 143-5, 212, vol. iii. bk. iii. nos. v. vi. 7. 'The Order and Manner of the Execution of Mary Queen of Scots, Feb. 8, 1587.'