David Jardine Sir Nicholas Throckmorton.

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some of the Queen's subjects, it was greatly against my
mind, for the blood of my countrymen has been ever
dear to me ; neither did I ever draw sword <an that day
till I was charged at Ludgate, where I was shot twice
through my hat.

Attorney. My Lord, if vou had no other purpose,
why did you go into Gracechurch-street, and Fencbm'eh-
street, crying out all the way you went, " England is
bought and sold to the Spaniard I "

Southampton. Mr. Attorney, I protest (as I hope to
have mercy at God's hands) I never heard my Lord speak

* Here the reporter adds, « as the Earl of Sussex being thea
present did confess,"

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my sueh words, neither did I hear the proelamation you
speak o& made by my Lord Burleigh and tiie Herald at
Arms ; neither did I see them : and I deny (in my soul
and conscienee) that I ever knew of any intent and
meaning, or did ever mean or intend any treason, rebel-
lion, or other action against my Sovereign or the State;
but only what I did, was merely and only to assist my
Lord of Essex in his private quarrels. Mr. Attorney,
you have urged the matter very far, and if you wrong
me therein, my blood be upon your head. And my
Lord of Rutland also wrongeth me exceedingly, by
ehai^ng me with having incited my Lord of Essex to
detain ti^e Lord Keeper and the rest ; for I only whis-
pered my Lord of Essex to go up into his chamber : and
mj Lord of Rutland never saw me once discontented, and
therefore had small grounds or reason to say I was so.

Essex, My Lord, and you that be our peers, I be-
seech jou give me hearing thus far ; I desire to impresg
the nunds of our censurers or triers, that liiey may not
be misled into a prejudice a^^inst us, because out of a
ferm and custom of speakmg, these orators of the
Queen make us seem the more odious in the sight of
men* Within tiiese few days I was fully resolved to
have received the communion, to be a testimony that I
was &r irom bearing of malice to any, not so much aa
to my private enemies. But then the breach between
the Earl of Southampton and the Lord Grey, hap-
pening on a sudden, hindered my intent in that ; for sa
soon as I knew of it, I found my affections to stir in it
exceedingly, seeing that her Majesty had not power
sufficient to prevent my friend from being publicly as-
sailed in the streets : yet I have since that time laboured,
and by my prayers to Almighty God, earnestly desired
that I might be armed with pa;tience and be made fit to
endure all afBictions. And here I protest before the living
God, as he may have mercy on me, that my conscience is
clear from any disloyal thought of harm to her Majesty;^
and my desire ever hath been to be free from bloodshed.
If in all my thoughts and purposes I cUd not ever de«
sire the good estate of my Sovereign and country as of
my own soul, I beseech thee, O Lord, shew some mark
uponime and my soul in this place^ for a testimony to all

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fhe world of thy just vengeance for my untruth ! And
thou, O God, which knowest the secrets of •all hearts,
knowest that I never sought the crown of England, nor
ever wished to be of higher- degree than a subject !

Bacon, My Lord, I have never yet seen, in any case,
such favour shown to any prisoner ; so many digressions,
such delivering of evidence by fractions, and so silly a
defence of such great and notorious treasons. Your
Lordships may see how weakly my Lord of Essex hath
shadowed his purpose, and how slenderly he hath an-
swered the objections against him. But admit the case
that the Earl's intent were as he would have it, to go as
a supptiant to her Majesty, shall petitioners be armed
and guarded ? Neither is it a mere point of law, as my
Lord of Southampton would have it believed, that con-
demns them of treason, but it is apparent in common
sense ;. to consult, to execute, to run together in num-
bers, in doublets and hose, armed with weapons, what
colour of excuse can be alleged for this ? And all this

Persisted in after being warned by messengers sent from
er Majesty's own person. Will any man be so simple
as to take this to be less than treason ? But, my Lord,
doubting that too much variety of matter may occasion
forgetfulness, I will only trouble your Lordships' remem-
brance with this point, rightly comparing this rebellion
of my Lord of Essex to the Duke of Guise's, that came
upon the barricadoes at Paris in his doublet and hose,
attended upon but with eight gentlemen ; but his confi-
dence in the city was even such as, my Lord's was, and
Yfhen he had delivered himself so far into the shallow of
his own conceit, and could not accomplish what he ex-
pected, the King taking arms against him, he was glad
to yield himself, thinking to colour his pretexts and his
practices by alleging the occasion thereof to be a private

Essex, My Lord, I must confess my fault in standing
out, and maintaining my house with defence and resist
ance ; and I will not deny but that my Lord of South-
ampton and Sir Charles Danvers did persuade me to
parley with my Lord-General. I hope your Lordships
will remember I did yield upon some indifferent terms
and conditions; which were. First, That we might have

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an honourable trial. Secondly, that we might deliver
onr enriefs to the Queen ourselves. Thirdly, that we
might come forth in safety. Fourthly, that I might
have my tninister with me during the time of my impri-
sonment. And, lastly, (which I chiefly beg of her Ma-
jesty,) that she would be pleased to free some that were
in my house with me, and guiltless, for knowledge, intent,
or action, of what was by me purposed. All which I
thought good to remember, and so humbly submit
ourselves to her Majesty*s gracious pleasure.

Then the Lord High Steward directed the Peers to go
together, and ordered the Lieutenant of the Tower to with-
draw the prisoners from the bar. They being removed,
the Lords went together into a private place provided
for them, fairly hung with tapestry, behind the canopy
and chair of estate, where the Court of Chancery is kept *.
Then the two Chief Judges and the Lord Chief
Baron were sent for in to them, to deliver their opinions
in law, which they did upon two several points ; the
onet> that in case where a subject attempteth to put
himself into such strength, as the King shall not be able
to resist him, and to force and compel the King to govern
otherwise than according to his own royal authority and

* A contemporary Letter from Monsieur de Boississe, the French
Ambassador, to Monsieur de Rohan, published \n Winwood's Me-
morials, vol. i. p. 296, contains an impudent misrepresentation of
the Proceedings on this trial. He relates this part of the trial as
follows : — '* Un peu apres, les Advocats mirent fin it leur accu-
sation, et Messieurs les Pairs ^ leur confitures et St la bi^re ; car
cependant que le Comte et les Advocats plaidoient, Messieurs
bauffroient comme s'ils n'eussent mang6 de 1 5 jours, prenant aussi
force tabac. Pais s'en all6rent en une salle pour donner leur
Toix ; ou bien saouls et bien yvres de tabac condemn^rent les
deux Contes.'* — " Shortly afterwards, the Counsel ended their
pleadings, and the Peers their biscuits and beer. For while the
Earl and the Counsel were pleading, my Lords guzzled as if they
had not eaten for a fortnight, smoking also plenty of tobacco.
Then they went into a room to give their voices ; and there, stupid
with eating, and drunic with smoking, they condemned the two

f These Resolutions are taken from Bacon's account of the

VOL, T, 2 I

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direction, it is manifest treason and rebellion. The other^
that in every rebellion the law intendeth as a consequent
the compassing the death and deprivation of the King,
as foreseeing that the rebel will never suffer that king to
live or reign who might punish or take revenge of his
treason and rebellion.

After half an hour the Peers came all out again, and
each man took his place ; which being done, the Serjeant-
at-Arms began at the junior Lord, and called Thomas
Lord Howard, who stood up bare-headed; then said the
Lord High Steward,

L, H. Sfetvard. My Lord Thomas Howard, Whether
is Robert Earl of Essex guilty of this treason whereupon
he hath been indicted, as you take it upon your honour^
or no?

Whereupon the Lord Thomas Howard made answer^
bending his body, and laying his left hand upon his right
side, said, " Guilty, my Lord, of high treason, upon my
honour." After which manner all the Peers found him
guilty one after another, from the junior to the highest,
and so delivered in like sort upon their honours. Being
called over a-new, they found Henry Earl of South-
ampton guilty of high treason also.

Then the Serjeant-at-Arms commanded the Lieute-
nant of the Tower to bring his prisoners to the bar again.

Then the Clerk of the Crown, speaking first to the
Earl of Essex, said, " Robert Earl of Essex, you have
been indicted by two several indictments of high treason;
you have pleaded not guilty, and for your tri5 you have
put yourself upon God and your Peers; the Peers here
(who have heard the evidence, and your answers in your
defence) have found you guilty; now what can you
gay for yourself, why you should not have judgment of

Essex. I only say this, that since I have committed
that which hath brought me within the compass of the
law, I am willing to die. My own life I do not value ;
but I intreat your Lordships to interpose with her Ma-
jesty to grant my Lord of Southampton her gracious
pardon ; he may yet do her Majesty good service. For
myself, I have only to beseech your Lordships to ha¥e

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(Bonsideration of what I have formerly spoken, and do me
the justice to think me a Christian. As I have a soul
to save, I know that it is now no time to jest : lying and
counterfeiting, my soul hath at all times abhorred ; and
especially at this time I am not so desperate nor so void
of grace as to speak falsely. I do not speak to save my
life, for that I see were now but in vain : I owe God a
death, which shall be welcome whensoever it pleaseth
her Majesty. Dut to satisfy the opinion of your Lord-
ships and the world, I declare that howsoever 1 may
have been in this action misled to transgress the law, I
never had any treacherous or disloyal intentions towards
her Majesty. If ever I had perceived that any of my
followers harboured an evil thought against her Majesty,
I would have been the first to be his executioner. I
would not that your Lordships should speak of me to the
Queen as one who despises her clemency ; but I shall
not, I think, be found to make any cringing submission
to obtain it. I wish, moreover, that your Lordships
should believe that my conscience is free from Atheism
and Poper}^, and that I shall die in the faith and true
religion which I have always professed. And, my Lords,
if through the weakness of my wit, or dulness of my
memory, I have omitted anything, or if I have uttered
anything otherwise than as t)ecometh me, I crave your
Lordships' pardon for the same.

Then the Clerk of the Crown demanded of Henry £arl
of Southampton, what he could say for himself, why
judgment of death should not be pronounced against

Southampton, My Lords, I must say for my part, as
I have said before, that my ignorance of the law hath
made me incur this danger, and that I humbly submit
myself to her Majesty's mercy ; and therefore, my Lord
High Steward, and my Lord Admiral, seeing that I am
condemned by the letter of the law, I pray you truly to
inform the Queen of my penitence, and be a means for
me to her Majesty to grant me her gracious pardon. I
know I have offended her ; yet if it please her to be mer-
ciful unto me, I may, by my future service, deserve my
life. } have b^en brought up under ber Majesty, i have

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spent the best part of my patrimony in her Majesty's
service, with frequent danger of my life, as your Lord-
ships well know ; if there were any that could challenge
me, that I have before this ever committed or intended
treason, or any thing prejudicial to her Majesty or estate,
I would not desire mercy, nor pray to God to admit me
into his kingdom. But since I am found guilty by the
law, I do submit myself to death, yet not despairing of
her Majesty*s mercy ; for I know she is merciful, and
if she please to extend mercy to me, I shall with all
humility receive it.

Lord Steward, My Lord of Essex, the Queen*s Ma-
jesty hath bestowed many favours on your predecessors
and yourself; I would wish, therefore, that you likewise
would submit yourself to her Majesty's mercy, acknow*
ledging your ounces, and reconciling yourself inwardly
to her Majesty, by laying open all matters that were in-
tended to prejudice her Majesty, and the actors thereof;
and thereby no doubt you shall find her Majesty merci-

Essex, My Lord, you have made an honourable mo-
tion to me, for which I humbly thank your good Lord-
ship. Do but send to me at the time of mv death, and
vou shall see how penitent and humble I will be towurds
her Majesty, in acknowledging her exceeding favours,
both to my noble Father and to myself; and I doubt not
but the penitent suffering of my death, and sprinkling of
my blood, will quench the ill-conceived thoughts of her
Majesty against me. I do most humbly desire of her
Majesty, that after my death my offences be no more
remembered by her ; and I beseech you, my good Lord,
mistake me not, nor think me too proud, that I will not
crave her Majesty's mercy, for I protest I do crave her
Majesty's mercy .with all humility ; yet I had rather die
than live in misery. I have cleared my accounts; I have
forgiven all the world, and am quite ready and willing to
forsake the world.

Then the Lord High Steward, after a few exhortations
unto the Earls to prepare themselves for God, told them,
seeing the law had found them guilty, it followed of course
that he must proceed to judgment.

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. The Earl bf Essex replied very cheerfully, and said,
'' I thank your Lordship for your Christian exhortation,
und with a very i?ood will I pray you go on."

Then the Lord High Steward gave judgment as fol-
loweth :—

Forasmuch as you, Robert Earl of Essex, and Henry
Earl of Southampton, have been indicted of High Trea-
son, and thereto have pleaded not guilty, and. for your
trials, have put yourselves upon God and your Peers, who
have found you guilty ; and being demanded what you
eould say for 3rourselves why judgment should not be
pronounced against you, you have alleged no sufficient
reason, therefore the Court doth award that you both shall
be led from hence to the place from whence you caraej
and there remain during her Majesty's pleasure ; from
thence to be drawn upon a hurdle through the midst of
the City, and so to the place of execution, there to be
hanged by the neck and taken down alive, — your bodies
to be opened, and your bowels taken out and burned
before your face ; — ^your bodies to be quartered, — your
heads and quarters to be disposed of at her Majesty's
pleasure, and so God have mercy on your souls.

Essex, My Lord, I am not at all aismayed to receive
this sentence, for death is far more welcome to me than
life ; and I shall die as cheerful a death as ever man did.
And I think it fitting that my poor quarters, which
have done her Majesty true service in divers parts of
the world, should now at the last be sacrificed and dis-
pose of at her Majesty's pleasure ; whereunto with all
willingness of heart I do submit myself. But one thing
I beg of you, my Lords, that have free access to her
Majesty's person, humbly to beseech her Majesty to grant
me, that (during the short time I shall live) I may have
the same preacher to comfort me that hath been with me
since my troubles began ; for as he that hath been long
sick is most desirous of the ..physician that is best ac-
quainted with the constitution of his body, so I most
wish to have my comfort in spiritual medicine from him
who hath been and is best acquainted with the inward
griefs and secret afflictions of my soul. And my last
request shall be this, — that it will please her Highness
that my Lord Thomas Howard and the Lieutenant of tho


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Tower may be partakers with me in receiving the sacra-
ment, to witness of me concerning what I have here
protested for my loyalty, religion, and peace of con-
science ; and then, whensoever it shall please her Ma-
jesty to call me, I shall be ready to seal the same with
my blood.

The Lords promised they would move the Queen for
his requests.

Essex. I humbly thank your Lordships*

Then the Serjeant-at-Arms stood up with the mace on
his shoulder, and, after proclamation was made, said
thus : — ^All Peers that were summoned to be here this
day, and all other persons attending here on this service,
may now depart m her Majesty^s peace, for my Lord
High Steward is pleased to dissolve nis Commission.

As the Lords were rising, the Earl of Essex said, '* My
Lord De la Ware, and my Lord Morley, I beseech your
Lordships to pardon me for your two sons who are in
trouble for my sake, and whom I love as myself: I pro-
test upon my soul they knew not of anything that was
or should have been done, but came to me in the morn-
ing, and I desired them to stay, and they knew not where*
fore,— and so farewell, my Lords."

The Earl of Southampton remained a close prisoner in
the Tower* until the commencement of the rei^n of
James L ; but, on his accession, he was immediately
released, restored to his title and estates, and enjoyed, for
the remainder of his life, the favour of his Sovereign.


Immediately upon the conviction of Essex, great
pains were taken by the Government to induce him

* It is related in Pennant's London, that^ while in the Tower
a favourite cat found the means of access to him by descending
the chimney of his apartment, and shared his captivity until his
final discharge. In a portrait of the Earl, formerly preserved at
Bulstrode; the cat is represented as sitting beside bini.

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to disclose the names of those who were engaged with
him in the enterprise, and to confess the full extent of
his treasonable intentions. Without the latter it was
-probably thought dangerous, not only on account of
his great popularity, but from the respect entertained
for him at foreign Courts, to proceed to execute the
sentence. At first these efforts were unsuccessful ;
for he declared to the Dean of Norwich, "who was
sent to him by the Lords of the Council the day after
his trial, that ** he had not offended God in anything
that he had done ;" he said also to the Dean in a
passion, ** If you knew how many motions have been
made to me to remove the evils which oppress this
commonwealth, you would greatly wonder. But why,"
said he, '^ should I reason with you, seeing we hold
not one principle*?*' Upon the failure of the Dean
of Norwich, his own chaplain, Mr. Ashton, whose
attendance he had requested both at his first appre-
hension and on his conviction, was sent to him by
the Council. This man, who is described by a con-
temporary t as '• base, fearful, and mercenary," by a
formal show of zeal had gained a great ascendancy
over the mind of Essex, who had himself, as Lord
Orford expresses it, " a solemn tincture of religion,"
especially during the latter years of his life. In what
manner Ashton was prepared for his task is not
known ; but the effect of his discourse with the
Earl was such, that soon after the departure of the
mhiister, he sent to Lord Thomas Howard, the
Constable of the Tower, requesting him to entreat
the Queen, that the Lord Keeper, the Lord Treasurer,
the Lord Admiral, and Sir Robert Cecil might come to
him in the Tower ; as he was desirous to discharge
his conscience, and confess his great obstinacy in
denying at his arraignment those things with which

* Birch's Memoirs^ vol. ii. p. 475.
f HearDe*» Netee to Camden's Blizabeih^ vol. iii. p. 957.

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368 CBIMINlkli TKIAtS*

he was eharfed, and reconcile himself to his enemies,
and especially to the Secretary, whom he desired
to forgive him for wronging him at the bar. After
Mr. Ash ton had produced this change in his dis*-
position, two other clergymen. Dr. Montford and
Dr. Barlow, were sent to him by the Council, who
had heard of his refusal to confess to the Dean of
Norwich, but had not been informed of the result of
Mr, Ashton's visit. Dr. Barlow afterwards declared
that he and Dr. Montford, mortified at the discomf-
iture of the Dean, had agreed before they went to
him, that they would '' beat him down, and wound his
heart with the dreadful judgments of God*." On
their arrival, however, the Churchmen found their
strenuous measures unnecessary, as Mr. Ashton's
persuasions had already rendered him, as they
stated, '' more ready to reveal than it became them
to inquire." The next day, February 21st, the
Queen sent the four Lords of the Council to him,
according to his request; he then, acqording to a
report signed by them, with great penitenee con-*
fessed his sorrow for his obstinate denials at his
Trial, desiring that he might set down in writing his
whole project of coming to the Court in the manner
in which be did. He then wrote down a formal con*
fession, concurring in all substantial particulars with
the facts proved at the trial, naming several confede-
rates, and especially Cufie, who, he said, had been his
chief instigator. He further asked forgiveness of the
Lord Keeper, and those whom he had imprisoned in
his house, expressing his concern that they had been
put in fear of their lives by his followers. He then most
passionately desired, in Christian charity, forgiveness
at the hands of those whom he had particularly called
his enemies ; protesting that when he had taken the
resolution of going to Court with force, he did not see
* Birch's Memolri^ Yoi, U. p. 430,

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vrhat better pretext he could have, than a particular
quarrel to those whom he had at the bar named his
greatest adversaries. And being urged still to say,
what he knew or could reveal, especially concerning his
charge against the Secretary, he protested that '*in his
own conscience he acquitted him from any such matter,
and was ashamed to have spoken it, having no better
ground for the charge. He professed also to bear no
malice to the Lord Cobham and Sir Walter Raleigh,
whom he had named his enemies, and by whom he
knew no other than that they were true servants to
the Queen and State" *.

Having thus procured the confession of the Earl,
and thereby provided plentiful materials for Proclama-
tions, Sermons t, and Declarations, by which the
public mind might be directed, there remained no
obstacle to the execution of the sentence, but the
disinclination of the Queen. That Elizabetlf should
have been painfully affected at the execution of
Essex, is natural and probable ; but it does not ap*
pear that she manifested the same distress and horror
at consenting to the death of her former favourite, as
she had done in the case of the Duke of Norfolk.
Camden indeed asserts, that she wavered in her reso-
lution, and that "at one time she sent her orders by
Sir Edward Carey to countermand the execution of
the Earl, though she soon afterwards sent a fresh
order for his death.'' There is, however, no other

* Bircb's Memoirs, vol, ii. p. 477.

f That the pulpits were at this time actively employed in the
service of the Government, for the purpose of directing the public
mind against Essex, is manifest from a curious paper in the State-
Paper Office, entitled < Directions to the Preachers.' This paper
contains an inflamed and exaggerated account of the insurrection
in the City, and a declamatory invective against the Earl of Essex
generally, and particularly with respect to his conduct in Ireland.
The Earl is spoken of throughout this paper as <'that hateful Efirl,
that wicked Earl} that arch-traitor," &c.

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evidence of the Queen's vacillation than Camden's

Online LibraryDavid Jardine Sir Nicholas ThrockmortonCriminal trials ..., Volume 1 → online text (page 32 of 46)