Francis Bacon.

The works of Francis Bacon, baron of Verulam, viscount St. Alban, and lord high chancellor of England (Volume 3) online

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" whom so many thousands of foot and horse, besides
" the force of all the nobility of that kingdom, must
" be thought too little to be imployed."

In another branch, discovering, as upon the vantage
ground of her princely wisdom, what would be the
issue of the courses then held, hath these words:

" And therefore, although by your letter we found A third
<c your purpose to go northwards, on which depends clauseofth

, i_ if JV - L same letter.

<c the mam good or our service, and which w r e ex-
" pected long since should have been performed ; yet
" because we do hear it bruited, besides the words of
" your letter written with your own hand, which
<c carries some such sense, that you who alledge such
" sickness in your army by being travelled with you,
" and find so great and important affairs to digest at
" Dublin, will yet ingage yourself personally into
cc Ophalie, being our lieutenant, when you have there
" so many inferiors able, might victual a fort, or seek
" revenge against those who have lately prospered
" against our forces. And when we call to mind how
" far the sun hath run his course, and what dependeth
" upon the timely plantation of garisons in the North,
" and how great scandal it would be to our honour to
" leave that proud rebel unassayed, when we have
" with so great an expectation of our enemies engaged
" ourselves so far in the action ; so that without that
" be done, all those former courses will prove like via

K 2

132 The Proceedings of the Earl of Essex.

cc navis in mari ; besides that our power, which
(< hitherto hath been dreaded by potent enemies, will
" now even be held contemptible amongst our rebels:
" we must plainly charge you, according to the duty
" you owe to us, so to unite soundness of judgment,
fc to the zeal you have to do us service, as with all
" speed to pass thither in such sort, as the ax might be
fl put to the root of that tree, which hath been the
" treasonable stock from whom so many poisoned
" plants and grafts have been derived ; by which pro-
ic ceedings of yours, we may neither have cause to
" repent of our imployment of yourself for omitting
" those opportunities to shorten the wars, nor receive
" in the eye of the world imputation of so much weak-
" ness in ourself, to begin a work without better
" foresight what would be the end of our excessive
" charge, the adventure of our people's lives, and the
" holding up of our own greatness against a wretch
" whom we have raised from the dust, and who could
<c never prosper, if the charges we have been put to
" were orderly imployed."

Her majesty in her particular letter written to my
lord the 30th of July, bindeth, still expresly upon the
northern prosecution, my lord ad principalia rerum,
in these words :

Hermajesty First, you know right well, w T hen we yielded to
Essex, soth " this excessive charge, it was upon no other foun-
juiy. Ration than to which yourself did ever advise us as
" much as any, which was, to assail the northern
" traitor, and to plant garrisons in his country 5 it
" being ever your firm opinion, amongst other our
" council, to conclude that all that was done in other
" kind in Ireland, was but waste and consumption.'*
Her majesty in her letter of the 9th of August to my
lord of Essex and the council of Ireland, when, after
Munster journey, they began in a new time to dissuade
the northern journey in her excellent ear, quickly rind-
ing a discord of men from themselves, chargeth them
in these words:

Observe well what we have already written, and
e" " a P?ty y our councils to that which may shorten, and

The Proceedings of the Earl of Essex. 133


cc not prolong the war; seeing never any of you was of 9th

" other opinion, than that all other courses were but August.
" consumptions, except we went on with the northern
" prosecution."

The lords of her majesty's council, in their letter
of the 10th of August to my lord of Essex and the
council of Ireland, do in plain terms lay before them the
first plot, in these words :

" We cannot deny but we did ground our counsels The lords of
" upon this foundation, That there should have been l^ord
" a prosecution of the capital rebels in the North, and the
" whereby the war might have been shortened ; which JJSmd,
" resolution, as it was advised by yourself before your
" going, and assented to by most part of the council
" of war that were called to the question, so must we
" confess to your lordship, that we have all this while
" concurred with her majesty in the same desire and
" expectation."

My lord of Essex, and the council of Ireland, in
their letter of the 5th of May, to the lords of the coun-
cil before the Munster journey, write in haec verba.

" Moreover, in your lordship's great wisdom, you
" will likewise judge what pride the rebels will grow E , ssex and ,

Jo r & the council

" to, what advantage the foreign enemy may take, of Ireland to
" and what loss her majesty shall receive, if this sum-^^ r a ds;
" mer the arch-traitor be not assailed, and garrisons
" planted upon him."

My lord of Essex, in his particular letter of the 1 1th
of July, to the lords of the council, after Munster
journey, writeth thus :

" As fast as I can call these troops together, I will Theearito
<c go look upon yonder proud rebel, and if I find iuhjuiy.
" him on hard ground, and in an open country,
" though I should find him in horse and foot three for
" one, yet will I by God's grace dislodge him, or put
<e the council to the trouble of," etc.

The earl of Essex, in his letter of the 14th of August
to the lords of the council, writeth out ot great affec-
tion, as it seemeth, in these words:

" Yet must these rebels be assailed in the height of Thff earl to
" their pride, and our base clowns must be taught to

The Proceedings of the Earl of Essex.

a fight again; else will her majesty's honour never be
cc recovered, nor our nation valued, nor this kingdom
" reduced."

Besides it was noted, that whereas my lord and the
council of Ireland, had, by theirs of the 15th of July,
desired an increase of 2000 Irish purposely for the
better setting on foot of the northern service ; her
majesty, notwithstanding her proportions, by often
gradations and risings, had been raised to the highest
elevation, yet was pleased to yield unto it.

1. The first part concerneth my lord's ingress into
his charge, and that which passed here before his going
hence ; now followeth an order, both of time and mat-
ter, what was done after my lord was gone into Ireland,
and had taken upon him the government by her ma-
jesty's commission.

2. The second part then of the first article was to
shew, that my lord did wilfully and contemptuously,

contemptu- i n this great point of estate, violate and infringe her
majesty's direction before remembered.

j n delivering of the evidence and proofs of this part,

. i i i r r i

it was laid down for a foundation, that there was a
f u |] performance on her majesty's part of all the points

prosecution. r '.;**,

agreed upon for this great prosecution, so as there was
no impediment or cause of interruption from hence.

This is proved by a letter from my lord of Essex and
the council of Ireland to the lords of the council
here, dated 9th May, which was some three weeks
after my lord had received the sword, by which time
he might well and thoroughly inform himself whether
promises were kept in all things or no, and the words
of the letter are these:

The eari of " As your lordships do very truly set forth, we do

the council " veT T ^ lum ^y acknowledge her majesty's chargeable

ofheiandto" magnificence and royal preparations and transporta-

the cpuDcH " tions of men, munition, apparel, money, and victuals,

sth May. ' for the recovery of this distressed kingdom;" where

" note, the transportations acknowledged as well as

the preparations.

Next, it was set down for a second ground, that
there was no natural nor accidental impediment in the

The Proceedings of the Earl of Essex. 135

estate of the affairs themselves, against the prosecution
upon Tyrone, but only culpable impediments raised by
the journey of Munster.

This appeared by a letter from my lord and therhefariof
council of Ireland to the lords of the council here, JJ^JUJJ-i
dated the 28th of April, whereby they advertise, that of Ireland to
the prosecution of Ulster, in regard of lack of grass ^
and forage, and the poorness of cattle at that time of ast
year, and such like difficulties of the season, and not Apn1 '
of the matter, will in better time, and with better com-
modity for the army, be fully executed about the middle
of June or beginning of July; and signify, that the earl
intended a present prosecution should be set on foot in
Lemster: to' which letters the lords make answer by
theirs of the 8th of May, signifying her majesty's tole-
ration of the delay.

[ 136 ]









Her Majesty and her Kingdoms;

And of the Proceedings as well as the Arraignments
and Convictions of the said late Earl, and his Adhe-
rents, as after: together with the very Confessions,
and other Parts of the Evidences themselves, word
for word, taken out of the Originals.


A HOUGH public justice passed upon capital of-
fenders, according to the laws, and in course of an

* Our author has abundantly vouched this DECLARATION, etc.
to be penned by himself in the following passage of his Apology:

" It is very true also, about that time, her majesty taking a liking
" to my pen, upon that which I had formerly done concerning the
" proceeding at York-House, and likewise upon some other DE-
" CLARATIONS, which in former times by her appointment I put in
" writing, commanded me to pen that book, which was published
" for the better satisfaction of the world:, which I did, but so, as
" never secretary had more particular and express directions and
" instructions in every point how to guide my hand in it : and not
(< only so, but after I had made a first draft thereof, and propounded
" it to certain principal counsellors by her majesty's appointment,
*' it was perused, weighed, censured, altered, and made almost a
" new writing, according to their lordship's better consideration -,
(t wherein their lordships and myself both were as religious and
" curious of truth, as desirous of satisfa6tion: and myself indeed
" gave only words and form of stile in pursuing their direction.
" And after it had passed their allowance, it was again exactly
" perused by the queen herself, and some alterations made again

Declaration of the Treasons, Sfc. 137

honourable and ordinary trial, where the case would
have bom and required the severity of martial law to
have been speedily used, do in itself carry a sufficient
satisfaction towards all men, specially in a merciful
government, such as her majesty's is approved to be:
yet because there do pass abroad in the hands of many
men divers false and corrupt collections and relations
of the proceedings at the araignment of the late earls of
Essex and Southampton; and, again, because it is
requisite that the world do understand as well the pre-
cedent practices and inducements to the treasons, as
the open and actual treasons themselves, though in a
case of life it was not thought convenient to insist at
the trial upon matter of inference or presumption, but
chiefly upon matter of plain and direct proofs; there-
fore it hath been thought fit to publish to the world a
brief declaration of the practices and treasons at-
tempted and committed by Robert late earl of Essex
and his complices, against her majesty and her king-
doms, and of the proceedings at the convictions of the
said late earl and his adherents, upon the same treasons:
and not so only, but therewithal, for the better warrant-
ing and verifying of the narration, to set down in the
end the very confessions and testimonies themselves
word for word, taken out of the originals, whereby it
will be most manifest that nothing is obscured or dis-
guised, though it do appear by divers most wicked
and seditious libels thrown abroad, that the dregs of
these treasons which the late earl of Essex himself, a
little before his death, did term a leprosy, that had
infected far and near, do yet remain in the hearts and
tongues of some misaffected persons.

" by her appointment : nay, and after it was set to print, the queen,
" who as your lordship knoweth, as she was excellent in great mat-
" ters, so she was exquisite in small j and noted that I could not
" forget my ancient respect to my lord of Essex, in terming him
M ever my lord of Essex, my lord of Essex, almost in every page of the
" book j which she thought not fit, but would have it made Euex,
" or the late earl of Essex j whereupon, of force, it was printed de
" UOTJO, and the first copies suppressed by her peremptory conv-
" mandmcnt."

138 Declaration of ' the Treasons

THE most partial will not deny, but that Robert
late earl of Essex was, by her majesty's manifold be-
nefits and graces, besides oath and allegiance, as much
tied to her majesty, as the subj:?ct could be to the
sovereign; her majesty having heaped upon him both
dignities, offices, and gifts, in such measure, as within
the circle of twelve years, or more, there was scarcely
a year of rest, in W 7 hich he did not obtain at her ma-
jesty's hands some notable addition either of honour
or profit.

But he on the other side making these her majesty's
favours nothing else but wings for his ambition, and
looking upon them not as her benefits, but as his ad-
vantages, supposing that to be his own metal which
was but her mark and impression, was so given over
by God, who often punisheth ingratitude by ambition,
and ambition by treason, and treason by final ruin, as
he had long ago plotted it in his heart to become a
dangerous supplanter of that seat, whereof he ought to
have been a principal supporter; in such sort as now
every man of common sense may discern not only his
last actual and open treasons, but also his former
more secret practices and preparations towards those
his treasons, and that without any gloss or interpreter,
but himself and his own doings.

For first of all, the world can now expound why it
was that he did aspire, and had almost attained unto a
greatness, like unto tjie ancient greatness of the prae-
fectus praetorio under the emperors of Rome, to have
all men of war to make their sole and particular de-
pendence upon him ; that with such jealousy and
watchfulness he sought to discountenance any one
that might be a competitor to him in any part of that
greatness, that with great violence and bitterness he
sought to suppress and ^keep down all the worthiest
martial men, which did not appropriate their respects
and acknowledgments only towards himself. All
which did manifestly detect and distinguish, that
it was not the reputation of a famous leader in the
wars which he sought, as it was construed a great
while, but only power and greatness to serve his own

of Robert Earl of Essex. 1 39

ends, considering he never loved virtue nor valour in
another, but where he thought he should be pro-
prietary and commander of it, as referred to himself.

So likewise those points of popularity which every
man took notice and note of, as his affable gestures,
open doors, making his table and his bed so popularly
places of audience to suitors, denying nothing when
he did nothing, feeding many men in their discontent-
ments against the queen and the state, and the like ;
as they were ever since Absalom's time the forerunners
of treasons following, so in him were they either the
qualities of a nature disposed to disloyalty, or the be-
ginnings and conceptions of that which afterwards
grew to shape and form.

But as it were a vain thing to think to search the
roots and first motions of treasons, which are known
to none but God that discerns the heart, and the devil
that gives the instigation ; so it is more than to be
presumed, being made apparent by the evidence of all
the events following, that he carried into Ireland a
heart corrupted in his allegiance, and pregnant of those
or the like treasons which afterwards came to light.

For being a man by nature of an high imagination,
and a great promiser to himself as well as to others,
he was confident that if he were once the first person
in a kingdom, and a sea between the queen's seat
and his, and Wales the nearest land from Ireland,
and that he had got the flower of the English forces
into his hands, which he thought so to intermix with
his own followers, as the whole body should move by
his spirit, and if he might have also absolutely into
his own hands potestatem vllae et necis, ct arbitrium
belli et pads, over the rebels of Ireland, whereby he
might entice and make them his own, first by pardons
and conditions, and after by hopes to bring them in
place where they should serve for hope of better
booties than cows, he should be able to. make that
place of lieutenancy of Ireland as a rise or step to as-
cend to his desired greatness in England.

And although many of these conceits were windy,
yet neither were they the less like to his ; neither are

Dec la ratio n of th e Treasons

they now only probable conjectures or comments upon
these his last treasons, but the very preludes of actions
almost immediately subsequent, as shall be touched in
due place.

But first, it was strange with what appetite and
thirst he did affect and compass the goverment of Ire-
land, which he did obtain. For although he made
some formal shews to put it from him ; yet in this, as
in most things else, his desires being too strong for his
dissimulations, he did so far pass the bounds of deco-
rum, as he did in effect name himself to the queen by
such description and such particularities as could not
be applied to any other but himself; neither did he
so only, but farther, he was still at hand to offer and
urge vehemently and peremptorily exceptions to any
other that was named.

Then after he once found that there was no man
but himself, who had other matters in his head, so
far in love with that charge, as to make any compe-
tition or opposition to his pursuit, whereby he saw it
would fall upon him, and especially after himself was
resolved upon ; he began to make propositions to her
majesty by way of taxation of the former course held
in managing the actions of Ireland, especially upon
three points ; the first, that the proportions of forces
which had been there maintained and continued by
supplies, were not sufficient to bring the prosecutions
there to a period. The second, that the ax had not
been put to the root of the tree, in regard there had
not been made a main prosecution upon the arch-traitor
Tyrone in his own strength, within the province of
Ulster. The third, that the prosecutions before time
had been intermixed and interrupted with too many
temporizing treaties, whereby the rebel did ever ga-
ther strength and reputation to renew the war with
advantage. All which goodly and well-sounding dis-
courses, together with the great vaunts, that he would
make the earth tremble before him, tended but to this,
that the queen should increase the list of her army,
and all proportions of treasure and other furniture, to
the end his commandment might be the greater. For

of Robert Earl of Essex. 1 4- 1

that he never intended any such prosecution, may
appear by this, that even at the time before his going
into Ireland, he did open himself so far in speech to
Blunt, his inwardest counsellor, " That he did assure The confes.
himself that many of the rebels in Ireland would be nofBlunt
advised by him ;" so far was he from intending any
prosecution towards those in whom he took himself to
have interest. But his ends were two ; the one, to get
great forces into his hands ; the other, to oblige the
heads of the rebellion unto him, aud to make them of
his party. These two ends had in themselves a re-
pugnancy ; for the one imported prosecution, and the
other treaty : but he that meant to be too strong to be
called to account for any thing, and meant besides,
when he was once in Ireland, to engage himself in
other journeys that should hinder the prosecution in
the North, took things in order as they made for him;
and so first did nothing, as was said, but trumpet a
final and utter prosecution against Tyrone in the North,
to the end to have his forces augmented.

But yet he forgot not his other purpose of making
himself strong by a party amongst the rebels, when it
came to the scanning of the clauses of his commission.
For then he did insist, and that with a kind of contes-
tation, that the pardoning, no not of Tyrone himself,
the capital rebel, should be excepted and reserved to
her majesty's immediate grace ; being infinitely desi-
rous that Tyrone should not look beyond him for his
life or pardon, but should hold his fortune as of him,
and account for it to him only.

So again, whereas in the commission of the earl of
Sussex, and of all other lieutenants or deputies, there
was ever in that clause, which giveth unto the lieute-
nant or deputy, that high or regal point of authority to
pardon treasons and traitors, an exception contained
of such cases of treason as are committed against the
person of the king ; it was strange, and suspiciously
strange, even at that time, with what importunity and
instance he did labour, and in the end prevailed to
have that exception also omitted : glossing them, that
because he had heard that by strict exposition of law,

142 Declaration of the Treasons

a point in law that he would needs forget at his arraign-
ment, but could take knowledge of it before, when it
\vasto serve his own ambition, all treasons of rebellion
did tend to the destruction of the king's person, it
might breed a buz in the rebels heads, and so disco -
rage them from coming in : whereas he knew well
that in all experience passed, there was never rebel
made any doubt or scruple upon that point to accept
of pardon from all former governors, who had their
commissions penned with that limitation, their com-
missions being things not kept secretly in a box, but
published and recorded : so as if appeared manifestly
that it was a mere device of his own out of the secret
reaches of his heart then not revealed ; but it may be
shrewdly expounded since, what his drift was, by
those pardons which he granted to Blunt the marshal,
and Thomas Lee, and others, that his care was no less
to secure his own instruments than the rebels of Ire-

Yet was there another point for which he did con-
tend and contest, which was, that he might not be
tied to any opinion of the council of Ireland, as all
others in certain points, as pardoning traitors, con-
cluding war and peace, and some other principal arti-
cles, had been before him; to the end he might be
absolute of himself, and be fully master of opportunities
and occasions for the performing and executing of his
own treasonable ends.

But after he had once, by her majesty's singular
trust and favour towards him, obtained his patent of
commission at large, and his list of forces as full as he
desired, there was an end in his course of the prose-
cution in the North. For being arrived into Ireland,
the whole carriage of his actions there was nothing else
but a cunning defeating of that journey, with an in-
tent, as appeared, in the end of the year to pleasure
and gratify the rebel with a dishonourable peace, and
to contract with him for his own greatness.

Therefore not long after he had received the sword,
he did voluntarily engage himself in an unseasonable
and fruitless journey into Munster, a journey never

of Robert Earl of Essex.

propounded in the council there, never advertised
over hither while it was past: by which journey her
majesty's forces, which were to be preserved intire
both in vigour and number for the great prosecution,
were harassed and tired with long marches together,
and the Northern prosecution was indeed quite dashed
and made impossible

But yet still doubting he might receive from her ma-
jesty some quick and express commandment to pro-
ceed; to be sure he pursued his former advice of wrap-
ping himself in other actions, and so set himself on work
anew in the county of Ophaley, being resolved, as is
manifest, to dally out the season, and never to have
gone that journey at all : that setting forward which

Online LibraryFrancis BaconThe works of Francis Bacon, baron of Verulam, viscount St. Alban, and lord high chancellor of England (Volume 3) → online text (page 12 of 45)