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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he made in the very end of August being but a mere play
and a mockery, and for the purposes which now shall
be declared

After he perceived that four months of the sum-
mer, and three parts of the army were wasted, he
thought now was a time to set on foot such a peace
as might be for the rebels advantage, and so to
work a mutual obligation between Tyrone and him-
self; for which purpose he did but seek a commo-
dity. He had there with him in his army one Thomas
Lee, a man of a seditious and working spirit, and one
that had been privately familiar and intlrely beloved
of Tyrone, and one that afterwards, immediately upon
Essex's open rebellion, was apprehended for a despe-
rate attempt of violence against her majesty's person ;
which he plainly confessed, and for which he suffered.
Wherefore judging him to be a fit instrument, he made
some signification to Lee of such an employment,
which was no sooner signified than apprehended by
Lee. He gave order also to Sir Christopher Blunt,
marshal of his army, to licence Lee to go to Tyrone,
when he should require it. But Lee thought good to
let slip first unto Tyrone, which was nevertheless by
the marshal's warrant, one James Knowd, a person
of wit and sufficiency, to sound in what terms and
humours Tyrone then was. This Knowd returned a The confes
message from Tyrone to Lee, which was, That if the ^ai i!cl h

144 Declaration of the Treasons

earl of Essex -would follow Tyrone's plot, he would
make the earl of Essex the greatest man that ever was
in England: and farther, that if the earl would have
conference with him, Tyrone would deliver his eldest
son in pledge for his assurance. This message was
delivered byKnowd to Lee, and by Lee was imparted
to the earl of Essex, who after this message, employed
Lee himself to Tyrone, and by his negotiating, what-
soever passed else, prepared and disposed Tyrone to
the parley.

And this employment of Lee was a matter of that
guiltiness in my lord, as, being charged with it at my
lord-keeper's only in this nature, for the message of
in the con- Knowd was not then known, that when he pretended
BkmTafthe to assa *l Tyrone, he had before underhand agreed
bar, he did upon a parley, my lord utterly denied it that he
Xa r t e he c h a i3 ever employed Lee to Tyrone at all, and turned it
Essex his upon Blunt, whom he afterwards required to take it
upon him, having before sufficiently provided for the

send Lee, security of all parts, for he had granted both to Blunt
w^.d* wa~ s and Lee pardons of all treasons under the great seal of
desired by Ireland, and so, himself disclaiming it, and they being

Essex to take r J

it upon him- pardoned, all was sate.

^ ut w ^ en tnat Tyrone was by these means, besides
. what others, God knows, prepared to demand a par-
ley, now was the time for Essex to acquit himself of
all the queen's commandments, and his own promises
and undertakings for the Northern journey; and not
so alone, but to have the glory at the disadvantage of
the year, being but 2500 strong of foot, and 300 of
horse, after the fresh disaster of Sir Conyers Clifford,
in the height of the rebels pride, to set forth to assail,
and then that the very terror and reputation of my lord
of Essex person was such, as did daunt him and make
him stoop to seek a parley; and this was the end he
shot at in that September journey, being a mere abuse
and bravery, and but inducements only to the treaty,
which was the only matter he intended. For Essex
drawing now towards the catastrophe, or last part of
that tragedy, for which he came upon the stage in
Ireland, his treasons grew to a further ripeness. For

of Eo bert Ea rl of Essex. 145

knowing how unfit it was for him to communicate
with any English, even of those whom he trusted
most, and meant to use in other treasons, that he had
an intention to grow to an agreement with Tyrone, to
have succours from him for the usurping upon the
state here : not because it was more dangerous than
the rest of his treasons, but because it was more odious,
and in a kind monstrous, that he should conspire with
such a rebel, against whom he was sent ; and there-
fore might adventure to alienate mens affections from
him ; he drave it to this, that there might be, and so
there was, under colour of treaty, an interview and
private conference between Tyrone and himself only,
no third person admitted. A strange course, consi-
dering with whom he dealt, and especially considering
what message Knowd had brought, which should
have made him rather call witnesses to him, than
avoid witnesses. Bat he being only true to his own
ends, easily dispensed with all such considerations.
Nay, there was such careful order taken, that no per-
son should overhear one word that passed between
them two, as, because the place appointed and used
for the parley was such, as there was the depth of a
brook between them, which made them speak with
some loudness, there were certain horsemen appointed
by order from Essex, to keep all men off a great dis-
tance from the place.

It is true, that the secrecy of that parley, as it gave
to him the more liberty of treason, so it may give any
man the more liberty of surmise, what was then
handled between them, inasmuch as nothing can be
known, but by report from one of them two, either
Essex or Tyrone.

But although there were no proceeding against
Essex upon these treasons, and that it were a needless
thing to load more treasons upon him then, whose
burden was so great after ; yet, for truth's sake, it is
fit the world know what is testified touching the
speeches, letters, and reports of Tyrone, immediately
following this conference, and observe also what en-
sued likewise in the designs of Essex himself,


146 Declaration of the Treasons

On Tyrone's part it fell out, that the very day after
that Essex came to the court of England, Tyrone hav-
ing conference with Sir William Warren at Armagh,
by way of discourse told him, and bound it with an
The relation oath, and iterated it two or three several times; That
Sam'wfrren w ^ tnm two or ^ ree nionths he should see the greatest
certified un- alterations and strangest that ever he saw in his life,
fiESS^pr could imagine: and that he the said Tyrone hoped
councilor ere long to have a good share in England. With this
thebrds^of concurred fully the report of Richard Bremingham,
the council a gentleman of the pale, having made his repair about
* the same time to Tyrone, to right him in a cause of
^ anc ^ ? saving that Birmingham delivers the like speech
e of Tyrone to himself; but not what Tyrone hoped, but
wnat Tyrone had promised in these words, That he
land. * had promised, it may be thought to whom, ere long to
shew his face in England, little to the good of England.
These generalities coming immediately from the
report of Tyrone himself, are drawn to more particu-
larity in a conference had between the lord Fitz-Mor-
rice, baron of Liksnaw in Munster, and one Thomas
Wood, a person well reputed of, immediately after
Essex coming into England. In which conference Fitz-
Morrice declared unto Wood, that Tyrone had written
to the traiterous titulary earl of Desmond to inform
him, that the condition of that contract between Ty-
rone and Essex was, That Essex should be king of
England ; and that Tyrone should hold of him the
honour and state of viceroy of Ireland ; and that the
proportion of soldiers which Tyrone should bring or
send to Essex, were 8000 Irish. With which con-
The confes- curreth fully the testimony of the said James Knowd,
sion of who, being in credit with Owny Mac Roory, chief of
the Omoores in Lemster, was used as a secretary for
him, in the writing of a letter to Tyrone, immediately
after Essex coming into England. The effect of
which letter was, To understand some light of the
secret agreement between the earl of Essex and Ty-
rone, that he the said Owny might frame his course
accordingly. Which letter, with farther instructions
to the same effect, was in the presence of Knowd,

of Robert Earl of Essex. 1 47

delivered to Turlagh Macdauy, a man of trust with
Owny, who brought an answer from Tyrone : the con-
tents whereof were, That the earl of Essex had agreed
to take his part, and that they should aid him towards
the conquest of England.

Besides, very certain it is, and testified by divers The decia-
credible persons, that immediately upon this parley, "^ ^
there did fly abroad, as sparkles of this fire, which it theKngton,
did not concern Tyrone so much to keep secret, as itK v s djand
did Essex, a general and received opinion, that went others.
up and down in the mouths both of the better and
meaner sort of rebels ; That the earl of Essex was
theirs, and they his ; and that he would never leave
the one sword, meaning that of Ireland, till he had
gotten the other in England; and that he would bring
them to serve, where they should have other manner of
booties than cows ; and the like speeches. And Confession
Thomas Lee himself, who had been, as was before ^^ hqmM
declared, with Tyrone two or three days, upon my
lord's sending, and had sounded him, hath left it con-
fessed under his hand ; That he knew the earl of Essex
and Tyrone to be one, and to run the same courses.

And certain it is also, that immediately upon that
parley, Tyrone grew into a strange and unwonted
pride, and appointed his progresses and visitations to
receive congratulations and homages from his confe-
derates, and behaved himself in all things as one that
had some new spirit of hope and courage put into him*

But on the earl of Essex his part insued immedi-
ately after this parley a strange motion and project,
which though no doubt he had harboured in his breast
before ; yet, for any thing yet appeareth, he did not
utter and break with any in it, before he had been
confirmed and fortified in his purpose, by the combi-
nation and correspondence which he found in Tyrone
upon their conference. Neither is this a matter ga-Theeariof
thered out of reports, but confessed directly by two ^^^
of his principal friends and associates, being witnesses Christopher
upon their own knowledge, and of that which was Sb*nc!5
spoken to themselves: the substance of which con- that which
fession is this; That a little before my lord's coming is confes '^

L 2

. nd

148 Declaration of the Treasons

>y south- over into England, at the castle of Dublin, where Sif
Christopher Blunt Jay hurt, having been lately removed
- thither from Rheban, a castle of Thomas Lee's, and
p^ced in a lodging that had been my lord of Southamp-
ton's ; the earl of Essex took the earl of Southampton
with him to visit Blunt, and there being none present
[reiand,and but they three, my lord of Essex told them, he found

he changing . J r * T^ i i

>f that de- it now necessary tor him to go into England, and would
;i sn into the ad vise with them of the manner of his going, since to

)ther design 11*11 11

>f surprising go he was resolved. And thereupon propounded unto

ind q the en them, that he thought it fit to carry with him of the army

:ourt. in Ireland as much as he could conveniently transport,

at least the choice of it, to the number of two or three

thousand, to secure and make good his first descent

on shore, purposing to land them at Milford-Haven

in Wales, or thereabouts": not doubting, but that his

army would so increase within a small time, by such

as would come in to him, as he should be able to

march with his power to London, and make his own

conditions as he thought good. But both Southamp-

ton and Blunt dissuaded him from this enterprise ;

Blunt alledging the hazard of it, and that it would

make him odious : and Southampton utterly disliking

of that course, upon the same and many other reasons.

Howbeit, thereupon Blunt advised him rather to another

course, which was to draw forth of the army some 20O

resolute gentlemen, and with those to come over, and

so to make sure of the court, and so to make his own

conditions. Which confessions it is not amiss to deliver,

by what a good providence of God they came to light:

for they could not be used at Essex' arraignment to

charge him, because they w r ere uttered after his death.

Th'e speech But Sir Christopher Blunt at his arraignment, being

^ ^^'^ charged that the earl of Essex had set it down under

a t P hi S r ar- n his hand, that he had been a principal instigator of

an'drt^c- him to his treasons, in passion brake forth into these

caskm of the speeches: That then he must be forced to disclose

IheaforesSd wn at farther matters he had held my lord from, and

confessions, desired for that purpose, because the present proceed-

ing should not be interrupted, to speak with the lord

Admiral and Air. Secretary after his arraignment, and

of Robert Earl of Essex. 143

so fell most naturally and most voluntarily into this
his confession, which, if it had been thought fit to
have required of him at that time publicly, he had
delivered before his conviction. And the same con-
fession he did after, at the time of his execution, con-
stantly and fully confirm, discourse particularly, and
take upon his death, where never any man shewed
less fear, nor a greater resolution to die.

And the same matter so by him confessed, was like-
wise confessed with the same circumstances of time
and place by Southampton, being severally examined

So as now the world may see how long since my
lord put off his vizard, and disclosed the secrets of
his heart to two of his most confident friends, falling
upon that unnatural and detestable treason, whereunto
all his former actions in his government in Ireland, and
God knows how long before, were but introductions.

But finding that these two persons, which of all theihepiaceof
rest he thought to have found forvvardest, Southamp-f^ 1 ^^
ton, whose displacing he had made his own discon- the army of
tentment, having placed him, no question to that end, JonSre7by
to find cause of discontentment, and Blunt, a man so ESS-X upon
enterprising and prodigal of his own life, as himselff^ 1 ^"?"
termed himself at the bar, did not applaud to this his trai 7 to k er
purpose, and thereby doubting how coldly he should
find others minded, that were not so near to him ;
and therefore condescending to Blunt's advice to sur-
prise the court, he did pursue that plot accordingly,
and came over with a selected company of captains
and voluntaries, and such as he thought were most
affectionate unto himself, and most resolute, though
not knowing of his purpose. So as even at that time
every man noted and wondered what the matter should
be, that my lord took his most particular friends and
followers, from their companies, which were counte-
nance and means unto them to bring them over. But
hie purpose, as in part was touched before, was this ;
that if he held his greatness in court, and were not
committed, which, in regard of the miserable and de-
plored estate he left Ireland in, whereby he thought


Declaration of the Treasons

the opinion here would be that his service could not
be spared, he made full account he should not be,
then, at the first opportunity, he would execute the
surprise of her majesty's person. And if he were
committed to the Tower, or to prison for his con-
tempts, for, besides his other contempts, he came over
expresly against the queen's prohibition under her sig-
net, it might be the care of some of his principal friends,
by the help of that choice and resolute company which
he brought over, to rescue him.

But the pretext of his coming over was, by the
efficacy of his own presence and persuasion to have
moved and drawn her majesty to accept of such con-
ditions of peace as he had treated of with Tyrone in
his private conference ; which was indeed somewhat
needful, the principal article of them being, That
there should be a general restitution of rebels in Ireland
to all their lands and possessions, that they could pre-
tend any right to before their going out into rebellion,
without reservation of such lands as were by act of
parliament passed to the crown, and so planted with
English, both in the time of queen Mary, and since ;
and without difference either of time of their going
forth, or nature of their offence, or other circumstance:
tending in effect to this, that all the queen's good sub-
jects, in most of the provinces, should have been dis-
planted, and the country abandoned to the rebels.

When this man was come over, his heart thus
fraughted with treasons, and presented himself to her
majesty ; it pleased God, in his singular providence
over her majesty, to guide and hem in her proceeding
towards him in a narrow way of safety between two
perils. For neither did her majesty leave him at liberty,
whereby he might have commodity to execute his
purpose ; nor restrain him in any such nature, as
might signify or betoken matter of despair of his re-
turn to court and favour. And so the means of the
present mischief being taken away, and the humours
not stirred, this matter fell asleep, and the thread of
his purposes was cut off. For coming over about the
end of September, and not denied access and qonfe-

of Robert Earl of Essex. 1 5 1

rence with her majesty, and then' being commanded
to his chamber at court for some days, and from thence
to the lord-keeper's house, it was conceived that these
were no ill signs. At my lord-keeper's house he re-
mained till some few days before Easter, and then was
removed to his own house, under the custody of Sir
Richard Barkley, and in that sort continued till the
end of Trinity term following.

For her majesty, all this while looking into his faults
with the eye of her princely favour, and loth to take
advantage of his great offences, in other nature than as
contempts, resolved so to proceed against him, as
might, to use her majesty's own words, tend ad cor-
rectionem, et non ad ruinam.

Nevertheless afterwards, about the end of Trinity
term following, for the better satisfaction of the world,
and to repress seditious bruits and libels which were
dispersed in his justification, and to observe a form of
justice before he should be set at full liberty ; her ma-
jesty was pleased to direct, that there should be asso-
ciate unto her privy council some chosen persons of
her nobility, and of her judges of the law ; and before
them his cause, concerning the breaking of his in-
structions for the Northern prosecution, and the man-
ner of his treating with Tyrone, and his coming over,
and leaving the kingdom of Ireland contrary to her
majesty's commandment, expressed as well by signi-
fication thereof, made under her royal hand and signet,
as by a most binding and effectual letter written pri-
vately to himself, to receive a hearing ; w 7 ith limita-
tion, nevertheless, that he should not be charged with
any point of disloyalty : and with like favour directed,
that he should not be called in question in the open
and ordinary place of offenders, in the Star-chamber,
from which he had likewise, by a most penitent and
humble letter, desired to be spared, as that which
would have wounded him for ever, as he affirmed, but in
a more private manner, at my lord-keeper's house.
Neither was the effect of the sentence, that there
passed against him, any more than a suspension of the
exercise of some of his places : at which time also,

Declaration of the Treasons

Essex, that could vary himself into all shapes for a
time, infinitely desirous, as by the sequel now ap-
peareth, to be at liberty to practise and revive his for-
mer purposes, and hoping to set into them with bet-
ter strength than ever, because he conceived the peo-
ples hearts were kindled to him by his troubles, and
that they had made great demonstrations of as much $
he did transform himself into such a strange and de-
jected humility, as if he had been no man of this
world, with passionate protestations that he called
God to witness, That he had made an utter divorce
with the world ; and he desired her majesty 's favour
not for any worldly respect, but for a preparative for a
Nunc dimittis ; and that the tears of his heart had
quenched in him all humours of ambition. All this
to make her majesty secure, and to lull the world
asleep, that he was not a man to be held any ways

Not many days after, Sir Richard Barkley, his
keeper, was removed from him, and he set at liberty
with this admonition only, That he should not take
himself to be altogether discharged, though he were
left to the guard of none but his own discretion. But
he felt himself no sooner upon the wings of his liberty,
but, notwithstanding his former shews of a mortified
estate of mind, he began to practise afresh as busily
as ever, reviving his former resolution ; which was the
surprising and possessing the queen's person and the
court. And that it may appear how early after his
liberty he set his engines on work, having long before
entertained into his service, and during his government
in Ireland drawn near unto him in the place of his
chief secretary, one Henry Cuffe, a base fellow by
birth, but a great -scholar, and indeed a notable traitor
by the book, being otherwise of a turbulent and mu-
tinous spirit against all superiors.

This fellow, in the beginning of August, which was
not a month after Essex had liberty granted, fell of
practising with Sir Henry Nevil, that served her ma-
jesty as legier ambassador with the French king, and
then newly come over into England from Bulloign,

of Robert Earl of Essex. , 153

abusing him with a false lie and mere invention, that
his service was blamed and misliked, and that the im-
putation of the breach of the treaty of peace held at The
Bulloign was like to light upon him, when there was
no colour of any such matter, only to distaste him of
others, and fasten him to my lord, though he did not
acquaint him with any particulars of my lord's designs
till a good while after.

But my lord having spent the end of the summer,
being a private time, when every body was out of
town and dispersed, in digesting his own thoughts,
with the help, and conference of Mr. Cuffe, they had
soon set down between them the ancient principle of
traitors and conspirators, which was, to prepare many,
and to acquaint few , and, after the manner of miners,
to make ready their powder, and place it, and then
give fire but in the instant. Therefore, the first consi-
deration was of such persons as my lord thought fit to
draw to be of his party ; singling out both of nobility
and martial men, and others, such as were discon-
tented or turbulent, and such as were weak of judg-
ment, and easy to be abused, or such as were wholly
dependents and followers, for means or countenance
of himself, Southampton, or some other of his greatest

And knowing there were no such strong and drawing
cords of popularity as religion, he had not neglected,
both at this time and long before, in a profane policy
to serve his turn, for his own greatness, of both sorts
and factions, both of catholics and puritans, as they
term them, turning his outside to the one, and his in-
side to the other; and making himself pleasing and
gracious to the one sort by professing zeal, and fre-
quenting sermons, and making much of preachers,
and secretly underhand giving assurance to Blunt, The confes.
Davis, and divers others, that, if he might prevail in
his desired greatness, he would bring in a toleration of
the catholic religion.

Then having passed the whole Michaelmas term in
making himself plausible, and in. drawing concourse
about him, and in effecting and alluring men by kind

154 Declaration of the Treasons

provocations and usage, wherein, because his liberty
-was qualified, he neither forgot exercise of mind nor
body, neither sermon nor tennis court, to give the oc-
casion and freedom of access and concourse unto him,
and much other practice and device ; about the end
of that term, towards Christmas, he grew to a more
framed resolution of the time and manner, when and
how he would put his purpose in execution. And
first, about the end of Michaelmas term, it passed as
a kind of cypher and watch-word amongst his friends
The decia- and followers, That my lord would stand upon his
H ll ??evn, Sir g uar d : which might receive construction, in a good
and confes- sense, as well guard of circumspection, as guard of
FeJdinwdo * orce : but to the more private and trusty persons he
Gorge. was content it should be expounded that he would be
cooped up no more, nor hazard any more restraints or

Online LibraryFrancis BaconThe works of Francis Bacon, baron of Verulam, viscount St. Alban, and lord high chancellor of England (Volume 3) → online text (page 13 of 45)