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ANNO DOMINI 1586
Absolute authority granted unto him. | The Queene taketh it very offensively. | She expostulateth with him. | And with the Estates. | The Estates excuse it. | He sendeth to deliver Grave. | Which yet is yeelded up. | He driveth the Spaniards out of the Betow. | A bold adventure. | Venlo lost. | Axell taken. | Graveling attempted. | Duisburgh besieged. | Sir Philip Sidney slaine. | The valour of Edward Stanley of the Stanleis of Elford. | The Estates complaintes against Leicester. | He returneth into England. | Arundell fined. | The King of Denmarc mediateth a Peace. | The Queenes answer. | She supplyeth mony to the King of Navarre. | She seeketh peace with the King of Scotts. | To what intent. | The fugitives and Jesuites suggest different counsails to the Queene of Scottes. | The French go about to hinder the league. | The King of Scottes propoundeth conditions. | And is not terrified by the French. | A League of straighter amity concluded. | A Conspiration against Queene Elizabeth. | With what art covered. | Ballard returneth into France. | He is sent back. | He meeteth with Babington. | And acquainteth him with the plot. | Babington answereth the Queene of Scottes letter. | He is answered. | The partners in the Conspiracy. | Every mans part assigned him. | Conferences among them. | Their vanity. | Babington carefull for forain aide. | He purposeth to send Ballard for that purpose. | Walsingham cunningly deceaveth the dissembler. | Giffard revealeth the conspiracy. | He sendeth the letters he receaveth to Walsingham. | Ballard apprehended. | Babington soliciteth his delivery. | Yet he windeth himselfe out. | He lurketh in the woods. | He is found. | The rest taken also. | They reveale all. | The Queene of Scottes led from her own houshold. | Her Cabinets with letters sent to the Queene. | Giffard sent backe into France. | Dyeth miserably. | The Conspirators arraigned. | And executed. | The Queene of Scottes Secretaries examined. | The French King enformed hereof. | Different opinions what should be done with the Queene of Scottes. | And by what Law shee should be tried. | Commissioners to heare the cause. | She answereth extempore to the Queenes letter. | She addeth to her answere. | She refuseth to appeare. | She excepteth against the new Law. | Shee requireth to have her protestation admitted. | Hatton perswadeth her to appeare. | She is content to appeare. | The forme of Session. | The Lord Chancellor speaketh to her. | She maketh her protestation. | Her protestation recorded. | The proceeding. | She denieth the things objected. | Copies of letters produced. | And some things out of Babingtons confession. | She denieth them. | She is pressed with Savage his and Ballards Confessions. | And with her letters to Babington. | She denyeth them. | She taxeth Walsingham. | Hee defendeth himselfe. | A letter of Charles Pagets brought forth. | And of Babingtons. | And the testimonies of her Secretaries. | She extenuateth their credit. | Arguing about conveying the Kingdome. | She is pressed with the tesimonies of her Secretaries. | She excuseth the pension assigned to Morgan. | And retorteth pensions granted to the Scots. | She protesteth againe with a complaint. | The Lord Burghley answereth. | She interrupteth him. | Her Letters are brought against her. | She impayreth the credit of her Secretaries. | She taxeth them of perjury. | She is accused againe of conveighing the kingdom. | She answered thereunto. | Sentence pronounced against her. | The Secretaries credit doubted of. | Naw his apologie. | Her sonne declared not to be prejudiced. | A Parliament holden. | Traitors proscribed. | The Estates crave the publication of the sentence. | Queene Elizabeths Answere. | She prayeth them to devise some other remedies. | Their answer. | Her reply. | Notice of the sentence is given to the Queene of Scotts. | She heareth it with joy. | The sentences against her proclaimed. | She taketh it quietly. | She craveth certaine kindnesses of Queene Elizabeth. | Judgements on both sides concerning her cause. | For her. | Against her. | The King her sonne maketh intercession for her. | Some Scottes labour the contrary. | He by letters and messengers. | He propounds certaine things to be considered. | And the French King also by his Embassadors. | Monsieur de Belleure his reasons for the Queene of Scottes. | Answers to his reasons.
HE Earle of Leycester, at his arrivall at Vlishing was intertained by his Nephew Sir Philip Sidney, Governour of the place, and afterwards by the Cities of Zeland and Holland, with all manner of honour, hearty well-wishings, triumphing arches, votive tables, feastings, and such like. When hee was come to the Haeg in Holland, in the moneth of January, the chiefe government and absolute authority over the Confederate provinces was committed unto him by instrument in writing by the Estates generall (as they call them) with the Title of Governour and Captaine generall of Holland, Zeland, the united and confederate Provinces. And now being tended with a goodly guard, saluted of all men with the Title of Excellency, and soothed with flatteries, as seated in the highest and amplest degree of honour, he began to take unto him a Kingly spirit and courage. But behold, the Queene, which tooke in great indignation that the Estates had given him so great honour, and that he had accepted it, nipped the man at unawares in his swelling pride, by one short Letter to this effect.
2. How contemptuously you have carried your selfe towards us, you shall understand by this Messenger whom wee send unto you for that purpose. Wee little thought that one whom we have raised out of the dust, and embraced with singular honor above all others, would with so great contempt have broken our commandements in a matter of so great weight, and so highly concerning us and our honor. Whereof, though you have but small regard, contrary to that you ought by your alleageance, yet thinke not we are so carelesse of repairing thereof that we can bury so great an injury in silence or oblivion. We therefore command you that all excuses apart, you do forthwith upon your alleageance which you owe unto us, performe whatsoever <Heneage> our Vice-chamberlaine shall declare unto you in ouir name, upon paine of further perill.
3. In another letter to the Estates Generall she expostulated, That to her disgrace they had without her knowledge passed the absolute Governement of the confederate Provinces to Leicester her subject, whereas she had utterly refused it herselfe, and by a writing published abroad had declared to the whole world that shee would onely relieve the afflicted estate of her neighbours, and no wayes take upon her any sovereignty over them. She warned them therefore, to turne Leicester out of that absolute authority, whose commission shee had limited; not that shee thought their cause unworthy to be favoured, but provide for her owne honour, which she held more deere then her life. The Estates wrote backe unto her, That they were very sory they had undergone her displeasure by graunting absolute authority to Leicester without her knowledge. They pray her that the necessity thereof will pacifie her, forasmuch as such an authority was of necessity to be graunted to one or other, to avoid troubles; neither indeede was the same so great, as the word Absolute might seeme to import, considering that the principality it selfe, and the supreme rule and dignity of dominion remained wholly in the peoples hands. And to revoke the authority already passed, were nothing else but to plunge the State of the Neterhelands into extreme dangers. By these letters of the Estates, and the weeping letters of Leicester, who knew how well with teares and dissembled sorrow to reconcile the favour of his most milde Princesse, her displeasure by little and little vanished away and was forgotten.
4. Leicester in the meane time receaveth all the contributions of the Provinces, maketh military laws, and while he goeth about to impose new custome upon all traffique, raiseth great hatred against himselfe among the people. Now had the Prince of Parma Governour of the Netherlands under the Spaniard besiedged Grave a Towne of Brabant upon the river Maes certaine months by Charles Count Mansfield, who had raised Sconces [earthworks] round about it. To relieve this towne the Earle of Leicester sent Grave Hohenlo or Hollock and Sir John Norris Generall of the English foot; but as soone as they had begone to insconce themselves, which was as neere the towne as they could, from whence they might victuall and relieve the towne, the Spaniards charging them, beate them from their worke; but soone after, the English Companies comming in, they were themselves beaten backe with great slaughter of their men, seven of their leaders being slaine, and Norris lightly hurt. Grave Hollock shortly after cutting through the banke, and letting the waters run amaine into the land, relieved the towne with victuals and fresh supplie of men sent in boates. As soone as the Prince of Parma himselfe was come, and that thundered into the towne with his great ordinance, Van Hemart Governour of the towne, a young man unskillfull in military matters, not once trying an assault, compounded for his owne and the townsmens lives, and yealded up the place, whilest in the meane time Leicester drove the Spaniards out of the Betow (properly called Batavia), a river iland lying betweene the Rhein and the Waal, and near the Tol-huis beuilt a strong sconce. For the yealding up of Grave, Hemart suffered death for example sake.
5. The Prince of Parma marched into Gelderland, and encamped before Venlo, where Skenk a Frislander, and Sir Roger Williams a Welshman, men of great courage, undertooke a desperate adventure to breake through the enemies Campe at midnight, and enter into the Citie; and indeede having slaine some of the enemies, they pierced as farre as the Prince of Parmas owne tent; but being driven backe, they were frustrate in their hope, yet not without some commendations amongst martiall men for their desperate hardinesse, and Venlo was shortly after yealded up. In the meane time the Lord Willoughby Governour of Bergen-up-zome, intercepted the enemies provision of corne, and in another quarter Sir Philip Sidney and Grave Maurice the Prince of Aurange his son surprised Axel a towne of Flanders. With this successe Sidney being much encouraged, made an attempt by night upon Graveling, being allured with hope by some of the garison, but deluded; so as with the losse of some few of his men, slaine by La Motte Governour of the towne who had contrived the plot, hee escaped himselfe in safety with the rest. Sir William Pelham Generall of the English Horse, ranged all over Brabant. From Venlo the Prince of Parma directed his course to Berk, wherein were 1200 English under the command of Colonell Morgan, and layed Siege to it. To raise this siege Leicester made haste; but when hee saw himselfe to bee to weake in men, unprovided of victuals, no place of retreit neere, and the enemies Campe very strongly intrenched and fortified, to the end to draw the enemie from the siege he besieged Duisburgh, and after he had with his ordnance made a breach in the walles, and prepared to give an assault, they came to a parley, and the City was yeelded into his hands before the Prince of Parma could be drawn from Berk to relieve it.
6. But the Prince of Parma doubting Zutphen a towne hard by, commanded victualls to be conveighed thither, which as it was caryed thither the second time in a foggy weather, the Englishmen in the fogg light upon the Spaniards which had convoyed it. Whereupon they fell to skirmishing. The English being charged with 2 volleys of shott one after another from a strong place of advantage, yet stood their ground, overthrewe a Cornet of horse under the leading of George Cressier an Albaneys, tooke him prisonner being unhorsed by the Lord Willoughby, Hannibal Gonzaga with many others being slaine. Of the English few were missing; but Sidney one as good as many, having his horse shott under him, was shott in the thigh as he was mounting againe, and dyed the 25th daye after, leaving behinde him a great misse of him amongst good men. Hee dyed in the very flowre of his age, having outlived his father scarce fowre months; for whom Leicester his uncle, at his returne into England, ordained a funerall with great preparation after the military fashion in Pauls Church at London; James King of Scotts honoured him with an Epitaph, both the Universities consecrated their teares, and New Colledge in Oxford set forth a most elegant description of his noble acts. These things and more, his vertue, excellent wit, most exquisite learning and sweetest condicions deserved.
7. Leicester, though full of sorrow and heavinesse, sharply assaulted the sconces neere Zutphen; and the better to force the towne he tooke the river isle, and in it the first forte; then he set upon the lesser forte, and tooke it through the valour of Edward Stanley, who catching holde on a Spaniards pike wherewith he charged him, held it so fast that by the same he was drawen up into the sconce; wherewith the Spaniards being terrified, fearefully withdrew them selves. Leicester knighted Stanley for his valour, gave him fortie pounds of English mony in hand, and a yearly pension of an hundred markes during his life. The next night following, the Spaniards abandoned the greater Sconce with all the munition, and retyred into Zutphen. Leicester thought it not good to besiege the same, which now in the depth of winter seemed sufficiently beseiged by the garisons in the townes round about. For at Deventer within 6 English miles northward lay Sir William Stanley with 1200 foote English and Irish, in the sconces of Zutphen next Deventer lay Roland Yorke with 800 foote and 100 horse; at Doesburgh within 6 miles southward laye Sir John Boroughs with 800 foote and 200 horse, and to the Eastward were garisons placed in Lochem, Scherenberg, and Doeticum.
8. Leicester, after he had drawen the rest of his men into townes, and the Prince of Parma was departed farther off, returned to the Hage, where he was receaved by the Estates with expostulatory complaintes, That the matter of money was ill managed that his eares were open to corrupt counsailes, that the English companies were not full, that foreine soldiours were leaved without consent of the Estates, that militarie discipline was neglected, wagons and pioners were taken up by force, the privileges of the provinces contemned, and new kindes of contributions invented. These things they pray him that he will remedy in time. He, being now minded to goe over into England, putteth them in hope with flattering words. But when the daye came that he was to depart, he committed the governement of the Provinces to the Councell of the Estates, and the same day made secretly another acte of Restriction, reserving to him selfe all the authority over the Governours of Provinces, Cities and fortes; and moreoever tooke from the Councel of the Estates and Presidents of Provinces their wonted Jurisdictions, and so sailed over into England the third day of December. Thus passed the English affaires in the Netherlands all this yere.
9. But in England Philip Earle of Arundell, who had lyen now a full yeere in the Tower, was accused in the Starre-Chamber, That hee had relieved Priestes contrarie to the Lawes; That he had intercourse of letters with Allen, and Parsons a Jesuite, the Queenes enemies; That he had by writing published, slandered the Justice of the Kingdome, and that he had purposed to depart the realme without licence. The Earle protesting his obedience to the Queene, and his love to his Country, most modestly excused himselfe by his affection to the Catholike religion, and his ignorance of the lawes, and confessing his fault submitted himselfe to the censure of the Bench; who fined him in tenne thousand pounds, and imprisonment during the Queenes pleasure. But of these things I am to speake more fully in the yeare 1589.
10. At this time was come into England from Frederic the 2nd King of Denmarke, Henry Ramely Chancellour for matters of Germany, in military fashion, and attended with a guard of muskatyers; who at large declared the Kings good affection towards the Queene, and the peace of Christendome. For the procuring whereof with the Spaniard he promised his best assistance, least (as he sayed) the enemy of mankinde should any longer water the seed of warres sowen in the Netherlands with the blood of men. The Queene heard him very graciously, had other Conference with him, interteining the man with singular curtesie, and highly commended the King of Denmarks pious affection. But shee made him answere by the Lord Burghly Lord Treasurer, Charles Howard Lord Admirall, Henry Lord Hunsdon Lord Chamberlaine, and Sir Francis Walsingham Secretary, That she desired nothing more then to embrace a Peace with her neighbour Princes, wherein were no fraud; but perceaving the attempts of the Spaniard against her, she could not but provide for her own safety, defend the true Religion of Christ, and preserve the privileges of her confederate neighbours from violence. Much after the same effect also was answere made to Bodellan, whom the Prince of Parma had privily sent into England to assay if he could procure a peace.
11. In the meane time she largely supplied mony by Sir Horatio Pallavicine to the King of Navarre, through whose sides the Guisians oppugned the Reformed Religion in France; yet was she not more carefull and attentive to any one thing, then to establish a most firme amitie betwixt England and Scotland, and to conjoyne them in one league of mutuall defence and offence, whereby she might cut off all hope not onely from her foreine Enemies, but also from the Queene of Scottes her selfe, of aid out of Scotland. For shee suspected that shee being chafed in minde, had interteined dangerous designes, from the time that her condicions offered were rejected, the Association entred into, and Shee committed (as I said before) to Amias Powlet and Sir Drue Drury. And certainly it appeareth most evidently by the adversaries owne writings that on the one side the Jesuites, and on the other side the fugitive Noblemen, with different affections suggested unto her perilous Counsailes. For the Jesuites, when they saw there remained no hope of restoring the Romish Religion either by her or her sonne, betooke themselves to new stratagemes, and began to forge a new and fained title in the succession of the Kingdom of England for the Spaniards (whose only greatnesse they labour to increase). And they sent into England (as Pasquier saith) one Samier (if the name be not counterfeite), a man of their Society, to draw Noblemen and Gentilmen to the Spaniards party, and thrust her forward to dangerous practises, by telling her that if she were troublesome, neither she, nor her son should reigne, and by exciting the Guises her kinsmen, to new stirres against the King of Navarre and the Prince of Condey, that they might not be able to aid her.
12. But to conclude the league (which being begun by Wotton was interrupted by Russels death, and was now begun to be impeached by Desnevale Embassadour out of France, and Corcelly a man of turbulent spirit, who had of late been disgracefully throwen out of England) Master Thomas Randolph was sent into Scotland, whose dexteritie in Scottish matters was holden to be prudent and fortunate, though the King he were nothing plausible in regard of the tumultes which he had already raised in Scotland before. Randolph propounded to the King the same conditions of a league which Wotton had propounded before. The King would have to be added and set downe in the instruments of the confederacy the Articles touching the yeerlie mony assigned him, and for not prejudicing him in his title to the Crown of England. The Embassador, according to his instructions, promised that those 2 points should be assured by writings apart by themselves, so as he would continue constant in holding amitie. The King also out of his love to his subjects propounded that the Scottes might enjoye the same freedomes in England, which the English did. Which when the Embassador had shewed that it could not bee done but by act of Parliament, and that the Estates of England would not easily yealde unto it, hee deliberately gave his assent to the Articles propounded, and commended the same to be imparted to the Nobility of the Realme, that by their subscriptions also they might bee confirmed, though the French Embassadour muttered at first that the Queene sought this League not in any love to the King, but out of just feare least she should eere long be oppressed by her enemies which conspired against her; and afterwards objected terrors not without threats that the amitie with the French, which had beene most beneficiall to the Scots, would bee dissolved; and lastly besought him that nothing might be done without the advise of the French King.
13. But with the King, who knew these things to bee vaine, hee could worke neither hinderance nor delay of the matter. For he knew that by the confederacy with the Netherlanders the English were very much strengthened. Seriously therefore he answered, That he had put his confidence in the bounty of God, and not in the amity of those which were adversaries to Gods glory; and that it was as lawfull for him to make a League with the Queene without acquainting the French King, as for the French King to have made a League with the Queene of late, without acquainting him. And though the Queene, being somewhat close fisted, sent unto him lesse money then hee expected, least she might seeme to buie the League, and gave him no very expresse assurance concerning the succession, yet he in his zeale to Religion and singular affection towards the publique Peace, commanded both the League to be concluded, and (to satisfie her) the Carres also that were suspected of Russels death to be sent into England. But they fled away the day before they were to be sent.
14. Shortly after, in the beginning of June, met at Barwick Edward Earle of Rutland, William Lord Evers, and Master Thomas Randolph, Commissioners sent by the Queene of England, and Francis Earle of Bothwell, Robert Lord Boyde, and James Humes of Coldingknoll, commissioners appointed by the King of Scottes, who concluded a League of straighter amitie (as they tearmed it, for the name of offence liked not the Scottes), which followed in these words:
15. Whereas the Rule and Government of these Princes have lighted upon such doubtfull and dangerous times, wherein the neighbour Princes, which will be called Catholikes, acknowledging the Popes authority, do by mutuall confederacies enter into amities to roote up and extirpate the true, pure, and Evangelicall Religion, not onely out of their owne territories and dominions, but also out of the Kingdomes of others, and thereunto do bind themselves by their faithfull words and promises; least those which professe the Religion of the Gospell should seeme to be lesse carefull for the defence and protection thereof, then they which professe the Romish Religion, do now seriously labour the subversion of the same, the said Princes for the greater security of their persons, upon whose safety dependeth the safety of all their people, and for the preservation of the true, ancient, and Christian Religion, whiçh they now professe, have thought it meete that a straighter band of mutuall and sociall League be sincerely entered into, then ever hitherto hath been between their Majesties progenitors.
16. First therefore, to the end that this so pious and necessary a purpose of both Princes in this troublesome state of matters, may come to good effect for the weale publike and the propagation of the Evangelicall truth, it is covenanted, agreed, and concluded that the same Princes shall by this sociall and sacred league give assurance for the defence and preservation of the true, pure, and Evangelicall Religion, which they now professe, against all others whatsoever, which for the subversion of the same Religion shall enterprise, attempt, or doe any thing against either of them; and that they shall with their whole endevour and diligence carefully labour that the rest of the Princes which embrace the same true Religion may joyne with them in this so holy a purpose and confederacy, and with joynt forces mainteine the true worship of God in their Countries and dominions, and defend and governe their people under the saide ancient and Apostolicall Religion.
17. Item it is covenanted, accorded, and concluded that this sociall League for mainteyning and reteyning the Christian and Catholike Religion, which at this time is observed of both Princes, and by Gods favour embraced and cherished within their Kingdomes and dominions, shall be a League both of defence and offence against all men whatsoever which shall impeach, or any wayes goe about to impeach the free exercise thereof in their Kingdomes and Dominions, all Treaties, Leagues of amities, and confederacies whatsoever formerly entred into betwixt either of them, and the perturbers or adversaries of the same Religion whosoever, not withstanding.
18. And if at any time it shall happen any Prince or State whatsoever, of what condition soever, to invade or infest the Kingdomes, Dominions, or Territories of either of the said Princes, or any part thereof, or to do any hurt or injury to their Majesties persons or subjects, or to attempt the same things or any of them, it is covenanted, accorded, and concluded that neither of these Princes, being certified from the Prince invaded or suffering such injury or hurt, shall at any time openly or secretly, directly or indirectly, give or minister any aid, Counsaile, or favour to the said invaders or infesters, any bande of consanguity or affinity, alliance or amities or confederacies formerly entered into, or heereafter to be entred into, notwithstanding; in whatsoever kinde of invasion, by whomseoevere heereafter to be made or attempted.
19. It is agreed, accorded, and concluded that the aforesaid Princes shall aid one another in manner as followeth, that is to say: The King of Scottes in case the realme of England be invaded or infested by a forreine power in the parts remote from the Kingdome of Scotland, shall after request made by the Queene of England, send without delay 2000 horse and 5000 foote, or any lesser number of men,at the choice and request of the said Queene, and shall cause the same to be conducted at the Queenes charge from the borders of Scotland lying next to England into any other part of England whatseoever. Item that the Queene of England, in case the realme of Scotland be invaded or infested by a foreine power in parts remote from the Kingdome of England, shall after request made to the said Queene by the King of Scottes send without delay 3000 horse and 6000 foote, or any lesser number of men at the pleasure and choice of the said King, from the borders of England next adjoyning to Scotland into any other part of Scotland whatsoever.
20. Item it is covenanted, accorded, and concluded that if the Kingdome of England be invaded by any man whosoever in the North parts within 60 miles of the borders of Scotland, then the most illustrios King of Scottes, being requested and called upon by the most high and mighty Queene of England, shall cause to be gathered, and shall without delay effectually gather all the power and strength he cann make, and shall joyne the same with the English forces, and in hostile manner pursue and chace away the invadors of the realme of England and their abettors and favorers whosoever for the space of 30 dayes together, and those dayes being expired, if occasion or necessity require, longer, during that whole space of time that the subjects of England have anciently been accustomed, and at this day in right are bound to give aide for the defense of the Kingdome.
21. Item that when the King of Scotrtes shall be certified by the Queene of England of any invasion or infestation whatsoever in her Kingdome of Irelande, hee shall not onely prohibite the inhabitantes of the County of Argile, and the Isles and Places to the same adjoyning and of other parts of the Kingdome of Scotland whatsoever, that they enter not into the Kingdome of Ireland, and quite keepe them from entring, but also hereafter at what time soever it shall happen the inhabitants of any part of the Kingdome of Scotland, to enter contrary to the meaning of this Treaty, with any extraordinary number of men, in hostile manner, into any part of the Kingdome of Ireland, the same King, being certified by the Queene of such their entrance, shall by publicke Edict proclaime such infestors hostilely harrying that Kingdome as rebelles, disturbers of the publique peace, and trayters, and shall pursue them.
22. Item, that neither of the Princes shall in future times aid, favour, and relieve any traitor, Rebell, or one that hath publiquely revolted from either Prince, or suffer them to be aided and relieved by others by any meanes whatsoever, or permit them openly or privily to make abode in his Dominions; but shall both of them from the time of notice or first request made by the Prince from whom they have revolted, wihout delay or procrastination, deliver, or cause to be delivered the said traitors or rebells, according to the agreements expressed in the former treatyes betwixt us and our predecessors, or at leastwise shall compell them to retire from the limits and borders of their Dominions. And moreoever as long as the said rebels or traitors shall make abode in their said Dominions, shall make meete satisfaction for all injuries and damages done by the said rebells.
23. Item, that for compounding of all and singular injuries and Controversies which have happened and arisen in the borders by occasion of the borders, or amongst the borderers, from the time that the most illustrious King of Scottes hath receaved the Governement of the realme into his owne hands, and for the space of foure yeares next going before the said time, the Princes on both sides shall within 6 months after the conclusion of this League, send certeine meete Commissioners well affected to the Peace, furnished and provided with instructions fit and sufficient for that purpose to some convenient place in the confines of both Kingdomes, which shall compound and determine all such causes and Controversies by an Honorable and friendly Treaty and agreement.
24. Item, that neither of the said Princes shall contracte amity, or enter into any confederacy with any other Prince, State, or Communality, in prejudice of this present League and union, without the expresse consent of the other confederate Prince by letters of the said Prince subscribed with his owne hand, or sealed with his Privy seale, first had and obtained.
25. Item ,that both Princes, when either of them shall be duly required therunto by the Embassadors or Commisioners of the other Prince, shall both by their oath and great seale approve and confirme this holy League and society, and moreover for the greater strengthening thereof, shall within a certeine time to be appointed by mutuall consent of both Princes deliver, or cause to be delivered their Royall Instruments or letters Patents.
26. Item that all former Treaties of amities, and contracts of confederacies betwixt the predecessors of the aforesaid Princes and their Kingdoms and Dominions, though they may seeme to be grown out of use, shall yet remaine in their strength, force and vigor. And in like manner that this present Treaty of mutual confederacie and straigher amitie shall in no sort derogate from the former Treaties and confederacies entred into by the said Princes with other confederates, or shal in any part diminish their weight and authority (the defence of the purer Religion, which the said Princes do now maintaine and embrace in their Kingdomes, onlely excepted). In which case we understand and meane that this present League of Defence and Offence shall remayne in his full strength, firme, and inviolate.
27. Item that the King of Scottes shall, when hee is the full age of 25 yeares, as soone as conveniently may be, approve and confirme,, and cause to be approved the said League by a publicke assembly of his Realme. And the same also shall the Queenes Majesty doe and performe, and cause to be done and performed in a Parliament, by the Nobility and other States of her Kingdome of England and Ireland.
28. The same month that this league was ratified was discovered a most dangerous conspiracy against Queene Elizabeth; the originall and progresse whereof I will lay downe as briefely as I can out of the voluntary confessions of the conspirators themselves. In the English Seminary at Rheims some there were which with a kinde of astonishment, having in admiration a certaine omnipotency in the Bishop of Rome, were of beliefe that the Bull of Pius Quintus against Queene Elizabeth was dictated by the holy Ghost; and they perswaded themselves, and others which hunted after the glory of martyrdome, that it was meritorious to take away the lives of Princes excommunicate, yea martyrdome to spend a mans life in that cause. These things Giffard a Doctor of Divinity, Gilbert Giffard and Hodgson priestes, inculcated so deeply into John Savage (a bastard by report). a man forward of his hands, that he willingly and gladly vowed to kill Queene Elizabeth. And at the same time they wrote a booke (and that, with no other intent but fairely to lull the Queene and Councell asleepe in securitie while they privily made way for their owne wicked devises), in which booke they warned the Papists in England not to attempt any thing against their Princesse, but fight against their adversaries with the weapons of Christians, namely teares, spirituall reasons, daily prayers, watchings and fastings. And withall they spread abroad a false rumor by their privy whisperers that George Giffard, one of the Band of the Queenes Gentilmen pensioners, had sworne the Queenes death, and in that respect had wyped the Duke of Guise of a great summe of mony.
29. At Easter John Ballard priest of the Seminary at Rheims, who had visited very many Papists throughout England and Scotland and felt their minds, returned into France in companie of Maud which was Walsinghams spie (a most subtile dissembler, who had egregiously counterfeitted with the uncircumspect priest) and dealt with Don Bernardin de Mendoza the Spaniards ordinary Embassadour then in France, and with Charles Paget, a man most devoted to the Queene of Scottes, for invading of England, for that now was a very fit time, the Martiall men being absent in the Netherlands; neither could there bee a fitter time hoped for, forasmuch as the Bishop of Rome, the Spaniard, the Duke of Guise, and the Prince of Parma, were all resolved to set upon England, thereby to divert the same from the Netherlands. And though Paget shewed plainliy that it was in vaine to invade England as long as Queene Elizabeth lived, yet was Ballard sent backe againe into England, being sworne to procure ayd with all speede to the invadors, and liberty to the Queene of Scots.
30. At Whitsontide arrived in England that silken priest in souldiours habite, and called by the counterfeyte name of Captain Foscu. At London hee brake about these matters with Anthony Babington of Dethick in Darby-shiere, a young Gentleman of good birth, rich, pleasant witted, and learned above his age; who being addicted to the Romish religion, had a little before gon over into France unknowne, without licence, and entred into familiarity with Thomas Morgan, one that reteined to the Queene of Scotts, and with the Bishop of Glascow her Embassador; who when, by extolling daylie the heroical vertues of so great at Queene, they had put him in assured hope of great honors by her, which the ambitious young Gentleman soone layed hold on, they commended him by letters, and from that time Morgan used his helpe in conveying of letters unto her, till such time as shee was committed to Sir Amias Powletts keping; for the young Gentleman, perceiving the danger, gave over. With this Babington (I say) Ballard brake about the matters aforesaid. He was flatly of opinion that the invasion of England would come to nothing as long as Queene Elizabeth lived. But when Ballard had signified unto him that shee should not live long, for that Savage was now come into England, who had vowed to kill her, it liked not Babington that so great a matter should bee committed to Savage alone, least hee should faile of his enterprise, but rather to sixe stout Gentlemen, in which number hee would have Savage to bee one, least he should breake his vow. Babington therefore entreth into a new course about invading of the Realme by foreiners, about the havens where they should arrive, about the ayd that should joyne with them, about the delivery of the Queene of Scotts, and about committing the tragicall execution of the Queene as hee termed it.
31. Whilest he busyed himselfe wholly with this cogitation hee received letters by an unknowne boy, in Cipher familiar betwixt the Queene of Scotts and them; who gentlie blamed him for his long silence, and willed him to send unto her with speed a packet of letters sent from Morgan, and delivered by the French Embassadors Secretary. Which hee did, and withall by the same messenger sent a letter of his owne unto her, wherein he excuseth his silence, for that he was as destitute of meanes to send, from the time shee was commited to the custody of Sir Amias Powlett a Puritan, a meere Leicestrian, and a man most bitter enemy to the Catholike faith (for so hee called him). He declareth what conference hee had had with Ballard, enformeth her that 6 Gentleman were selected, which should committe the tragicall execution, and that he himselfe with an hunred mo would at the same time set her at liberty. He prayed her that the heroicall actors in this businesse (for so he called them) would bee rewarded, or else their posteritie if they perished in that attempt. To this letter answer was made the 27th of July: Babingtons most entire affection to the Catholike religion and her is commended; but hee is warned to goe advisedly to worke, and that the Association betwixt them should bee entred into as if they stood in feare of the puritans; and that there should bee no stirring before such time as they were assured of forreine ayde; and some tumult also should be raised in Ireland, while the stroke should be given on this side; that Arundelld and his brethren, and the Earle of Northumberland, should be drawen to her party, and that Westmorland, Paget, and others should be privily called home. The meanes also of her delivery is prescribed, either by overthowing a cart in the gate, or settting fire in the stables, or by intercepting her as shee rode abroad for recreation in the fieldes betwixt Chartley and Stafford. Lastly, Babington is commanded to passe his word to the 6 Gentlemen and the rest concerning their reward.
32. He had now associated unto him certaine Gentlemen that were inflamed with zeale to the Romish religion, amongst whom those of eminentest note were Edward Windsore, brother to the Lord Windsore, a young man of a softly nature; Thomas Salisbury, of a knightly family in Denbeighshire, Charles Tilney a Gentleman of an ancient house, the onely hope of the family, and one of the band of Gentlemen pensioners to the Queene, whom Ballard had lately reconciled to the Romish Church, both of them very goodly yong Gentlemen; Chidiock Tichburne of the County of Southampton; Edward Abington, whose father had been Under-Treasurer, or (as they commonly call him) Cofferer of the Queenes houshold; Robert Gage of Surrey; John Travers and John Charnock of Lancashiere; John Jones, whose father was Wardrober to Queene Mary; Savage whom I have spoken of already; Barnwell of a noble family of Ireland; and Henry Dunn Clarke in the office of first fruites and Tenths. One Poll also insinuated himselfe into their company, a man thoroughly instructed in matters of the Queene of Scotts, a most cunning counterfetter and dissembler, who is thought to have egged on the youngsters, who were of themselves prone enough to that which was bad, by suggesting unto them worse matters, though Now the Queene of Scots Secretary had given them secret warning to beware of him.
33. To these men Babington breaketh the matter, but not all things to every one of them. To Ballard, Tichborne, and Dunne he sheweth his owne letters and the Scottish Queenes. Tilney and Tichburne he solliciteth to bee executers of the murder. They at first refuse to imbrue their hands in the blood of their Princesse. Ballard and Babington labour to prove unto them that it is lawful to kill Princes excommunicate, and if ever equity and justice bee to be violated, it is to bee done for the Catholike religions sake. Hereupon being <with> much adoe perswaded, they gave a kind of consent. Babington, Barnwell, Charnock, and Savage take their oath readily and carefully to commit the murder. Salisbury could by no meanes be perswaded to bee a murderer of the Queene, but voluntarily promised his helpe for the delivery of the Queene of Scotts. Over and above the sayd number of the murderers, Babington appointed one Tichenor to be one, of whose faithfullnesse and fortitude hee was well perswaded, but he was now absent afarre off. Babington chargeth them not to acquaint any man with the matter, but upon an oath of silence first taken. The conspirators conferre now and then about these matters in St. Gileses fieldes, in Pauls church, and in Wine-taverns, where they banquetted daily being puffed up with hope of great honors, commending now and then the valour of the Scottish Gentlemen, which not long before had surprised the King at Sterlyn, and of Gerard the Burgundian which had murdered the Prince of Aurange. And to such fond vanitie also they proceeded, that they would have the men that were appointed to be the murderers pictured to the life, and Babington in the middest of them with this verse, HI MIHI SUNT COMITI, QUOS IPSA PERICULA DUCUNT (THESE MEN ARE MY COMPANIONS, WHOM VERY DANGERS DRAW). But forasmuch as this verse pleased them not, as being too open, the put instead of it, QUORUM HAEC, ALIIS PROPERANTIBUS?, that is, TO WHAT END ARE THESE THINGS TO MEN THAT HASTEN TO ANOTHER PURPOSE? These pictures (they say) were begunn, and shewed secretly to the Queene, who knewe none of them by their faces save onely Barnwell, who had often come unto her about causes of the Earle of Kildares, to whom he reteined; but being by other tokens put in mind of him, she remembered the man well. Certeinely when she walked on a time abroade, and saw Barnwell, she beheld him undauntedly, and turning herselfe to Hatton Captaine of the guard, and others, she said, Am not I fairely garded, that have not a man in my company with a sworde about him? For so Barnwell himselfe reported to the rest of the conspirators, and shewed them how easily she might have been made away at that time, if the conspirators had been there. Savage in like manner affirmed the same.
34. Nothing now more perplexed Babington then least the promise made of foreine ayd should faile. To assure the same therefore, he resolved to goe over himselfe into France, and for that purpose to send Ballard before privily, for whom under a counterfeyt name he had procured a licence to travaile, and that by mony. And to remove farre from himselfe all suspicion, he insinuated himselfe into Walsingham by meanes of Poll whom I spake of, and made earnest suite unto him to procure him a licence from the Queene to travaile into France, promising to do her singular good service in serching and discovering the secret practises of the fugitives for the Queene of Scottes. Walsingham commended the young gentilmans purpose, and promised him not onely a licence to travaile, but also many and great matters, if he performed what he undertooke. Yet did he linger the whole matter, having sifted out the same through his owne and others diligence, where they thought that not so much as the Sunn understood thereof; but this he did especially through the discovery of Gilbert Giffard Priest.
35. This Giffard was borne of a noble house at Chellington in the County of Stafford, not farre from Chartley, where the Queene of Scottes was kept, and was sent about this time into England by the fugitives under the counterfeit name of Luson to put Savage in minde of his vow, and to lurke as a privy messenger to conveigh letters betwixt them and the Queene of Scottes; for into so dangerous a business they could neither draw the Countesse of Arundell, nor the Lord Lumley, nor the Lord Henry Howard, nor yet George Shirley.
36. The fugitives, to make tryall whether there were any safe meanes to conveigh letters by Giffard, sent at first many times white and voyd paperes (which we call blankes) folded up like letters, which when they found by the answers that they were delivered, they grew them more confident, and sent now and then other letters also in privy ciphers concerning their businesses. But Giffard, whether pricked in conscience, or formerly corrupted with mony, or terrified with feare, had before already come to Walsingham in secret, informed him what he was, and to what intent sent into England, offered him his best service in love to his Prince and Country, and promised to impart unto him all the letters he receaved either from the fugitives or from the Queene of Scottes. Walsingham, laying hold on the oportunity which was offered, interteined the man kindly, sent him into Staffordshiere, and wrote to Powlett that he would suffer by connivence one of this men to be corrupted by Giffard. Powlett as unwilling that any of his men should (as hee said) become a traitor by dissembling, opposed against it, yet permitted him to corrupt a brewer or *** that dwelt hard by. Giffard with a few peeces of gold soone corrupted the brewer, who put in the letters privily, and receaved others, through a hole in the wall, which was stopped with a loose stone; which letters alwayes came to Walsinghams hands by messengers laied of purpose to carry them. Walsingham opened them, wrote them out, found out the privy ciphers by the singular skill of Thomas Philips, and by the cunning of Arthur Gregory sealed them up againe in such sort that no man could judge that they had beene opened, and sent them to those to whom they were directed by the superscriptions. Thus were intercepted those former letters of the Queene of Scottes to Babington, and his letter in answere to her, and another letter to him (waherein was cunningly added a postscript in the same characters, that he should set down the name of the 6 Gentilmen, if not other matters also), and also the letters which were written the same day to Mendoza the Spanish Embassador, Charles Paget, the Lord Paget, the Archbishop of Glascowe, and Sir Francis Inglefield; all which were copied out and sent over Sea.
37. Queene Elizabeth, as soone as shee understood by these letters that so hideous a storme hung over her head, on the one side from her owne Subjects at home, and on the other side from foreiners, commaunded for the timely supressing of the conspiracie, Ballard to be apprehended. At unawares therefore he was attached in the verie moment when he was now ready to set forward on his French journey; and taken he was in Babingtons house. Hereupon Babington grew very carefull and pensive, wavering in a thousand uncertainties of an unsetled minde; and while he cast this way and that way, at length the betooke himselfe to Tichburne, and advised with him what was to be done. Tichburnes counsaile was that the Conspirators should forthwith disperse themselves and fly. But Babington thought it the best course to send Savage and Carnock presently to execute the murder; but first, that they might have the better accesse, he thought good to provide Savage of fairer and more courtly apparrell, and hereof he conferreth with them the same day in Pauls Church. But presentlie his minde changed and, hiding the inward anguishes of his carefull breast, hee pressed Walsingham, who was then absent at court, by letters and importunate suite that he might now at length have his licence to travaile into France and withall sollicited him for the delivery of Ballard, who would be of especiall use unto him in the businesse hee had undertaken. Walsingham feedeth him with faire promises from day to day. That Ballard was apprehended hee layeth the blame upon Young, that subtill hunter out of Papists, and upon the Pursuivants; and as it were by way of friendship giveth Babington warning to beware of that kinde of men; and by this meanes easily perswadeth the young Gentilman to lodge in his house at London till the Queene had signed his licence, and he could returne himselfe to London to the end they might conferre together the more secretly about such weighty matters, and that there might not be, through his often frequenting thither, any suspition arise amongst the fugitives when he should come into France.
38. In the meane time Scudamore Walsinghams man was commanded most diligently to observe him, and to accompanie him in all places, under colour that he might be the safer from Pursuivantes. Thus farre had Walsingham spunne this thread himselfe alone, without acquainting the rest of the Queenes Councell; and longer he would have drawde it, but the Queene would not, Least (as she sayd herselfe) by not bewaring the danger whilest she might, she might seeme rather to tempt God then to trust in God. There was sent therefore from the Court a little note from Walsingham to his man that he should more carefully observe Babington. This note, being not sealed, was delivered in such sort as Babington sitting at the board next him, read it together with him. Hereupon, his conscience accusing him, and suspecting that all was come to light, the next night when he and Scudamore, and one or two more of Walsinghams men, had well supped in a wine-taverne, he arose from the board as it were to pay the shot [the bill], leaving his cloake and sword behind him, and ranne hastily by darke to Westminster, where Gage changed cloathes with him, who presently put the same off againe in Charnocks chamber, and put on Charnoks, and withall they withdrew themselves into Saint Johns wood neere the City, whither also Barnwell and Dunn made their retreit. In the meane time they were openly proclaimed Traitors all over England. They, lurking and woods and by corners, after they had in vaine sought to borrow money of the French Embassador, and horses of Tichburne, cut off Babingtons hare, besmeared and soiled the naturall beauty of his face with greene wallnut shales, and being constrained by famine, went to a house of the Bellamies neere Harow hill, who were greatly addicted to the Romish Religion. There were they hid in barnes, fed, and cloathed in rusticall habite. But the tenth day after, they were found, brought to London, and the City witnessed their publicke joy by ringing of bells, making of bon-fiers, and singing of Psalmes, insomuch as the Citizens receaved very great commendations and thankes from the Queene.
39. The rest of the conspirators were taken soone after, most of them in places neere about the City, Salisbury in Cheshiere, having his horse run through by those that pursued him, and with him Travers, after they had swumme over the river Wever; and Jones in Wales, who being not ignorant of the appointed invasion, had hidden them in his house after he knew them to be proclaimed traitors, and had horsed Salisbury when he fled, and changed cloakes with his man which was a Priest. Onelie Windsore was not to be found. Many daies were spent in examining of them, who cut one anothers throats by their owne confessions, concealing nothing of the truth.
40. All this while was the Queene of Scottes and her servants kept by Powlet with so careful a watch set over them that she was utterly ignorant of all these things, though they were most commonly knowne all over England. But as soone as these Conspirators were taken, Sir Thomas Gorges was sent to advertise her briefly thereof; which he did at unawares, and that of set purpose, when she had now taken Horse to ryde on hunting. Neither was shee permitted to returne, but was led about (under colour of doing her honour) from one Gentilmans house to another, that were dwellers thereabouts. In the meane time Sir John Manors, Sir Edward Aston, Sir Richard Bagot, and Master William Waad (who was sent of late into these parts, being ignorant of the whole matter), by authority graunted unto them under the Queenes warrant, committed Nawt and Curle her two Secreatries to severall custodies, that they might not conferre either one with another or with the Queene. And then, breaking open the doores of her private closet, they sent all her Cabinets, wherein her papers were kept sealed up with their seales, to the Court. Then Powlet (as he was commanded) seized upon all her money, least she should corrupt any with bribes, and passed his word for restoring the same. Her Cabinets being seartched before Queene Elizabeth, there were found letters of many foreiners, copies also of letters to many, breviaries, and about 60 Indexes or Tables of privy Ciphers; letters also of some English Noble-men to her, most full of love and duty. Which notwithstanding Queene Elizabeth dissembled and concealed with silence, according to that Motto which she used, VIDEO TACEO, that is I SEE AND SAIE NOTHING. But they having some inkling thereof, began from that time to show themselves her deadly adversaries, least they might seeme to have favored her before.
41. Now Giffard, after he had served the turne to act this Scene, was sent into France as it were a banished man, leaving first behind him with the French Embassador in England a paper indented, with direction that he should deliver the letters he receaved from the Queen of Scots, or from the fugitives, to none other but to him that should shew the Counterpane thereof, which counterpane was privily sent by him to Walsingham. This Giffard, being returned into France, was after certaine months cast in prison for dishonesty of life, and being suspected of these things died miserably, voluntarily confessing most of the things already spoken which also were found by writings in his coffers.
42. The 13th of September 7 of the Conspirators were arraigned, confessed themselves guilty, and were condemned of high treason. The next day save one after, other 7 were in like sort arraigned, pleaded Not guilty, and submitted themselves to be tryed by God and the Countrey, as the manner is, who were found guilty by their owne confessions and condemned. Only Poll, though he were privy to all, yet for that he had affirmed that he had revealed some things to Walsingham, was not arraigned. The 20th of the same month, a gallous and a scaffold being set up for the purpose in St. Giles his fieldes where they were wont to meete, the first 7 were hanged thereon, cut downe, their privities cut off, bowelled alive and seeing, and quartered, not without some note of cruelty. Ballard the Arch-plotter of this treason craved pardon of God and of the Queene with a condition if he had sinned against her. Babington (who undauntedly beheld Ballards execution, while the rest turning away their faces, fell to prayers upon their knees) ingenuously acknowledged his offences; being taken downe from the gallous, and ready to bee cut up, hee cried aloud in Latin sundry times, Parce mihi Domine Iesu, that is, Spare me Lord Jesus. Savage brake the rope and fell downe from the gallous, and was presently seized on by the executioner, his privities cut off, and he bowelled alive. Barnwell extenuated his crime under colour of Religion and Conscience. Tichburne with all humility acknowledged his fault, and moved great pitty among the multitude towards him. As in like manner did Tilney, a man of a modest spirit and goodlie personage. Abbington, being a man of a turbulent spirit, cast forth threates and terrors of blood to be spilt ere long in England. The next day the other seven were drawne to the same place, and suffered the same kind of death; but more favourably by the Queenes commandement, who detested the former cruelty; for they all hung till they were quite dead before they were cut down and boweled. Salisbury was the first, who being very penitent, warned the Catholikes not to attempt to restore Religion by force and armes. In like manner did Dinn, who followed him. Jones protested that hee had disswaded Salisburie from the attempt, and had utterly condemned Babingtons proud and head-strong minde, and the purpose of invasion. Charnock and Travers, having their mindes wholly fixed on prayer, commended themselves to God and the Saints. Gage extolling the Queenes great bounty to his father, detested his owne perfidious ingratitude towards his Princesse to whom he was so deeply bound. Hierom Bellamy, who had hidden Babington after he was openly proclaimed traitor (whose brother being guilty of the same crime, strangled himselfe in prison), with confusion and silence closed up the number.
43. These being executed, Nawe a Frenchman, and Curle a Scott, which were the Queene of Scotts Secretaries, being examined of the letters, copies of lettres, notes, and Ciphers found in the Queenes private closet, voluntarily acknowledged under their hands that they were their owne hand-writings, delivered from her owne mouth in French, receaved by Naswe, and turned into English by Curle, and put in Cipher. Neither did they deny but that she had receaved letters from Babington, and that they by her Commandement had written backe unto him to such purpose as I have before expressed. Whether these Secretaries were drawne hereunto by corruption, I cannot say. Yet this is certeine by lettres, that when Curle at this time claimed promise of Walsingham, Walsingham taxed him as unmindefull of extraordinary favor, as who had confessed nothing but what he coulde not deny, Naw his fellow urging it to his face.
44. Shortly after was Sir Edward Wotton sent into France, to lay open unto the King the whole processe of the conspiracie, and to deliver unto him the copies of the Queene of Scottes lettres, and others, confirmed by the testimonies of the Noblemen of England to avowe the truth thereof, that the French King might see what great dangers were plotted against the Queene of England by the practises of Morgan, Charles, Paget, and others in France.
45. What should be done touching the Queene of Scotts the Councell were not all of one and the same minde. Some thought that no more rigorous course was to be taken against her, other then that she was to be committed to more straight custody, both for that she was not the author of the crime, but only accessary, and also because she was sickly and not like to live long. Others were of opinion that for preservation of Religion she was presently to be put to death, and that by Lawe. Leicester chose rather by poison, and sent a Divine secretly to Walsingham to informe him that it was lawfull. But Walsingham protested he was so farre from approving any violence to be done unto her, that he had crossed Mortons counsaile of late, who had perswaded that she should be sent backe into Scotland and put to death in the very confines of both Kingdomes. Again they varyed in opinion, by what law she should be proceeded against, whether by that of the 25th yeare of Edward the 3 (whereby he is made guilty of treason, which shall compasse or imagine the destruction of the King or Queene, raise warre in his or her Kingome, or adhere to his or her enemies), or by that act of the 27th of Queene Elizabeth, whereof I have spoken before. At length their opinion prevailed which chose rather to have her tried by this last Acte, as being made for this very purpose, and therefore to be put in execution. To the end therefore that inquiry might be made, and sentence pronounced according to that Acte made the last yeare against those which should raise Rebellion, invade the realme, or attempt to offer violence to the Queene, many of the Privy Councel, and Noblemen of England, were made Commissioners by Patent. Whose names (forasmuch as it may concerne posterity to know the ranke and attributes of the Noblemen of England), I have thought good to set downe out of the very originall, which runneth thus in the ordinary forme of the Court:
46. Elizabeth by the grace of God, of England, France, and Ireland Queene, Defender of the faith etc . to the most Reverend Father in Christ John Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate and Metropolitan of all England, and one of our Privy Councell; and to our trusty and well-beloved Sir Thomas Bromley knight, Chancellor of England, and one of our Privy Councell; And also to our trusty and wel-beloved William Lord Burghley, Lord Treasurer of England, another of our Privy Councell; And also to our most deere Cousin William Lord Marquesse of Winchester, one of the Lords of the Parliament; To our most deere Cousin Edward Earle of Oxford, great Chamberlaine of England, another of the Lords of the Parliament; And also to our most deere cousin George Earle of Shrewsbury Earle Marshall of England, another of our Privy Councell; And to our most deere Cousin Henry Earle of Kent, another of the Lords of the Parliament; And also to our most dere Cousin Henry Earle of Darby another of our Privy Councell; And to our most deere cousin William Earle of Worcester, another of the Lords of Parliament; And also to our most deere Couisin Edward Earle of Rutland, another of the Lords of the Parliament; And to our most deere Cousin Ambrose Earle of Warwick, Master of our Ordinance, another of our Privy Councell; And to our most deere Cousin Henry Earle of Pembroke, another of the Lords of the Parliament; And also to our most deere Cousin Robert Earle of Leicester, Master of our horse, another of our Privy Councell; And to our most deere Cousin Henry Earle of Lincolne; another of the Lords of the Parliament; and also to our most deere Cousin Antony Vicount Montague, another of the Lords of the Parliament; And to our trusty and well-beloved Charles Lord Howard, our great Admirall of England, another of our Privy Councelll; And to our trusty and well-beloved Henry Lord of Hunsdon, our Lord Chamberlaine, another of our Privy Councell; and also to our trusty and well-beloved Henry Lord Abergavenny, another of the Lords of the Parliament. And to our trusty and sell-beloved Edward Zouch, another of the Lords of the Parliament; And also to our trusty and well-beloved Edward Lord Morley another of the Lords of the Parliament; And to our trusty and well-beloved William Lord Cobham Lord Warden of our Cinque portes, another of our Privy Councell; And also to our trusty and well-beloved Edward Lord Stafford another of the Lords of the Parliament; And also to our trusty and well-beloved Arthur Lord Grey of Wilton, another of the Lords of the Parliament; And also to our trusty and well-beloved John Lord Lumley, another of the Lords of the Parliament; And also to our trusty and well-beloved John Lord Sturton, another of the Lords of the Parliament; And also to our our trusty and well-beloved William Lord Sandes, another of the Lords of the Parliament; And also to our trusty and well-beloved Henry Lord Wentworth, another of the Lords of the Parliament; To our trusty and well-beloved Lewis Lord Mordant, another of the Lords of the Parliament; And to our trusty and wel-beloved John Lord Saint John of Bletso, another of the Lords of the Parliament; And also to our trusty and well-beloved Thomas Lord Buckhurst, another of our Privy Councell; And to our trusty and well-beloved Henry Lord Compton, another of the Lords of the Parliament; And also to our trusty and well-beloved Henry Lord Cheiney, another of the Lords of the Parliament; To our trusty and beloved Sir Francis Knolles knight, Treasurer of our householde, another of our Privy Councell; And also to our trusty and beloved Sir James Croftes knight, Controllor of our said household, another of our Privy Councell; And to our trusty and beloved Sir Christopher Hatton knight, our Vice-Chamberlaine, another of our Privy Councell; And also to our trusty and beloved Sir Francis Walsingham knight, one of our principall Secretaries, another of our Privy Councell; And also to our trusty and beloved William Davison esquier, another of our principall Secretaries, and of our Privy Councell; and to our trusty and beloved Sir Ralph Sadleir knight, Chancellor of our Dutchy of Lancaster, another of our Privy Councell; And also to our trusty and beloved Sir Walter Mildmay knight, Chancellor of our Exchecquer, another of our Privy Councell; And to our trusty and beloved Sir Amice Powlett knight, Captaine of our Isle of Jersey, another of our Privy Councell; and to our trusty and beloved John Wolly esquire, our Secretarie for the Latine tongue, another of our Privy Councell. And also to our trusty and beloved Sir Christopher Wray knight, Chiefe Justicer assigned to the Pleas to be holden before us. And to our trusty and beloved Sir Edmund Anderson knight, our Chiefe Justicer of the Bench, Sir Roger Manwood knight, our Chiefe Baron of the Exchecquer, Sir Thomas Gawdy knight, one of our Justicers assigned for the Pleas to be holden before us, and William Periam one of our Justicers of the Bench, Greetings, etc. Then (not write it downe verbatim) after the recitall of the Lawe or Act (as our Lawyers terme it) made the last iyeare, thus it followeth. Whereas since the end of the Session of Parliament, namely since the first day of June in the yeare of our regne the 27th, divers matters have beene compassed and imagined tending to the hurt of our Royall person, as well by Mary Daughter and heire of James the fift, King of Scottes, and commonly called Queene of Scotts and Dowager of France, pretending title to the Crowne of this realme of England; as by divers other persons cum scientia, in English with the privity of the same Mary, as we are given to understand. And whereas we do intend and determine that the Act afore-said be in all and every part thereof duly and effectually executed, according to the tenor of the same, and that all offences abovesaid, in the Acte abovesaide mentioned, as aforesaid, and the circumstances of the same, be examined, and sentence or judgment thereupon given, according to the tenor and effect of the said Act. To you, and the greater part of you, we do give full and absolute power, faculty, and authority according to the tenor of the saide Act, to examine all and singular matters compassed and imagined, tending the hurt of our Royall person, as well by the afore-said Mary, as by any other person or persons whatsoever, cum scientia, in English, with the privity of the same Mary, and all circumstances of the same, and all other offences abovesaide, in the Act abovesaid (as afore-said) mentioned whatsoever, and all circumstances of the same, and every of them. And therefore according to the tenor of the Act afore-said, to give sentence or judgement, as upon good proofe matter shall appeare unto you. And therefore we do command you that you do at certaine dayes and places, which you or the greater part of you shall thereunto fore-appoint, diligently proceede upon the premisses in forme afore said, etc.
47. The most part of these Commissioners came the 11th of October to Fotheringay Castel in the County of Northampton, seated upon the bank of the river Nen, where the Queene of Scots was then kept. The next day the commissioners sent unto her Sir Walter Myldmay, Powlet, and Edward Barker publique Notary, who delivered into her hands Queene Elizabeths letters; which when shee had read, she with a countentance composed to Royall dignity, and with a minde untroubled, said, It grieveth me that the Queene my most deare Sister is mis-informed of me, and that I having beene so many yeeres straightly kept in prison, and grown lame of my limmes, have ben neglected, after I have offered so many reasonable conditions for my liberty. Though I have thoroughly forewarned her of many dangers, yet hath no credit been given unto me, but I have beene alwayes contempned, though most neerely allied unto her in blood. When the association was entered into, and the Act of Parliament thereupon made, I foresaw that whatsoever danger should happen either from forein Princes abroad or from ill disposed people at home, or for religions sake, I must beare the whole blame, having many mortall enemies in the Court. Certeinly I might take it hardly, and not without cause, that a confederacy hath beene made with my Sonne without my knowledge, but such matters I omit. As for this letter, it seemeth strange to me that the Queene should commaund me as a subject to appeare personally in judgement. I am an absolute Queene, and will do nothing which may prejudice either mine owne Royall Majesty, or other Princes of my place and ranke, or my Sonne. My minde is not yet dejected, neither will I sinke under my calamity. I referre my selfe to those things which I have protested before Bromley now Chanceller, and the Lord La-Ware. The Laws and Statutes of England are to me most unknown. I am destitute of Counsailors, and who shal be my Peeres I am utterly ignorant. My papers and notes are token from me, and no man dareth step forth to be my advocate. I am cleere from all crime against the Queene, I have excited no man against her, and I am not to be charged but by mine owne word or writing, which cannot be produced against me. Yet can I not deny but I have commended my selfe and my cause to forein Princes.
48. The next day there returned unto her in the name of the Commissioners, Powlet and Barker, who shewed unto her this answere drawne in writing, and asked her whether she would persist in the same. When she had heard it distinctly read, she commended it as rightly and truly conceaved, and said, she would persist therein. But this (said she) I have forgotten, which I would have to be added thereunto. Whereas the Queene hath written that I am a subject to the Laws of England, and to be judged by them because I have lived under the protection of them, I answere that I came into England to crave aide, and ever since have beene deteined in prison, and could not enjoy the protection or benefit of the Laws of England; nay I could never yet understand from any man what manner of Lawes those were.
49. In the afternoone came unto her certeine selected persons from amongst the Commissioners, with men learned in the Civill and Canon lawe. But the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Treasurer declared their authority by Patent, and shewed that neither her imprisonment nor her prerogative of Royall Majestie could exempt her from answering in this Kingdome, with faire words advising her to heare what matters were to be objected against her. Otherwise they threatened that by authority of lawe they both could and would proceede against her though she were absent. She answered, That she was no subject, and rather would she dy a thousand deaths then acknowledge herselfe a subject, considering that by such an acknowledgement shee should both prejudice the heighth of Regall Majestie, and withall confesse her selfe to be bound by all the lawes of England, even in matter of Religion. Neverthelesse shee was ready to answere to all things in a free and full Parliament, for that she knew not whether this meeting and assembly were appointed against her being already condemned by fore-judgings, to give some shew and colour of a just and legall proceeding. Shee warned them therefore to looke to their consciences, and to remember that the Theater of the whole world is much wyder than the Kingdome of England. Shee began then to complaine of injuries done unto her. And the Lord Treasurer, interrupting her, began to reckon up Queene Elizabeths kindnesses towards her, namely that she had pounished some which impugned the claime she layed to England, and had beene a meanes to keepe her from being condemned by the Estates of that Realme, for the Mariage sought with the Duke of Norfolke, for the rebellion in the North, and for other matters. All which when shee semed little to esteeme, they returned backe.
50. Within a few howres after, they delivered unto her by the hand of Powlet and the Solicitor the Chiefe points of their Commission, and the names of the Commissioners, that she might see that there were to proceede according to equity and right, and not by any cunning point of lawe and extraordinary course. She tooke no exceptions against the Commissioners, but most sharply excepted against the late lawe upon which the authority of their commission wholy depended, as that it was unjust, devised of purpose against her, that it was it was without example, and such whereunto shee would never subject herselfe. She asked by what lawe they would proceede. If by the civil or canon lawe, then (said she), interpreters are to be fetched from Pavia or Poictiers, and other foreine Universities, for in England none are to be found that are meete. She added also that it was manifest by plaine words in the Queenes letters that shee was already fore-judged to be guilty of the Crime though unheard, and therefore there was no reason why she should appeare before them. And she required to be satisfied touching some scruples in the saide letters, which she had for herselfe noted confusedly and by snatches, severally by them selves, but would not deliver them written out, for it stood not (said she) with her Royall dignity to play the scrivener.
51. Touching this matter the said selected commissioners went unto her againe, to whom she signified that shee did not well understand what those words meant, Seeing she is under the Queenes protection. The Lord Chancellor answered, That this was plaine to every one of understanding, yet was it not for subjects to interprete what the Queenes meaning was, neither were they made Commissioners for that end. Then shee required to have her protestation shewed and allowed, which shee had formerly made. It was answered that it never had beene, nor now was to be allowed, for that it was prejudiciall to the Crowne of England. She asked by what authoritie they would proceede. It was answered byy authority of their commission, and by the common Lawe of England. But (said she) ye make lawes at your pleasure, wherunto I have no reason to submit my selfe, considering that the English in times past refused to submit themselves to the Law Salique of France. And if they would proceede by the Common Law of England, they should produce precedents and cases, forasmuch as that Law consisteth much of cases and custome. And if the Canon Law, none else ought to interpret the same but the makers thereof. It was answered that they would proceede neither by the civill nor canon Law, but by the common Law of England. That it might neverthelesse be proved by the civill and canon Law that she ought to appeare before them, if she would not refuse to heare it. And indeed she refused not to heare it, but (as she said) by way of Interlocution, not Judicially.
52. From hence shee fell into other speeches, that shee had intended nothing to the destruction of the Queene; that she had been incensed with injuries and indignities. That she should be a stone of offence to others if she were so unworthily handled; that by Naw she had offered her best meanes for revoking the Bishop of Romes Bull; that shee would have defended her innocency by lettres, but it was not allowed her; and finally that all the offices of kindnesse which she had tendred these 20 yeares were rejected. Thus while shee wandered farre in these digressions, they called her backe again and prayed her to speak plainly whether she would answere before the commissioners. She replyed, That the authority of their Delegation was founded upon a late law made to intrapp her; that shee could not away with [she could not tolerate] the Queenes laws, which she had good reason to suspect; that she was still full of good courage, and would not offend against her progenitors the kings of Scottes by acknowledging her selfe a subject to the Crowne of England. For this were nothing else but to professe them openly to have beene rebels and traitors. Yet she refused not to answere, so as shee might not be reduced to the ranke of a subject. But she had rather perish utterly then to answere as a Criminall person.
53. Whereunto Hatton Vice-Chamberlaine to Queene Elizabeth answered, You are accused (but not condemned) to have conspired the destruction of our lady and Queene annointed. You say you are a Queene: be it so. But in such a crime the Royall dignity is not exempted from answering, neither by the Civil, or Canon Law, nor by the Law of nations, nor of nature. For if such kinde of offences might be committed without punishment, all Justice would stagger, yea fall to the ground. If you be innocent, you wrong your reputation in avoiding triall. You protest your selfe to be innocent, but Queene Elizabeth thinketh otherwise, and that neither without griefe and sorrow for the same. To examine therefore your innocency, shee hath appointed for Commissioners most honourable, prudent and upright men, who are ready to heare you according to equity with favour, and will rejoice with all their hearts if you shall cleare your selfe of this crime. Beleeve me, the Queene herselfe wilbe much affected with joy, who affirmed unto me at my coming from her that never any thing befell her more grievous, then that you were charged with such a crime. Wherefore lay aside the bootlesse priviledge of royall dignity, which now can be of no use unto you, appeare in Judgement, and shew your innocency, least by avoyding triall you drawe upon your selfe suspicion, and lay upon your reputation an eternall blot and aspersion.
54. I refuse not (said she) to answere in a full Parliament before the Estates of the Realme lawfully assembled, so as I may be declared the next to the succession; yea before the Queene and Councell, so as my protestation may bee admitted, and I may be acknowledged the next of kin to the Queene. To the judgement of mine adversaries, amongst whom I know all defence of mine innocency will be barred, flatly I will not submit my selfe. The Lord Chancellor asked her whether she would answere, if her protestation were admitted. I will never (said she) submit my selfe to the late Law mentioned in the Commission. Hereupon the Lord Treasurer inferred, Wee notwithstandiang will proceede to morrow in the cause, though you be absent and continue Contumax. Search (said she) your Consciences, looke to your honor, God reward you and yours for your Judgement against me.
55. On the morrow, which was the 14th of the month, she sent for certaine of the Commissioners, and praid that her protestation might be admitted and allowed. The Lord Treasurer asked her whether she would appeare to her tryall if her protestation were only receaved and put in writing, without allowance. She yeelded at the length, yet with muh adoe, and with an ill will, least she should seeme (as she said) to derogate from her predecessors or successors, but was very desirous to purge her selfe of the crime objected against her, being perswaded by Hattons reasons, which shee had weighed with advisement.
56. Soone after, the Commissioners which were present assembled themselves in the Presence chamber. At the upper and of the chamber was placed a chaire of Estate for the Queene of England, under a cloath of Estate. Over against it, below and more remote neere the transome or beame that rann crosse the roome, stood a chaire for the Queene of Scotts. At the walles on both sides were placed benches, upon which sate on the one side the Lord Chancellor of England, Lord Treasurer of England, the Earles of Oxford, Kent, Darby, Worcester, Rutland, Cumberland, Warwick, Pembroke, Lincolne, and the Lord Vicount Montacute; on the other side the Barons of Abergavenny, Zouch, Morley, Stafford, Grey, Lumly, Sturton, Sandes, Wentworth, Mordant, St. John of Bletso, Compton, and Cheiney. Nigh unto these sate the knights of the Privy Councell Sir James a Croftes, Sir Christopher Hatton, Sir Francis Walsingham, Sir Ralph Sadleir, Sir Walter Mildmay, and Sir Amias Powlet. Forward before the Earles sate the two chiefe Justicers and the chiefe Baron of the Exchecquer. And on the other side two Barons, the other Justicers, Dale and Ford, Doctors of the civill Law; and at a little table in the middest sate Popham the Queenes Atturney, Egerton the Sollicitor, Gawdy the Queenes Serjeant at Lawe, the clercke of the Crowne, and two Writers.
57. When she was come, and had settled herselfe in her seate, after silence proclaimed, Bromley Lord Chancellor turning unto her, spake briefly to this effect: The most high and mighty Queene Elizabeth, being not without great griefe of minde advertised that you have conspired the destruction of her and of England, and the subversion of Religion, both out of her office and duty, least shee might seeme to have neglected God, herselfe, and her people, and out of no malice at all, appointed these Commissioners, to heare the matters which shall be objected unto you, and how you can cleare yourselfe of them, and make knowne your innocency. She rising up, said, That she came into England to crave aid which had beene promised her, and yet was she deteined ever since in prison. She protested that she was no subject of the Queenes, But had beene and was a free and absolute Queene, and not to be constrained to appeare before Commissioners, or any other Judge whatsoever, for any cause whatseover, save before God alone the highest Judge, least she should prejudice her owne Royall Majesty, the King of Scottes her Sonne, her successors, or other absolute Princes. But, that she how appeared personally, to the end to refute the crimes objected against her. And hereof shee prayed her owne attendants to beare witnesse. The Lord Chancellor, not acknowledging that any ayd had beene promised her, answered, That this protestation was in vaine, for that whosoever (of what place and degree soever he were) should offend against the Lawes of England, in England, was subject unto the same Lawes, and by the late Act might be examined and tryed. The said protestation therefore, made in prejudice of the Laws and Queene of England, was not to be admitted. The Commissioners neverthelesse commanded that as well her protestation, as the Lord Chancellors answere, should be recorded. Then after the Commission was openly read, which was grounded upon the Act already often mentioned, shee stoutly opposed her protestation against the same Act, as enacted directly and purposely against her; and herein she appealed to their consciences. When answere was made by the Lord Treasurer that every person in this Kingdome was bound even by the latest Lawes, and that Shee ought not to spake against the Lawes, and that the Commissioners would judge according to that Law, what protestations or appellations soever shee interposed, shee said at length that shee was readie to heare and answere touching any fact whatsoever against the Queene of England.
58. Gawdy now opened the Law from point to point, affirming that she had offended against the same, and hereupon hee made an historicall discourse of Babingtons conspiracie, and concluded, That she knew of it, approved it, assented unto it, promised her assistance, and shewed the way and meanes. She answered with stout courage, That she knew not Babington, that shee never receaved any lettres from him, nor wrote any to him, that shee never plotted the destruction of the Queene, and that to prove the same, her subscription under her owne hand was to be produced. That for her part she never so much as heard speake thereof; that she knew not Ballard, nor ever relieved him; but she understood from some that the Catholikes in England tooke many things very hardly, and hereof she herselfe had advertised the Queene by letters, and besought her to take pitty on them. That many also, which were to her utterly unknowne, had offered her their helpe and assistance, yet had she excited no man to commit any offence; and being shut up in prison, she coulde neither know nor hinder what they attempted.
59. Hereupon it was urged out of Babingtons confession that there had beene intercourse by lettres betwixt her and Babington. She confessed that there had passed conference by lettres betwixt her and many men, yet could it not thereby be gathered that she was privy to all their wicked counsailes. She required that her owne subscription under her hand might be produced; and asked what hurt it were if she had redemanded the lettres which had beene kept from her almost a whole yeare. Then were read the copies of Babingtons lettres unto her, wherein the whole conspiracie was set downe. As for these lettres (said she), it may be that Babington wrote them, but let it be proved that I receaved them. If Babington or any others affirme it, I say, they ly openly. Other mens crimes are not to be cast upon me. A packet of lettres ,which had beene kept from me almost a whole yeare, came to my hands about that time, but by whom it was sent, I know not.
60. To prove that she had receaved Babingtons letters there were read out of Babingtons confession the chiefe heads of certaine lettres which he had voluntarily confessed that she wrote backe unto him. Wheren when mention was made of the Earle of Arundell and his brethren, and the Earle of Northumberland, the teares burst forth and she said, Alas, what hath that noble house of the Howards endured for my sake! And shortly after, having wiped away the teares, shee answered, That Babington might confesse what he list, but it was an open ly that she had devised such meanes to escape. That her adversaries might easily get the Cipher which she had used to others, and with the same write many things falsely. That it was not likely she should use Arundels helpe, whom she knew to bee shut up in prison, or Northumberlands, who was very young, and to her unknowne.
61. There were read also certein points picked out of Savage his and Ballards confessions, who had confessed that Babington imparted unto them certeine letters which he had receaved from the Queene of Scottes. She affirmed, That Babington receaved none from her, yea that she was angry with some which had secretly suggested counsailes unto her for invading of England, and had warned them to beware. Now there was a letter brought forth wherein Babingtons plot was commended and approved. Hereof she required a copie, and affirmed, That it proceeded not from her, but haply from her Alphabet of Ciphers in France; that she had done her best endeavour for the recovery of her liberty, which nature it selfe alloweth, and had sollicited her friends to deliver her; yet to som, whom she listed not to name, when they offered her their helpe to deliver her, she answered not a word. Neverthelesse she much desired to divert the storme of persecution from the Catholikes, and for this she had made earnest suite to the Queene. For her part she would not purchase the Kingdome with the death of the meanest man of the common people, much lesse of the Queene. That there were many which attempted dangerous designes without her knowledge; and by a very late letter which shee had receaved, pardon was asked of her by some, if they should enterprise any thing without her privity. That it was an easie matter to counterfeit the Ciphers and Characters of others, as a young man did very lately in France, which had vaunted himselfe to be her sonns base brother. That she feared also least this were done now by Walsingham to bring her to her death, who (as shee heard) had practised against her life and her sons. She protested that she not so much as thought the destruction of the Queene, that she had rather most gladly spend her owne life, then for her sake the Catholikes should be so afflicted in hatred of her, and drawne to cruell death. And withall she shead plenty of teares.
62. But (said the Lord Treasurer) no man which hath shewed himselfe a good subject was ever put to death for Religion, but some have beene for treason, while they mainteined the Popes Bull and authority against the Queene. Yet I (said she) have heard otherwise, and have read it also in Bookes set forth in print. The authors (replyed he) of such bookes do write also that the Queene hath forfeited her Royall dignity.
63. Walsingham, who had found himselfe taxed even now by her words, tooke oportunity, and rising up protested that his minde was free from all malice. I call God (said hee) to record that as a private person I have done nothing unbeseeming an honest man, nor as I beare the place of a publique person have I done any thing unworthy my place. I confesse that being very carefull for the safety of the Queene and Realme, I have curiously searched out the practises against the same. If Ballard had offered me his helpe, I should not have refused it, yea I would have recompensed the paines he had taken. If I have practised any thing with him, why did he not utter it to save his life? With this answere she said she was satisfied. She praied him, Hee would not be angry that she had spoken freely what shee had heard reported; and that he would give no more credit to those that slandered her, then shee did to such as accused him. That spies were men of doubtfull credit, which dissemble one thing and speake another; and that hee would in no sort believe that she had consented to the Queenes destruction. And now againe she burst forth in teares. I would never (said she) make shipwrack of my soule by conspiring the destruction of my deerest sister. It was answered by the Lawyers that this would soone be disproved by testimony. Thus farre in the forenoone.
64. In the afternoone, to disprove this was produced a copy of a letter which Charles Paget had written, and Curle one of her Secretaries had witnessed that shee had receaved, touching a conference betwixt Mendoza and Ballard about the designe for invading of England and setting her at liberty. This (answered she) was nothing to the purpose, and proved not that she had consented to the destruction of the Queene. The Lawyers proceeded further to prove that she was both privy to the conspiracie, and conspired also the destruction of the Queene. By Babingtons confession, and letters also that had passed betwixt her and him, wherin he had called her his most dread and Sovereign Lady and Queene. And by the way they mentioned that a plot was layed for coveighing the Kingdome of England to the Spaniard. She confessed that a Priest came unto her and said, That if shee would not intermeddle, shee and her Sonne both should be excluded from the Inheritance. But the Priests name she would not tell. She added that the Spaniard did laie claime to the Kingdome of England, and would not give place to any but to her. Then pressed they her with the testimonies of her Secretaries Nawe and Curle out of Babingtons confession and the letters sent to and from betwixt her and Babington, and the whole credite of their proofes rested on their testimony; yet were not they produced before her face to face. Curle she acknowledged to be an honest man, but not a meete witnesse against her. As for Nawe, hee had beene sometimes a Secretary (said she) to the Cardinall of Lorayne, and commended unto her by the French King, and might easily be drawn either by reward, or hope or feare, to beare false witnesse, as one that had sundry times rashly bound himselfe by oath; and had Curle so plyable unto him, that at his becke hee would write what hee bade him. It might bee that these two might insert into her letters such things as she had not dictated unto them. It might be also that such letters came to their hands, which not withstanding shee never saw. And so shee brake forth into such words as these: All both majesty and safety of all Princes falleth to the ground if they depend upon the writings and testimony of Secretaries. I delivered nothing to them but what Nature delivered to me, that I might at length recover my liberty. And I am not to bee convicted but by mine owne word or writing. If they have written any thing which may be hurtfull to the Queene my sister, they have written it altogether without my knowledge, and let them beare the punishment of their inconsiderate boldnes. Sure I am if they were here present, they would cleere mee of all blame in this cause. And I, if my notes were at hand, could answere particularly to these things.
65. Amongst these speeches the Lord Treasurer objected unto her that shee had purposed to send her Sonne into Spaine, and to conveigh her Title shee claimeth in the Kingdome of England to the Spaniard. To whom shee answered, That she had no kingdome which she could conveigh, yet was it lawfull for her to give these things which were hers, at her pleasure, and not to be accomptable for the same to any. When her Alphabets of Ciphers, sent over to Babington, the Lord Ludovic, and Fernihurst, were objected unto her out of Curles testimony, shee denied not, but she had written out many, and amongst others that for the Lord Lodovic, when she had commended him and another to the dignity of a Cardinall, and that, without offence (she trusted), for that it was as lawfull for her to have intercourse of letters, and to negotiate her matters with men of her Religion, as for the Queene with worshippers of another Religion. They pressed her hard with the consenting testimonies of Nawe and Curle iterated. And she reiterated her answers or else refuted their testimonies by a flat deniall, protesting againe that shee neither knew Babington nor Ballard. Amongst these speeches when the Lord Treasurer had mentioned that she knew Morgan well, which has sent Parry privily to murder the Queene, and that shee had assigned him a yeerly pension, shee replied, That she knew not whether Morgan had done so, but she knew that Morgan had lost all for her sake, and therefore it concerned her in honour to relieve him; and shee was not bound to revenge an injury done unto the Queene by a friend that had deserved well at her hands; yet had shee terrified the man from such wicked attempts. But contrariwise (said she) pensions have beene assigned out of England to Patricke Grey, and to the Scots my adversaries, as also to my sonne. The Lord Treasurer answered, When the revenewes of the Kingdome of Scotland were by the negligence of the Regents much diminished, the Queene bestowed somewhat in bounty upon your Son the King, her neere kinsman. Afterwards were produced the chiefe pointes of certaine letters sent to England, and the Lord Paget, and to Bernardine de Mendoza, about foreine ayd. But when she had answered, That these things made not to the destruction of the Queene. And if foreiners laboured to set her at liberty, it was not to be layed to her charge; and that shee had sundry times openly signified to the Queene that shee would seeke her owne liberty, the matter was prorogued till the next day following.
66. The next day shee returned her former protestation, and required to have it recorded and a copy thereof delivered unto her, lamenting, That the most reasonable conditions which she had many times propounded to the Queene were alwayes rejected, even when she promised to deliver her sonne and the Duke of Guise his sonne for hostages, that the Queene or kingdome of England should receive no detriment by her. So as shee saw her selfe already quite barred from all hope of liberty; but now shee was most unworthily dealt withall, whose honor and reputation was called in question before foreine lawyers, which by wretched conclusions drew every circumstance into a consequence, whereas Princes annointed and consecrate are not subject to the same lawes that private men are. Moreover, whereas authority was graunted to the Commissioners to examine matters tending to the hurt of the Queenes person, yet was the cause so handled, and letters wrestled, that the religion which shee professed, the immunity and majesty of forreine Princes, and the private intercourse betweene Princes were called into question, and she herselfe made to descend beneath her royall dignity, and to appeare as a party guilty before a Tribunall seate. And all to no other purpose but that she might be quite excluded out of the Queenes favour and her owne right to the succession; whereas she appeared voluntarily to cleare he selfe of the matters objected against her, least she might seeme to have neglected the defence of her owne honor and innocency. She called also to remembrance, How Queene Elizabeth herselfe had beene drawne in question about Wiats conspiracy, whereas notwithstanding shee was most innocent, religiously affirming, That though shee wished the safety of the Catholikes might bee provided for, yet would shee not that it should bee effected with the deaths and blood of any one. For her part, shee had rather play Hester then Judith, make intercession to God for the people, then deprive the meanest of the people of life. She expostulateth that her enemies had divulged abroad that shee was irreligious, But the time was (said she) when I would have beene instructed in the Protestants religion, but they would not suffer me to bee so, as if they cared not what became of my soule. And now concluding, When yee have done all you can (said she) against me, and have excluded me from my right, yee may chance faile of your cause and hope. And withall making her appeale to God, and to the Princes her kinsmen, and renewing her protestation, she prayed that there might bee another meeting about this matter, and that an Advocate might be granted unto her to pleade her cause, and that seeing shee was a Princesse, shee might be beleeved in the word of a Princesse. For it were extreme folly to stand in their judgement whom shee saw most plainely to bee armed with prejudice against her.
67. To these things the Lord Treasurer said, Whereas I beare a double person, one of a Commissioner, another of a Counsailour, receive first a words from mee as a Commissioner. Your protestation is recorded, and a coppy thereof shall be delivered unto you. To us our authority is granted under the Queenes hand and the great seale of England, from which there is no appeale. Neither do we come with prejudice, but to judge according to the exact rule of Justice. The Queenes learned Counsell do leavell at nothing else but that the truth may come to light how farre you have offended against the Queenes person. To us full power is given to heare and examine the matter, even in your absence; yet were we desirous you should bee present, least we might seeme to have derogated from your honor. We purposed not to object any thing unto you, but what you were privy to, or have attempted against the Queenes person. The letters have beene read to no other purpose but to discover your offence against the Queenes person, and the matters to it belonging, which are so interlaced with other matters that they cannot be severed. The whole letters therefore, and not parcels picked out heere and there, have beene openly read, for that the circumstances doe give assurance what matters you dealt with Babington about.
68. Shee interrupting him, sayd, The circumstance may be proved, but never the fact. Her integrity depended not upon the credit and memory of her Secretaries though she knew them to be honest and sincere men. Yet if they have confessed any thing out of feare of torments, or hope of reward and impunity, it was not to be admitted for just causes, which she would alledge els-where. Mens minds (said she) are diversley carried about with affections, and they would never have confessed such matters against her but for their own advantage or hope. Letters may be directed to others then those to whom they are written, and many things have beene often inserted which she never dictated. If her papers had not beene taken away, and she had her Secretary, shee could better confute the things objected against her.
69. But nothing (said the Lord Treasurer) shall be objected, but since the nyneteenth day of June; neither will your papers cleere you, seeing your Secretaries and Babington himselfe, being never put to the rack, have affirmed that you sent those letters to Babington, which though you deny; yet whether more credite is to be given to an affirmation then to a deniall, let the Commisioners judge. But to returne to the matter, this which followeth, I tell you as a Counsellour. Many things you have propounded time after time concerning your liberty. That they have failed of successe, it is long of you, [it is your responsibility] or of the Scots, and not of the Queene. For the Lords of Scotland flatly refused to deliver the King in hostage. And when the last treaty was holden concerning your libery, Parry was sent privily by Morgan a dependent of yours to murder the Queene. And (said shee) you are my adversary. Yea (said he) I am adversary to Queene Elizabeths adversaries. But hereof enough, let us now proceede to proofes. Which when she refused to heare, Yet we (said he) will heare them. And I also (said she) will heare them in another place, and defend my selfe.
70. Now were read againe her Letters to Charles Paget, wherein shee shewed him that there was no other way for the Spaniard to reduce the Netherlands to obedience but by setting up a Prince in England that might bee of use unto him; and the Lord Paget to hasten his auxiliarie Forces to invade England. And Cardinall Allens Letter, wherein he called her his most dread Sovereigne Lady, and signified that the matter was commended to the Prince of Parmas care. As these Letters were in reading, she interposed these speeches, That Babington and her Secretaries had accused her to excuse them selves; that she never heard of the six executioners, and that the rest made nothing to the purpose. As for Allen, she held him for a reverend Prelate, and she acknowledged no other head of the Church but the Bishop of Rome. In what ranke and place shee was esteemed by him and forreine Princes shee knew not, neither could shee hinder it if in their Letters they called her Queene of England. As for her Secretaries, seeing they had done contrary to their duty and alleageance sworne unto her, they deserved no credit. They which have once forsworne themselves, though they sweare againe with never so great oaths and protestations, are not to be credited. Neither did these men think themselves bounden by any oath whatsoever, forasmuch as they had sworne their fidelity and secrecy to her before, and were no Subjects of England. That Naw had many times written otherwise than she had dictated unto him, and Curle wrote whatseover Naw bade him. But for her part she was willing to beare the burthen of their fault in all things, but what might lay a blot upon her honour to be credited. Neither did these men thinke themselves bounden by any oath whatsoever in Court of conscience. And haply also they confessed these things to save themselves, supposing that they could not hurt her by confessing, who they thought should be more favourably dealt withall as being a Queene. As for Ballard, she never heard of any such, but of one Hallard, which had offered her his helpe; which notwithstanding, she had refused, for that she had heard that the same man had also vowed his service to Walsingham.
71. Afterwards, when certaine breife notes of her Letters to Mendoza, which Curle had confessed he had written in privy Ciphers, were read, and out of them shee was pressed as if shee had purposed to convey her right in the Kingdome to the Spaniard, and that Allan and Parsons lay now at Rome for that cause, she complaining that her Secretaries had broken their alleageance bound by oath, answered, When being prisoner I languished in cares without hope of liberty, and was without all hope to effect these things which very many expected at my hands, declining now through age and sicknesse, it seemed good to some that the succession of the Crowne of England should be established in the Spaniard, or some English Catholike. And a booke was sent unto mee to avow the Spaniards title; which when it was not allowed by me, I incurred displeasure amongst some. But now all my hope in England being desperate, I am fully resolved not to reject forraine ayde.
72. The Sollicitor put the Commissioners in minde what would become of them, their honours, estates, and posterities, if the Kingdome were so conveighed. But the Lord Treasurer shewed that the Kingdom of England could not bee conveighed, but was to descend by right of succession according to the Lawes. And asked her if shee would any more.
73. She required that she might be heard in a full Parliament, or that she might in person speake with the Queene (who would, she hoped, have regard of a Queene) and with the Councell. And now rising up with great confidence of countenance, shee had some conference with the Lord Treasurer, Hatton, Walsingham, and the Earle of Warwicke by themselves apart. These things being done, the assembly was prorogued to the 25th of October, at the Star-Chamber at Westminster. Thus far touching this matter out of the Commentaries of Edward Barker principall Register to the Queens Majestie, Thomas Wheeler publique Notary, Register of the Audience of Canterbury, and other credible persons which were present.
74. The sayd 25th day of October, all the Commissioners met, saving the Earles of Shrewsbury and Warwick, which were both of them sicke at that time. And after Naw and Curle had by oath, viva voce, voluntarily, without hope or reward, before them avowedly affirmed and confirmed all and every the letters and copies, before produced, to be most true, Sentence was pronounced against the Queene of Scotts, and confirmed with the seales and subscriptions of the Commissioners, and recorded in these words: By their joynt assents and consent they doe pronounce and deliver their sentence and judgement, at the day and place last recited, and say that after the end of the aforesaid session of Parliament in the Commission aforesaid specified, namely after the aforesaid first day of June in the 27th yeare abovesayd, and before the date of the same Commission, divers matters have been compassed and imagined within this realme of England by Anthony Babington and others, cum scientia, in English with the privity of the said Mary pretending title to the Crowne of this Realme of England, tending to the hurt, death, and destruction of the royall person of our said lady the Queene. And namely, that after the aforesaid first day of June in the 27th yeare abovesaid, and before the date of the commission aforesaid, the aforesaid Mary, pretending title to the Crowne of this realme of England, hath compassed and imagined within this realme of England divers matters tending to the hurt, death, and destruction of the royall person of our sovereigne Lady the Queene, contrary to the forme of the Statute in the Commission aofresaid specified. Concerning this sentence, which depended wholly upon the credite of the Secretaries, and they not brought forth face to face according to the first acte of the 13th yeere of Queene Elizabeth, much talke there was, and divers speeches rann abroad, while some thought them credible persons, and some, unworthy to be credited. I have seene Naws apologie to King James, written in the yeere 1605, wherein laboriously protesting, he excuseth himselfe that he was neither author, nor perswader, nor the first revealer of the plot that was undertaken, nor fayled of his duty through negligence or want of foresight. Yet that this daye hee stoutly impugned the chiefe points of accusation against his Ladie and mistresse. Which notwithstanding appeareth not by records. But the same day was there a declaration made by the Commissioners and the Judges of the land, That the said sentence did derogate nothing from James King of Scotts in title or honour, but that he was in the same place, degree and right, as if the same sentence had never beene pronounced.
75. Some few dayes after, a Parliament was holden at Westminster, begun by vertue of a certaine power of Vice-regencie graunted by the Queene to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Treasurer, and the Earle of Darby, and that without precedent. In which Parliament the proscription of the Lord Paget, Charles Paget, Sir Francis Englefield, Francis Throckmorton, Anthony Babington, Thomas Salisbury, Edward Jones, Chediock Tichborne, Charles Tilney, and the rest of the conspirators, was confirmed, and their goods and possessions confiscate. The Estates also of the realme, which had by their voices approved and confirmed the sentence given against the Queene of Scots, did with joynt assent put up a supplication to the Queene by the hands of the Lord Chancellor, wherein they most instantly besought her that for the preservation of Christs true Religion, the quiet of the realme, safetie of the Queenes person, and the defence of themselves and their posterities, the sentence given against Mary Queene of Scots might be published according to the law. Their reasons were drawne from the dangers that threatened Religion, the Queenes person, and the realme, from her which, having beene bred up in the Popish Religion, and a sworne confederate in the holie League, for the extirpation of the Protestants Religion, had now long time arrogated unto herselfe the kingdome while the Queene lived, and against whom being excommunicate, shee held it most lawfull to move invasion, and to take awaye her life, meritorious; who had overthrowne sundry florishing families of the Kingdome, and put fire to all the treasonable practises and rebellions in England. To spare her therefore were nothing else but to spill the people, who would exceedingly grieve at impunitie in this case, and would not thinke themselves discharged of their oath of Association unlesse she were condignly punished. Lastly, they called to her remembrance, how fearefull the examples of Gods vengeance were upon King Saul for sparing Agag, and upon King Ahab for sparing the life of Benhadad. These things the estates of the Parliament alleaged.
76. The Queene with great Majestie of Countenance and voice answered to this purpose: So many and so great are the bottomlesse graces and immeasurable benefits bestowed upon me by the Almighty, that I must not onely most humbly acknowledge them as benefits, but admire them as miracles, being in no sort able to expresse them. And though there liveth not any that may more justly acknowledge himselfe bound to God then I, whose life he hath miraculously preserved from so many dangers, yet am I not more deeply bounde to give him thankes for any one thing then for this which I will now tell you, and which I accompt as a miracle, namely that as I came to the Crown with the most hearty goodwill of all my subjects, so now after 28 yeeres reigne I perceive in them the same, if not greater goodwill towards me; which if I once lose, well might I breathe, but never thinke I lived. And now though my life hath beene dangerously shot at, yet I protest there is nothing hath more grieved me then that one not differing from me in sexe, of like ranke and degree, of the same stock, and most neerly allyed unto me in blood, hath fallen into so great a crime. And so farre have I beene from bearing her any ill will, that upon the discovery of certaine treasonable practises against me, I wrote unto her secretly that if she would confesse them by a private letter unto my selfe, they should be wrapped up in silence. Neither did I write thus in minde to intrap her, for I knew then as much as she could confesse. And even yet, though the matter be come thus farre, if she would truly repent, and no man would undertake her cause against me, and if my life alone depended hereupon, and not the safety and welfare of my whole people, I would (I protest unfeinedly) most willingly pardon her. Nay if England might by my death atteine a more flourishing Estate and a better Prince, I would most gladly lay downe my life. For, for your sakes it is, and for my peoples that I desire to live. As for me, I see no such great cause why I should either be fond to live, or feare to dye. I have had good experience of this world, and I know what it is to be a subject, and what to be a Sovereigne. Good neighbours I have had, and I have met with bad; and in trust I have found treason. I have bestowed benefits upon ill deservers, and where I have done well, have beene ill requited. While I call to mind these things past, behold things present, and expect things to come, I hold them happiest that go hence soonest. Neverthelesse against such mischiefs as these I put on a better courage then is common to my sexe, so as whatsoever befall me, death shall not take me unprepared.
77. And as touching the treasons, I will not so prejudicate my selfe, or the laws of my Kingdome, as not to thinke but that she, having beene the contriver of the same treasons, was bound and liable to the Ancient laws though the late Act had never been made; which notwithstanding was no wayes made to prejudice her. So farre was it from being made to intrap her, that it was rather intended to forewarne and terrifie her from attempting any thing against it. But seeing it was now in force of law, I thought good to proceede against her according to the same. But you lawyers are so curious in scanning the nice points of the law, and following of precedents and forme, rather then expounding the lawes themselves, that by exact observing of your forme, she must have beene indited in Staffordshiere, and have holden up her hand at the Barre, and have beene tried by a Jury of 12 men. A proper course forsooth of triall against a Princesse! To avoid therefore such absurdities, I thought it better to referre the examination of so weighty a cause to a good number of the noblest personages of the land, and the Judges of the realme. And all little enough. For we Princes are set as it were upon stages, in the sight and viewe of all the world. The least spot is soone spyed in our garments, a blemish quickly noted in our doings. It behooveth us therefore to be carefull that our proceedings be just and honorable. But I must tell you one thing, that by this last Act of Parliament you have brought me to a narrow straight, that I must give order for her death which is a Princesse most neerly allied unto me in blood, and whose practises against me have stricken me in so great griefe that I have beene glad to absent my selfe from this Parliament, least I should increase my sorrow by hearing it spoken of, and not out of feare of any danger, as some thinke. But yet I will now tell you a secret (though it is well knowne that I have the property to keepe counsaile). It is not long since these eyes of mine sawe and read an oath wherein some bound themselves to kill me within a month. Hereby I see your danger in me, which I will be very careful to avoyde.
78. Your Association for my safety I have not forgotten, which I never so much as thought of till a great number of hands with many obligations were shewed me; which as I do acknowledge as a strong argument of your true hearts and great zeale to my safety, so shall my bond be stronger tyed to a greater care for your good. But forasmuch as this matter now in hand is very rare and of greatest consequence, I hope you do not looke for any present resolution; for my manner is in matters of lesse moment then this, to deliberate long upon that which is once to be resolved. In the meane time I beseech almighty God to illuminate my minde that I may foresee that which may serve for the good of his Church, the prosperity of the Common-wealth, and your safety. And that delay may not breede danger, we will signify our resolution with all conveniency. And what ever the best subjects may expect at the hands of the best Princesse, that expect from me to be performed to the full.
79. The 12th day after, when shee had thoroughly weighted the matter in her minde, being distracted with doubtfull care and thought, and as it were in some conflict with herselfe what to do in so important a businesse, she sent the Lord Chancellor to the higher house, and Puckering to the rest in the lower house, praying them to enter into a new consideration upon so weighty a matter, and to devise some better remedy, whereby both the Queene of Scotts life might be spared, and her owne security provided for.
80. After much and long deliberation, they judging that both the welfare and hurt of the Prince belongeth to all, concurred againe with one voice in the same opinion; and that for these causes: For that the Queenes safety could not be secured as long as the Queene of Scots lived, unlesse she either seriously repented and acknowledged her offence, or were kept with a more straight guard, good assurance being given by bond and oath for her good demeanure, or delivered hostages, or else departed the realme. As for her repentance, they were out of all hope of it, considering that shee had ill requited the Queene which had saved her life, and did not yet acknowledge her fault. As for a surer guard, straighter custody, bonds, oath, and hostages, they held them all as nothing, for that the Queenes life being once taken away, these would presently vanish. And if she should depart the Realme, they feared least shee would presently take armes to invade the same. These reasons when the Lord Chancellor and Puckering, speaker of the lower house, had opened more at large, urging hard that the sentence might be put in execution, For that it is were injustice to deny execution of Lawe to any one of her subjects that should demaund it, so much more to her whole people of England with one voice and minde making humble and instant suite for the same. The Queene spake in this manner:
81. Full grievous is that way, whose going on and end yeelds nothing but cumber for the hire of a laborious journey. I have this day beene in greater conflict with my selfe then ever in all my life, whether I should speake, or hold my peace, If I speake and not complaine, I shall dissemble. And if I should be silent, your labour taken were all in vaine. If I should complaine, it might seeme strange and rare. Yet I confesse that my most hearty desire was that some other meanes might have beene devised to worke your security and my safety then this which is now propounded. So as I cannot but complaine, though not of you, yet unto you, that I perceave by your petitions that my safety dependeth wholly upon the death of another. If there be any that thinke I have prolonged the time of purpose to make a counterfeit shew of Clemency, they do me most undeserved wrong, as he knoweth which is the searcher of the most secret thoughts of the heart. Or if there be any that be perswaded that the Commissioners durst not pronounce other sentence, as fearing thereby to displease me, or to seeme to faile of their care for my safety, they do but heape upon me most injurious conceipts. For either those whom I have put in trust have failed of their duties, or else they signified unto the Commissioners in my name that my will and pleasure was that every one should deale freely according to his Conscience, and what they would not openly declare that they should reveale unto me in private. It was of my most favorable minde towards her that I desired some other meanes might be found out to prevent this mischiefe. But since now is resolved that my surety is most desperate without her death, I have a most inward feeling of sorrow that I, which have in my time pardoned so many rebels, winked at so many treasons, or neglected them with silence, must now seeme to shew cruelty upon so great a Princesse.
82. I have, since I came to the crowne of this realme, seene many defamatory bookes and pamphlets against me, accusing me to bee a tyrant; well fare the writers hearts, I believe their meaning was to tell me newes. And newes indeed it was to me to bee branded with the note of tyranny. I would it were as great newes to heare of their impiety. But what is it which they will not write now, when they shall heare that I have given consent that the executioners handes should bee imbrued with the blood of my neerest kinswomen? But so farre am I from cruelty, that to save mine owne life I would not offer her violence; neither have I beene so carefull how to prolong mine owne life, as how to preserve both; which that it is now impossible I grieve exceedingly. I am not so voyd of judgment as not to see mine owne perills before mine eyes; nor so madd to sharpen a sword to cut mine owne throat; nor so carelesse as not to provide for the safety of mine owne life. But this I consider with my selfe that many a man would put his own life in danger to save a Princesses life. I do not say, So will I; yet have I many times thought upon it. But seeing so many have both written and spoken against me, give me leave, I pray you, to say somewhat in mine owne defence, that ye may see what manner of woman I am, for whose safety you have passed such carefull thoughts. Wherein as I do with most thankfull heart consider your vigilant care, so I am sure I shall never requite it had I as many lives as you all.
83. When first I tooke the Scepter, I was not unmindfull of God the giver, and therefore began my reigne with his service, as the religion I had beene borne in, bredd in, and I trust shall dye in. And though I was not ignorant how many perills I should be beset withall at home for altering religion, and how many great Princes abroad of a contrary profession would attempt all hostility against me, yet was I no whit dismayed, knowing that God, whom onely I respected, would defend both me and my cause. Hence it is that so many treacheries and conspiracies have beene attempted against me, that I rather marvaile that I am, then muse that I should not be, were it not that Gods holy hand hath protected me beyond all expectation. Then, to the end I might make the better progresse in the art of swaying the Scepter, I entred into long and serious cogitation what things were worthy and fitting for kings to do; and I found it most necessary that they should be abundantly furnished with those speciall vertues, Justice, Temperance, Prudence, and Magnanimity. As for the two later I will not boast my selfe, my sexe doth not permit it. But for the two former, I dare say (and that without ostentation) I never made a difference of persons where right was one, I never preferred for favor whom I thought not fit for worth, I never bent my eare to credit a tale that was first told, nor was so rash to corrupt my judgment with prejudice before I heard the cause. I will not say but many reports might haply be brought me in too much favour of the one side or another: <Even a good and cautions prince is often put up for sale,> for we princes cannot heare all our selves. Yet this I dare say boldly: my judgement went ever with the truth according to my understanding. And as full well Alcibiades wished his friend not to give any answer till he had run over the letters of the alphabet, so have I not used rash and sudden resolutions in any thing.
84. And thereof as touching your counsailes and consultations, I acknowledge them to be so carefull, provident, and profitable for the preservation of my life, and to proceed from minds so sincere and to me most devoted, that I shall indeavour my selfe all I can to give you cause to thinke your paines not ill bestowed, and strive to make my selfe worthy of such subjects. And now for your petition, I pray you for this present to content your selves with an answer without answer. Your judgement I condemne not, neither do I mistake your reasons, but pray you to accept my thankfulnesse, excuse my doubtfulnesse, and take in good part my answer answerlesse. If I should say I would not do what you request, I might say perhaps more then I thinke. And if I should say I would do it, I might plunge my selfe into perill whom you labour to preserve; which in your wisedomes and discrestions ye would not that I should, if ye consider the circumstances of place, time, and the manners and conditions of men. After this the assembly of the Estates was prorogued.
85. About that time were the Lord Buckhurst and Beale sent to the Queene of Scotts to signifie unto her that sentence was pronounced against her; that the same was approved and confirmed by act of Parliament as most just, and the execution therof instantly sued for by the Estates, out of a due regard of Justice, Security, and Necessity, and therefore to perswade her to acknowledge her offences against God and the Queene, and to expiate them before her death by repentance, letting her understand that as long as she lived, the receaved religion in England could not subsist. Heereat she seemed with a certaine unwonted alacrity to triumph, giving God thanks, and rejoycing in her heart that she was holden to be an instrument for the reestablishing of Religion in this iland. And earnestly she prayed that she might have a Catholique priest to direct her conscience and minister the Sacraments unto her. A Bishop and a Deane whom they commended unto her for this use she utterlie rejected, and sharply taxed the English nation, saying often, That the English had many times slaughtered their kings. No mervaill therefore if they now also shewe their cruelty upon me that am issued from the blood of their Kings.
86. The publication of the sentence was stayed a while by the intercession of LAubespine the French Embassador, but in the month of December, though the earnest instance of some Courtiours it was publiquely proclaimed all over the City of London, the Lord Maior, the Aldermen and principall officers and Citizens being present and afterward throughout the whole realme. In the proclamation the Queene seriously protested that this publication was extorted from her not without exceeding griefe of minde, out of a certeine necessitie, and the most vehement prayers and obtestations of the Estates of the realme, though there were which thought this to proceede of womens cunning, who though they much desire a thing, will alwayes seeme rather to be constrained unto it.
87. The publication of this sentence of death being made knowne to the Queene of Scottes, so farre was she from being dismayed thereat, as with a stable and stedfast countenance, lifting up her eyes and hands towards heaven, shee gave thankes to God. And though shee were by Powlet her keeper despoiled of all dignity; and holden into other regard then as a miserable woman of the basest reckoning, yet she endured it with a most patient minde. And having with much adoe obteined leave of him to write, she by a letter sent to Queene Elizabeth the 19th of December, laboured to cleere herselfe from all hostile malice against her, thanked God for the sentence of her condemnation, who was now pleased to finish her wofull peregrination in this life. Shee prayed her that for these kindnesses following shee might be beholden to her alone and to none else (for from these jealous Puritans which held a chiefe place in England, she could expect no good). First, that when her adversaries were glutted with her innocent blood, her body might be conveighed by her servants, into some holy land to be buried; especially into France, where her mother rested in peace; for in Scotland the sepulchers of her ancestors were violated and the Churches either demolished or prophaned; and in England among the ancient Kings the common forefathers of the both, she was out of all hope to be interred with Catholique rites and ceremonyes. So might her body at length find rest in peace, which so long as it was joyned with the soule, could never be at quiet. Secondly (forasmuch as she feared the secret tyranny of some), that she might not be put to death in secret without Queene Elizabeths knowledge, but in the sight of her servants and others, which might give true testimony of her faith in Christ, her obedience toward the Church, and her last end, against false rumors which her adversaries might devise. And thirdly that her servants might freely and peacably depart whither they would, and injoy the legacies which she had bequeathed unto them by testament. These things with most earnest prayers she intreated of her, in the name of Jesus Christ, by their neere kindred, by the ghost and memory of Henry the 7th the common progenitor of them both, and by the royall honor which she had borne. Then shee complained, That all her Regall ornaments were taken from her by commandement of some of the Councell, ghessing That their malice would breake forth to greater matters. And she added, That if they had exhibited her letters and papers without colour and fraud, which were taken away, it might have plainely appeared by them, that there was no other cause of her death, then the busy carefulnesse of some for Queene Elizabeths safety. Lastly she earnestly besought her that she would write back a few words unto her touching these matters, with her owne hand.
88. Whether this letter ever came to Queene Elizabeths hands, I cannot say. But divers speeches were raised about this matter according to the divers dispositions of men; to say nothing of the declamations and exclamations of the ecclesiasticall sort of people on both sides, who for the most part are very vehement.
89. Some indifferent censurers there were which thought she was somewhat sharpely dealt withall, for that shee was a free and absolute Princesse, under the superior command of God alone; for that shee was Queene Elizabeths very neere kinswoman, who also had by Henry Midlemore made her a large promise in the word of a Prince, of all curtesy and kind hospitality, as soone as she was arrived in England, being throwen out of her kingdome by rebels; and yet contrariwise had kept her in prison, violated the sacred rights of hospitality, for that shee could not bee accompted in worse degre then as a prisoner taken in warre, and it was lawfull for such as were taken prisoners in warre to use all meanes to worke their owne safety and liberty; for that she could not commit treason, because shee was no subject, and par in parem non habeat potestatem, that is, princes of equall degree have no power or sovereignty one over another; and thereupon the sentence of the Emperour against Robert King of Sicily was disanulled because he was no subject of the Empire. For that Embassadors which are Princes servants, if they conspire against Kings to whom they are sent in Embassy, are not to bee impleaded as guilty of treason, much lesse the Princes themselves; and for that the affect or intent is not to bee punished, unlesse the effect follow. Moreover that it was a thing never heard of that a Prince should be subjected unto the stroake of the executioner. Also that shee was contemned contrary to the Law of England, yea contrary also to the first Act of Parliament made in the 13th yeare of Queene Elizabeth, by which it is enacted, That no man is to be arraigned for intending the destruction of the Prince his life, but by the testimony and oath of two lawfull witnesses, to be brought forth face to face before him; whereas in this tryall no witnesse was produced, but shee was overborne with the testimony of her Secretaries, which were absent. Much arguing also there was about the credit of the testimony of servants, prisoners, and domesticall testimony, and that saying of the Emperour Hadrian was commended, Witnesses, not witnessings, are to be beleeved.
90. These men tacitly complained that privy messengers were suborned, which with dissimulation, counterfet letters, and cunning devises had circumvented her, being a woman prone to conceive an injury and greedy of her liberty, learned her secret counsails, and drawen her into worse designes which never would have entred into her thought if she had beene kept with that care as was meete, and such cunning fellowes had not beene privily sent unto her of set purpose. That in al ages it hath bin a familiar thing among Courtyours to thrust forward those whom they hate, even against their willes, into matter of treason, and craftily to endanger heedlessse innocency once imprisoned.
91. Others there were, which thought her not to be a free and absolute Queene, but onely a titular Queene, because she had resigned her kingdome, and when she first came into England had subject herselfe under the protection of the Queene of England, and by well-doing she enjoyed the benefite of the laws, so by ill-doing she was subject to the equity thereof according to that saying of the Lawyers, He deserveth not the benefit of the lawe, which hath offended against the law. Otherwise, better were the condition of a forreine prince offending another Prince his Kingdome, then his that reigneth well. They thought her also to be a subject, though not originary, yet temporary, because two absolute Princes in respect of regall authority cannot be in one Kingdome at once. That it was a receaved opinion of the learned in the laws, A King without his owne dominions (except it be in an expedition of warre), is but a private man, and therefore can neither conferr nor exercise royalties. Moreoever that she by her offence most merum imperium, her meere and absolute Sovereigntie, and that such as are subjects by their dwelling onely and place of abode might commit treason. As for her kinred, no kinred is neerer then our country. Our country is to us as another God, and our first and greatest parent. And as touching the promised offices of curtesie and hospitalitie, they were no priviledges to commit ill deedes afterward with impunity; that the promises were to be undertood, matters continuing in the same state, and not altered. Hee which hath committed a crime hath not deserved to enjoy promised security; and sacred are the laws of hospitalitie, but more sacred are the lawes of our country. That Princes, as wel as the Pope, do never binde their owne hands. And all men are more strongly tied to the commonwealth then to their owne promise. And if she must have beene dealt withall as a prisoner taken in the warres, they objected out of I know not what author, That those prisoners onely are to bee spared, from whom we can suspect no disturbance of peace, the rest not. And That a Prince hath power or jurisdiction over another Prince that is his equall, as often as any hath subjected himselfe under the judgement of his Equall, either by expresse words, or covert contract, or by offending within the jurisdiction of his Equall. That the Pope had repealed the Emperors sentence against Robert King of Sicily, because the fact was committed not within the Emperors, but within the Popes territories. That Embassadors are by the lawe of Nations priviledged, in respect of the necessitie of their Embassie, to be free from violence, but so are not Kings that attempt leawd practises in other Kings dominions. In briefe, that in the crime of treason the affect or intention is to be punished, without the effect. And that to attempt the death of the Prince, yea to know of such an attempt and conceale it, is reckoned amongst the crimes of treason. That many Kings have been condemned and put to death, namely Rhescuporis King of Thrace by Tiberius, Licinius and Maximianus by Constantine the great, Bernard of Italy, and Conradine of Sicily, etc. And to conclude (which is as good as all), that the safetie of the people is the highest law. And no law is more sacred then the safety of the Common-wealth. That God himselfe hath established this law, that al things which are good and profitable for the common-wealth should be holden for lawfull and just. Yea that the very Bishops of Rome, not for the publicke but their own security, have put to death ecclesiasticall Princes, as Boniface the eight caused Celestine the fift being deposed from his Popedome to be put to death, fearing least for his singular piety hee should bee called againe to the Papacie; and Urban the sixth caused five Cardinals to be sewed up in sacks and cast into the sea, others to be beheaded, and the bodies of two he commanded to be dryed in an oven and carried about upon mules for a terror to others. Furthermore, that her Secretaries were not to be accompted as servants, and that domesticall testimonie as to those things which were done in secret at home was to be admitted. And more slenderlie it was disputed whether accusers voluntarilie sworne, and accessary to the crime, were to be brought face to face to mainteine their accusation in criminal causes. And to be short, that there was extant no great example which did not carie with it some colour of injustice. These things and such like we then heard cast abroade.
92. In the meane time the King of Scottes (which was his singular piety towards his mother) laboured all that possiblie he could, by William Keith, to save her life, and omitted nothing that beseemed a most dutifull and pious sonne and a most prudent King. But with no successe at all, for that the Scotts were rent into factions amongst themselves, and more there were that favored Queene Elizabeth then the captive Queene; insomuch as some of them secretly sollicited Queene Elizabeth by lettres to hasten her execution, and the Scottish Ministers, being commanded by the King to commend his mothers safetie to God by their prayers in the Churches, obstinately refused to do it; such was their hatred to the Religion which she professed. Neverthelesse he, as he had before by often messengers and oftener letters made intercession for her to the Queene, so now by more frequent and importunate letters and Messengers sollicited for her. Wherein he complained, That it was most unjust and unworthy that the Nobility, Councell, and subjects of England should give sentence against a Queene of Scotts, she also being descended from the blood Royall of England; and no lesse unjust to think that the Estates of England can by authority of Parliament exclude the true and undoubted heire from her right of succesion and lawful inheritance (as some for a terror now and then threatened).
93. He sent also Patrick Grey and Robert Melvin, to signifie to the Queene, That in his singular love and friendship he could not beleeve but she having by her vertues, and especially by her clemency, purchased in all places a most renowned name free from all blot of cruelty, would preserve, and not blemish it by any meanes with the blood of his mother, which was of the same regal estate, the same blood, the same sex, and whom (forasmuch he was bound in conscience to have a pious care of his mothers life) he could not forsake, nor leave to the cruelty of those, which had now long time gaped after his destruction as well has his mothers. In other letters of his, after he had at large declared with what doubtfull care and anguish of minde he was perplexed about so weighty a matter, which touched and tyed him in regard both of Nature and Honor, and into what straights and hazard of his reputation amongst his owne people hee should be plunged if any violence should bee offered to his mother; out of his inward feeling of sorrow and filiall affection he propouded to Queene Elizabeth these things following to bee attentively weighed and considered by her: How much it concerned him in honour, who was both a King and a Sonne, of his dearest Mother, and she an absolute Princesse, should be put to an infamous death, by her who was most neerly allyed and tyed unto her in blood and confederacy. Whether by the Law of God there might be any just proceeding by Lawe against those whom God hath appointed to be his supreme ministers of Justice, whom hee hath called Gods on earth, whom he hath annointed, and being annointed hath forbidden to be touched, and will not suffer them to go unpunished that should do them violence. How monstrous and portentous a matter it would be to subject an absolute Prince under the judgement of subjects. How prodigious, if an absolute Prince should be made a dangerous precedent for prophaning his owne and others Diadems. And moreover, what should drive her to this severity? Honor, or profit? If honor, she should purchace more honor by sparing her; for so should she with eternall commendations of her Clemency, binde unto her by this favour both himselfe and all the Princes of Christendome, whom otherwise shee could not but alienate from her, with losse of her fame and note of cruelty. And if profite should driver her to it, it was to be considered whether any thing were profitable which was not just and honest. He concluded with request, That his Embassadors might bright back such an answere, as might be most fitting a most religious Queene, and not unworthy a King and a most loving kinsman. But whereas his Embassadors, unseasonably mingled threatenings with intreatings, they were not very welcome, and indeede after a few daies where dismissed with small hope.
94. Monsieur Pompon de Bellieurs, who for this cause was sent from the French King, when he had accesse to the Queene, being accompanied with LAuberspine a Chaasteau-neuf the ordinary Embassador, and had briefely signified into what contrarieties the French King was distracted, on the one side in his singular affection towards her, and on the other side by the straight alliance betwixt him and the Queene of Scotts, propounded these things once, and againe the second time in writing, as followeth:
95. That it neerely concerned the most Christian King of France, and all other Kings, that a Queene, and a free and absolute Princesse should not be put to death.
96. That the Queenes safety would bee brought into greater hazard by the death of Queene Mary, then by her life; that she being delivered out of Prison could attempt nothing against the Queene, who being now sickly had but a short time to live.
97. That whereas shee had claimed the Crowne of England, shee was not to be blamed for it, but it was to be imputed to her young yeeres and bad counsailors.
98. That shee came a suppliant into England, and therefore having beene unjustly deteined, shee was now at length to bee either ransomed, or mercifully dealt withall. Moreover, that an absolute Prince was not to be called in question, in so much as Tully said, so unusuall a thing it is, a King to bee put to death for a capitall crime, that before this time it was never heard of.
99. That if she were innocent, shee was not to bee punished; if guilty, she was to bee spared. For this would turne to greater honor and profit, and would bee an eternall example of the English Clemency; remembering the History of Porsenna, which pluked the right hand of Mutius Scaevola out of the fire, and set him at liberty though hee had conspired his death.
100. That it was a principall precept for ruling well that blood should be spared; that blood cryeth for blood; that to show extreme rigor upon her would not but seeme a cruell and bloody part.
101. That the French King would do his best to repell all attempts of all men which should practise against the Queene. And that the Guises the Queene of Scottes kinsmen would sweare and binde themselves thereunto by writing under their hands; who in case shee should bee put to death, would take it very hardlie, and haplie not leave it unrevenged.
102. Lastly they required that shee might not bee proceeded against according to so rigorous and extroardinary a Sentence. Otherwise the French King could not but take very great displeasure thereat, howsoever other Princes would have feeling thereof.
103. To these reasons answere was made from point to point in the margent, as followeth. That the Queene of England trusted the most Christian King of France would no less respect her then he did the Queene of Scots which had practised the destruction of an innocent Princesse, her neere kinswoman, and confederate with the French King. That it was expedient for Kings and Common-wealths that leawd facts (especially against Princes) should not bee unpunished.
104. That the English, which in Engand did acknowledge the Soveraigne authority of Queene Elizabeth onely, could not acknowledge two supreme, free, and absolute Princes in England at once; or any other whomsoever to be equall unto her in England as long as she lived. Neither indeed did they see how the Queene of Scott, and her Sonne at that date reigning, could bee holden both at one time to bee supreme and absolute Princes.
105. Whether the Queenes safety would bee exposed to greater perils she being executed, depended upon future accidents; the Estates of England, upon serious deliberation of the matter, thought otherwise. They would never bee lacking occasions for bad attempts, especially when the matter was now come to that passe that the one had no hope of safety, unlesse the other were extinct, and this most often came into their mindes, Aut ego illam, aut illa me, that is, Either I must take away her life, or shee will take away mine. The shorter the time to come of her life was, the sooner would the conspirators hasten the Queenes danger.
106. That the title which she claimed to the crowne of England shee would not yet renounce, and therefore she was by good right deteined in prison, and so to be deteined (though shee came a suppliant into England), untill shee had renounced the same.
107. And the crimes which shee had committed in prison, shee ought to suffer for, for what cause soever shee were cast in prison.
108. That the Queene had before also most graciously spared her alreadie, when by joynt consent of the Estates shee was condemned for a Rebellion raised about her Mariage with the Duke of Norfolke, and to spare her againe were ill-advised and cruell pitty. That no man was ignorant of that saying of the lawyers, A man offending in anothers territory, and there found, is punished in the place of his offence, without regard of his dignity, honor, or priviledge. And that this was both lawfull by the Lawes of England, and apparent by the examples of Licinius, Robert King of Sicily, Bernard King of Italy, Conradine, Elizabeth Queene of Hungery, Joane Queene of Napes, and Deiotarus, for whom Tully pleading, said, It was no unjust thing for a King to be guilty and put to death for a capitall crime, though not usuall. For thus the words runn, Which I speake first touching a Kings forfeiture of Life and Estate. Which thing thought it be not usuall, when thy life is in danger, yet is not so unusually, etc.
109. That the story of Porsenna fitted not with the matter propounded, unlesse a man would think that there was a long troupe of men which layed wait for the Queenes life, and should perswade her to set the Queene of Scottes at liberty untouched out of terror, and some regard of honor, but none of safety, as Porsenna discharged Mutius when he had affirmed that 300 like him had conspired his death. Moreover, Mutius set upon Porsenna warre being denounced, and when Mutius was discharged Porsenna certainly perswaded himselfe that all the danger was over.
110. That blood indeede is to be spared, but it must bee innocent blood. This God hath commanded. True it is indeede that the voice of innocent blood criety for blood. And this can France, both before and after the Massacre of Paris, well witnesse.
111. Death justly inflicted cannot seeme bloody, as neyther can a medicine ritely and duly prepared be thought to be violent.
112. That howsoever the Guises the Queene of Scottes kinsmen tooke the matter, yet it maynly concerned the Queene to regard rather the safety of herselfe, the Nobility and people of England (upon whose love shee wholly depended), then the displeasure of any whosoever. That the matter was now come to that passe, as that old saying concerning the two Princes Conradine of Sicily and Charles of Anjou, might be taken up of the two Queenes, and it might now bee truly said, The death of Mary is the life of Elizabeth, and the life of Mary is the death of Elizabeth.
113. That the French Kings, or the Guises promises could not secure the Queene and Realme, much lesse recompence her life if she should bee made away.
114. That the French King could not finde out or restraine secret practises against himselfe at home, much lesse against the Queene of England. For treason is plotted in secret, and therefore is unavoidable. If the fact were once committed, what it availe to claime their promise? How should an incomparable Princes death bee recompenced? And in a most wofull confusion of all things, what remedy should be found for the languishing Common-wealth?
115. That the bonds and oaths of the Guises were of small value, which judged it meritorious to kill the Bishop of Romes adversaries, and could very easily get dispensations for their oath. And what Englishman, Queene Elizabeth being slaine, and the Queene of Scotts of the house of Guise advanced to the Crowne, would accuse them of the murder? And if any would accuse them, could they thereby restore her againe from death to life?
116. And whereas the Embassadors have called this a Rigorous and extraordinary Sentence, they have spoken unadvisedly (forasmuch as they have seene neither processe nor proofes), and have more sharply then is meete taxed the Estates of the Realme of England, most choice men for Nobility, Vertue, Prudence, and Piety. Yea they have well inconsiderately uttered such words in the French Kings Realme, as if they meant by threates to terrifie the Queene, and the Estates of the Land. The Englishmen have not beene wont to be terrified with the Frenchmens threats from entring into courses to establish their owne security, when they in the meane time could shew no fit meanes to avoid the instant perils.
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