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ANNO DOMINI 1601
Embassies from Morocco and Russia. | And visitations of Princes. | The Rohans. | Essex harkeneth not to sound counsailes. | The Queene more and more incensed. | He entreth into secret designes. | What things he propounded to his Counsellors. | Suspitions against him increased. | New designes presently undertaken. | The multitude assembled. | Some of the Councell sent to the Earle. | His complaints. | The acclamation of the multitude. | Essex entreth into London. | He casteth to returne. | The Counsellors delivered. | A conflict. | He fortifieth his house. | He is besieged. | Summoned. | They resolve to breake forth. | They consult to yeeld. | They yeeld. | And are imprisoned. | The Citizens fidelity commended. | Thomas Lea taken. | Hee is executed. | A Proclamation against Vagabonds and rumor spreaders. | The conspirators counsaile discovered. | Essex and Southampton arraigned. | The heads of the charge against them. | Explained by the Queenes counsaile at Law. | Essex his answere. | He excuseth the injuries done the Counsellors. | Layeth open the injuries done to himselfe. | He maketh light of Gorges his test mony. | Southampton defendeth his cause. | Matters propounded by the Justicers Assistants. | Essex accuseth his adversaries. | Bacon answereth Essex his accusations. | Essex interrupteeth him. | Cecyl commeth into the Court. | He speaketh to Essex. | Sir William Knollis produced. | Cecyl inveigheth against Essex. | Southampton excuseth himselfe againe. | The Justices opinion of ther protestations. | Sentence pronounced against them. | Others are arraigned. | Essex craveth conference. | He taxeth Cuffe. | He revealeth his associate. | He is led to execution. | He is beheaded. | His prayses. | His genealogy. | His wife and children. | Others are arraygned. | Sir Christopher Blunt. | Danvers. | Davies. | Cuffe. | Mericke. | Their suites being condemned. | Cuffes death. | And Mericks. | Danvers beheaded. | Blunts confession. | Sir Henry Nevill adjudged to the Tower. | John Daniell an imposter punished. | The Queenes answer to the Scottish Embassadors. | Gallyes built. | The Estates cast in minde to subdue Flanders. | The Archduke Albert preventeth them. | Vere made Governour of Ostend. | Ostend described. | A parley. | Broke off by Vere. | The Towne sharply assaulted. | And manfully defended. | The English that were slaine. | A Parliament. | Monopolies restrayned. | The Queenes speach thereof. | The death of Henry Earle of Penbroke. | And of the Lord Norris. | And of the Lord Willoughby. | A Proclamation for not carying mony into Ireland. | A treaty about Irish coyne. | It is changed without stir. | The Lord Deputy marcheth against the rebels. | And Sir Henry Docwray in another part. | Who taketh Donegall. | Rumors call back the Lord Deputy. | Ballashanon wonne. | The Spaniards cast to invade Ireland. | The President of Munster surpriseth the titular Earle of Desmond. | He findeth out a consultation where the Spaniards should land. | He prepareth against them. | He sendeth for the Lord Deputy. | A consideration on whether the Deputy should enter into Munster without forces. | The Spaniards arrive in Ireland. | They publish the cause of their comming. | They are besiedged. | And driven out of the Castle of Kincurran. | Tir-Oen commeth into Munster. | The Lord Deputy urgeth the siedge. | The Rebels intend to releeve the Towne with fresh men. | And the English to impeach them. | The Rebels retyre. | The English pursue them. | They fight the 21st of December, upon which day there was an earthquake in London. | The Rebels flye. | The commodities by this victory. | The Spaniards demand a parley. | The Articles of composition.
HE Queene in the beginning of the yeere attended the hearing of Embassies most full of honour. For from the South Hamet, King of Mauritania Tingitana, and from the North Boris Pheodorides, Emperour of Russia, sought her amity with all earnest affection. She honourably also entertained Wolfgang Guilielm the son of Philip Lodovic Count Palatine, Duke of Zweibruck and Neoburg, Virginus Ursinus, Duke of Braciano in Hetruria, and the Rohans, being brethren, in their returne from the King of Scots their kinsman (for they derive their descent from James the first King of Scots), who al in token of honour visited her. The Earle of Essex in the meane while kept himselfe at home, and give himselfe wholly to the service of God; yet now and then there fell from him some words as stomackfully disdaining the power of his adversaries with the Queene; wherein those that loved him best judged that there was more stomacke than counsaile. And when they out of their love most earnestly by letters forewarned him, as the Lord Keeper had done before, That he should not be wanting to himselfe, his friends, and his Countrey; that the Common-wealth should unite those whom different affections had disjoyned; that he should not cover his private wounds with the mischiefes of the Common-wealth; that he should yeeld unto the time; that he should humbly sue for the Queenes favour, who had beene most bountifull unto him, and not give his adversaries cause to triumph over him, hee heard them with great dislike and answered, as before hee had done to the Lord Keeper, Where I expected a harvest, a tempest is arisen unto me. If I be wanting to my selfe, my friends, and my Countrey, it is long [it is the responsiblity] of others, not of me. The Queene hath thrust mee downe into a private life; I have beene unjustly committed to custody. Princes have not an infinite power. They may erre with others. I have received wounds from my adversaries all my body over. The violence of my adversaries is oppressing me, shall not be greater than my constancy in bearing. Let them triumph, I will not follow the triumphall chariot. These things, comming to the Queenes knowledge, alienated her minde from him more and more; but the injury he did her in scorning her beauty inflamed her. For he had given out (to say nothing of other things) that she being now an old woman was no lesse crooked in minde than in body. And this flame some Ladies of the Court, whom he had deluded in love matters, cherished, yea, increased by their complaints; insomuch as shee in a manner flatly denied him the Farm of wines. Whereby new coales were added to his discontentment; which were very much kindled both by an assault which the Lord Grey of Wilton made with his drawne sword upon the Earle of Southampton his inward friend, riding in the street (for which notwithstanding he was imprisoned by the Queenes commandement), and also by the sinister suggestions of his adversaries, who ceased not continually to pricke forward his exulcerate mind.
2. Heereupon he, harkening to sinister Counsellors, beganne secretly to hammer anew those clandestine designes undertaken in Ireland for the removing of his adversaries from the Court. There were those at hand that would assist him in any new attempt, and there wanted not such as would put them in practise; and he left no meanes unused to winne all mens hearts more unto him, which hee had perceived to incline towards him out of an opinion of his vertue. The favour of the King of Scots, who before was thought to be displeased with him, hee laboured to procure by letters most full of observance towards him, and accusations against his adversaries.
3. The power of these his adversaries he setteth for by name, to wit, that in the West parts of England etc. Raleigh was Governour of the Ile of Jersey; in the East parts the Lord Cobham was Lord Warden of the Cinque ports; the Lord Burghley President of the North; and Sir George Carew President of Munster the South part of Ireland; That these places were most oportune for letting in of the Spaniards. That these men were well affected to the Spaniard, and were all at Secretary Cecyls becke, who now with Buckhurst Lord Treasuruer (in whose hands were the sinnewes of warre) and the Lord Admirall (which had the command of the Queenes navy), both of them at his devotion, had in a manner the mannaging of the whole State. He dealt therefore with the King of Scots to send Embassadours into England to urge a declaration of his title of succession. For these Embassadors he prepareth instructions, wherein by divers arguments are propounded the unlimited power of his adversaries, their malice against the King, and their good-will to the Infanta. I will not say he did this with a purpose that, if such a declaration were not made, hee would thence take occasion to remove his adversaries as opposites to the undoubted heire of the Crowne. And whereas Religion is the greatest winner of mens affections, hee endeavoured to allure unto him the Puritans and their Ministers whom the Queene approved not, and withall the Papists, by pittying their afflicted estate. He procured military men, and of prompt boldnesse, to be sent for under sundry colors and pretences, and to be placed secretly neere about his house. In the meane time he called but few to his inward counsaile (following therein the advice of Cuffe, who had given him an inkling that many were to be assembled, but his purpose to be communicated with few), namely the Earle of Southampton, of whose fidelity he was most assured, Sir Chrles Danvers, a man most devoted to Southampton, as to whom he was beholden for his life, Sir Fernando Gorges, Captaine of the garrison of Plimmouth, Sir John Davies, Survayor of the Ordnance under him, a man singularly well learned in the Mathematikes, and John Litleton of Frankel, a wise man for armes and counsailes, but (for injuries unbeseeming a sonne) cursed by his father, whom hee had forgot to honour.
4. All these secretly meeting in Drury house for avoyding of suspition, the Earle of Essex first propounded a Catalogue of the Noblemen and Gentlemen which he perswaded himselfe to be most addicted unto him, wherein were reckoned about 120 Earles, Barons, Knights, and Gentlemen of most Noble houses; then he willed them to deliberate and report unto him, whether it were better to seyze upon the Court, our upon the Tower of London, or both at once, and what should be done concerning the City of London. Every of them thought it best to seize upon the Court, and that in this manner; Sir Christopher Blunt with a select number should seyze upon the Court gate, Davies the Hall, Danvers the Great Chamber (where the Guard watch carelesly), and the Presence Chamber; and withall Essex himselfe from the Stable called the Mues, neere the Court, should come with certaine choyce men (his way being thus made) and fall upon his knees before the Queene, and pray her adversaries, whom hee had determined (as some confessed afterward) to bring to their tryall and, a Parliament being called, to change the forme of the Common-wealth.
5. Whilest the Scottish Embassadors and an oportune time for putting these things in execution are expected, suspitions are increased both by the more frequent resort than was wont of the multitude to Essex House under colour of hearing Sermons, and by some words which had fallen from the Preachers, as if the superior Magistrates of the Realme had power to restraine Kings. Hereupon, or upon some slight discovery of one or another, Robert Sackvill the Lord Treasurers sonne visited the Earle the 7th of February under a shew of an officious salutation, but indeed to espy who were there present. The Earle of Essex was shortly after called by Sir John Herbert, one of the Secretaries, to the Lord Treasurers house, where the Councell met, that hee might be admonished to use the liberty that was granted him temperately; and at the same time was there a note delivered into his hands whereby hee was warned to save himselfe. Hee, suspecting that somewhat was come to light, and fearing lest hee should be committed againe to custody, excused his comming to the Councell by indisposition of body, being resolved to redeeme his liberty even with his bloud. Now did his designe faile which had beene full foure months digested, and out of feare they hasten to a new. Hee, wavering in minde, assembled his inwardest friends, and when hee had given them to understand that some of them were presently to be carried to prison, hee propounded unto them whether the Court were forthwith to be seized on, or the affections of the Londoners to be tried, and with their helpe the Court to be invaded, or whether he should save himselfe by flight. To seize upon the Court they were unprovided of a military Power and Engines, and some affirmed that the watch there was strengthened; to invade the Court seemed an inexcusable crime of perfidiousnesse against the Queene. Whilest disputation was holden about the love of the Londoners and the uncertaine disposition of the vulgar, behold, one came in of set purpose, as if hee had beene sent from the Citizens, making most large promises of ayde from them against all his adversaries. Herewith the Earle being cheered begain to discourse how much hee was favoured throughout the City, and perswaded himselfe by the former acclamations of the people, and their hatefull murmurings against his adversaries, that very many were most devoted to his fame and fortune. Hee believed also upon other mens speeches that Sir Thomas Smith Sherife of the City, who had the command of a thousand trained souldiers, would assist him upon all occasions. Hee resolved therefore, forasmuch as delay was now no lesse dangerous than rashnesse, to enter the next day, which was Sunday, with 200 Gentlemen into the City a little before the end of the Sermon at Pauls, there to informe the Aldermen and people of the causes of his comming, and to crave their ayde against his adversaries. And if the Citizens shewed themselves hard to be drawne, to depart presently to some other part of the kingdome; but if they shewed themselves easie, then to make himselfe a way unto the Queene with their helpe. All that night some were sent out of Essex House, who ranne up and downe to give his friends to understand that the Lord Cobham and Raleigh lay in wait for his life. Hereupon resorted unto him betimes in the morning upon Sunday the 8th of February the Earles of Rutland and Southampton, the Lord Sandes, Parker Lord Monteagle, and about 300 Gentlemen of prime note. All these hee curteously received and embraced. To some hee signified that a plot was laid for his life; that he was therefore determined to goe unto the Queene and informe her of the dangers intended against him, forasmuch as his over-potent adversaries abused the Queenes name against him. To others, that the City of London stood for him; that hee would therefore betake himselfe thither, and with the helpe of the Citizens revenge the injuries received from his adversaries. All this while was his House kept shut, and no man let in unlesse hee were knowne, nor any man suffered to goe forth. But whereas Sir Fernando Gorges was permitted to goe to Raleigh, who had called for him and stayed his comming in a Boat, Blunt perswaded him to intercept Raleigh. Some there are which say that Gorges at that time made discovery of the whole businesse to Raleigh. Certaine it is that Raleigh gave warning to Gorges to take heed to himselfe that hee were not imprisoned for his absence from his government without leave; and hee in like manner warned Raleigh to looke to himselfe, for that many gentlemen had conspired against him and others that abused the Queenes authority.
6. At this very time the Queene gave commandement to the Lord Maior of London to take care that the Citizens were ready every man in his house to execute such commands as should be injoyned them. To the Earle shee sent the Lord Keeper, the Earle of Worcester, Sir William Knolles Comptroller of her houshold and the Earles Unckle, and Popham Lord chiefe Justice of England, to understand the cause of this Assembly. These Counsellors are hardly let in through the Wicket, their servants being shut, all save the Purse-bearer. In the Courtyard was a confused multitude of men, and in the midst of them Essex, with Rutland, Southampton, and many others, who presently flocked about them. The Lord Keeper, turning to Essex, gave him to understand that he and the rest were sent from the Queene to know the cause of so great an Assembly; and if any injury were done unto them by any man, he promised indifferent justice. Essex answered him with a lowd voyce: There is a plot laid against my life; some are suborned to stab mee in by bed; wee are treacherously dealt withall; Letters are counterfeited under my name and hand. Wee are met together to defend our selves and save our lives, seeing neither my patience nor misery can asswage the malice of my adversaries, unlesse they sucke also my bloud. Popham spake unto him to the same effect that the Lord Keeper did, promising that if hee would tell him plainly what had beene attempted against him, hee would report it truly to the Queene, and hee should be justly and lawfully heard. Southampton made mention that the Lord Grey had drawne his Sword upon him. But hee (said Popham) was imprisoned for it. Whilest the Lord Keeper pressed him againe to lay open his grievances unto them, if not openly, yet at least privately, the multitude interrupting him cryed out Let us goe, they abuse your patience, they betray you and undoe you, the time passeth. To whom the Lord Keeper turning, commanded them upon their allegiance to lay down Armes.
7. In the meane time Essex returned into his house; the Lord Keeper with the rest followed him with intent to conferre with him in private. Meane while they heare some of the multitude utter out these outragious words, Let them be slaine. Let that great Seale be throwne away. Let them be shut up in custody. When they were come into the innermore roomes of the house, Essex commanded they should be locked up, and said unto them, Have patience a while, I must presently be gone into the City to enter into some course with my Lord Maior and the Sherifes; I will returne by and by.
8. These foure counsellors were there shut up, and kept by Sir John Davies, Francis Tresham, and Owen Salisbury an old Souldier of prompt boldnesse, and some Muskettiers. Essex through this unexpected comming of these Counsellors forgot both horses and his designe, and hastily went out of the house (the defence whereof hee committed to Sir Gilly Mericke) with a band of 200 men or thereabouts, all of them of age and courage fierce, but not provided of Armes like Souldiers, most of them having their cloakes wrapped about their armes and their swords. The Earle of Bedford, the Lord Cromwell, and other Noblemen associated themselves with them as they went. Being entred into London, he cryed out now and then For the Queene, For the Queene. A plot is laid for my life. And so hee went forward in hast directly through the chiefe street of the City to Sherife Smiths house neere Fen-church. The Citizens running together to gaze, hee besought them to arme themselves, else they would be of no use to him. Nevertheless in all the City, then well exercised to Armes, full of people, and most devoted unto him, not so much as one man of the meanest sort tooke Armes for him. For the Citizens, though according to the disposition of the vulgar sort they were desirous of innovation, yet by reason of their wealth they were fearefull withall, and in regard of their untainted fidelity to their Prince, unshaken (and indeed poverty of all other things soonest plungeth the English into rebellion). Having walked almost the whole length of the City to the Sherifes house hee came, much perplexed in minde, and in such a sweat that he was faine to shift his shirt.
9. The Sherife, in whom hee had put assured confidence upon the uncertaine credit of others, presently withdrew himselfe by a back doore to the Lord Maior. In the meane time Thomas Lord Burghley and Dethic Garter King of Armes entring the City proclaimed Essex and his Complices traitors, though some opposed them and offered force. In like manner did the Earle of Cumberland and Sir Thomas Gerard Knight Marshall through other parts of the City. Which as soone as Essex understood, hee went hastily out of the Shereifes house with a doubtfull and carefull countenace, crying that England was appointed to be shared to the Infanta of Spaine, and calling upon the Citizens to arme, but all in vaine. When not a man tooke armes, and hee saw that his owne company withdrew themselves privily, and heard that the Lord Admirall was comming with a power of men, hee began to cast away hope. Hee cast in minde therefore to returne home, in hope to obtaine favour with the Queene by the meanes of the Lord Keeper and the rest of the Councell, whom hee had shut up at home. But when Sir John Leveson, who had the command of a Company of men at Ludgate, had denied Gorges request for leave for the Earle to passe, Gorges, being provident for himselfe, perswaded him that hee might be sent to set the Counsellors at liberty, and with them might intercede by supplication to the Queene to obtaine his pardon while there was yet hope of pardon, no bloud being yet spilt, the Queene doubtfull of the successe, and the Citizens mindes yet uncertaine, the Earle consented that Popham onely the Lord Chiefe Justice should bee delivered, who when hee would not be set at liberty unlesse the Lord Keeper might withall be delivered, Gorges set them all at liberty, and went with them by water to the Court.
10. In the meane time Essex, being about to returne, found the chaine drawne athwart the street neere the West gate of Pauls Church, and both Pikes and shot placed against him by the meanes of the Bishop of London under the conduct of Sir John Levison. Now did the Earle first draw his sword. He commanded Blunt to set upon them; which he resolutely performed, running upon Waite (who had beene formerly sent by Leicester, who was jealous of him, into Holland to kill him). Him he slewe, and was himselfe sore hurt and taken prisoner. There fell Henry Tracy, a young Gentleman whom Essex loved deerely, and one or two Citizens. From hence being repulsed, his hat shot thorow, and very many escaping from him, hee turned aside with a few which would not forsake him to Queene-hieth, and there getting boats, returned home.
11. He was very much offended that the Councell were let forth; certaine papers he cast into the fire lest (as he said) they should tell takes; and prepared himselfe for defence. And now in his last hope, expecting ayd from the Londoners, he fortified his house on all sides. The Lord Admirall presently besieged the house to land-ward; he placed the Earles of Cumberland and Lincolne, the Lord Thomas Howard, the Lord Grey, the Lord Burghley, the Lord Compton, and others, with forces of horse and foot. He himselfe with the Lord of Effingham his sonne, the Lord Cobham, Sir John Stanley, Sir Robert Sidney, Sir Fulk Grevill, on the Thames side, seized upon the garden. Being now ready to assault the house, he summoned him by Sidney to yeeld. Southampton asked him to whom they should yeeld. To their adversaries? That were to runne upon their owne ruine. Or to the Queene? That were to confesse themselves guilty. But yet if (said he) the Lord Admirall will give us hostages for our security, wee will appeare before the Queene. If not, we are every of us fully resolved to lose our lives fighting. The Lord Admirall replying by Sidney that neither were conditions to be propounded by Rebels, nor hostages to be delivered to them, signified to Essex that for sparing the weaker sex he would permit the Countesse his wife, the Lady Rich his sister, and their wayting-Gentlewomen, which filled all places with their womannish lamentations, to be let forth. Which hee accounted as a favour; onely hee prayed that an houre or two might be granted him to fortifie the place by which they should issue, which was also granted.
12. Before the houre was expired, Essex, holding all things for desperate and lost, resolved to breake forth, and the Lord Sands, more aged than the rest, earnestly urged him so to doe, redoubling that saying, That the stoutest counsailes are the safest; that it is more honourable for Noblemen to dye fighting than by the hand of the executioner. But Essex, wavering in minde, beganne presently to thinke of yeeding, and signified that upon certaine conditions he would yeeld. But when the Lord Admirall would admit of no conditions, he said he would not give conditions, but rather take; yet three things he requested. First, that they might be civilly dealt withall. This the Lord Admirall promised. Secondly, that their cause might be justly and lawfully heard. Hee answered that there was no cause to doubt thereof. And lastly, that Ashton, a Minister of Gods word, might be with him in the Tower for his soules comfort. The Lord Admirall answered that for these things hee would make intercession to the Queene. When presently all the Noblemen, falling upon their knees and delivering their swords to the Lord Admirall, yeelded themselves at ten of the clock at night. Thre dyed no more but Owen Salisbury and one or two which were slaine in the house by shot, and as many of the assaylants.
13. Essex himselfe and Southampton were first led by the Lord Admirall to the Archbishop of Canterburies house at Lambehieth, and not straight to the Tower of London, because the night was foule and the bridge unpassable by water. But from thence shortly after they were by the Queenes warrant carried by boate to the Tower; and in other boates Rutland, Sands, Cromwell, Mounteagle, Sir Charles Danvers, and Sir Henry Bromley. The rest were cast into publike prisons. Thus in twelve houres was this commotion suppressed, which some called a scare, others an error. They which censured it more hardly termed it an obstinate impatence and desire of revenge, and such as censured it most heavily called it an inconsiderate rashnesse; and to this day but few there are which have thought it a capitall crime.
14. The next day after, the Queene by the voyce of an Hereald commended the immoveable fidelity of the Londoners, and acknowledged the same with most loving words, and together with an admonition willed them to provide for the publike tranquility, forasmuch as the contagion of this sedition seemed to have crept farre abroad; and diligently to observe if any attempted any innovation by thrusting forward the ignorant people or defaming the Queenes Ministers.
15. The 12th day of February Thomas Lea a kinsman of Sir Henry Lea the famous Knight of the Garter, a man of of remarkable boldnesse, Captaine of a Company in Ireland, an inward friend of Tir-Oens and devoted to Essex, who the same night that Essex refused to goe to the Councell had offered his service to take or kill Essex, signified to Sir Robert Crosse, a Captaine of a shippe, that it were a glorious thing if six couragious men would goe together to the Queene and compell her by force to deliver Essex, Southampton, and the rest out of custody. All this Crosse presently related to the Councell, and Lea being sought for, was found in the evening about twy-light neere the doore of the Queenes Privy Chamber, full of thoughts, pale, and in a great sweat, and often asking whether the Queene were ready to goe to supper, and whether the Councell were there. Which as he was doing, he was taken and examined, the next day arraigned, and by the testimony of Crosse and his owne confession condemned, and hanged at Tyborne, where he confessed that hee had beene a great offender, but in this cause innocent; and so having protested that hee never so much as thought any thing against the Queene, he was executed. And this was thought to be a wholesome severity in respect of the times.
16. The 15th of this moneth, haunters of Taverns, vagabonds, and such kinde of men which lurked in Taverns and flocked many of them daily into the City, greedily harkening after rumors, gaping after tumults and pillage, were commanded forthwith to depart the city upon paine of death. And now one of the conspirators, allured with hope of life and some little reward, discovered the Counsailes entred into in Drury house. Who it was I know not. Which when the rest perceived by the circumstances in their examinations, thinking that all was disclosed and that it was foolish faithfulnesse to conceale that which was already revealed by others, or would be revealed, and having no hope of any good by silence, they discovered it all. Hereupon Essex and Southampton, who thought they had kept all things hidden, were arraigned the 19th of February in Westminster Hall before the Lord Buckhurst Lord Treasurer of England, who was made Lord high Steward of England for that tryall. Their Judges or Peeres were the Earles of Oxford, Nottingham, Shrewsbury, Darby, Worcester, Cumberland, Sussex, Hertford, and Lincolne, the Lord Viscount Howard of Bindon, the Barons of Hunsdon, De-la-Ware, Morley, Cobham, Stafford, Grey, Lumley, Windsore, Rich, Darcy of Chiche, Chandois, Saint John of Blethesho, Burghley, Compton, and Howard of Walden, who was then Constable of the Tower of London. Their assistants were Popham Lord Chiefe Justice of England, Periam Lord Chiefe Baron of the Exchequer, Gawdy, Fenner, Wamsley, Clerke, and Kingsmill.
17. When their Peeres were called by name, Essex demanded whether it were not lawfull for them (as the use is to private men) to except against some of their Peeres. The Judges answred that such was the credit and estimation of the Peeres of England, that they are neither compelled to an oath in arraignments, nor subjected to exceptions. Then wee they jointly arraigned of treason, that they had plotted to deprive the Queene of her Crowne and life, having entred into counsell to surprize the Queene in the Court; and that they had broken forth into open rebellion by imprisoning the Counsellors of the Realme, by stirring up the Londoners to rebellion by feigned tales, by setting upon the faithfull subjects in the City, and defending the house against the Queenes Forces. Being asked whether they wre guilty or not guilty of these crimes, they answered not guilty, and submitted themselves to the tryall of God and their Peeres. And Essex averred that hee had done nothing but according to the law of nature and force of necessity. Yelveron the Queenes Sargeant at law punctually and at large laid open the matters charged against them, and shewed that even to have a thought against the royall Majesty was treason. Hee compared Essex with Catiline, for that as Catiline associated unto him men of all sorts, so had Essex taken unto him Atheists, Papists, and criminous persons. He upbraided him with the benefits bestowed on him by the Queene, which had honoured him with over-hasty dignities, being young man without desert; hee taxed him that hee had abused those honours, hunting after popular and military praise in a certaine insatiable ambition, which never moderateth it selfe, but groweth as the Crocodile as long as hee liveth. Hee marvailed that the Earles pleaded not guilty, seing their crimes were so notoriously knowne to all men.
18. Edward Coke the Queenes atturney proved out of Fitz-Herbert a most renowmed Lawyer, that the inward thought of any mischievous crime against the Prince was treason, but not to be so adjudged till it have broken forth into act by word or fact. Then hee showed that they doe practise and attempt the destruction of the Prince, which doe runne into rebellion, gather together an armed multitude, being commanded to dissolve them doe refuse, or doe plot to reduce the City, the Tower, the Court, or Prince into their power. That there was no reason why the Earle should excuse himselfe by the Law of Nature, seeing the Majesty of the Prince is not to be violated for a private revenge. The Queenes benefits bestowed on him hee reckoned up particularly, to wit, that shee had made him Master of the horse, Master of the Ordnance, taken him into her Privy Councell, made him Earle Marshall of England, and Lord Deputy of Ireland, and had bountifully given him 30000 pounds of English money in a short space. He mentioned the imprisoning of the Councellors, his threatening them, and putting them in feare. Hee objected unto him his association with Blunt, Danvers, and Davis, men addicted to the Popish Religion. Hee noted that they went rather into the City than to the Court, for that the luster of the divine Majesty shining in the Queenes Majesty did so dazell their eyes that they durst approach no neerer. The confessions where to be produced hee commended, for that they were voluntary, not extorted with tortures, and coherent one with another. And so inserting an historicall narration of the whole matter, of surprizing the Queene and assembling a Parliament, hee ended his speech with this sharpe Conclusion: It were to be wished that this Robert might be the last of this name Earle of Essex, who affected to be Robert the first of that name King of England.
19. To all these things the Earle of Essex with a cheerefull voice and countanance, and confidence of minde, answered that the art of oratory was proper to Advocates, who accompt it their glory to oppresse the innocent by an aggravating speech. He prayed the Peeres to weigh the matter according to truth, not by the vehemency of words. Hee made protestation of his sincere minde in the true Religion. Hee never thought Davis to be Popish, who was every day at divine Services. That amongst so great noyses of men in uprore hee heard no threats used against the Counsellors; that he honoured and loved them as his speciall friends. That hee was compelled by the tumultuous multitude to shut them up in custody, and driven of necessity to his owne defence, for that he had understood, not by uncertaine conjectures, but by most certaine and credible messages, that he was appointed to be slaine at unawares by his enemies. That he had persisted and ever would persist in his immoveable and untainted fidelity to his Prince to whom he was infinitely bounden, and to his Country. That hee had no other purpose but to prostrate himselfe at the Queenes feet, to lay downe his most just complaints, and to declare unto her the dangers that threatened his Country.
20. Popham Lord Chiefe Justice of England being sworne and asked, related how unworthily the Counsellors were used. The Earle answered that he thought no hurt against those most honourable men, but observed them with the greatest honour; yet he saw that the Queenes commandement saved not the Earle of Southampton from injury, when the Lord Grey drew upon him in the street; and therefore he had gotten the helps of his friends and followers to repell the volence of his enemies by force. Yet did hee not shake off his alleagiance to his Prince and Countrey; nor did he speake this to save his life, whereof he was weary, but for his partakers sakes, whose uncorrupt minds and able bodies might doe his Countrey good service. That it appeared that force was intended to be offered unto him, even by this (said he), that Raleigh had signified to Gorges that he should presently withdraw himselfe from his company as from a shippe in danger to be wracked. He complained that Priests had beene suborned to accuse him, and that his hand-writing had beene counterfeited (which certainely had beene done by some imposter to get money, as we shall shew afterward).
21. Then was Gorges his testimony produced, to wit, that Essex had determined to invade the Court, to Summon a Parliament, hat hee put his hope in the Londoners, etc. Gorges was sent for from the prison neere hand to testifie these things to his face. As soone as Essex saw him, supposing that he (because his testimony was first produced) had either out of hope or feare discovered the whole matter, and came voluntarily as a witnesse, out of anguish of his minde hee sharply taxed him, labouring to weaken the credit of his testimony by the palenesse of his unsetled countenance.
22. Now was objected unto them the consultation in Drury house about seyzing into their hands the Tower or the Court. Southampton with a more milde and very modest speech craved pardon for his fault occasioned by his love towards Essex, and making protestation of his most sincere fidelity to his Prince, answered that such things were propounded, yet not certainly resolved, but referred to Essex. And not that which was consulted, but another thing brake forth into action; namely, the going into the City, and that with no other intent but to secure his accesse to the Queene, to complaine in her presence of the injuries done unto him. That hee had not drawne his sword all that day; that he heard not the Proclamation whereby they were denounced Rebels; that he had hindered all he could the shooting out of Essex house. He prayed that the cause might be decided according to equity and indifferency, and not by rigor and quirks of Law. This the Kings Atturney called a palliated conclusion, asking whether to seize with armed power upon the Court gate, the Court, and Privy Chamber, etc., thereby to bring the Queene into their power, were not treason. Southampton gently asked him what hee thought in his conscience they would have done against the Queene. The same (said hee) which Henry of Lancaster did against Richard the second: hee went to the King and fell on his knee under pretext of removing corrupt counsailors, but having once gotten the King into his power he deprived him both of Crowne and life.
23. The Judges Assistants being asked by the Peeres whether the consultation in Drury house were treason, seeing it was not brought to effect, affirmed with one voice it was, and that the rebellion in the City was the prosecution of this consultation; for if they had gotten together an armed power in the City, they would presently have invaded the Court. Then it was demanded whether this consultation were holden by the motion and procurement of Essex. It was proved by the testimonies of many that the heads of the consultation were written with his owne hand, and that he cast some papers into the fire lest (as he said himselfe) they should tell tales.
24. As soone as he heard all this, which hee thought had beene kept close, The hope (saith he) of life and impunity hath drawne these things out of some. And let them freely enjoy their lives. For my part, death is much more welcome to me than life. Cobhams, Cecyls, and Raleighs violence hath driven me to the necessary defence of my selfe. Howsoever the Lawyers doe interpret my going into the city, mine owne conscience being cleere from all blot of perfidiousnesse is my greatest comfort. Cobham rising up affirmed that he had done nothing maliciously against the Earle, but he had all misliked his ambition. To whom Essex answered, But such a backbiter and informer I would have removed from the Queene, even with the losse of my right hand.
25. Francis Bacon, one of the Queenes Counsaile at Law, endeavoured by a polished and elegant speech to wype away the colour layed upon a plot of his enemies to excuse his rebellion, affirming that Cobham, Cecyl, and Raleigh were such sincere honest men, and had such estates that they wold never hazard their estates and hopes by commiting so foul a fact. He proved that those fictions of a plot came to nothing even by the variety of them, forasmuch as Essex, wavering in his tales, cryed first that he was to be stabbed in his bed, then slaine in a boate, and lastly by the Jesuites; and also by the vanity thereof, seeing he exclaimed that the kingdome of England was set to sale to the Spaniard. He added that it was a familiar thing to traytors to strike Princes not directly, but through the sides of their Ministers. He taxed Essex with deepe dissimulation, as if he had put on the maske of piety; and likened him to Pisistratus of Athens, who gashed his owne body, and so being wounded shewed it to the people as done by his adversaries, and thereby having gotten a guard of souldiers, hee oppressed the Common-wealth. As he was proceeding, Essex interrupted him and made mention how not long before Bacon had written an elaborate letter in his name to the Queene against those of his adversaries (which certainly he had done like a friend, whilest he studied to put Essex in grace againe with the Queene). Moreover, Essex added that he understood that Secretary Cecyl had said to one of the Councell that the title of the Infanta of Spaine to the Crowne of England was as good as any others of the competitors whosoever. Scarce had he spoken the word when Cecyl, who stood and heard, being hidden in a close room, came forth into the Court, and falling on his knee besought the Lord Steward that he might have leave to answere so false and foule a report. Which being granted, he spake to the Earle of Essex in this manner: For wit, wherewith certainely you doe abound, I am your inferior; I am inferior to you in Nobility, for I am not amongst the higher ranke of Noble men, yet Noble I am. A military man I am not, and herein also you goe before me. Yet doth my innocency protect me, and in this court I stand an upright man, you a delinquent. Wherefore I challenge you, if you dare, to name that Counsellor openly, to whom I spake those words. Essex refused. Cecyl therefore inferred that it was to be holden for an invented fiction. Essex denied it. And Cecyl, turning to Southampton, said I adjure and beseech you by the inward friendship and familiarity that hath beene betwixt us from our tender yeares, by our Christian profession, by the honour of your family, that you name this man. Southampton referred it to that most honourable Bench, and to Cecyl himselfe, whether he might doe it saving his honour, and whether it were agreeable to reason that he should name him. When they all thought it reason he should be named, hee named Sir William Knollis Comptroller of the Queenes houshold, Essex his Unckle. Hee at the earnest entreaty of Cecyl being sent for, came and acknowledged that he had heard of Cecyl two yeeres before that one Dolman had in a printed booke maintained the title of the Infanta of Spaine to the Crowne of England, and other than this he had not spoken. Essex said, But these words were reported to me in another sence. Cecyl excepted, saying Your malice, whereby you seeke to worke me into hatred amongst all men, hath flowed from no other cause than from my affection to peace for the good of my Countrey, and your owne inflamed heat to warre for the benefit of military men, which may be at your becke. Hence was set forth your Apology against the peace; hence was a generall hatred conceived against those which were affected to the peace. For my part, I am so farre from inclining to the Infanta of Spaine that even my minde is astonied to think thereof. Whilest Knollis was expected, the Atturney accused Essex of hypocriticall dissimulation, that professing publickely the Evanagelicall Religion, yet he had promised to Blunt a toleration of the Popish Religion. Essex denied it, but confessed that he knew Blunt to be Popish (for he being a boy was brought up under Allen who was after Cardinall), and that he had sought his conversion; and that indeed hee did not like that Christians should bee put to torture in the cause of Religion.
26. Heere againe Southampton excused himselfe by his love to Essex and his ignorance of the Lawes, and most modestly craved the Queenes mercy and clemency, whom he had ever acknowledged by be a lively patterne of the Divine clemency, and against whom he had not conceived the least thought of any harme.
27. The Justicers assistants being asked their opinion concerning the iterated protestations of the Earles that they intended no harme against the Queene, pronounced that If any man shall attempt to make himselfe so strong that the King shall not be able to resist him, hee is guilty of rebellion. In like manner, the Law interpreteth that in every rebellion there is a a machination against the life of the King, and his depoiling; for a Rebell will not suffer that King to life or reigne, which may afterwards punish or revenge such his treason or rebellion. These things they confirmed by the Imperiall or Civil Law, whereby to doe any thing against the safety of the Prince is holden to be treason; by the force of reason, because it cannot be that he which hath once given Law to the King should ever permit that the King should recover his former authority, or live, lest at any time he should recover it, by examples drawne out of our English history of Edward the second and Richard the second, who being by force of armes gotten by subjects into their power were not long after deposed also, and made away.
28. Then Sir John Leveson Knight standing by described with many words against Essex the tumultuary fight which I spake of neere Pauls Church-yard. And afterward were read the confessions of the Earles of Rutland and the Lords Cromwell and Sands.
29. Now the Earle of Essex answered more mildely that hee intended nothing but to repell force with force, neither would hee have entred so inconsiderately into the City had hee not fore-seene that hee was in danger of his life. Then Mr. Atturney urged the late conspiracy of Leigh and some Irish matters. Also hee objected to him againe his affecting of the Crowne, Atheisme, and Popery, which hee flatly denied, and he said hee doubted not but by his Christian death hee should soone wipe away such calumniations. Bacon afterwards rehearsed the opinions of the Judges, whereby the Earles were pronounced guilty of treason; and hee proved that they could not excuse this crime, who being commanded by the Lord Keeper and warned by an Herald, had not laid down Armes. Essex said, I saw no Herald but that branded fellow, whome I tooke not for an Herald. If I had meant any other thing then mine owne defence against my private adversaries, I would not have gone forth with so small a company, and so lightly armed (for they had onely their Swords and Daggers, and Pistols). To whom Bacon replyed, This was cunningly done of you, who fixed all your hope in the Citizens Armes, that they would arme both you and yours, and take Armes for you, imitating here the Duke of Guise, who not long since, entring into Paris with a small company, excited the Citizens to Armes in such sort that hee drove the King out of the City; and that Herald, though a wicked man, is neverthelesse an Herald.
30. Shortly after, the Earles were by the Lord Stewards commandement removed aside, when their Peeres, rising up and going apart, conferred together, and having maturely considered of the matter returned within an houre to their seates, and every of them by their voices pronounced Essex and Southampton guilty. The Clerke of the Crowne according to forme signified the same unto them being called againe to the Barre, and asked them severally whether they had any thing to say why sentence should not be pronounced against them. Essex besought the Peeres that they would make intercession to the Queene for Southampton, who might deserve well. For mine owne life (said hee) I care not; I desire nothing more than that I may lay downe my life with sincere faith towards God and loyalty to my Prince, whatsoever the interpretation of the Law be against me. Yet would I not that any man should give the Queene to understand that I contemne her mercy, which notwithstanding I believe I shall not fawningly begge. And I beseech you my Peeres, that though you have condemned mee in Court of judgement, yet in the Court of your conscience yee would absolve mee, who have intended no harme against my Prince.
31. Southampton most humbly begged the Queenes mercy and prayed the Peeres to mediate for him, and earnestly besought them to interpose their grace, yea and their conscience for him, protesting againe that hee never conceived any wicked thought against the Queene; and this hee did with so sweet a speech and ingenuous modesty that hee moved the hearts of all the standers by to pitty.
32. The Lord Steward now made a grave speech wherein he admonished Essex to crave the Queenes mercy, and so pronounced the sentence of death in set words of forme, to be hanged and quartered etc. The edge of the Axe being now turned towards them, which before was from them, Essex said, This body might have done the Queene better service if it had please her; I shall be glad if it may be useful unto her any way. Hee prayed that before his death hee might participate of the mystery of the holy Eucharist, and that Ashton a Minister of Gods word might be with him for his soules health. Hee craved pardon of the Earle of Worcester and the Lord chiefe Justicer of England that hee had kept them in prison, and of the Lord Morley and the Lord La Ware that hee had drawne their sonnes into danger, being ignorant of the whole businesse. So the Lord Stewards staffe being broken, the court brake up. These things, whereat I was present my selfe, I have with uncorrupted fidelity compendiously related, and have willingly omitted nothing memorable unlesse my observation have fayled mee.
33. The next day after were arraigned Sir Robert Vernon, Sir William Constable, Sir Edward Baynham knights, John Littleton, Henry Cuffe the Earle of Essex his Secretary, Captaine Whitlock, John and Christopher Wright brethren, and Orell an old Souldier. As soone as every of them had holden up their hands as the manner is, a Letter came from the Queene wherein shee (having beene informed by Sir Fulk Grevill that they were most of them drawne in unwittingly) commanded that Littleton, who was then fallen into an irrecoverable sickenesse, Baynham, a most lascivious man and a contemner of Magistrates, and Orell should be subjected to their tryall, and the rest should be remitted to prison. Baynham and Orell pleaded ignorance for excuse, and that they followed the Earles out of their observance towards them. Littleton being convinced by the testimony of Danvers, who had drawne him into the society, could not deny but hee was present at the consultation. When amongst other points of the accusation against him, hee was charged to have intended some foule fact and sedition, by the number of the horses and armes which hee had at that time in his Inne, hee answered that his estate was able to maintaine many horses, and that hee had ever delighted in armes and horses. Being condemned with the rest, hee said no more but (lifting up his eyes towards heaven) Wee praise thee O god, wee knowledge thee to be the Lord. Yet were all their lives spared, which Baynham redeemed with a summe of money payed to Raleigh. Littleton shortly after rendred his life to Nature through the violence of his disease, and Orell endured imprisonment for a while.
34. Essex in the meane while, whether through the pricking of his owne conscience, or terror striken into him by the Minister, was so afflicted in minde that he was assuredly perswaded that he should goe to hell if he concealed any whit of the truth, and did not discover those that were accessaries. Whereupon he desired to conferre with some of the chiefe of the Councell, and namely with Cecyl. There came unto him the Lord Keeper, the Lord Treasurer, the Lord Admirall, and Cecyl. After he had asked pardon of the Lord Keeper that he had committed him to custody, and of Cecyl that he had taxed him in the cause of the Infanta, a reconciliation was made in Christian charity on both sides. Then he signified that the Queene could not be safe if he lived. Hee prayed that he might suffer privately within the Tower. Some of his associats in the conspiracy hee grievously accused as breathing after the ruine and destruction of their Countrey; he desired especially to speake with Blunt and Cuffe. As soone as he saw them, he brake forth into these words: O Cuffe, aske pardon of God and the Queenes Majesty, and see you deserve it. For my part, my minde is now wholly fixed upon another life, I have resolved to deale sincerely before God and Men, and I cannot but tell you this plainely, you were the principall man that moved mee to this perdfidiousnesse. With these words Cuffe being daunted, taxed briefly and sharply the Earles inconstancy, in that hee had betrayed those that were most devoted unto him, and so held his peace.
35. He appeached also Sir Henry Nevill, a most Noble Knight, as being not ignorant of the conspiracy, who was now ready to returne Embassador Legier into France about the ratifying of the treaty of Bloys and restrayning of depredations on both sides, whereupon he was called backe from his journey and committed to the Lord Admirals custody. Some also he discovered in Scotland, France, and the Low-Countries, and the Lord Montjoy also Lord Deputy of Ireland, as accessary to his designe, and others in England; who forasmuch as they were many, and the Lord Montjoy governed Ireland happily, the Queene in her wisedome dissembled and concealed it.
36. And he thought it not sufficient to discover these by words, but also through the ministers terrifying and lancing of his conscience, which threatened him direfull things, he delivered that in writing under his owne hand, which being by his adversaries presented to King James, detracted much from the reputation of him and his.
37. The 25th of February, which was the day appointed for his execution, were sent unto him betimes in the morning Thomas Montford and William Barlow Doctors of Divinity, with Ashton the Minister of the Church, to comfort his soule with Christian consolation. In presence of these he thanked Almighty God from the bottome of his heart that his enterprizes so dangerous to the the State proceeded not, that hee had now looked thorowly into his sinne, not without griefe of heart, that he had so stiffely defended and unjust cause ast the Barre. He thanked the Queene that she had granted he should not be publikely executed, lest his minde which was now setled might be disturbed with the acclamations of the people, protesting that he had now learned how vaine is the blast of popular favour; and he acknowledged how worthy he was to be spued up by the Common-wealth (for so it pleased him to speake) for the foulnesse of his enterprise, which he likened to a leprosie spread farre and wide which had infected many.
38. While the Queene in the meane time wavered in the minde, on the one side her former affection of favour towards him called her backe to some part of clemency, and she sent commandement by Sir Edward Cary that he should not be executed; on the other side, his perverce contumacy, who scorned to crave pardon and had spoken openly that hee could not live without the Queene destruction, did so sharpen her severity that shortly after she sent commandement againe by Darcy that he should be put to death.
39. He was therefore brought forth betwixt the Divines to a scaffold within the Court yard of the Tower of London, neere whereunto sate the Earles of Cumberland and Hertford, Viscount Howard of Bindon, the Lord Howard of Walden the Lord Darcy of Chiche, and the Lord Compton. Thre were present also certaine Aldermen of London and some Knights, amongst whom was Raleigh with a purpose (if wee may beleeve himselfe) to make answere if any thing should be objected against him by the Earle at his death; yet others interpreted his presence in a worse sence, to wit, that he might feed his eyes with the Earles torment, and satiate his hatred with his blood. But being admonished not to presse upon the Earle at his death, which is the part of ignoble beasts, he withdrew himselfe father off, and beheld him out of the Armory.
40. The Earle, as soone as he was mounted upon the scaffold, uncovered his head and, lifting up his eyes to heaven, acknowledged that many and great had beene the sinnes of his youth, for which with most fervent prayer hee begged pardon of the eternall Majesty of God through Christ his mediator, especially for this last sinne, which hee termed a bloody, crying, and contagious sinne, wherewith so many had beene seduced to sinne against God, their Prince, and Countrey. He besought the Queene and her ministers to pardon him, praying for her long life and prosperous estate, protesting withall that he never intended to lay violent hands on her person. He thanked God that he had never beene Atheist nor Papist, but had put all his hope in Christs merits. He prayed God to strengthen his minde against the terrour of death, desiring the standers by to joyne with him in a short prayer, which with broken signes he ejaculated with most fervent affection of inward devotion. Afterward the Executioner asking him forgivenesse, he forgave him. He recited the Apostolical Creed, and prostrating himselfe, layd his necke upon the blocke, and having repeated the verses of the 51st Psalme, he said, In humility and obedience I prostrate my selfe to my deserved punishment. Thou, O God, have mercy on thy prostrate servant. Into thy hands, Lord, I commend my spirit. His head was stryken off at the third stroke; but the first tooke away both sence and motion.
41. Thus most piously and truly Christianly (though Marshall Biron of France and other prophane men derided this his piety as more befitting a silly Minister than a stout Warriour, as if the feare of hell were not a Christian mans fortitude) died Robert DEvereux Earle of Essex in the 34th yeere of his age. So as his fathers premonition was not altogether vaine, who upon his death bed forewarned his sonne to beware of the 36th yeere of his age, insomuch as that word may seeme to be inspired into his minde from heaven. But this is spoken of in the yeere 1576. He was also accomplished with all vertues worthy of a most Noble man, his Genealogy ancient, and very Noble. He tooke his Sirname from Evereux, a City in Normandy. His revenue and estate, together with his dignity of a Baron, came by marriage in old time with Cecily, the daughter of William Bourchier, whose grand-mother was sister to Edward the fourth King of England, her great-grandmother was daughter of Thomas of Woodstocke, sonne of King Edward the third, borne of one of the daughters of Humfry Bohun Earle of Hereford and Essex; whereupon the title of Viscount Hereford was conferred upon his great-grandfather Walter by King Edward the sixth, and the honour of Earle of Essex upon his father by Queene Elizabeth.
42. This Robert was in his young yeeres brought up at Cambridge in the studies of learning and true Religion, and being commended to the Queene by his father in Law the Earle of Leicester, and made Master of the Horse, hardly got into her favour, who favoured not his mother; but no sooner had hee by his dutifull observance obtained her favour but she discharged him of the debt which his father had incurred in her Exchequer; chose him into the Order of Saint George, and made him of her Privy Councell when he was scarce 23 yeeres old; made him often General of her Armies, though fortune many times failed him (I will not say with the Astrologians, in respect of the disasterous aspect of Mars, which in the houre of his nativity shined most adversely upon him in the eleventh house of heaven), heaped continually honours and benefits upon him, and highly esteemed him, seeing that he exercised his mind with honest studies, and inured his body to perils. When now he had not onely an outward shew, but an inward power in the Queenes favour, he made haste (as the wiser sort of the Courtiours complained) to overgoe both his equals and superiors, to detract from the place of all which were not at his devotion, to frowne upon others which had any power or grace with the Queene, and by his courtesie and liberality to hunt after popular favour, which is alwayes of short continuance and unjust, and military praise, which is never but dangereous. He began also, out of his greatnes of mind rather than pride, to use some contumacy towards the Queene, after that she out of her bounty had now and then made way by renewing her lost favour towards him, for new benefits to be conferred on him. But his contumacy, together with obstinacy in extorting, as it were, benefits from her, his proud neglect of duty and observance, and the subtill practises of his envious adversaries by little and little changed, and at length quite alienated the Queenes mind from him.
43. And indeed he seemed not to be made for the Court, who was slow to any wickednesse, of a soft nature to take offence, and hard to lay it downe, and one that could not cover his affections, but (as Cuffe was wont to complaine to me) he carried alwayes his love on hatred in his forehead and could not conceale it. To speake in a word, No man was more ambitious of glory by vertue, no man more carelesse of all things else.
44. He married Frances the daughter of Sir Francis Walsingham (without acquainting the Queene, who was therefore offended at it, as if by this affinity he had disparaged the dignity of the house of Essex), on whom he begate Robert his sonne, and two daughers, Frances and Dorothey, and on Mistresse Southwell, his paramore, Walter.
45. The fift day of March were Sir Christopher Blunt, Sir Charles Danvers, Sir John Davies, Sir Gilly Merick, Knights, and Cuffe arrained in Westminster Hall before the Lord High Admirall of England, the Lord Hunsdon Lord Chamberlaine, Secretary Cecyl, Sir John Fortescue Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Lord Chiefe Justice of England, and other Commissioners. They were accused of the same crimes that Essex before was charged with, to wit, that they had plotted the destruction of the Queenes Majesties person by consulting to surprize the same, by rebelling in the City, etc.
46. The three former of them asked this question, whether they might not confesse the one part of the Inditement, and pleade not guilty to the other part. For they denied that they had plotted the destruction of the Queenes person. Merick and Cuffe being removed from the Barre, the Judges pronounced as before, that he which rebelleth to the end to prescribe Law to his King, and restraine the Royall power, plotteth the destruction of the King, and intendeth to deprive him both of Crowne and Life.
47. They proved by the examples of those country people which within our fathers rmemberanced were condemned of high treason for that they assembled in Oxfordshire and Kent and tooke armes, the Kentishmen for the increasing the price of day labour, the other to cast downe ditches and fences of pasture grounds. To this purpose they brought many other proofes, and shewed that it could not be but <that> they which reduced the Queene into their power would also offer force unto her, because Conquerors are alwaies insolent, and the fury of a multitude cannot be restrained, who to save themselves will not spare to commit the foulest fact.
48. Blunt was pressed with his owne confessions, and the confession of the Earle of Essex himselfe, who had accused him as the inciter of him to this crime; which confession as soone as hee heard read, and saw it under-written with the Earles owne hand, hee grew amazed as it were with admiration, and made earnest suite that hee might conferre with the Lord Admirall and Cecil about the matter in another place; but fetching a loud sigh and lifting up his eyes, hee said, Thou O God knowest from what manner of enterprises I disswaded the Earle. Then was read the confession of Thomas Lee, of whom I have before made mention; who acknowledged that hee by the licence of Blunt, who was Marshall in the Irish warre, had sent to Tir-Oen, and agine from him understood by a messenger, that Tir-Oen had said that if the Earle of Essex would give eare to him, hee would make him the greatest man in England. It was also affirmed that Lee had said that he knew that Essex, Tir-Oen, and Blunt ranne all one course. Neither indeed did Blunt deny that hee by Essex his command had given licence to Lee to send and goe to Tir-Oen. Other things also were read which were sent over out of Ireland to prove the association betwixt Essex and Tir-Oen.
49. Then Flemming the Queenes Sollicitor now turning to Danvers discoursed out of high points of law that if any man not knowing of a plot to take armes against his Prince shall notwithstanding joyne himselfe with the partarkers in the action, hee is guilty of high treason; much more then was Danvers guilty, was proved by his owne and others confessions to have beene one of the parners in the consultations and conspiracy. To this hee answered nothing, but that for the love of the Earle of Southampton hee had in this cause neglected the danger of his life and estate; for when Danvers fled for killing a man, Southampton harboured him, hid him, and sent him over into France, where hee followed the French Campe with commendations for his valour untill the Queene with much intreaty gave him his pardon.
50. Davies, being convicted with his owne conscience and confession, in a manner held his peace; and being taxed by the way, that hee was Popish, hee denyed it not that hee had beene instructed by his Tutor in the University of Oxford in the Popish Religion, and confirmed in the same by Blunt whilest hee served in the warres in Ireland. At which word when hee saw Blunt was moved, hee soone appeased him, saying that hee was confirmed in that Religion, not by Blunts perswasion, but by the example of his Christian and sincere life.
51. Then was Cuffe with Sir Gilly Merick brought to the Barre. Hee was pressed with the confessions of Danvers, the Earle of Essex, and Sir Henry Nevill. Danvers had confessed that Cuffe knew of all the consultations, and perswaded alwaies to invade the Court. The Earle had affirmed before the Councell and testified under his hand that hee was the Instigator of him to all this treason. And Sir Henry Nevill ingenuously confessed (if my memory faile mee not, for I was then present and heard his confession read) that Cuffe had suggested unto him at his the said Nevils returne out of France, that it would be imputed to him that the treaty at Boloigne failed of successe; that hee came to him oftentimes afterward and perswaded him to come and see the Earle, which once hee did; that after this, when hee was even ready to returne into France, he intreated him to goe to Drury house and heare what should be consulted on, protesting that nothing was to be propounded there which was not for the good of the kingdome and of the Earle, and which hee might heare without breach of loyalty to the Queene; and lastly that hee prayed him to be present with the Earle when hee should invade the Court, and laid open unto him the whole plot; which when Nevill misse-liked as a matter full of danger, difficulty, and wickednesse, and smiling at it, said it was in the number of those things which are never praised till performed. Cuffe extenuated the danger and difficulty, signified unto him that the City of London and many of the Aldermen were at the Earles devotion and ready to assist him at his becke, and repeated that of Lucan,
Arma tenenti omnia dat, qui iusta negat.
Unto a man thats armd and of great might
Hee addeth more, that doth deny him right.
Neither did Cuffe deny these things. Heereupon the Kings Atturney generall argued syllogistically, and Cuffe answred so wittily and Logically that Cecyl said hee was a subtill Sophister; and Anderson Chiefe Justice in the Court of Common pleas, waxing angry, cryed aloud that both of them made foolish Syllogismes, sharply urging the Statute of Treason made in the raigne of Edward the third. In a word, Cuffe betooke him to these two points as the chiefe heads of his defence: Whereas (saith hee) I am accused of treason because I was in Essex house the day of the rebellion, by the same reason may a Lyon with a grate be charged with treason. All that day I lamented the most afflicted fortune of the Earle, and did nothing else. I perswaded him all I could to beg mercy of the Queene. And for the consultation in Drury house, it was no more to be accompted treason, seeing it came not to effect, than the childe in the mothers belly is to be accompted a perfect childe. Against this the Lawyers shewed that no necessity was imposed on him to tarry in Essex house; that every one had his part alloted him, to some to make good the house, of which number he was one, to others to seize upon the City, who should mutually assist one the other; and that in the crime of treason there were no accessaries, but all were principals and equally guilty. That the consultation in Drury house was of it selfe treason, because consultation was holden for the destruction of the Queene, which also brake forth into act. Lastly, it was ruled by the Judges for law that if many conspire against the Prince, and doe execute their designes in a divers manner, some in one manner, some in another, yet is it judged to be one and the same crime of all in respect of the common malice of the Conspirators. These answeres of the Judges, and the confessions of Essex, Nevill, and Danvers, cut the throat of Cuffes case.
52. Merick was accused that by letters sent to his brother Salisbury, Groyne, and others of expert boldnesse, hee had drawne them to his party; that hee had undertaken the defence of Essex house; that hee had fortified and defended the same against the Queenes forces; that hee had with money procured an old out-worne Play of the tragicall deposing of King Richard the second to be acted upon the publique stage before the Conspirators, which the Lawyers interpreted to be done by him as if they should now behold that acted upon the stage, which was the next day to be acted in deposing the Queene. And the like censure was given upon a Booke of the same argument set forth a little before by Hayward a learned man, and dedicated to the Earle of Essex as if it had beene written as an example and incitement to the deposing of the Queene; an unfortunate thing to the author, who was punished with long imprisonment for his untimely setting forth thereof, and for these words in his preface to the Earle, Great thou art in hope, greater in the expectation of future time. All this Merick heard with a resolute silence, and said no more but this, Essex hath lifted me up, and Essex hath throwne me downe.
53. By the 12 men of the Jury they were every of them found guilty of high treason. The sentence of death being pronounced, Blunt and Danvers made suite that they might dye the death of Noblemen, that is, to be beheaded; and indeed they were both of them descended of Noble stocks. For Danvers his mother was daugher and one of the heires of Nevill Lord Latimer by the daughter of Henry Earle of Worcester; his grandmother was the Lord Mordants daughter, and his great-grandmother of the family of the Courtneys. The other was descended of the Blunts of Kiderminster, who were of the same house that the Lords Montjoy were of. Davis requested that, though we were not of so Noble a stocke, yet he might undergoe the same death; if not, that he might not be quartered, but that his body, the soule being departed, might be interred in Christian buriall.
54. The 13th of March were Merick and Cuffe drawne to Tyborne. Cuffe (to repeat it summarily) spake to this purpose at the Gallowes: I am brought hither to pay my due to nature, and to suffer for my sins against God, my Prince, and Country. I doe most firmly beleeve that, as in beholding the multitude of my sins I see the infinite Justice of God, so by the greatnes of the punishment inflicted on me, I shal feel his infinite mercy. Here are wee a spectacle and example of mans condition. The death which we are to undergoe is terrible (for sweet is life even to the best men), and to us certainely ignominious, but yet common even to the best men, yea, to Gods Saints, with whom I have assured hope of resurrection in Christ. And let not any man thinke by this that I trust to mine owne merits; let them vanish. I put my whole trust and confidence in the precious blood of my Saviour. And I am certainely perswaded that whosoever is punished in this life, and at the same instant feeleth inward confort from heaven, God punisheth him as a father, not as a Judge. But to come to the cause of my death, there is none but knoweth how confused the tumult was on the 8th of February under that great Earle, little considering the day. I call God, the Angels, and mine owne conscience to witnesse that I was not guilty thereof, but was shut up all the day long within the house, and wept and mourned. As for the designe, it was two-fold... Here being interrupted and admonished not to delude the truth by distinctions, nor sowe figge-leaves to cover his fault, I confesse (saith he ) that it were a high offence, yea Treason, if a subject cast out of favour and degree of honour should by force and armes make his way to the Queenes Majesty. But I never incited any man to arms against the Queene. But whereas I have brought that Noble Knight Sir Henry Nevill into danger, I am hartily sory for it, and I earnestly intreat him to forgive mee. And whereas I said that of the 24 Aldermen of London 21 were at the Earles devotion, this I meant of their most favourable affection unto him, and not that they would take armes for him. Heere being interrupted againe, he fell to most fervent prayer, and having professed most devoutedly his faith in God, and craving pardon of God and the Queene, hee ended his life by the halter. A man of most exquisite learning, and of a most sharp wit but turbulent and perverse.
55. In the same kinde of death followed him Sir Guilly Merick, with a mind altogether undaunted, who, as it were, weary of his life, interrupted Cuffe once or twice, wishing him to let passe his unseasonable wisedome now that he was to dye. The Lord Montjoy he excused as ignorant of the matter; and besought the Noblemen that stood by to make intercession to the Queene that there might bee no more proceeded against by Law, who had unwittingly become partners in the crime.
56. Two dayes after were Sir Christopher Blunt and Sir Charles Danvers beheaded upon Tower hill. Danvers, notwithstanding that hee had offered 10000 pound to redeeme his life, though it were to live in perpetuall imprisonment, yet with a most quiet mind and countenance tooke his death most Christianly, after he had craved pardon of God and the Queene (to whom he wished all happinesse) and of the Lord Grey there present, to whom he professed he had beene a great enemy, not for any wrong done to him by that Lord, but out of his entire love to Southampton, with whom the Lord Grey had beene at deadly fude.
57. Blunt, when he was mounted upon the scaffold, spake to the people in this wise: Although the time now requires <me> to lay all other matters aside, and to crave mercy of God for my sinnes, yet seeing I am accused to have incited the Earle of Essex to this great crime, I will speake the truth as I desire the salvation of my soule. Above three yeeres agone it is that I first perceived the Earles minde discontented, and inflamed with ambition. In Ireland, while I lay hurt at the Castle of Rheban, and afterwards at Dublyn, hee signified unto me that the was resolved to send over the choycest bands out of Ireland to Milford haven in South-Wales, and to make himselfe Master thereof, to gather a greater power of men, and march to London. I considering well of the matter, disswaded him from it, as a thing full of danger, and which would cost much blood. I perswaded him indeed with a choyce number of men to make himselfe Master of the Court, and then to make reasonable conditions for himselfe. And though it be true that in all our consultations wee never intended to doe violence to her Majesties person, yet if fortune had not fayled our enterprises, I know not whether the matter could have beene accomplished without bloode being drawne from herselfe. After the Earle had his liberty he beganne to treat and consult with me againe in Essex house touching the same designes, but resolved determinately upon nothing. Afterward hee sent for mee out of the Countrey not many dayes before this rebellion. The rest I have particularly confessed before the right honourable Lord Admirall and the most worthy Secretary, to whom, I beseech you, Sir Walter Raleigh, to commend me, and of you also I aske forgivenesse. And now lifting up his eyes to heaven, hee said, God preserve the Queenes Majesty. And thou, O God, of thine infinite mercy forgive me my most wicked thoughts and licentious life. I beseech you all to beare witnesse that I dye a Catholike, yet so as I put mine onely trust and confidence in the death and merits of Christ; and withall I desire you to pray for me. then he bade the Lord Grey and the Lord Compton farewell, who were there present, and praying with a soft voyce he subjected his necke to the stroake of the Executioner with a minde undaunted.
58. Thus with the execution of the Earle of Essex, Cuffe, Merick, Danvers, and Blunt was the rebellion pacified, and peace restored to the Common-wealth, and the minds of the rest well satisfied; the richer sort were fined, which very few of them payed, the rest had their lived pardoned and their crimes most graciously remitted. Southamton and Smith, Sherife of London, were kept in the Tower; yet Smith being by the informations of a few and Essex his credulity falsely accused, and sore troubled, was either by the Queenes mercy or his owne innocency safeguarded, and at length delivered upon bayle.
59. The 8th of July was Sir Henry Nevill called before some of the Queenes Privy Councell and Judges at Yorke house, and charged that he had bin present at the consultations in Drury house, that he had not revealed the designes there propounded, and had imparted to Essex the secrets of his French embassie. He confessed that at the Earls request he acquainted him with the journall of his French Embassie, that he was present at one consultation only, that he contemned their counsailes as a sick mans dreams, but durst not accuse Essex and such great men, shunning the name of an Informer, and hoping they would change such inconsiderate and as yet unresolved counsailes, or that he might timely enough and without suspition reveale them after his returne from France. Yet was he by generall voyce of them all sharply reprehended as worthy of heavier punishment, and adjudged to the Tower. Unto this cause also belongeth a censure given at this time in the Starre-Chamber and therefore not to be concealed. I said before that the Earle complained of Letters counterfeited. Hereof there was a diligent inquiry made, and a notable imposture discovered. The Countesse his wife, misdoubting her husband and her selfe in this troublesome time, put into a cabbinet certaine love-letters which shee had received from him, and committed them to the trust of a Dutch-woman named Rihoue. This Dutch-woman hid them at her house. By chance John Daniel her husband lighted upon them, read them, and observing that there was somewhat in them which might endanger the Earle and incense the Queene, caused them to be written out by a cunning Scrivener very like the Originall, and then the fearefull woman being ready to lye in, he told her that he would presently deliver them into the Earles enemies hands unlesse she would forthwith give him 3000 pound. She, to avoid the danger, gave him presently 1170 pound, and yet for so great a summe she received not the Originall letters, but the copies from the Impostor, who purposed to wipe the Earles adversaries also of a great summe of money for the Originals. For this imposture he was condemned to perpetuall imprisonment, fined at 3000 pound, whereof the Countesse should have 2000, and to stand with his eares nayled to pillary, with this inscription, A WICKED FORGER AND IMPOSTOR.
60. Not long before, the Scottish Embassadours, the Earle of Marre and Kinlosse (who, as I said, came somewhat late), had accesse to the Queene, and after they had congratulated her mature prevention of this rebellion, they expostulated with her the not punishing of Valentine Thomas, and the cunning withdrawing of William Evers and Ashfield, Englishmen, out of Scotland; and they requested that a portion of land in England might be assigned to the King. To whom it was answered that their congratulation was very acceptable, and that the Queene wished with all her heart that no such rebellion might happen in Scotland, but, if it should happen, that it might with as good successe be extinguished within one dayes space; that Valentine Thomas was spared lest an old sore should be rubbed againe, considering that a calumniation, though never so injust, is no sooner heard but credited amongst wicked men. That Evers by his peremptory deniall and protestation contrary to the truth had drawne upon himselfe the suspition of a bad minde. That Ashfield, a man of turbulent spirit, who cunningly deluding the Warden of the March had gotten a licence to travaile into Scotland, was by the same Warden (to correct his error) cunningly drawne backe againe. That to harbour the turbulent subjects of another Prince was nothing else but to teach his owne to raise commotions. Concerning the assignment of land, shee said, she had answered sufficiently before. But she condiscended to adde an increase of 2000 pound yeerely, as long as the King did sincerely embrace mutuall amity, and did not frame himselfe to the will of those which hunted after private gain with publicke hurt.
61. About this time, when the Spanish Gallies which lay at Sluise were a terrour to the coast of Kent, but especially to Holland Zeland, the Queene built Gallies also, delivered many out of prison and condemned them to the Oares, and the Londoners contributed cheerefully to that purpose; yet to no use. But, that these Gallies might not be a terrour to them, the Estates of the confederate Provinces being carefull of their affaires, resolved to transport an Army againe into Flanders to seize upon the Sconces about Ostend, that they might the more freely pillage in the Country round about, gather contribution from thence, and reduce the maritime parts of Flanders into their power, that they might have no harbour for their Gallies. And at the same time, to colour their designe and divert the enemy, they thought good to send Grave Maurice into Gelderland to besiege Rheinberk. Hereof they advertised the Queene by Sir Francis Vere, and requested her to permit 4000 men to be leavied in England and transported at their costs. She assented unto them. But before Vere returned out of England, Grave Maurice was marched up towards Berk, and the Archduke Albert had besieged Ostend. So as now the Estates entred into a new resolution rather to defend Ostend then winne Forts, and forthwith sent Vere with the title of Generall of the forces within and without Ostend, with ample authority. From Berk they sent for 20 Companies of English, of which neverthelesse Grave Maurice, having now begunne the siege and expecting the enemy, sent but 8 Companies under the conduct of Sir Horace Vere, and that unwillingly too. With these forces Sir Francis Vere (taking their faithfull promise that the rest should follow soone after, and that hee should be plentifully supplied with victuals and provision) arrived in the month of July at Ostend, over against the old Towne, in a place that lay open to the enemies Ordnance. And shortly after Sir Edward Cecyl made a great adventure with greater commendations for his valour, and in his first entrance to the warres brought in both men, provision, and victuals.
62. This Ostend, which within our fathers rememberance was nothing else but a few Cottages of poore fishermen on the open shoare, was upon the rising of the Low-Country troubles fortified by the Estates, first with a Palizado, and afterward, the sea working in and making a very commodious Haven, was strengthened with a trench and other workes, and and English Garrison laid therein; who first under Sir John Conway, and afterwards under Sir Edward Norris, did so invade and over-runne Flanders, that to restraine them the Pricne of Parma beganne to besiege it, but in vaine. La Motte attempted it by treachery, but was beaten off with losse of men, and the Archduke Albert begirt it with 17 Sconces. The Garrison of which Sconces when they were no lesse burdensome to Flanders than enemies, and the Haven was thought commodious both to harbour the Spanish Gallies and impeach the navigations of the Zelanders and English, the Spanish resolved by any meanes whatsoever to winne it; and the Estates on the other side with all assistance and endeavour to defend it. And there was not in our age any siedge and defence maintained with greater slaughter of men, nor continued longer. But the Journall of the siedge, which is extant, I will not repeat. It is enough for mee to observe these few things following. Sir Francis Vere in the fift month of the siedge, seeing his forces much diminished by often salles shot of the enemy and the pestilence, a part of the old Towne swallowed by the sea, their victuals almost spent, and by reason of contrary windes no hope of supplies, which hee had often demanded in vaine, and understanding that the enemy was even ready to assault the Towne on every side, required a parley with the Archduke; who after hostages were given on both sides, sent Commissioners to that purpose. But Generall Vere, delaying of time, cunningly fed them with hope of yeeding till supplies of men were sent, and then presently sent them backe disappointed of their hope, excusing himselfe by that military Axiome, To delude the enemy by cunning devises and stratagems is not onely just, but pleasant also and profitable. And with a witty jest hee flouted them, praying them to pardon him if in case of urgent necessity hee should doe so againe, seeing hee could doe no other with his honour, having now received supplies and necesaries for the warre. The Archduke, being incensed thereat, upbraided Vere that hee knew better how to vanquish by cunning than by courage; and the 14th day after hee thundered all the day long with 18 great Peeces upon the Counterscarfes. In the evening at low water he forced two thousand old souldiers against their wills to assault the old Towne, the horse-men pressing them forward at their backes. But Generall Vere, who with his brother Sir Horace was present in all places with a most choice power of men, three times valiantly repulsed them. Those that were to assaile the East side, beginning late, retyred in time when the tide came in, yet not without losse. They which were appointed to fall upon Helmount and the English Bulworke tooke them, the soldiers being called away to the defence of other places, and soone forsooke them againe. Two thousand being sent to the West inlet of the sea, called the Gullet, tooke the halfe-Moone which was abandoned; out of which they were soone after driven, and many of them perished while they fled confusedly lest they should be hemmed in with the water. Nine great Peeces of Ordnance being mounted neere the West gate thundered forth a continuall storme, not of single bullets, but of chaine-shot and case-shot, and did so over-charge those that assaulted the West Bulworke and the Sandhill that with a pittifull slaughter they fell by heapes; and in the middest of the assault, the tide comming in and the sluces opened, they were so terrified that, throwing away their armes, ladders, and bridges, they offered themselves either to be slaughtered by the souldiers that sallied out, or to be swallowed by the sea. The Archduke, nothing daunted with this slaughter of his men, obstinately continued the siedge, though with very small hope of winning the Towne, considering that hee could not hinder the daily bringing in of victuals and provisions, and new supplies of men; neither was there place for undermining, so many workes being placed every where round about. But Generall Vere, when hee had fortified the shaken places with new workes, being called away by the Estates, who thought good to send every five months new Governours and fresh men, left his place to Frederick Dorpe; which Generals and their Successors most manfully and painefully defended the Towne full three yeeres and about an hundred daies against the furious assaults, not so much of the enemy, as of the sea. Happy had it beene for a number of those military men on both sides if the sea had beene let in and had quite swallowed it up. For the most warlike souldiers of the Low-Countries, Spaine, England, France, Scotland, and Italy, whilest they most eagarly contended for a barren plot of sand, had as it were one common Sepulcer, but an eternall monument of their valour. But these things belong to the History of the Netherlands. Yet appertaineth it to the English History that the English souldiers which died resolutely, and fought manfully, have their memory left unto posterity; of which latter sort, the most remarkable were the two Veres, brethren, Sir Edward Cecyl, and Sir John Ogle. Of the other, Sir Charles Fairfax, Knight, Laurence Dutton and Drake, Colonels, Sargeant Major Carpenter, Holcroft, Jeffrey Dutton, Grevill, Wildford, Humfrey, Drake, Droughton, Herbert, Frost, Madeson, Gerard, Butler, Rogers, and Dennis Conigrave. Neither may wee forget John Carew of Antony, a young Cornish Gentleman, who in a sally having his arme shot off with the force of a Peece of Ordnance and carried a good way off, whilest his fellowes lamented his misse-hap, tooke it up with an undaunted courage, and without all sense of paine brought it in his other hand into the Towne, and shewing it to the chirurgion, Behold (said hee) the arme which to day at dinner served my whole body. This siedge drew the French King to Calys, from whence is the shortest cut over into England, to provide for the frontiers of his kingdome neere hand. Which as soone as the Queene heard, shee sent Sir Thomas Edmonds to see him and congratulate his health. Hee in acknowledgement of her curtesie sent Biron, Marshall of France, with DArverne, DAumont, and many Noblemen into England, who she in her progresse at Basing welcomed, intertained, and dismissed with such humanity that they extolled her curtesie seasoned with wisedome and eloquence. Whereas certaine French writers have delivered that, amongst other things of those that were condemned, shee shewed the Earle of Essex his skull in her private Chappel or (as others write) fastned upon a pole, to Biron and the Frenchmen, it is a ridiculous vanity, for it was buried together with his body. This is certaine, that in talking with Biron she sharply accused Essex of ingratitude, rash counsailes, and wilfull disdaining to aske pardon, and wished that the most Christian King would rather use milde severity than carelesse clemency, and cut off the heads of treacherous persons in time, which seeke to worke innovations and disturbe the publike quiet. Which might have terrified Biron from those wicked attempts which hee was even at this time plotting against the King, had not his minde beene besotted; but the power of his approaching fate did so blinde him that within a few moneths after hee underwent the same death which Essex did.
63. The Queene, being returned from her progresse, held an assembly of the Estates of the Realme at Westminster, wherein amongst other things there were wholesome Lawes made for the reliefe of poore people, impotent persons, maymed souldiers and saylers; against fraudulent curators of Testaments, against the deceit of Clothiers, and robberies upon the borders towards Scotland. But whereas most grievous complaints were brought into the Lower house concerning Monopolies (for some there were which under a fayre of the publike good, but indeed to the great hurt of the Common-wealth, had obtained to themsleves by the Queenes Letters Patents the sole priviledge and power of selling certaine merchandizes), the Queene to prevent them partly declared by Proclamation those grants to be voyd, and partly left them to be tried by the Lawes. Which was a thing so pleasing to the Lower house that 80 select men of them, having accesse to the Queene, gave her most humble thankes by the mouth of their Speaker in the name of the whole House: We owe unto you speciall thankes and commendations for your singular goodwill towards us, not in silent thought, but in plaine declaration expressed, whereby ye have called us home from an error proceeding from ignorance, not willingnesse. Thse things had undeservedly turned to our disgrace (to whom nothing is more deare than the safety of our people), had not such harypes and horse-leaches as these beene made knowne unto us by you. I had rather be maimed in mind or hand then with minde or hand to give allowance of such privilidges of Monopolies as may be prejudiciall to my people. The brightnesse of Regall Majesty hath not so blinded mine eyes that licentious power should prevalie more with me than Justice. The glory of the name of a King may deceive unskilfull Princes, as gilded pils may deceive a sicke patient, but I am none of those Princes. For I know that the Common-wealth is to be governed for the benefit of those that are committed, not of those to whom it is committed; and that an account is one day to be given before another Judgement seat. I thinke my selfe most happy that by Gods assistance I have hitherto so governed the whole Common-wealth, and have such subjects, as for their good I would willingly leave both kingdome and life also. I beseech you that what faults others have committed by false suggestions may not be imputed to me; let the testimony of a cleere conscience be my absolute excuse. Yee are not ignorant that Princes servants are now and then too attentive to their owne benefit, that the truth is often concealed from Princes, and they cannot themselves looke preciseliy into all things, upon whose shoulders lyeth continually the heavy weight of the greatest businesses.
64. About the beginning of this yeere dyed Henry Herbert Earle of Penbrooke, the sonne of William, Knight of the Order of the Garter, chosen in the yeere 1574 and President of the Councell in the marches of Wales after the death of Sir Henry Sidney his father in Law. On whose daughter Mary, a friend to the Muses and a Lady most addicted to delightfull studies, he begat William, now Earle of Penbroke, who succeeded in his fathers honour, Philip, now Earle of Montgomery, and Anne, which died in the flower of her age. About this time also dyed Henry Lord Norris of Ricot, restored to his estate after Henry the 8th after putting of his father to death, with some strict conditions touching the inheritance of his grandmother, which was one of the heires of Viscount Lovell; but more fully by Queene Elizabeth, who after an Embassie into France, performed by him with great commendations for his wisedome, advanced him to the honour of a Baron. He begat on Margaret his wife, one of the heires of Lord William of Tame (who in the reygne of Henry the 8th was Treasurer of the Court of Augmentations, and a Privy Counsellor to Queene Mary, who most entirely respected him), a brood of Martial men, namely William his eldest sonne, Marshall of Barwick, which dyed in Ireland (to whom was born Francis which succeeded in his grandfathers honour); John, whom I have already often mentioned; Thomas, President of Munster, and for a little whole Lord Justicer of Ireland, who died of a light wound neglected; Henry, which dyed there the same death almost at the same time; Maximilian, which was slaine in the British warre; and Edward, Governour of Ostend, who alone survived his parents. And with a few dayes after died Peregrine Berty Lord Willoughby of Eresby, Governour of Barwick, who in the Low-countries and in France had undergone all the offices of a Commander. Unto whom succeded Robert his sonne by the Lady Mary, sister to Edward Earle of Oxford.
65. Now must wee turn aside to Irish matters. In these dayes it was commanded by Proclamation (as also King Henry the seventh had provided by act of Parliament) that no man should carry over English money into Ireland, forasmuch as the Rebels drew unto themselves a great part thereof to buy munition and provision for the warres, and from thence the Merchants carried into forreigne Countries to the great detriment of England. There was therefore a serious deliberation now had about changing the Irish coyne by mingling some brasse with it, for that the Irish warre drew yeerely out of England 160000 pound sterling. Hereupon some were of opinion that the charges of the warre might be abated; that all the good money might by exchange be drawne out of Ireland into England; that so the Rebels, when the good money failed, would be excluded from all commerce with forreiners, and of necessity weakened. Others argued to the contrary, that this change would redound to the dishonour of the Queene and the dammage of the subject; that the good money of Ireland could not be drawne thence without a great charge to the Queene; that the gaine gotten hereby, if new money were coyned in England, would not, when the accounts were cast up, countervaile the charges of carrying over; and much lesse if it were coyned in Ireland, where a Mint must needs be set up at great charges, and Minters must be hired for great wages. Neither could the commerce of the Rebels with forreiners be impeached whilest there was silver in the new coyne, which the Merchant knew well enough how to separate; unto whom it is all one whether he receive one peece of money or three of the same valew; and that it was to be feared lest the Souldiers would mutine, for hereby their pay would be diminished. But Buckhurst Lord Treasurer, a man very skilfull in mony matters, with much adoe extorted from the Queene out of necessity (for that is the Law of Time), which he urged, that the money should be changed for a time, to bee called backe againe afterwards to the highest valew; for shee many times said that this would depresse her fame, and be grievous to the Army. Yet did the Army continue without tumult and commotion, through the Queenes rare happinesse, which retained her authority with her people, joyned with love. To the Army certainly it proved a great losse; whether it turned to the benefit of the Queene or not I know not, but to the Treasurers and Paymasters without doubt it brought in a good gaine, whose avarice (which is a diligent searcher of hidden gaines) may seeme to have devised it.
66. The Lord Deputy no sooner heard of this resolution but hee, lest any mutiny should grow amongst the souldiers through idlenesse, assembled his Forces in the very beginning of the Spring, and before they were all come together marched to Moghery, where hee held them hard to worke cutting downe trees and making a passage through a most cumbersome wood, and built a Fort. Out of Lecale he drove the Mac-Gunises, who there usurped, and subdued all the Rebels Castles as farre as Armach, which City hee also strengthened with a Garrison; and proceeded so farre this Summer that he removed Tir-Oen from Blackwater, where he lay encamped with much Art.
67. In Tir-Conell in the meane while, John O-Dogherty being dead, the Lord Deputy declared his sonne to be his heire, for that his father held his lands by the English Law, and delivered the inheritance to Hugy Boy and Phelim Reaugh his Guardians, which had the bringing of him up. This O-Neal Garve tooke in great indignation, and forthwith invaded the young Gentlemans inheritance out of an imaginary title, as if whatseoever lands and people were in Tir-Conell belonged to him; and he tooke it very impatiently that the Lord Deputy was of a contrary minde, though he determined to heare both sides indifferently. Yet did Sir Henry Docwray sooth O-Neal Garve with faire promises, drew him to the English party, and to keepe him from idlenesse, set upon Mac-Swine Fanagh a famous Rebell, and drove away a rich booty, restored the same when he humbled himselfe and sware obedience, and received hostages, whom when he revolted againe from his alleagiance, he hung up, and wasting his Countrey, drove him to those straights that he gave hostages againe, and ever after kept his alleagiance. Then he layed wast Sleugh-Art, a little Countrey of Tir-Oen, full of woods and bogges, of fifteene miles long, Neal-Garve being his Conductor. Derry Castle he tooke, and put Garrisons into Newton and Ainogh. And now the Lord Deputy, marching againe to Blackwater, sent for him; and whereas being destitute of necessaries, and the enemies having stopped all the wayes, he could not come, hee in rebuking manner advised him to repaire this negligence by some remarkeable adventure, which in good time he did, taking his opportunity. For being advertised by Neal Garve that the souldiers were drawne out of Tir-Conell against the Lord Deputy, and that the monastery of Donegall very neere to Balashanon was peopled with but a few religious persons, he sent him thither with 500 English, who easily made themselves Masters of the place. O-Donel, when the Lord Deputy returned, sped with all his Forces to Donegall, armed with burning firebrands for the destruction of the English. Full 30 dayes hee beset the place most sharply, making horrible howlings and out-cries as if the victory were gotten, when the Monastery by chance was burnt downe with fire in the night, and yet the English most manfully endured the siedge.
68. Whilest these things succeeded thus prosperously in these parts, behold, many wrote unto the Lord Deputy, and certaine fame brought it to his eares, which he had often heard before by uncertaine rumour, that the Spaniards had set saile towards Munuster, so as now hee was of necessity to desist from his enterprise, and to defend Ireland not so much from a rebellion at home as from a foraigne enemy. Yet that hee might not loose what he had gotten, he strengthened the Garrisons in Ulster, and hasted into Munster with one or two Cornets of horse, giving order to the Commanders of the foot to follow. Thither also Tir-Oen, and after him O-Donell, breaking up the siedge at Donnegall, made all the speed they could by secret marches, when presently Sir Henry Docwray marched by land and relieved the Garrison there; two Companies he placed in Asherow under Edward Diggs, by whom within short time was Ballashanon seized on, which had beene so much desired. And he himselfe was revenged on the perfidiousnesse of the Irish which had betrayed Newton and the Castle of Derry.
69. The warre being now removed into Munster, the order of matters and time calleth me thither also. Tir-Oen and the Rebels of Munster had by mediation of their secret messengers Matthew Oviedo, a Spaniard designed by the Pope to be Archbishop of Dublyn, the Bishop of Clonfort, the Bishop of Lillaloe, and Archer a Jesuite, by prayer, intreaty, and earnest suite, obtained at length of the Spaniard that succour was sent to the Rebels in Munster under the command of Don Juan DAquila, in assured hope that all Munster would presently revolt, and that the titular Earle of Desmond and Florence Mac-Carty would joyne great forces unto them. In the meane time Sir George Carew President, to prevent this, forthwith arraigned this titular Earle, whom he had very lately taken in a Cave, lurking in secret places and forsaken by his friends, for that if he should dye uncondemned his estate could not by Law be confiscate, unlesse by Act of Parliament. Hee, being condemned of treason, protested that he had taken armes out of a desire to restore the Romish Religion and recover his Ancestors inheritance, being provoked by the injuries of the new-come English, the new exactions upon every plough-land, and the English tryals by a Jury of twelve men; and fed with hope of ayd out of Spaine, which that they were now comming hee knew for certaine by the relation of the Archbishop, who was sent into Spaine in the moneth of February, and by the assurance of Florence Mac-Caarty. The President also found out that it had been consulted beetweene Tir-Oen, the said Archbishop, and others, in what part of Ireland the Spaniards might land most commodiously, and that they all agreed that Munster was the most commodious part; but in what haven, they varied in opinion. Some there were which judged it best to seize first upon Lymmerick as bordering upon Connacht and Leinster, and not farre remote from Ulster, and therefore seated most commodiously for joyning their Forces, and so farre distant from England that there seemed to be no feare of the English Fleet. Yet Donat Mac-Cormac affirmed that Florence Mac-Carty upon mature deliberation preferred Cork, for that the haven was more commodious, the City weaker, and therefore easier to be wonne, and from thence the Spaniards might be at hand to fall upon Barry, Roch, Cormac Mac-dermot, and Mac-Carty Reogh, who continued firme in their alleagiance, and either drive them to side with them, or take their estates from them. Hereupon the President thought there was no better course then to surprise Florence by any meanes whatsoever, though he had already formerly granted him letters of Protection and a writing of pardon for his life; and after many shiftings having taken him, for that he had offered violence to a creditor contrary to the forme of his Protection, he sent him into England together with the said titular Earle. And now being advertised for certaine that the Spaniards would come (which he could neither perswade the Lord Deputy, nor the Councell in England to beleeve), hee caused victuals and provision to be brought from all parts into Corke; called an assembly of the Province there, and apprehended some turbulent persons which he suspected, lest they should doe hurt; others hee commanded to bring in hostages; and was so provident and carefull of his affaires that the towne abounded with provisions and all necessaries to sustaine a siedge for many moneths. For thither came in good time a new supply of 2000 men out of England.
70. The President, having received most certaine intelligence in the middest of September that the Spaniards had set sayle, gave the Lord Deputy to understand thereof with all speede; who as soone as he came to Kilkenny sent for the President. But while he hastened on his way, behold he was called backe by newes that the Spainish Fleete was in sight. He made therefore Charles Wilmote Governor of Corke, and so poasted to the Lord Deputy. Presently they sit in counsaile to consider whether the Lord Deputy, who had but a small traine anone of his Guard about him, should returne or stay at Kilkenny till his Forces were drawne together. Some were of opinion that it was fittest to returne, and that it stood not with the dignity of the Lord Deputy to goe forward with so small a trayne. The President maintained stiffely the contrary, that he could not returne or stand still without suspition of cowardise, and danger of a generall revolt of the Province; that where the safety of a Kingdome is in question, needlesse things are to be passed over; it was therefore fit to goe forward and oppose his authority as Lord Deputy against such as were ready to revolt, who, as they would continue in their duty if they should see the Lord Deputy present, who was growne famous for his fortunate successe, so would they sure revolt if he should returne. Some there were which thought it best that the Lord Deputy should goe forward as farre as to Clonmel in the borders of the Province and no farther, before such time as his Forces came. But when the President offered him a guard of 200 horse and informed him that Corke was plentifully provided of all necesaries for warre, he went forward with him cheerefully.
71. In the meane time the Spanish Fleete, which by reason of a scant winde could not obtaine the Haven of Corke, entred the mouth of the Haven of Kinsale the 23rd of September and set her souldiers on land, when presently Sir Richard Percy, who had the command of the Towne with 150 men, being too weake to make resistance, retired with his men (as hee was commanded) to Corke. The Spaniards with 35 Colors displaied found the Gates opened, and were gladly welcomed by the Townsmen, the chiefe Magistrate going before them with his staffe, and as an Harbinger appointed out their billet. The President commanded all the cattell and horses on this side the River Averly to be driven away, and sent Flower 400 light armed foot to waste the neighbour Country; and (which seemed a thing behoovefull to be done) hee inrolled very many Citizens and Townsmen in the list of his souldiers, not that they could stand him in any stead, but to keepe them as hostages lest they, lying idle at home, should in regard of their affection to the Romish Religion, and their in-bred love to the Spaniards, thinking themselves descended from the same originall [origins], cast in their mindes to revolt and deliver up the Townes.
72. Don Juan DAquila, who had the command of the Spaniards under the title of Master General and Captaine of the Catholike King in Gods warre for maintaining the faith in Ireland, published certaine writings, endeavouring to perswade the people That Queene Elizabeth was by sentences of the Bishops of Rome deprived of her Crowne, that her subjects were absolved from their oath of allegiance, and that the Spaniards were come to deliver Ireland from the jawes of the Devill (for those where his words); and under this faire pretence hee drew very many lewd men to his party. The Lord Deputy, having drawne together from all parts all the forces hee could, prepareth himselfe to the siedge; and having intrenched himselfe, hee thought nothing more necessary than to subdue Kincurran, a Castle upon the Haven not farre from the Towne (where in it were left 150 Spaniards), because it seemed commodious as well to defend the English Fleet as to annoy the Spanish, if it should returne. Which the President, who was appointed Lieutenant Generall of the Army, having mounted his great Ordnance and beaten backe the Spaniards by sea and land that came to their reliefe, soone brought to an absolute rendring.
73. And now Sir Richard Leveson Viceadmirall, being sent out of England with one or two of the Queenes shippes to impeach their accesse, barred up the haven, and the English from sea and land began to thunder into the Towne, and to begirt the same with a straighter siedge; which notwithstanding was soone after slackened, for that Leveson with Marriners set sayle from hence against 2000 Spaniards which were landed at Berehaven, Baltimore, and Castlehaven, five of whose shippes he sunke. At the same time was the President sent from the Campe with some troupes to prevent O-Donell that he should not joyne with this new supply of Spaniards; but the ground being hard frozen over, escaped by night through by-wayes to the Spaniards. And not many dayes after, Tir-Oen himselfe, with O-Rork, Reimund Burk, Mac-Machone, Randall Mac-Surley, Tirell Baron of Kerry, and the choycest of the Rebels, drew neere, with whom when Alphonso O-Campo had joyned the new-landed Spaniards, they were 6000 foot strong and 500 horse, puffed up with assured hope of victory for that they were stronger in number, fresh men, and better provided of all necessaries, whereas the English were wearied with a winter siedge, destitute of provision, and their horses spent with labour and lacke of food.
74. The Lord Deputy in these difficulties pressed the siedge with all the might he could, and withall fortified his Campe with new works. The 21st of December Tir-Oen shewed himselfe with his Forces upon an hill about a mile from the Campe, and there encamping shewed himselfe the next day. The next night following, the Spaniards issued out of the Towne, and the Irish endeavoured to put themselves into the Towne, but they were both of them beaten backe. The 23rd of December were letters intercepted, sent from DAquila to Tir-Oen, wherein he intreateth him that the Spaniards that were newly come might be put into the Towne, and the English Campe assayled on both sides. That night, when the Moone was ready to rise, the Lord Deputy commanded Sir Henry Poer to draw forth eight Companies of old souldiers and to put them in order of battaile on the West side of the Campe. Sir Henry Graemes, which was Scoutmaster that night, sent word to the Lord Deputy very early in the morning that the Rebels would certainely advance, for that hee saw a great number of matches kindled. Hereupon the Alarme was given throughout the Campe and companies appointed to all places where was any accesse unto the Towne. The Lord Deputy, with the President and Sir Richard Wingfield Marshall, marched towards the Watch, and with the advise of Sir Olivar Lombard chose out his ground to receive the enemy, whither were brought the Regiments of Sir Henry Folliot and Sir Olivar St. John, with 600 saylers under the conduct of Sir Richard Leveson. Tir-Oen, who had determined (as came afterward to be knowne) to lead the new-come Spaniards and 800 Irish by favour of the darke night into Kinsale, espyed by brake of day the Marshall and Sir Henry Danvers with their troupes of horse, and Poer at the foot of the hill with his companies of old souldiers. Wherefore being disappointed of his hope he made a stand, and soone after caused his Bagpipers to sound the retreyt.
75. The Lord Deputy, as soone as he was certified of this confused retreat, commanded to pursue them, and the better to observe their retreyt he marched in the head of his troupes. But there arose such a thicke darke mist with a violent showre that for a while it tooke away his sight of them. Soone after, the Skye cleering, when he observed that they fell back fearefully in thre great troupes, and the horsemen at their backes, he resolved to charge upon them, sending backe the President with three Cornets of horse to impeach the sally of the Spaniards out of the Towne, if they should make any. The Lord Deputy pursued them with such speed that hee constrained them to make a stand at the brinke of a miry and boggy place, whereunto was no accesse but by a foard. But the horsemen which kept the foard being defeated through the valour of the Marshall and the Earle of Clan-Richard, the English made a resolute impression upon the enemies troupes of horse; and when Sir William Godolphin, who led the Lord Deputies wing, Sir Henry Danvers, Minshan, Taffe, Flemming, and Sir John Barkley Sergeant Major Generall, had joyned with them, they renewed their impression with such alacrity that the Rebels horse betooke themselves to flight. To chace them was not thought good; but having gathered their Forces together, they rushed into the middest of the enemies battell (which now quaked for feare) and brake thorow it. Tirell in the meane time with his Forces and the Spaniards stood their ground firmely; against whom the Lord Deputy advanced his Rereward battell; and to fulfill the duty not onely of a Generall in commanding, but of a Souldier also in fighting, hee charged upon them with three Companies of Sir Olivar St. John which Roe led, and put them to rout in such sort that they retired confusedly to the Irish, by whom they were presently left to the swoard, and defeated with a great slaughter by the Lord Deputies troupe of horse under the leading of Sir William Godolphin. Tir-Oen, O-Donel and the rest presently betooke themselves to flight from all parts, and, casting away their Armes, shifted for themselves. Don Alphonso O-Campo was taken prisoner with three Spanish Leaders and six Ensigne-bearers; 1200 were slaine, nine colours taken, whereof six were Spanish. Of the English few were missing, but many hurt; and amongst them Sir Henry Danvers, Sir William Godolphin, and Croftes. So little did so great a victory cost them.
76. The Lord Deputy having commanded the retreyt to bee sounded, and given thankes to God amongst the heapes of dead carkasses, knighted the Earle of Clan-Richard for his most valiant service, and returned a Conqueror to the Campe with joyfull shouts and acclamations, which he found safe and free from all danger. For the Spaniards in the Towne, when they saw all places manned with Garrisons, and had found by former experience that all their sallies had brought them losse and dammage, they kept themselves at home full of care and perplexed expectation, and fortune (as at many other times) favoured the English. For the wind blew from such a quarter that the discharging of the small shot, while they were in sight, was not heard in the Towne.
77. Great was this victory, and advantageous in many wayes. For Ireland, which was staggering and even now ready to revolt, was hereby stayed and retained; the Spaniards were removed out of Ireland; the Archrebell Tir-Oen was driven back againe to his lurking places in Ulster; O-Donel was forced to flye into Spaine; the rest of the Rebels were dispersed into divers parts; the Queenes authority was restored; the insolency of wicked persons restrained; the hearts of the good, which were even now broken and afflicted, were cheered and confirmed; and a perfect peace afterwards soundly established in al places througout the Iland.
78. The next day, the Lord Deputy commanded Josias Bodley Surveyor of the workes, who had borne himselfe manfully both in the workes and in the fight, that the Mount which was begunne should be finished, and the Trenches drawne neerer to the Towne. Wherein when six dayes had beene spent, DAquila by letters sent by a Drummer to the Lord Deputy craved that some Gentlemen of credite might bee sent into the Towne, with whom he might parley. For this businesse was chosen Sir William Godolphin Knight, to whom DAquila signified that he had found the Lord Deputy, though a most sharpe enemy, yet honourable; that the Irish were weake, uncivill, and (which he much feared) perfidious; that he was sent by the Catholike King in ayd of two Earles, but now he doubted whether there were any such Earles in the world, since one tempest of warre had blowne over the one into Spaine, and the other into the North in such sort that they were quite vanished out of sight. He was willing therefore to treat of a peace which might be profitable to the English and not prejudiciall to the Spaniards, though he wanted nothing to endure a siedge, and looked every day for ayd to accomplish that he came for. In briefe, after some parley on both sides, it was agreed betwixt the Spaniards and the English, being both of them weary of the siedge, that the Spaniards should render up unto the Lord Deputy Kinsale and the Castles and Forts at Baltimore, Berehaven, and Castlehaven; that they should depart with their lives, goods, and colours displayed; that the English should at a reasonable price furnish them with shippes to carry them into Spaine at two voyages; that DAquila should depart last; that they should not beare armes against the Queene of England before such time as they were landed in Spaine; that if in their returne they arrived in any haven of England they should be used curteously; that if they lighted upon any English shippes, they should not be molested; that whilest they expected the windes in Ireland they should be supplyed with necessary victuals for their money, no wrong should be done unto them; and for the shippes which should carry them backe, security should be given by three hostages to be chosen by the Lord Deputy.
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