« PreviousContinue »
In the conveyance of which his intelligences and in the making known of his disposition to do the king of Spain service, he had, amongst others, one Manuel Andrada a Portuguese, revolted from Don Antonio to the king of Spain; one that was discovered to have practised the death of the said Don Antonio, and to have betrayed him to Bemardine Mendoza. This man, coming hither, was, for the same his practice, appearing by letters intercepted, apprehended and committed to prison. Before which time also, there had been by good diligence intercepted other letters, whereby the said Andrada advertised Mendoza, that he had won Dr. Lopez to the king's service: but Lopez having understanding thereof, and finding means to have secret conference with Andrada before his examination, persuaded with him to take the matter upon himself, as if he had invented that advertisement touching Lopez, only to procure himself credit with Mendoza; and to make him conceive well of his industry and service. And to move him hereunto, Lopez set before Andrada, that if he did excuse him, he should have credit to work his delivery: whereas, if he did impeach him, he was not like to find any other means of favour. By which subtle persuasion Andrada, when he came to be examined, answered according to the direction and lessoning which Lopez had given him. And having thus acquitted himself of this suspicion, became suitor for Andrada's delivery, craftily suggesting, that he was to do some notable service to Don Ajitonio; in which his suit he accordingly prevailed. When Lopez had thus got Andrada out of prison, he was suffered to go out of the realm into Spain; in pretence, as was said, to do some service to Don Antonio; but in truth, to continue Lopez's negotiation and intelligences with the king of Spain; which he handled so well, as at his return hither, for the comforting of the said Lopez, he brought to him from the king, besides thanks and words of encouragement, and an Abrazo, which is the complement of favour, a very good jewel garnished with sundry stones of good value. This jewel, when Lopez had excepted, he cunningly cast with himself, that if he should offer it to her Majesty first, he was assured she would not take it: next, that thereby he should lay her asleep, and make her secure of him for greater matter, according to the saying, "Fraus sibi fidem in parvis prcestruit ut in magnis opprimat;" which accordingly he did, with protestations of his fidelity: and her Majesty, as a princess of magnanimity, not apt to fear or suspicion, returned it to him with gracious words.
After Lopez had thus abused her Majesty, and had these trials of the fidelity of Andrada, they fell in conference, the matter being first moved by Andrada, as he that came freshly out of Spain, touching the empoisoning of the queen: which Lopez, who saw that matter of intelligence, without some such particular service, would draw no great reward from the king of Spain; such as a man that was not needy, but wealthy as he was, could find any taste in, assented unto. And to that purpose procured again this Andrada to be sent over, as well to ad
vertise and assure this matter to the king of Spain and his ministers, namely, to the count de Fuentex, assistant to the general of the king of Spain's forces in the Low Countries, as also to capitulate and contract with him about the certainty of his reward. Andrada having received those instructions, and being furnished with money, by Lopez's procurement, from Don Antonio, about whose service his employment was believed to be, went over to Calais, where he remained to be near unto England and Flanders, having a boy that ordinarily passed to and fro between him and Lopez: by whom he did also, the better to colour his employment, write to Lopez intelligence, as it was agreed he should between him and Lopez; who bad him send such news as he should take up in the streets. From Calais he writeth to count de Fuentes of Lopez's promise and demands. Upon the receipt of which letters, after some time taken to advertise this proposition into Spain, and to receive direction thereupon, the count de Fuentes associated with Stephano Ibarra, secretary of the council of the wars in the Low Countries, calleth to him one Manuel Louis Tinoco, a Portuguese, who had also followed king Antonio, and of whose good devotion he had had experience, in that he had conveyed unto him two several packets, wherewith he was trusted by the king Antonio for France. Of this Louis they first received a corporal oath, with solemn ceremony, taking his hands between their hands, that he should keep secret that which should be imparted to him, and never reveal the same, though he should be apprehended and questioned here. This done, they acquaint him with the letters of Andrada, with whom they charge him to confer at Calais in his way, and to pass to Lopez into England, addressing him farther to Stephano Ferrera de Gama, and signifying unto the said Lopez withal, as from the king, that he gave no great credence to Andrada, as a person too slight to be used in a cause of so great weight: and therefore marvelled much that he heard nothing from Ferrera of this matter, from whom he had in former time been advertised in generality of Lopez's good affection to do him service. This Ferrera had been sometimes a man of great livelihood and wealth in Portugal, which he did forego in adhering to Don Antonio, and appeareth to be a man of capacity and practice; but hath some years since been secretly won to the service of the king of Spain, not travelling nevertheless to and fro, but residing as his lieger in England.
Manuel Louis despatched with these instructions, and with all affectionate commendations from the count to Lopez, and with letters to Ferrera, took his journey first to Calais, where he conferred with Andrada; of whom receiving more ample information, together with a short ticket of credence to Lopez, that he was a person whom he might trust without scruple, came over into England, and first repaired to Ferrera, and acquainted him with the state of the business, who had before that time given some light unto Lopez, that he was not a stranger unto the practice between him and Andrada, wherewith, indeed, Andrada had in a sort acquainted him. And now upon this new despatch and knowledge given to Lopez of the choice of Ferrera to continue that which Andrada had begun; he, to conform himself the better to the satisfaction of the king of Spain, and his ministers abroad, was content more fully to communicate with Ferrera, with whom, from that time forward, he meant singly and apertly to deal; and therefore cunningly forbore to speak with Manuel Louis himself; but concluded that Ferrera should be his only trunk, and all his dealings should pass through his hands, thinking thereby to have gone invisible.
Whereupon he cast with himself, that it was not safe to use the mediation of Manuel Louis, who had been made privy to the matter, as some base carrier of letters; which letters also should be written in a cipher, not of alphabet, but of words; such as might, if they were opened, import no vehement suspicion. And therefore Manuel Louis was sent back with a short answer, and Lopez purveyed himself of a base fellow, a Portuguese called Gomez d'Avila, dwelling hard by Lopez's house, to convey his letters. After this messenger provided, it was agreed between Lopez and Ferrera, that letters should be sent to the count de Fuentes, and secretary Juarra, written and signed by Ferrera, for Lopez cautelously did forbear to write himself, but directed, and indeed dictated word by word by Lopez himself. The contents thereof were, that Lopez was ready to execute that service to the king, which before had been treated, but required for his recompence the sum of 50,000 crowns, and assurance for the same.
These letters were written obscurely, as was touched, in terms of merchandise; to which obscurity when Ferrera excepted, Lopez answered they knew his meaning by that which had passed before. Ferrera wrote also to Manuel Louis, but charged this Gomez to deliver the same letters unto him in the presence of Juarra; as also the letter to Juarra in the presence of Manuel Louis. And these letters were delivered to Gomez d'Avila to be carried to Brussels, and a passport procured, and his charges defrayed by Lopez. And Ferrera, the more to approve his industry, writ letters two several times, the one conveyed by Emanuel Pallacios, with the privity of Lopez, to Christophero Moro, a principal counsellor of the king of Spain, in Spain; signifying that Lopez was won to the king of Spain, and that he was ready to receive his commandment; and received a letter from the same Christophero Moro, in answer to one of these, which he showed unto Lopez. In the mean time Lopez, though a man, in semblance, of a heavy wit, yet indeed subtle of himself, as one trained in practice, and besides as wily as fear and covetousness could make him, thought to provide for himself, as was partly touched before, as many starting-holes and evasions as he could devise, if any of these matters should come to light. And first he took his time to cast forth some general words afar off to her Majesty, as asking her the question, Whether a deceiver might not be deceived? Whereof her Majesty, not imagining these words tended to such end, as to warrant him colourably in this wretched conspiracy, but other▼ol. L 2d
wise, of her own natural disposition bent to integrity and sincerity, uttered dislike and disallowance. Next, he thought he had wrought a great mystery in demanding the precise sum of 50,000 crowns, agreeing just with the sum of assignation or donation from Don Antonio; idly, and in that grossly imagining, that, if afterwards he should accept the same sum, he might excuse it, as made good by the king of Spain, in regard he desisted to follow and favour Don Antonio; whereupon the king of Spain was in honour tied not to see him a loser. Thirdly, in his conferences with Ferrera, when he was apposed upon the particular manner how he would poison her Majesty, he purposely named unto him a syrup, knowing that her Majesty never useth syrup; and therefore thinking that would prove a high point for his justification, if things should come in any question.
But all this while desirous after his prey, which he had in hope devoured, he did instantly importune Ferrera for the answering of his last despatch, finding the delay strange, and reiterating the protestations of his readiness to do the service, if he were assured of his money.
Now before the return of Gomez d'Avila into England, this Stephen Ferrera was discovered to have intelligence with the enemy; but so, as the particular of his traffic and overtures appeared not, only it seemed there was great account made of that he managed; and thereupon he was committed to prison. Soon after arrived Gomez d'Avila, and brought letters only from Manuel Louis, by the name of Francisco de Thores; because, as it seemeth, the great persons on the other side had a contrary disposition to Lopez, and liked not to write by so base a messenger, but continued their course to trust and employ Manuel Louis himself, who in likelihood was retained till they might receive a full conclusion from Spain; which was not till about two months after. This Gomez was apprehended at his landing, and about him were found the letters aforesaid, written in jargon, or verbal cipher, but yet somewhat suspicious, in these words: "This bearer will tell you the price in which your pearls are esteemed, and in what resolution we rest about a little musk and amber, which I am determined to buy." Which words the said Manuel Louis afterwards voluntarily confessed to be deciphered in this sort; That by the allowance of the pearls he meant, that the count de Fuentes, and the secretary, did gladly accept the offer of Lopez to poison the queen, signified by Ferrera's letter: and for the provision of amber and musk, it was meant, that the count looked shortly for a resolution from the king of Spain concerning a matter of importance, which was for burning of the queen's ships; and another point tending to the satisfaction of their vindictive humour.
But while the sense of this former letter rested ambiguous, and that no direct particular was confessed by Ferrera, nor sufficient light given to ground any rigorous examination of him, cometh over Manuel Louis with the resolution from Spain; who first understanding of Ferrera's restraint, and therefore doubting how far things were discovered, to shadow the matter, like a cunning companion, gave advertisement of an intent he had to do service, and hereupon obtained a passport: but after his coming in, he made no haste to reveal any thing, but thought to dally and abuse in some other sort. And while the light was thus in the clouds, there was also intercepted a little ticket which Ferrera in prison had found means to write, in care to conceal Lopez, and to keep him out of danger, to give a caveat of staying all farther answers and advertisements in these causes. Whereupon Lopez was first called in question.
But in conclusion, this matter being with all assiduity and policy more and more pierced and mined into, first, there was won from Manuel Louis his letters from the count de Fuentes and secretary Juarra to Ferrera, in both which mention is made of the queen's death; in that of the count's under the term of a commission; and in that of the secretary's under the term of the great service, whereof should arise a universal benefit to the whole world. Also the letters of credit written by Gonsalo Gomez, one to Pedro de Carrera, and the other to Juan Pallacio, to take up a sum of money by Manuel Louis, by the foresaid false name of Fr. de Thores; letters so large, and in a manner without limitation, as any sum by virtue thereof might be taken up; which letters were delivered to Louis by the count de Fuentes's own hands, with directions to show them to Lopez for his assurance: a matter of God's secret working in staying the same, for thereupon rested only the execution of the fact of Lopez. Upon so narrow a point consisted the safety of her Majesty's life, already sold by avarice to malice and ambition, but extraordinarily preserved by that watchman which never slnmbereth. This same Manuel Louis, and Stephen Ferrera also, whereof the one managed the matter abroad, and the other resided here to give correspondence, never meeting after Manuel had returned, severally examined without torture or threatening, did in the end voluntarily and clearly confess the matters above mentioned, and in their confessions fully consent and concur, not only in substance, but in all points, particularities, and circumstances; which confessions appear expressed in their own natural language, testified and subscribed with their own hands; and in open assembly, at the arraignment of Lopez in the Guildhall, were by them confirmed and avouched to Lopez his face; and therewithal are extant, undefaced, the original letters from count de Fuentes, secretary Juarra, and the rest.
And Lopez himself, at his first apprehension and examination, did indeed deny, and deny with deep and terrible oaths and execrations, the very conferences and treaties with Ferrera, or Andrada, about the empoisonment. And being demanded, if they were proved against him what he would say? he answered, That he would yield himself guilty of the fact intended. Nevertheless being afterwards confronted by Ferrera, who constantly maintained to him all that he had said, reducing him to the times and places of the said conferences, he confessed the matter, as by his confession in writing, signed with his own hand, appeareth. But then he fell to that slender evasion, as his last refuge, that he meant only
to cozen the king of Spain of the money: and in that he continued at his arraignment, when notwithstanding, at the first he did retract his own confession : and yet being asked, whether he was drawn, either by means of torture, or promise of life, to make the same confession? he did openly testify that no such means were used towards him.
But the falsehood of this excuse being an allegation that any traitor may use and provide for himself, is convicted by three notable proofs. The first, that he never opened this matter, neither unto her Majesty, unto whom he had ordinary access, nor to any counsellor of state, to have permission to toll on, and inveigle these parties, with whom he did treat, if it had been thought so convenient; wherein, percase, he had opportunity to have done some good service, for the farther discovery of their secret machinations against her Majesty's life. The second, that he came too late to this shift j having first bewrayed his guilty conscience, in denying those treaties and conferences till they were evidently and manifestly proved to his face. The third, that in conferring with Ferrera about the manner of his assurance, he thought it better to have the money in the hands of such merchants as he should name in Antwerp, than to have it brought into England; declaring his purpose to be, after the fact done, speedily to fly to Antwerp, and there to tarry some time, and so to convey himself to Constantinople; where it is affirmed, that Don Salomon, a Jew in good credit, is Lopez his near kinsman, and that he is greatly favoured by the said Don Salomon: whereby it is evident that Lopez had cast his reckonings upon the supposition of the fact done.
Thus may appear, both how justly this Lopez* is condemned for the highest treason that can be imagined j and how, by God's marvellous goodness, her Majesty hath been preserved. And surely, if a man do truly consider, it is hard to say, whether God hath done greater things by her Majesty or for her: if you observe on the one side, how God hath ordained her government to break and cross the unjust ambition of the two mighty potentates, the king of Spain and the bishop of Rome, never so straitly between themselves combined: and on the other side, how mightily God hath protected her, both against foreign invasion and inward troubles, and singularly against the many secret conspiracies that have been made against her life; thereby declaring to the world that he will indeed preserve that instrument which he hath magnified. But the corruptions of these times are wonderful, when that wars, which are the highest trials of right between princes, that acknowledge no superior jurisdiction, and ought to be prosecuted with all honour, shall be stained and infamed with such foul and inhuman practices. Wherein if so great a king hath been named, the rule of the civil law, which is a rule of common reason, must be remembered; "Frustra legis auxilium implorat, qui in legem committit." He that hath sought to violate the Majesty royal, in the highest degree, cannot claim the pre-eminence thereof to be exempted from just imputation.
* Lopei was executed 7th June, 1594.
THE EARL OF ESSEX.
The points of form worthy to be observed.
The fifth of June in Trinity term, upon Thursday, being no Star-chamber day, at the ordinary hour when the courts sit at Westminster, were assembled together at the lord keeper's house in the great chamber, her Majesty's privy council, enlarged and assisted for that time and cause by the special call and associating of certain selected persons, viz. four earls, two barons, and four judges of the law, making in the whole a council or court of eighteen persons, who were attended by four of her Majesty's learned counsel for charging the earl; and two clerks of the council, the one to read, the other as a register; and an auditory of persons, to the number, as I could guess, of two hundred, almost all men of quality, but of every kind or profession; nobility, court, law, country, city. The upper end of the table left void for the earl's appearance, who after the commissioners had sat a while, and the auditory was quiet from the first throng to get in, and the doors shut, presented himself and kneeled down at the board's end, and so continued till he was licensed to stand up.
The names of the commissioners.
Lord Keeper, &c. It was open, that her Majesty being of her Ma- imperial, and immediate under God, Cm^m"'0- was not holden to render account of her actions to any; howbeit, because she had chosen ever to govern, as well with satisfaction as with sovereignty, and the rather, to command down the winds of malicious and seditious rumours wherewith men's conceits may have been tossed to and fro, she was pleased to call the world to an understanding of her princely course held towards the earl of Essex, as well in here-before protracting as in now proceeding.
The earl repairing from his government into this realm in August last, contrary to her Majesty's express and most judicial commandment, though the contempt were in that point visible, and her Majesty's mind prepared to a just and high displeasure, in regard of that realm of Ireland set at hazard by his former disobedience to her royal directions, yet kept that stay, as she commanded my lord only to his chamber in court, until his allegations might by her privy council be questioned and heard; which ac
* At York-House, in June, 1600, prepared for queen Elizabeth by her command, and read to her by Mr. Bacon, but ncTer published.
count taken, and my lord's answers appearing to be of no defence, that shadow of defence which was offered consisted of two parts, the one his own conceit of some likelihood of good effects to ensue of the course held, the other a vehement and overruling persuasion of the council there, though he were indeed as absolutely freed from opinion of the council of Ireland, as he was absolutely tied to her Majesty's trust and instructions: Nevertheless, her Majesty not unwilling to admit any extenuation of his offence; and considering the one point required advertisement out of Ireland, and the other farther expectation of the event and sequel of the affairs there, and so both points asked time and protraction; her Majesty proceeded still with reservation, not to any restraint of my lord according to the nature and degree of his offence, but to a commitment of him, sub libera custodia, in the lord keeper's house.
After, when both parts of this defence plainly failed my lord, yea, and proved utterly adverse to him, for the council of Ireland in plain terms disavowed all those his proceedings, and the event made a miserable interpretation of them, then her Majesty began to behold the offence in nature and likeness, as it was divested from any palliation or cover, and in the true proportion and magnitude thereof, importing the peril of a kingdom: which consideration wrought in her Majesty a strange effect, if any thing which is heroical in virtue can be strange in her nature; for when offence was grown unmeasurably offensive, then did grace superabonnd; and in the heat of all the ill news out of Ireland, and other advertisements thence to my lord's disadvantage, her Majesty entered into a resolution, out of herself and her inscrutable goodness, not to overthrow my lord's fortune irreparably, by public and proportionable justice: notwithstanding, inasmuch as about that time there did fly about in London streets and theatres divers seditious libels; and Powles and ordinaries were full of bold and factious discourses, whereby not only many of her Majesty's faithful and zealous counsellors and servants were taxed, but withal the hard estate of Ireland was imputed to any thing rather than unto the true cause, the earl's defaults, though this might have made any prince on earth to lay aside straightways the former resolution taken, yet her Majesty in her moderation persisted in her course of clemency, and bethought herself of a mean to right her own honour, and yet spare the earl's ruin; and therefore taking a just and most necessary occasion upon these libels, of an admonition to be given seasonably, and as is oft accustomed; the last Star-chamber day of Mi-' chaelmas term, was pleased, that declaration should be made, by way of testimony, of all her honourable privy council, of her Majesty's infinite care, royal provisions, and prudent directions for the prosecutions in Ireland, wherein the earl's errors, by which means so great care and charge was frustrated, were incidently touched.
But as in bodies very corrupt, the medicine rather stirreth and exasperateth the humour than purgeth it, so some turbulent spirits laid hold of this proceeding in so singular partiality towards my lord, as if it had been to his disadvantage, and gave out that this was to condemn a man unheard, and to wound him on his back, and to leave Justice her sword and take away her balance, which consisted of an accusation and a defence; and such other seditious phrases: whereupon her Majesty seeing herself interested in honour, which she hath ever sought to preserve as her eye, clear and without mote, was enforced to resolve of a judicial hearing of the cause, which was accordingly appointed in the end of Hilary term. At the which time warning being given to my lord to prepare himself, he falling, as it seemed, in a deep consideration of his estate, made unto her Majesty by letter an humble and effectual submission, beseeching her that that bitter cup of justice might pass from him, for those were his words; which wrought such an impression in her Majesty's mind, that it not only revived in her her former resolution to forbear any public hearing, but it fetched this virtue out of mercy by the only touch, a few days after my lord was removed to farther liberty in his own house, her Majesty hoping that these bruits and malicious imputations would of themselves wax old and vanish: but finding it otherwise in proof, upon taste taken by some intermission of time, and especially beholding the humour of the time in a letter presumed to be written to her Majesty herself by a lady, to whom, though nearest in blood to my lord, it appertained little to intermeddle in matters of this nature, otherwise than in course of humility to have solicited her grace and mercy: in which letter, in a certain violent and mineral spirit of bitterness, remonstrance and representation is made to her Majesty, as if my lord suffered under passion and faction, and not under justice mixed with mercy; which letter, though written to her sacred Majesty, and therefore unfit to pass in vulgar hands, yet was first divulged by copies every where, that being, as it seemeth, the newest and finest form of libelling, and since committed to the press: her Majesty in her wisdom seeing manifestly these rumours thus nourished had got too great a head to be repressed without some hearing of the cause, and calling my lord to answer; and yet on the other side, being still informed touching my lord himself of his continuance of penitence and submission, did in conclusion resolve to use justice, but with the edge and point taken off and rebated; for whereas nothing leavelh that taint upon honour, which in a person of my lord's condition is hardliest repaired, in question of justice, as to be called to the ordinary and open place of offenders and criminals, her Majesty had ordered that the hearing should be intra
domesticos parietes, and not luce forensi. And whereas again in the Star-chamber there be certain formalities not fit in regard of example to be dispensed with, which would strike deeper both into my lord's fortune and reputation; as the fine which is incident to a sentence there given, and the imprisonment of the Tower, which in case of contempts that touch the point of estate doth likewise foUow; her Majesty turning this course, had directed that the matters should receive, before a great, honourable, and selected council, a full and deliberate, and yet in respect, a private, mild, and gracious hearing.
All this was not spoken in one undivided speech, but partly by the first that spake of the learned counsel, and partly by some of the commissioners; for in this and the rest I keep order of matter, and not of circumstance.
The mailers laid to my lord's charge.
The matters wherewith my lord was _ . , . „ . J . The charge,
charged were of two several natures; of
a higher, and of an inferior degree of offence.
The former kind purported great and high contempts and points of misgovernance in his office of her Majesty's lieutenant and governor of her realm of Ireland; and in the trust and authority thereby to him committed.
The latter contained divers notorious errors and neglects of duty, as well in his government as otherwise.
The great contempts and points of misgovemment and malversation in his office, were articulate into three heads.
I. The first was the journey into
Munster, whereby the prosecution c^^fc?TM
II. The second was the dishonourable and dangerous treaty held, and cessation concluded with the same arch-rebel Tyrone.
III. The third was his contemptuous leaving his government, contrary to her Majesty's absolute mandate under her hand and signet, and in a time of so imminent and instant danger. For the first, it had two parts; that
her Majesty's resolution and direction j^ty'sdire?-"
was precise and absolute for the northern tion was pre
ci^c Hid iib^oTM
prosecution, and that the same direction iu\c for the was by my lord, in regard of the northern pro
\. ?, 3 secuuon.
journey to Munster, wilfully and contemptuously broken.
It was therefore delivered, that her Majesty, touched with a true and princely sense of the torn and broken estate of that kingdom of Ireland, entered into a most christian and magnanimous resolution to leave no faculty of her regal power or policy unemployed for the reduction of that people, and for the suppressing and utter quenching of that flame of rebellion, wherewith that country was and is