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wasted: whereupon her Majesty was pleased to take knowledge of the general conceit, how the former making and managing of the actions there had been taxed, upon two excepiions ; the one, that the proportions of forces which had been there maintained and continued by supplies, were not sufficient to bring the prosecutions to a period: the other, that the prosecutions had been also intermixed and interrupted with too many temporizing treaties, whereby the rebel did not only gather strength, but also find his strength more and more, so as ever such smothers broke forth again into greater flames. Which kind of discourses and objections, as they were entertained in a popular kind of observation, so were they ever chiefly patronized and apprehended by the earl, both upon former times and occasions, and now last when this matter was in deliberation. So as her Majesty, to acquit her honour and regal function, and to give this satisfaction to herself and others, that she had left no way untried, resolved to undertake the action with a royal army and puissant forces, under the leading of some principal nobleman; in such sort, that, as far as human discourse might discern, it might be hoped, that by the expedition of a summer things might be brought to that state, as both realms may feel some ease and respiration; this from charges and levies, and that from troubles and perils. Upon this ground her Majesty made choice of my lord of Essex for that service, a principal peer and officer of her realm, a person honoured with the trust of a privy counsellor, graced with the note of her Majesty's special favour, infallibly betokening and redoubling his worth and value, enabled with the experience and reputation of former services, and honourable charges in the wars; a man every way eminent, select, and qualified for a general of a great enterprise, intended for the recovery and reduction of that kingdom, and not only or merely as a lieutenant or governor of Ireland.
My lord, after that he had taken the charge upon him, fell straightways to make propositions answerable to her Majesty's ends, and answerable to his own former discourses and opinions; and chiefly did set down one full and distinct resolution, that the design and action, which of all others was most final and summary towards an end of those troubles, and which was worthy her Majesty's enterprise with great and puissant forces, was a prosecution to be made upon the arch-traitor Tyrone in his own strengths within the province of Ulster, whereby both the inferior rebels which rely upon him, and the foreigner upon whom he relieth, might be discouraged, and so to cut asunder both dependences: and for the proceeding with greater strength and policy in that action, that the main invasion and impression of her Majesty's army should be accompanied and corresponded unto by the plantation of strong garrisons in the north, as well upon the river of Loghfoile as a postern of that province, as upon the hither frontiers, both for the distracting and bridling of the rebel's forces during the action, and again, for the keeping possession of the victory, if God should send it
This proposition and project moving from my lord, was debated in many consultations. The principal men of judgment and service in the wars, as a council of war to assist a council of state, were called at times unto it; and this opinion of my lord was by himself fortified and maintained against all contradiction and opposite argument; and in the end, ex nnanimi consensu, it was concluded and resolved that the axe should be put to the root of the tree: which resolution was ratified and confirmed by the binding and royal judgment of her sacred Majesty, who vouchsafed her kingly presence at most of those consultations.
According to a proposition and enterprise of this nature, were the proportions of forces and provisions thereunto allotted. The first proportion set down by my lord was the number of 12,000 foot and 1200 horse; which being agreed unto, upon some other accident out of Ireland, the earl propounded to have it made 14,000 foot, and 1300 horse, which was likewise accorded; within a little while after the earl did newly insist to have an augmentation of 2000 more, using great persuasions and confident significations of good effect, if those numbers might be yielded to him, as which he also obtained before his departure; and besides the supplies of 2000 arriving in July, he had authority to raise 2000 Irish more, which he procured by his letters out of Ireland, with pretence to farther the northern service: so as the army was raised in the conclusion and list to 16,000 foot, and 1300 horse, supplied with 2000 more at three months' end, and increased with 2000 Irish upon this new demand; whereby her Majesty at that time paid 18,000 foot and 1300 horse in the realm of Ireland. Of these forces, divers companies drawn out of the experienced bands of the Low Countries; special care taken that the new levies in the country should be of the ablest, and most disposed bodies; the army also animated and encouraged with the service of divers brave and valiant noblemen and gentlemen voluntaries; in sum, the most flourishing and complete troops that have been known to have been sent out of our nation in any late memory. A great mass of treasure provided and issued, amounting to such a total, as the charge of that army, all manner of ways, from the time of the first provisions and setting forth, to the time of my lord's returning into England, was verified to have drawn out of the coffers, besides the charge of the country, the quantity of 300,000/. and so ordered as he carried with him three month's pay beforehand, and likewise victual, munition, and all habiliments of war whatsoever, with attendance of shipping allowed and furnished in a sortable proportion, and to the full of all my lord's own demands. For my lord being himself a principal counsellor for the preparations, as he was to be an absolute commander in the execution, his spirit was in every conference and conclusion in such sort, as when there happened any points of difference upon demands, my lord using the forcible advantages of the toleration and liberty which her Majesty's special favour did give unto him, and the great devotion and forwardness of his fellow-counsellors to the general cause, and the necessity of his then present service, he did ever prevail and carry it; insomuch as it was objected and laid to my lord's charge as one of his errors and presumptions, that he did oftentimes, upon their propositions and demands, enter into contestations with her Majesty, more a great deal than was fit. All which propositions before mentioned being to the utmost of my lord's own askings, and of that height and greatness, might really and demonstratively express and intimate unto him, besides his parlicular knowledge which he had, as a counsellor of estate, of the means both of her Majesty and this kingdom, that he was not to expect to have the commandment of 16,000 foot and 1300 horse, as an appurtenance to his lieutenancy of Ireland, which was impossible to be maintained j but contrariwise, that in truth of intention he was designed as general for one great action and expedition, unto which the rest of his authority was but accessary and accommodate.
It was delivered further, that in the authority of his commission, which was more ample in many points than any former lieutenant had been vested with, there were many direct and evident marks of his designation to the northern action, as principally a clause whereby "merum arbitrium belli et pacis" was reposed in his sole trust and discretion, whereas all the lieutenants were ever tied unto the peremptory assistance and admonition of a certain number of voices of the council of Ireland. The occasion of which clause so passed to my lord, doth notably disclose and point unto the precise trust committed to my lord for the northern journey; for when his commission was drawn at first according to former precedents, and on the other side my lord insisted strongly to have this new and prima facie vast and exorbitant authority, he used this argument; that the council of Ireland had many of them livings and possessions in or near the province of Lemster and Munster; but that Ulster was abandoned from any such particular respects, whereby it was like, the council there would be glad to use her Majesty's forces for the clearing and assuring of those territories and countries where their fortunes and estates were planted: so as if he should be tied to their voices, he were like to be diverted from the main service intended: upon which reason that clause was yielded unto.
So as it was then concluded, that all circumstances tended to one point, that there was a full and precise intention and direction for Ulster, and that my lord could not descend into the consideration of his own quality and value; he could not muster his fair army; he could not account with the treasurer, and take consideration of the great mass of treasure issued; he could not look into the ample and new clause of his letters patents; he could not look back, either to his own former discourses, or to the late propositions whereof himself was author, nor to the conferences, consultations, and conclusions thereupon, nor principally to her Majesty's royal direction and expectation, nor generally to the conceit both of subjects of this realm, and the rebels themselves in Ireland j but which way soever he turned, he must
find himself trusted, directed, and engaged wholly for the northern expedition.
The parts of this that were charged were verified by three proofs: the first, the most authentical but the least pressed, and that was her Majesty's own royal affirmation, both by her speech now and her precedent letters; the second, the testimony of the privy council, who upon their honours did avouch the substance of that was charged, and referred themselves also to many of their lordships' letters to the same effect; the third, letters written from my lord after his being in Ireland, whereby the resolution touching the design of the north is often ] ledged.
There follow some clauses both of her Majesty's letters and of the lords of her council, and of the earl's and the council of Ireland, for the verification of this point.
Her Majesty, in her letter of the 19th of July to my lord of Essex, upon the lingering of the northern journey, doubting my lord did value service, rather by the labour he endured, than by the advantage of her Majesty's royal ends, hath these w-ords:
"You have in this despatch given us small light, either when or in what ""be'earfJr
order you intend particularly to proceed Essex 19th of 1 1 July, imme
compare the time that is run on, and j^raey!*1" the excessive charges that are spent, with the effects of any thing wrought by this voyage, howsoever we remain satisfied with your own particular cares and travails of body and mind, yet you must needs think that we that have the eyes of foreign princes upon our actions, and have the hearts of people to comfort and cherish, who groan under the burthen of continual levies and impositions, which are occasioned by these late actions, can little please ourself hitherto with any thing that hath been effected."
In another branch of the same letter, reflecting her royal regard upon her own honour interested in this delay, hath these words:
"Whereunto we will add this one . .
, . , , , ,. , . A second
thing that doth more displease us than clause of the
any charge or offence that happens, same lelter
which is, that it must be the queen of England's
fortune, who hath held down the greatest enemy
she had, to make a base bush-kern to be accounted
so famous a rebel, as to be a person against whom
so many thousands of foot and horse, besides the
force of all the nobility of that kingdom, must be
thought too little to be employed."
In another branch, discovering, as upon the vantage ground of her princely wisdom, what would be the issue of the courses then held, hath these words:
"And therefore, although by your A ^ letter we found your purpose to go north- clause of the wards, on which depends the main good 8ame let,erof our service, and which we expected long since should have been performed j yet because we do hear it bruited, besides the words of your letter written with your own hand, which carries some such sense, that you who allege such sickness in your army by being travelled with you, and find so great and important affairs to digest at Dublin, will yet engage yourself personally into Ophalie, being our lieutenant, when you have there so many inferiors able, might victual a fort, or seek revenge against those who have lately prospered against our forces. And when we call to mind how far the sun hath run his course, and what dependeth upon the timely plantation of garrisons in the north, and how great scandal it would be to our honour to leave that proud rebel unassayed, when we have with so great an expectation of our enemies engaged ourselves so far in the action; so that, without that be done, all those former courses will prove like via navis in mari; besides that our power, which hitherto hath been dreaded by potent enemies, will now even be held contemptible amongst our rebels; we must plainly charge you, according to the duty you owe to us, so to unite soundness of judgment to the zeal you have to do us service, as with all speed to pass thither in such sort, as the axe might be put to the root of that tree, which hath been the treasonable stock from whom so many poisoned plants and grafts have been derived j by which proceedings of yours, we may neither have cause to repent of our employment of yourself for omitting those opportunities to shorten the wars, nor receive in the eye of the world imputation of so much weakness in ourself, to begin a work without better foresight what would be the end of our excessive charge, the adventure of our people's lives, and the holding up of our own greatness against a wretch, whom we have raised from the dust, and who could never prosper, if the charges we have been put to were orderly employed."
H Ma' ^6F ^aJe8,y m ner Par,'c,Ilar letter
to my lord br written to my lord the 30th of July, July1' *'th bindeth still expressly upon the northern prosecution, my lord ad principalia remm, in these words:
"First, you know right well when we yielded to this excessive charge, it was upon no other foundation than to which yourself did ever advise us as much as any, which was, to assail the northern traitor, and to plant garrisons in his country; it being ever your firm opinion, amongst other our council, to conclude that all that was done in other kind in Ireland, was but waste and consumption."
Her Majesty in her letter of the 9th of August to
my lord of Essex and the council of Ireland, when,
after Munster journey, they began in a new time to
dissuade the northern journey in her excellent ear,
quickly finding a discord of men from themselves,
chargeth them in these words .
„ . . "Observe well what we have alreadv Her Majesty . , . *
to my lord written, and apply your counsels to
rounHiof ,hat wn'cn mRy shorten, and not proIreland, oth long the war; seeing never any of you u"' was of other opinion, than that all
other courses were but consumptions, except we went on with the northern prosecution."
The lords of her Majesty's council, in their letter of the 10th of August to my lord of Essex and the council of Ireland, do in plain terms lay before them the first plot, in these words:
"We cannot deny but we did ground _, , . . our counsels upon this foundation, the council to That there should have been a prose- SUmneil'1 cution of the capital rebels in the north, ofireland, whereby the war might have been 0t Augus1, shortened; which resolution, as it was advised by yourself before your going, and assented to by most part of the council of war that were called to the question, so must we confess to your lordship, that we have all this while concurred with her Majesty in the same desire and expectation."
My lord of Essex, and the council of Ireland, in their letter of the 5th of May to the lords of the council before the Munster journey, write in hasc verba.
"Moreover in vour lordships' great ..... . , .„ ,., . . , , Mv lord of
wisdom, you will likewise judge what Kssexandthe
pride the rebels will grow to, what f^JSS" to" the
advantage the foreign enemy may take, lords, 5th
and what loss her Majesty shall receive, y'
if this summer the arch-traitor be not assailed,
and garrisons planted upon him."
My lord of Essex, in his particular letter of the 11 th of July, to the lords of the council, after Munster journey, writeth thus:
"As fast as I can call these troops ^ ^ lo together, I will go look upon yonder j1'^1^'}8, proud rebel, and if I find him on hard ground, and in an open country, though I should find him in horse and foot three for one, yet will I by God's grace dislodge him, or put the council to the trouble of," &c.
The earl of Essex, in his letter of the 14th of August to the lords of the council, writeth out of great affection, as it seemeth, in these words:
"Yet must these rebels be assailed The ear, t0
in the height of their pride, and our the lords, i i * i. »5 v . c v. 14th August
base clowns must be taught to tight
again; else will her Majesty's honour never be recovered, nor our nation valued, nor this kingdom reduced."
Besides it was noted, that whereas my lord and the council of Ireland had, by theirs of the 15th of July, desired an increase of 2000 Irish purposely for the better setting on foot of the northern service; her Majesty, notwithstanding her proportions, by often gradations and risings, had been raised to the highest elevation, yet was pleased to yield unto it.
1. The first part concerneth my lord's ingress into his charge, and that which passed here before his going hence; now followeth an order, both of time and matter, what was done after my lord was gone into Ireland, and had taken upon him the government by her Majesty's commission.
2. The second part then of the first That my
article was to show, that my lord did ^^7"'
wilfully and contemptuously, in this contemptu
great point of estate, violate and in- her Majesty's
fringe her Majesty's direction before direction n t _ J * touching remembered. the north
In delivering of the evidence and PTM*cution
proofs of this part, it was laid down for a foundation,
that there was a full performance on her Majesty's
part of all the points agreed upon for this great prosecution, so as there was no impediment or cause
of interruption from hence.
This is proved by a letter from my lord of Essex
and the council of Ireland to the lords of the council
here, dated 9th May, which was some three weeks
after my lord had received the sword, by which time
he might well and thoroughly inform himself
whether promise were kept in all things or no, and
the words of the letter are these:
"As your lordships do very truly set
Essexandf forth, we do very humbly acknowledge
the council her Majesty's chargeable magnificence
of Ireland to , , • . ,
the lords of and royal preparations and transport
9th May01'' ations of men, munition, apparel, money, and victuals, for the recovery of this distressed kingdom;" where note, the transportations acknowledged as well as the preparations.
Next, it was set down for a second ground, that there was no natural nor accidental impediment in
the estate of the affairs themselves, against the prosecution upon Tyrone, but only culpable impediments raised by the journey of Munster.
This appeared by a letter from my lord and the council of Ireland to the Eaex andf lords of the council here, dated the 28th jj^^to of April, whereby they advertise, that the lords of the prosecution of Ulster, in regard of ^nc£p"jCL''' lack of grass and forage, and the poorness of cattle at that time of year, and such like difficulties of the season, and not of the matter, will in better time, and with better commodity for the army, be fully executed about the middle of June or beginning of July; and signify, that the earl intended a present prosecution should be set on foot in Lemster j to which letters the lords make answer by theirs of the 8th of May, signifying her Majesty's toleration of the delay.
PRACTICES AND TREASONS
ATTEMPTED AND COMMITTED BY
ROBERT LATE EARL OF ESSEX AND HIS COMPLICES,
AGAINST HER MAJESTY AND HER KINGDOMS;
AND OF TUB PROCEEDINGS AS WEI.I. AT THB ARRAIGNMENTS AND CONVICTIONS OF THE SAID LATB EARL, AND HIS ADHERENTS, AS AFTER! TOGETHER WITH THE VERT CONFESSIONS, AND OTHER PARTS OF THE EVIDENCES THEMSELVES, WORD FOR WORD, TAEEN OUT OF THE ORIGINALS.
IMPRINTED ANNO 1601.*
Though public justice passed upon capital offenders, according to the laws, and in course of an honourable and ordinary trial, where the case would have borne and required the severity of martial law to have been speedily used, do in itself carry a sufficient satisfaction towards all men, specially in a merciful government, such as her Majesty's is approved to be: yet because there do pass abroad in the hands of many men divers false and corrupt col
• Our author has abundantly vouched this Declaration &c. to be penned by himself in the following passage of his Apology:
"It Is very true also, about that time, her Majesty taking a liking of my pen, upon that which I had formerly done concerning the proceeding at York-House, and likewise upon some other Declarations, which in former times by her appointment I put in writing, commanded me to pen that bouk, which was published for the better satisfaction of the world; which I did, but so, as never secretary had more particular and express directions and instructions in every point how to guide my hand in it; and not only so, but after I had made a first draught thereof, and propounded it to certain principal counsellors by her Majesty's appointment, it was perused, weighed, censured, altered, and made almost a new
lections and relations of the proceedings at the arraignment of the late earls of Essex and Southampton; and, again, because it is requisite that the world do understand as well the precedent practices and inducements to the treasons, as the open and actual treasons themselves, though in a case of life it was not thought convenient to insist at the trial upon matter of inference or presumption, but chiefly upon matter of plain and direct proofs; therefore it hath
writing, according to their lordships' better consideration: wherein their lordships and myself both were as religious and curious of truth, as desirous of satisfaction: and myself indeed gave only words and form of style in pursuing their direction. And after it had passed their allowance, it was again exactly perused by the queen herself, and some alterations made again by her appointment: nay, and after it was set to print, the queen, who, as your lordship knowcth, as she was excellent in
freat matters, so she was exquisite in small: and noted that could not forget my ancient respect to my lord of Essex, in terming him ever "my lord of Essex, my lord of Essex," almost in every page of the book; which she thought not fit, but would have it made " Essex," or " the late earl of Essex:" whereupon, of force, it was printed de novo, and the first copies suppressed by her peremptory commandment."
been thought fit to publish to the world a brief declaration of the practices and treasons attempted and committed by Robert late earl of Essex and his complices against her Majesty and her kingdoms, and of the proceedings at the convictions of the said late earl and his adherents upon the same treasons: and not so only, but therewithal for the better warranting and verifying of the narration, to set down in the end the very confessions and testimonies themselves word for word, taken out of the originals, whereby it will be most manifest that nothing is obscured or disguised, though it do appear by divers most wicked and seditious libels thrown abroad, that the dregs of these treasons which the late earl of Essex himself, a little before his death, did term a leprosy, that had infected far and near, do yet remain in the hearts and tongues of some misaffected persons.
The most partial will not deny, but that Robert late earl of Essex was, by her Majesty's manifold benefits and graces, besides oath and allegiance, as much tied to her Majesty, as the subject could be to the sovereign; her Majesty having heaped upon him both dignities, offices, and gifts, in such measure, as within the circle of twelve years or more, there was scarcely a year of rest, in which he did not obtain at her Majesty's hands some notable addition either of honour or profit.
But he on the other side making these her Majesty's favours nothing else but wings for his ambition, and looking upon them not as her benefits, but as his advantages, supposing that to be his own metal which was but her mark and impression, was so given over by God, who often punisheth ingratitude by ambition, and ambition by treason, and treason by final ruin, as he had long ago plotted it in his heart to become a dangerous supplanter of that seat whereof he ought to have been a principal supporter; in such sort as now every man of common sense may discern not only his last actual and open treasons, but also his former more secret practices and preparations towards those his treasons, and that without any gloss or interpreter, but himself and his own doings.
For first of all, the world can now expound why it was that he did aspire, and had almost attained unto a greatness, like unto the ancient greatness of the pnefectns praetorio under the emperors of Rome, to have all men of war to make their sole and particular dependence upon him; that with such jealousy and watchfulness he sought to discountenance any one that might be a competitor to^him in any part of that greatness, that with great violence and bitterness he sought to suppress and keep down all the worthiest martial men, which did not appropriate their respects and acknowledgments only towards himself. All which did manifestly detect and distinguish, that it was not the reputation of a famous leader in the wars which he sought, as it was construed a great while, but only power and greatness to serve his own ends, considering he never loved virtue nor valour in another, but where he thought he should be proprietary and commander of it, as referred to himself.
So likewise those points of popularity which every
man took notice and note of, as his affable gestures, open doors, making his table and his bed so popularly places of audience to suitors, denying nothing when he did nothing, feeding many men in their discontentments against the queen and the state, and the like; as they were ever since Absalom's time the forerunners of treasons following, so in him were they either the qualities of a nature disposed to disloyalty, or the beginnings and conceptions of that which afterwards grew to shape and form.
But as it were a vain thing to think to search the roots and first motions of treasons, which are known to none but God that discerns the heart, and the devil that gives the instigation; so it is more than to be presumed, being made apparent by the evidence of all the events following, that he carried into Ireland a heart corrupted in his allegiance, and pregnant of those or the like treasons which afterwards came to light.
For being a man by nature of a high imagination, and a great promiser to himself as well as to others, he was confident that if he were once the first person in a kingdom, and a sea between the queen's seat and his, and Wales the nearest land from Ireland, and that he had got the flower of the English forces into his hands, which he thought so to intermix with his own followers, as the whole body should move by his spirit, and if he might have also absolutely into his own hands, " potestatem vitae et necis, et arbitrium belli et pacis," over the rebels of Ireland, whereby he might entice and make them his own, first by pardons and conditions, and after by hopes to bring them in place where they should serve for hope of better booties than cows, he should be able to make that place of lieutenancy of Ireland as a rise or step to ascend to his desired greatness in England.
And although many of these conceits were windy, yet neither were they the less like to his; neither are they now only probable conjectures or comments upon these his last treasons, but the very preludes of actions almost immediately subsequent, as shall be touched in due place.
But first, it was strange with what appetite and thirst he did affect and compass the government of Ireland, which he did obtain. For although he made some formal shows to put it from him ; yet in this, as in most things else, his desires being too strong for his dissimulations, he did so far pass the bounds of decorum, as he did in effect name himself to the queen by such description and such particularities as could not be applied to any other but himself; neither did he so only, but farther, he was still at hand to offer and urge vehemently and peremptorily exceptions to any other that was named.
Then after he once found that there was no man but himself, who had other matters in his head, so far in love with that charge, as to make any competition or opposition to his pursuit, whereby lie saw it would fall upon him, and especially after himself was resolved upon; he began to make propositions to her Majesty by way of taxation of the former course held in managing the actions of Ireland, especially upon three points; the first, that the pro