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said, that he meant to possess himself of the city, the better to enable himself to revenge him on his enemies, the lord Cobham, Sir Robert Cecil, and Sir Walter Raleigh. And this examinate confesseth, That he resolved to live and die with the earl of Essex; and that the earl of Essex did intend to make his forces so strong, that her Majesty should not be able to resist him in the revenge of his enemies. And saith, That the earl of Essex was most inward with the earl of Southampton, Sir Christopher Blunt, and others; who have of long time showed themselves discontented, and have advised the earl of Essex to take other courses, and to stand upon his guard: and saith, That when the earl of Essex was talking with the lord keeper, and other the lords sent from her Majesty, divers said, " My lord, they mean to abuse you, and you lose time." And when the earl came to sheriff Smith's, he desired him to send for the lord mayor that he might speak with him; and as the earl went in the streets of London, this examinate said to divers of the citizens, that if they would needs come, that it was better for their safety to come with weapons in their hands: and saith, That the earl of Essex, at the end of the street where sheriff Smith dwelt, cried out to the citizens, that they did him harm, for that they came naked; and willed them to get them weapons; and the earl of Essex also cried out to the citizens, that the crown of England was offered to be sold to the infanta: and saith, That the earl burned divers papers that were in a little casket, whereof one was, as the earl said, a history of his troubles: and saith, That when they were assaulted in Essex-house, after their return, they first resolved to have made a sally out; and the earl said, that he was determined to die; and yet in the end they changed their opinion, and yielded: and saith, That the earl of Southampton, Sir Christopher Blunt, and Sir John Davis advised the earl of Essex, that the lord keeper and his company should be detained: and this examinate saith, That he heard divers there present cry out, "Kill them, kill them :" and saith, That he thinketh the earl of Essex intended, that after he had possessed himself of the city, he would entreat the lord keeper and his company to accompany him to the court. He saith, he heard Sir Christopher Blunt say openly, in the presence of the earl of Essex and others, how fearful, and in what several humours they should find them at the court, when they came thither.
£xam. per. Th- P.orrton, C. a.
The C onfession of W UliamLord Sandys, of the parish
did mean to stand upon his strength till Sunday in
the morning, being the 8th of this instant February: and saith, That in the morning of that day this examinate was sent for by the earl of Essex about six or seven of the clock: and the earl sent for him by his servant Warburton, who was married to a widow in Hampshire. And at his coming to the earl, there were six or seven gentlemen with him, but remembereth not what they were; and next after, of a nobleman, came my lord Chandos, and after him came the earl of Southampton, and presently after the earl of Rutland, and after him Mr. Parker, commonly called the lord Montegle: and saith, That at his coming to the earl of Essex, he complained that it was practised by Sir Walter Raleigh to have murdered him as he should have gone to the lord treasurer's house with Mr. Secretary Herbert And saith, that he was present in the court yard of Essexhouse, when the lord keeper, the earl of Worcester, Sir William Knolles, and the lord chief justice, came from the queen's Majesty to the earl of Essex: and the lord chief justice required the earl of Essex to have some private conference with him; and that if any private wrongs were offered unto him, that they would make true report thereof to her Majesty, who, no doubt, would reform the same: and saith, That this examinate went with the earl, and the rest of his company, to London to sheriff Smith's, but went not into the house with him, but stayed in the street a while: and being sent for by the earl of Essex, went into the house, and from thence came with him till he came to Ludgate: which place being guarded, and resistance being made, and perceived by the earl of Essex, he said unto his company, "Charge;" and thereupon Sir Christopher Blunt and others of his company gave the charge, and being repulsed, and this examinate hurt in the leg, the earl retired with this examinate and others to his house called Essex-house. And on his retire, the earl said to this examinate, That if sheriff Smith did not his part, that his part was as far forth as the earl's own; which moved him to think that he trusted to the city. And when the earl was, after his retire, in Essex-house, he took an iron casket, and broke it open, and burnt divers papers in it; whereof there was a book, as he taketh it, and said, as he was burning of them, that they should tell no tales to hurt his friends: and saith, That the earl said, that he had a black bag about his neck that should tell no tales.
Exam, per Jo. Popham,
The Examination of the Lord Cromwell, taken the Jth of March, 1600, by Sir J. Popham, Lord Chief Justice; Christ. 1'elverton, her Majesty's Serjeant; and Fr. Bacon, of her Majesty's learned counsel.
* At the sheriff's house this examinate pressed in
* This examination, as appcareth by the date, was taken after Essex's arraignment, but is inserted, to show how the speech, of the realm to be sold to the infanta, which at hi? arraignment he derived from Mr. Secretary, at sheriff SmiUYi house he said was advertised out of 1 reland: and with this latter concur many other examinations.
with the rest, and found the earls shifting themselves in an inner chamber, where he heard my lord of Essex certify the company, that he had been advertised out of Ireland, which he would not now hide from them, that the realm should be delivered over to the hands of the infanta of Spain, and that he was wished to look to it; farther, that he was to seek redress for injuries; and that he had left at his house for pledges, the lord keeper, the earl of Worcester, Sir William Knolles, and the lord chief justice.
Exam, per jo. Popham,
Sir Christopher Blunt, Knight, at the time of his Arraignment, did openly at the bar desire to speak with the Lord Admiral and Mr. Secretary; before whom he made this Confession following: which the Earl of Southampton confirmed afterwards, and he himself likewise at his death.
He confesseth, That at the castle of Dublin, in that lodging which was once the earl of Southampton's, the earl of Essex purposing his return into England, advised with the earl of Southampton and himself, of his best manner of going into England for his security, seeing to go he was resolved.
At that time he propounded his goini; with a competent number of soldiers, to the number of two or three thousand, to have made good his first landing with that force, until he could have drawn unto himself a sufficient strength to have proceeded farther.
From this purpose this examinnte did use all forcible persuasions, alleging not only his own ruin, which should follow thereof, and all those which should adhere to him in that action; but urging it to him as a matter most foul, because he was not only held a patron of his country, which by this means he should have destroyed; but also should have laid upon himself an irrevocable blot, having been so deeply bound to her Majesty. To which dissuasion the earl of Southampton also inclined.
This design being thus dissuaded by them, then they fell to a second consideration: and therein this examinate confesseth, That he rather advised him, if needs he would go, to take with him some competent number of choice men.
He did not name unto him any particular power that would have come to him at his landing, but assured himself that his army would have been quickly increased by all sorts of discontented people.
He did confess before his going. That he was assured that many of the rebels would be advised by him, but named none in particular.
The Examination of the Earl of Southampton after his Arraignment; taken before the Earl of Nottingham, Lord High Admiral; Sir Robert Cecil, Principal Secretary; and Mr. John Herbert, Second Secretary of Estate.
Sir Christopher Blunt being hurt, and lying in the castle of Dublin, in a chamber which had
been mine, the earl of Essex one day took me thither with him, where being none but we three, he told us, He found it necessary for him to go into England, and thought it fit to carry with him as much of the army as he could conveniently transport, to go on shore with him to Wales, and there to make good his landing with those, till he could send for more; not doubting but his army would so increase in a small time, that he should be able to march to London, and make his conditions as he desired.
To which project I answered, That I held it altogether unfit, as well in respect of his conscience to God, and his love to his country, as his duty to his sovereign, of which he, of all men, ought to have greatest regard, seeing her Majesty's favours to him had been so extraordinary: wherefore I could never give any consent unto it. Sir Christopher Blunt joined with me in this opinion.
Exam per Kottibgham,
The Speech of Sir Christopher Blunt, at the time of his death, as near as it could be remembered, March 18, 1600.
My lords, and you that be present, although I must confess, that it were better fitting the little time I have to breathe, to bestow the same in asking God forgiveness for my manifold and abominable sins, than to use any other discourse, especially having both an imperfection of speech, and, God knows, a weak memory, by reason of my late grievous wound: yet to satisfy all those that are present what course hath been held by me in this late enterprise, because I was said to be an instigator and setter-on of the late earl, I will truly, and upon the peril of my soul, speak the truth.
It is true, that the first time that ever I understood of any dangerous discontentment in my lord of Essex, was about three years ago, at Wanstead, upon his coming one day from Greenwich. At that time he spake many things unto me, but descended into no particulars, but in general terms.
After which time he never brake with me in any matter tending to the alteration of the state, I protest before God, until he came into Ireland, other than I might conceive, that he was of an ambitious and discontented mind. But when I lay at the castle of Thomas Lee, called Reban, in Ireland, grievously hurt, and doubted of my life, he came to visit me, and then began to acquaint me with his intent.
[As he thus spake, the sheriff began to interrupt him, and told him the hour was past. But my lord Gray, and Sir Walter Raleigh captain of the guard, called to the sheriff, and required him not to interrupt him, but to suffer him quietly to finish his prayers and confessions. Sir Christopher Blunt said, Is Sir Walter Raleigh there? Those on the scaffold answered, Yea. To whom Sir Christopher Blunt spake on this manner:]
Sir Walter Raleigh, I thank God that you are present: I had an infinite desire to speak with you, to ask your forgiveness ere I died, both for the wrong done you, and for my particular ill intent towards you: I beseech you forgive me.
Sir Walter Raleigh answered, That he most willingly forgave him, and besought God to forgive him, and to give him his divine comfort: protesting before the Lord, That whatsoever Sir Christopher Blunt meant towards him, for his part he never had any ill intent towards him: and farther said to Sir Christopher Blunt, " I pray you without offence let me put you in mind that you have been esteemed, not only a principal provoker and persuader of the earl of Essex in all his undutiful courses, but especially an adviser in that which hath been confessed of his purpose to transport a great part of her Majesty's army out of Ireland into England, to land at Milford, and thence to turn it against her sacred person. You shall do well to tell the truth, and to satisfy the world." To which he answered thus:
Sir, if you will give me patience, I will deliver a truth, speaking now my last, in the presence of God, in whose mercy I trust. [And then he directed himself to my lord Gray and my lord Compton, and the rest that sat on horseback near the scaffold.]
When I was brought from Reban to Dublin, and lodged in the castle, his lordship and the earl of Southampton came to visit me: and lo be short, he began thus plainly with me: That he intended to transport a choice part of the army of Ireland into England, and land them in Wales, at Milford or thereabouts; and so securing his descent thereby, would gather such other forces as might enable him to march to London. To which I protest before the Lord God, I made this or the like answer: That I would that night consider of it; which I did.
And the next day the earls came again: I told them, That Such an enterprise, as it was most dangerous, so would it cost much blood, as I could not like of it; besides many hazards, which at this time I cannot remember unto you, neither will the time permit it. But I rather advised him to go over himself with a good train, and make sure of the court, and then make his own conditions.
And although it be true, that, as we all protested in our examinations and arraignments, we never resolved of doing hurt to her Majesty's person, for in none of our consultations was there set down anysuch purpose; yet, I know, and must confess, if we had failed of our ends, we should, rather than have been disappointed, even have drawn blood from herself. From henceforward he dealt no more with me herein, until he was discharged of his keeper at Essex-house. And then, he again asked mine advice, and disputed the matter with me; but resolved not. I went then into the country, and before he sent for me, which was some ten days before his rebellion, I never heard more of the matter. And then he wrote unto me to come up, upon pretence of making some assurances of land, and the like. I will leave the rest unto my confessions, giving to (hat honourable lord admiral, and worthy Mr. Secretary, to whom I beseech you, Sir Walter Raleigh, commend me; I can requite their favourable and charitable dealing with me, with nought else but
my prayers for them. And I beseech God of his mercy, to save and preserve the queen, who hath given comfort to my soul, in that I hear she hath forgiven me all, but the sentence of the law, which I most worthily deserved, and do most willingly embrace; and hope that God will have mercy and compassion on me, who have offended him as many ways as ever sinful wretch did. I have led a life so far from his precepts, as no sinner more. God forgive it me, and forgive me my wicked thoughts, my licentious life, and this right arm of mine, which, I fear me, hath drawn blood in this last action. And I beseech you all bear witness, that I die a catholic, yet so, as I hope to be saved only by the death and passion of Christ, and by his merits, not ascribing any thing to mine own works. And I trust you are all good people, and your prayers may profit me. Farewell, my worthy lord Gray, and my lord Compton, and to you all; God send you both to live long in honour. I will desire to say a few prayers, and embrace my death most willingly.
With that he turned from the rail towards the executioner: and the minister offering to speak with him, he came again to the rail, and besought that his conscience might not be troubled, for he was resolved; which he desired for God's sake. Whereupon commandment was given, that the minister should not interrupt him any farther. After which he prepared himself to the block, and so died very manfully and resolutely.
An Abstract out of the Earl of Essex's Confession under his own hand.
Upon Saturday the twenty-first of February, after the late earl of Essex had desired us to come to him, as well to deliver his knowledge of those treasons, which he had formerly denied at the bar, as also to recommend his humble and earnest request, that her Majesty would be pleased, out of her grace and favour, to suffer him to die privately in the Tower; he did marvellous earnestly desire, that we would suffer him to speak unto CmTe his secretary: against whom he vehemently complained unto us, to have been a principal instigator to these violent courses which he had undertaken. Wherein he protested I hat he chiefly desired that he might make it appear that he was not-the only persuader of those great offences which they had committed; but that Blunt, Cuffe, Temple, besides those other persons who were at the private conspiracy at Drnry-house, to which, though these three were not called, yet they were privy, had most malicious and bloody purposes to subvert the state and government; which could not have been prevented, if his project had gone forward.
This request being granted him, and Cuffe brought before him, he there directly and vehemently charged him; and among other speeches used these words: "Henry Cuffe, call to God for mercy, and to the queen, and deserve it by declaring truth. For I, that must now prepare for another world, have resolved to deal clearly with God and the world: and must needs say this to you j You have been one
of the chiefest instigators of me to all these my dis-
The Earl of Essex his Confession to three Ministers, u-h use names are underwritten, the 25th of February, 1600.
The late earl of Essex thanked God most heartily, that he had given him a deeper insight into his offence being sorry he had so stood upon his justification at his arraignment, for he was since that become another man.
He thanked God that his course was so prevented; for if his project had taken effect, God knows, said he, what harm it had wrought in the realm.
He humbly thanked her Majesty, that he should
die in so private a manner, lest the acclamation of the people might have been a temptation unto him. To which he added, that all popularity and trust in man was vain: the experience whereof himself had felt.
He acknowledged with thankfulness to God, that he was thus justly spewed out of the realm.
He publicly in his prayer and protestation, as also privately, aggravated the detestation of his offence; and especially in the hearing of them that were present at the execution, he exaggerated it with four epithets, desiring God to forgive him his great, his bloody, his crying, and his infectious sin: which word infectious he privately had explained to us, that it was a leprosy that had infected far and near.
SIR FRANCIS BACON,
IMPUTATIONS CONCERNING THE LATE EARL OF ESSEX.
TO THR RIOHT HONOURABLE HIS VBRY GOOD LORD
THE EARL OF DEVONSHIRE, LORD LIEUTENANT OF IRELAND.
It may please your good lordship, I cannot be ignorant, and ought to be sensible of the wrong which I sustain in common speech, as if I had been false or unthankful to that noble, but unfortunate earl, the earl of Essex: and for satisfying the vulgar sort, I do not so much regard it; though I love a good name, but yet as an handmaid and attendant of honesty and virtue. For I am of his opinion that said pleasantly, " That it was a shame to him that was a suitor to the mistress to make love to the waiting-woman;" and therefore to woo or court common fame, otherwise than it followeth on honest courses, 1, for my part, find not myself fit or disposed. But, on the other side, there is no worldly thing that concemeth myself, which I hold more dear than the good opinion of certain persons; among which there is none I would more willingly give satisfaction unto than to your lordship. First, because you loved my lord of Essex, and therefore will not be partial towards me, which is part of that I desire: next, because it hath ever pleased you to show yourself to me an honourable friend, and so no baseness in me to seek to satisfy you: and lastly,
Vol. i. 2 r
because I know your lordship is excellently grounded in the true rules and habits of duties and moralities, which must be they which shall decide this matter; wherein, my lord, my defence needeth to be but simple and brief; namely, that whatsoever I did concerning that action and proceeding, was done in my duty and service to the queen and the state; in which I would not show myself false-hearted nor faint-hearted, for any man's sake living. For every honest man that hath his heart well planted, will forsake his king rather than forsake God, and forsake his friend rather than forsake his king; and yet will forsake any earthly commodity, yea, and his own life in some cases, rather than forsake his friend. I hope the world hath not forgotten these degrees, else the heathen saying, "Amicus usque ad aras," shall judge them.
And if any man shall say, I did officiously intrude myself into that business, because I had no ordinary place; the like may be said of all the business in effect that passed the hands of the learned counsel, either of states or revenues, these many years, wherein I was continually used. For, as your lordship may remember, the queen knew her strength so well, as she looked her word should be a warrant; and, after the manner of the choicest princes before her, did not always tie her trust to place, but did sometime divide private favour from office. And I for my part, though I was not 60 unseen in the world, but I knew the condition was subject to envy and peril; yet because I knew again she was constant in her favours, and made an end where she began; and especially because she upheld me with extraordinary access, and other demonstrations of confidence and grace, I resolved to endure it in expectation of better. But my scope and desire is, that your lordship would be pleased to have the honourable patience to know the truth, in some particularity, of all that passed in this cause, wherein I had any part, that you may perceive how honest a heart I ever bare to my sovereign, and to my country, and to that nobleman, who had so well deserved of me, and so well accepted of my deservings, whose fortune I cannot remember without much grief. But for any action of mine towards him, there is nothing that passed me in my life-time, that comcth to my remembrance with more clearness, and less check of conscience: for it will appear to your lordship, that I was not only not opposite to my lord of Essex, but that I did occupy the utmost of my wits, and adventure my fortune with the queen, to have redintegrated his, and so continued faithfully and industriously, till his last fatal impatience, for so I will call it, after which day there was not time to w-ork for him: though the same, my affection, when it could not work on the subject proper, went to the next, with no ill effect towards some others, who, I think, do rather not know it, than not acknowledge it. And this I will assure your lordship, I will leave nothing untold, that is truth, for any enemy that I have, to add; and on the other side, I must reserve much which makes for me, in many respects of duty, which I esteem above my credit: and what I have here set down to your lordship, I protest, as I hope to have any part in God's favour, is true.
It is well known, how I did many years since dedicate my travels and studies to the use, and as I may term it, service of my lord of Essex, which, I protest before God, I did not, making election of him as the likeliest mean of mine own advancement, but out of the humour of a man, that ever from the time I had any use of reason, whether it were reading upon good books, or upon the example of a good father, or by nature, I loved my country more than was answerable to my fortune; and I held at that time my lord to be the fittest instrument to do good to the state, and therefore I applied myself to him in a manner which I think happeneth rarely among men: for I did not only labour carefully and industriously in that he set me about, whether it were matter of advice or otherwise, but, neglecting the queen's service, mine own fortune, and in a sort my vocation, I did nothing but advise and ruminate with myself, to the best of my understanding, propositions and memorials of any thing that might concern his lordship's honour, fortune, or service. And when,
not long after I entered into this course, my brother Mr. Anthony Bacon came from beyond the seas, being a gentleman whose ability the world taketh knowledge of for matters of state, especially foreign, I did likewise knit his service to be at my lord's disposing. And on the other side, I must and will ever acknowledge my lord's love, trust, and favour towards me; and last of all his liberality, having infeoffed me of land which I sold for eighteen hundred pounds to Mr. Reynold Nicholas, which I think, was more worth; and that at such a time, and with so kind and noble circumstances, as the manner was as much as the matter; which, though it be but an idle digression, yet because I am not willing to be short in commemoration of his benefits, I will presume to trouble your lordship with relating to you the manner of it. After the queen had denied me the solicitor's place, for the which bis lordship had been a long ami earnest suitor on my behalf, it pleased him to come to me from Richmond to Twicknam Park, and brake with me, and said: "Mr. Bacon, the queen hath denied me the place for you, and hath placed another; I know you are the least part of your own matter, but you fare ill because you have chosen me for your mean and dependence; you have spent your time and thoughts in my matters; I die," these were his very words, " if I do not somewhat towards your fortune, you shall not deny to accept a piece of land which I will bestow upon you." My answer, I remember, was, that for my fortune it was no great matter; but that his lordship's offer made me call in mind what was wont to be said, when I was in France, of the duke of Guise, that he was the greatest usurer in France, because he had turned all his estate into obligations: meaning that he had left himself nothing, but only had bound numbers of persons to him. "Now, my lord, said I, I would not have you imitate his course, nor turn your estate thus by great gifts into obligations, for you will find many bad debtors." He bade me take no care for that, and pressed it: whereupon I said, "My lord, I see I must be your homager, and hold land of your gift; but do you know the manner of doing homage in law? Always it is with a saving of his faith to the king and his other lords; and therefore, my lord, said I, I can be no more yours than I was, and it must be with the ancient savings: and if I grow to be a rich man, you will give me leave to give it back again to some of your unrewarded followers."
But to return: sure I am, though I can arrogate nothing to myself but that I was a faithful remembrancer to his lordship, that while I had most credit with him his fortune went on best: and yet in two main points we always directly and contradictorily differed, which I will mention to your lordship, because it giveth light to all that followed. The one was, I ever set this down, that the only course to be held with the queen, was by obsequiousness and observance: and I remember I would usually engage confidently, that if he would take that course constantly, and with choice of good particulars to express it, the queen would be brought in time to