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yet generally I did both commend her majesty's mercy, terming it to her as an excellent balm that did continually distil from her sovereign hands, and made an excellent odour in the senses of her people; and not only so, but I took hardiness to extenuate, not the fact, for that I durst not, but the danger, telling her, that if some base or cruelminded persons had entered into such an action, it might have caused much blood and combustion: but it appeared well, they were such as knew not how to play the malefactors; and some other words which I now omit. And as for the rest of the carriage of myself in that service, I have many honourable witnesses that can tell, that the next day after my lord's arraignment, by my diligence and information, touching the quality and nature of the offenders, six of nine were stayed, which otherwise had been attainted, I bringing their lordships' letter for their stay, after the jury was sworn to pass upon them; so near it went: and how careful I was, and made it my part, that whosoever was in trouble about that matter, as soon as ever his case was sufficiently known and defined of, might not continue in restraint, but be set at liberty; and many other parts, which, I am well assured of, stood with the duty of an honest man. But, indeed, I will not deny for the case of Sir Thomas Smith of London, the queen demanding my opinion of it: I told her, I thought it was as hard as any of the rest. But what was the reason? Because, at that time, I had seen only his accusation, and had never been present at any examination of his; and the matter so standing, I had been very untrue to my service, if I had not delivered that opinion. But, afterwards, upon a re-examination of some that charged him, who weakened their own testimony, and especially hearing himself "viva voce," I went instantly to the queen, out of the soundness of my conscience, not regarding what opinion I had formerly delivered, and told her majesty, I was satisfied, and resolved in my conscience, that for the reputation of the action, the plot was to countenance the action farther by him in respect of his place, than they had indeed any interest or intelligence with him. It is very true also, about that time, her majesty taking a liking of my pen, upon that which I formerly had 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 book, 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 that 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 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 knoweth, as she was excellent in great matters, so she was exquisite in small, and noted that I 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.
And this, my good lord, to my farthest remembrance, is all that passed wherein I had part; which I have set down as near as I could in the very words and speeches that were used, not because they are worthy the repetition, I mean those of mine own; but to the end your lordship may lively and plainly discern between the face of truth, and a smooth tale: and the rather, also, because, in things that passed a good while since, the very words and phrases did sometimes bring to my remembrance the matters: wherein I report me to your honourable judgment, whether you do not see the traces of an honest man: and had I been as well believed either by the queen or by my lord, as I was well heard by them both, both my lord had been fortunate, and so had myself in his fortune.
To conclude, therefore, I humbly pray your lordship to pardon me for troubling you with this long narration; and that you will vouchsafe to hold me in your good opinion, till you know I have deserved, or find that I shall deserve the contrary; and so ever I continue
At your lordship's honourable commandments very humbly,
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.
Ir was opened, that her majesty being imperial, and immediate under God, 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
* At York House, in June, 1600, prepared for Queen ElizaDeth by her command, and read to her by Mr. Bacon, but
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 account 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 further 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 superabound; 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 Paul's and ordinaries | spirit of bitterness, remonstrance, and representawere full of bold and factious discourses, where- tion is made to her majesty, as if my lord suffered by not only many of her majesty's faithful and under passion and faction, and not under justice zealous counsellors and servants were taxed, but mixed with mercy; which letter, though written withal the hard estate of Ireland was imputed to to her sacred majesty, and therefore unfit to pass any thing rather than unto the true cause, the in vulgar hands, yet was first divulged by copies earl's defaults, though this might have made any everywhere, that being, as it seemeth, the newest prince on earth to lay aside straightways the and finest form of libelling, and since committed former resolution taken, yet her majesty in her to the press: her majesty in her wisdom seeing moderation persisted in her course of clemency, manifestly these rumours thus nourished had got and bethought herself of a mean to right her own too great a head to be repressed without some honour, and yet spare the earl's ruin; and there- hearing of the cause, and calling my lord to anfore taking a just and most necessary occasion swer; and yet, on the other side, being still inupon these libels, of an admonition to be given sea- formed touching my lord himself of his consonably, and as is oft accustomed; the last Star tinuance of penitence and submission, did in conChamber day of Michaelmas term, was pleased, clusion resolve to use justice, but with the edge that declaration should be made, by way of testi- and point taken off and rebated; for whereas mony, of all her honourable privy council, of her nothing leaveth that taint upon honour, which in majesty's infinite care, royal provisions, and pru- a person of my lord's condition is hardliest redent directions for the prosecutions in Ireland, paired, in question of justice, as to be called to wherein the earl's errors, by which means so great the ordinary and open place of offenders and care and charge was frustrated, were incidently criminals, her majesty had ordered that the heartouched. ing 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 follow; 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.
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, as few days after my lord was removed to further 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
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 Matters laid to my Lord's Charge.
The matters wherewith my lord was 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 misgovernment and malversation in his office, were articulate into three heads.
I. The first was the journey into Munster, whereby the prosecution in due time upon Tyrone in Ulster was overthrown: wherein he proceeded contrary to his directions, and the whole design of his employment: whercof
ensued the consumption of her majesty's ral of a great enterprise, intended for the recovery
army, treasure, and. provisions, and the evident peril of that kingdom. 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 was precise and absolute for the northern prosecution, and that the same direction was by my lord, in regard of the 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 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 exceptions; 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 patronised 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 charge 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 gene
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 rebels' 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 unanimi 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 1,200 horse; which being agreed unto, upon some other accident out of Ireland, the earl propounded to have it made 14,000 foot, and 1,300 horse, which was likewise accorded; within a little while after the earl did newly insist to have an augmentation of 2,000 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 2,000 arriving in July, he had authority to raise 2,000 Irish more, which he procured by his letters out of Ireland, with pretence to further the northern service so as the army was raised in the conclusion and list to 16,000 foot, and 1,300 horse, supplied with 2,000 more at three months' end, and increased with 2,000 Irish upon this new demand; whereby her
majesty at that time paid 18,000 foot and 1,300 | discretion, whereas all the lieutenants were ever horse in the realm of Ireland. Of these forces, tied unto the peremptory assistance and admonidivers companies drawn out of the experienced tion of a certain number of voices of the council bands of the Low Countries; special care taken of Ireland. The occasion of which clause so that the new levies in the country should be of passed to my lord, doth notably disclose and the ablest, and most disposed bodies; the army point unto the precise trust committed to my also animated and encouraged with the service of lord for the northern journey; for when his comdivers brave and valiant noblemen and gentlemen mission was drawn at first according to former voluntaries; in sum, the most flourishing and precedents, and on the other side my lord insisted complete troops that have been known to have strongly to have this new and "prima facie" vast been sent out of our nation in any late memory. and exorbitant authority, he used this argument; A great mass of treasure provided and issued, that the council of Ireland had many of them amounting to such a total, as the charge of that livings and possessions in or near the province of army, all manner of ways, from the time of the Lemster and Munster; but that Ulster was first provisions and setting forth, to the time of abandoned from any such particular respects, my lord's returning into England, was verified whereby it was like, the council there would be to have drawn out of the coffers, besides the glad to use her majesty's forces for the clearing charge of the country, the quantity of 300,000l., and assuring of those territories and countries and so ordered as he carried with him three where their fortunes and estates were planted: months' pay beforehand, and likewise victual, so as, if he should be tied to their voices, he were munition, and all habiliments of war whatsoever, like to be diverted from the main service intended: with attendance of shipping allowed and furnished upon which reason that clause was yielded unto. 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 particular 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 1,300 horse, as an appurtenance to his lieutenancy of Ireland, which was impossible to be maintained; 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 Vor. II.-44
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 patent; 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; but which way soever he turned, he must find himself trusted, directed, and engaged wholly for the northern expedition.
The parts of this that was 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 knowledged.
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