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the advantage of her majesty's royal ends, hath | unite soundness of judgment to the zeal you have these words: 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; 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."

"You have in this despatch given us small light, either when or in what order you intend particularly to proceed to the northern action; wherein if you compare the time that is run on, and the excessive charges that are spent, with the effects of any thing wrought by this voyage, howsoever we remain satisfied with your own particular cases 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 burden 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 thing that doth more displease us than any charge or offence that happens, 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 letter we found your purpose to go northwards, on which depends the main good of our service, and which we expected long since should have been performed; 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 contempt-, ible amongst our rebels: we must plainly charge you, according to the duty you owe to us, so to

Her majesty in her particular letter, written to my lord the 30th of July, bindeth, still expressly upon the northern prosecution, my lord "ad principalia rerum," 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 already written, and apply your counsels to that which may shorten, and not prolong the war; seeing never any of you 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:

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We cannot deny but we did ground our counsels upon this foundation, That there should have been a prosecution of the capital rebels in the north, whereby the war might have been 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 hæc verba."

"Moreover, in your lordships' great wisdom, you will likewise judge what pride the rebels will grow to, what advantage the foreign enemy may take, and what loss her majesty shall receive, if this summer the arch-traitor be not assailed, and garrisons planted upon him."

My Lord of Essex, in his particular letter of the 11th of July, to the lords of the council, after Munster journey, writeth thus:

"As fast as I can call these troops together, I will go look upon yonder 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 in the height of their pride, and our base clowns must be taught to fight 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 2,000 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 article was to show, that my lord did willfully and contemptuously, in this great point of estate, violate and infringe her majesty's direction before remembered.

In delivering of the evidence and 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 forth, we do very humbly acknowledge her majesty's chargeable magnificence and royal preparations and transportations 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 lords of the council here, dated the 28th of April, whereby they advertise, that the prosecution of Ulster, in regard of 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: to which letters the lords make answer by theirs of the 8th of May, signifying her majesty's toleration of the delay.

A 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 AS WELL AT THE ARRAIGNMENTS AND CONVICTIONS OF THE SAID LATE EARL,
AND HIS ADHERENTS, AS AFTER: TOGETHER WITH THE VERY CONFESSIONS, AND OTHER PARTS
OF THE EVIDENCES THEMSELVES, WORD FOR WORD, TAKEN OUT OF THE ORIGINALS.

IMPRINTED ANNO 1601.*

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 bene

THOUGH public justice passed upon capital of fenders, 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 collections 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|fits, but as his advantages, supposing that to be upon matter of inference or presumption, but chiefly upon matter of plain and direct proofs; therefore it hath 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

See ante, 341.

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 "præfectus prætorio" 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.

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 he 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 proportions of forces which had been there maintained and continued by supplies, were not sufficient to bring the prosecutions there to period. The second, that the axe had not been put to the root of the tree, in regard there had not been made a main prosecution upon the arch-traitor, Tyrone, in his own strength, within the province of Ulster. The third, that the prosecutions before time had been intermixed and interrupted with too many temporizing treaties, whereby the rebel did ever gather strength and reputation to renew the war with advantage. All which goodly and well-sounding discourses, together with the great vaunts, that he would make the earth tremble before him, tended but to this, that the queen should increase the list of her army, and all proportions of treasure and other furniture, to the end his commandment might be the greater. For that he never intended any such prosecution, may appear by this, that even at the time before his going into Ireland, he did open himself so far in speech to Blunt, his inwardest counsellor, "That he did assure himself that many of the rebels in Ireland would be advised by him:" so far was he from intending any prosecution towards those in whom he took himself to have interest. But his ends were two; the one, to get great forces into his hands; the other, to oblige the heads of the rebellion unto him, and to make them of his party. These two ends had in themselves a repugnancy; for the one imported prosecution, and the other treaty: but he that meant to be too strong to be called to account for any thing, and meant besides, when he was once in Ireland, to engage himself in other journeys that should hinder the prosecution in the north, took things in order as they made for him; and so first did nothing, as was said, but trumpet a final and utter prosecution against Tyrone in the north, to But, first, it was strange with what appetite and the end, to have his forces augmented.

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 vitæ 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 yet he forgat not his other purpose of making himself strong by a party amongst the rebels, when it came to the scanning of the clauses of his commission. For then he did insist, and that with a kind of contestation, that the pardoning, no, not of Tyrone himself, the capital rebel, should be excepted and reserved to her majesty's immediate grace; being infinitely desirous that Tyrone should not look beyond him for his life or pardon, but should hold his fortune as of him, and account for it to him only.

So, again, whereas, in the commission of the Earl of Sussex, and of all other lieutenants or deputies, there was ever in that clause, which giveth unto the lieutenant or deputy that high or regal point of authority to pardon treasons and traitors, an exception contained of such cases of treason as are committed against the person of the king; it was strange, and suspiciously strange even at that time, with what importunity and instance he did labour, and in the end prevailed to have that exception also omitted, glossing then, that because he had heard that, by strict exposition of law, (a point in law that he would needs forget at his arraignment, but could take knowledge of it before, when it was to serve his own ambition,) all treasons of rebellion did tend to the destruction of the king's person, it might breed a buz in the rebels' heads, and so discourage them from coming in: whereas he knew well that in all experience passed, there was never rebel made any doubt or scruple upon that point to accept of pardon from all former governors, who had their commissions penned with that limitation, their commissions being things not kept secretly in a box, but published and recorded: so as it appeared manifestly, that it was a mere device of his own out of the secret reaches of his heart, then not revealed; but it may be shrewdly expounded since, what his drift was, by those pardons which he granted to Blunt the marshal, and Thomas Lee, and others, that his care was no less to secure his own instruments than the rebels of Ireland.

Yet was there another point for which he did contend and contest, which was, that he might not be tied to any opinion of the council of Ireland, as all others in certain points, as pardoning traitors, concluding war and peace, and some other principal articles, had been before him; to the end he might be absolute of himself, and be fully master of opportunities and occasions for the performing and executing of his own treasonable ends.

But after he had once, by her majesty's singular trust and favour toward him, obtained his patent of commission as large, and his list of forces as full as he desired, there was an end in his course of the prosecution in the north. For, being arrived into Ireland, the whole carriage of his actions there was nothing else but a cunning

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defeating of that journey, with an intent, as appeared, in the end of the year, to pleasure and gratify the rebel with a dishonourable peace, and to contract with him for his own greatness.

Therefore, not long after he had received the sword, he did voluntarily engage himself in an unseasonable and fruitless journey into Munster, a journey never propounded in the council there, never advertised over hither while it was past: by which journey her majesty's forces, which were to be preserved entire, both in vigour and number for the great prosecution, were harassed and tired with long marches together, and the northern prosecution was indeed quite dashed and made impossible.

But, yet, still doubting he might receive from her majesty some quick and express commandment to proceed; to be sure he pursued his former device of wrapping himself in other actions, and so set himself on work anew in the county of Ophaley, being resolved, as is manifest, to dally out the season, and never to have gone that journey at all: that setting forward which he made in the very end of August, being but a mere play and a mockery, and for the purposes which now shall be declared.

After he perceived that four months of the summer, and three parts of the army were wasted, he thought now was a time to set on foot such a peace, as might be for the rebels' advantage, and so to work a mutual obligation between Tyrone and himself; for which purpose he did but seek a commodity. He had there with him in his army one Thomas Lee, a man of a seditious and working spirit, and one that had been privately familiar and entirely beloved of Tyrone, and one that afterwards, immediately upon Essex's open rebellion, was apprehended for a desperate attempt of violence against her majesty's person; which he plainly confessed, and for which he suffered. Wherefore, judging him to be a fit instrument, he made some signification to Lee of such an employment, which was no sooner signified than apprehended by Lee. He gave order also to Sir Christopher Blunt, marshal of his army, to license Lee to go to Tyrone, when he should require it. But Lee thought good to let slip first unto Tyrone, which was, nevertheless, by the marshal's warrant, one James Knowd, a person of wit and sufficiency, to sound in what terms and humours Tyrone then was. This Knowd returned a message from Tyrone to Lee, which was, That if the Earl of Essex would follow Tyrone's plot, he would make the Earl of Essex the greatest man that ever was in England: and, farther, that if the earl would have conference with him, Tyrone would deliver his eldest son in pledge for his assurance. This message was delivered by Knowd to Lee, and by Lee was imparted to the Earl of Essex, who, after this message, employed Lee himself to Tyrone, and by his negotiating.

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